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How to Stay Healthy on a Paleo Diet

Jessica Gomes
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The idea behind the Paleo diet is to eat like we did in the days of cavemen, before processed foods came into play and supermarkets were built for convenient shopping. Eating paleo is about going back to our roots of being hunter-gatherers, chasing game meat, fishing in the rivers, munching on leafy greens, and searching for regional produce, nuts and seeds.
 
Back then, everything was organic. There was no such thing as antibiotics, pesticides and hormones. The food was at its purest state, providing the highest amount of nutrients and giving our bodies what they need.
 
The Paleo diet is very popular for people looking to change up their lifestyle, lose weight, and become healthier overall. The idea is that by choosing this nutritional way of life, it will work directly with your genetics, keeping you lean, strong, and full of energy. Your body will know exactly what to do with all of the whole foods you are eating and will in turn build muscle, burn fat, and fight disease.
 
They say it is our modern diet – which contains high amounts of processed foods, trans fats, and sugar – that is the cause for our high cancer rates, stroke, obesity, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, infertility and depression.
 
We know we should be eating whole foods for a healthier body, mind, and spirit. But now comes the twist – not all whole foods are created equal.
 
In today’s world, large manufacturers for our produce and animal products use pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics to mass produce food to please the public with oversized and aesthetically pleasing fare. It is important to always choose organic options when available to reduce your intake of these chemicals.
 

We know we should be eating whole foods for a healthier body, mind, and spirit. But now comes the twist – not all whole foods are created equal.

 
Want to learn more about savvy grocery shopping? Read this article.
 
So how do we follow a healthy Paleo diet?
 

Here are 5 tips to stay healthy while following a Paleo diet:

 

1. Choose High-Fat

The Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein, and low in carbohydrates. This is contrary to the popular belief spawned in the 1990’s that encouraged a fat-free diet.
 
We have become afraid of fat, especially saturated fat. However, when consumed from a healthy source such as coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, grass-fed and wild meats, the benefits are tremendous.
 
As explained on Rob Wolff’s website, “Scientific research and epidemiological studies show that diets rich in Monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats dramatically reduce the instances of obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and cognitive decline.”
 
The best part of the Paleo diet is that calorie counting isn’t encouraged. By eating a high-fat diet, your body will feel fuller faster and for longer periods of time!
 
Cook with: Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, clarified butter, beef tallow, or duck fat.
 
Eat: Olive oil, avocados/avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, nuts, seeds and fish oil.
 
Avoid: All vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils such as margarine, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.
 

2. Choose Lean Proteins from Healthy Animals

Lean proteins support healthy muscles, strong bones, and boost your immunity. It is critical to find organic, grass-fed, free-range options when choosing your protein. If you consume protein from a sick animal (i.e. not organic, grass-fed, etc.), that will directly correlate with how your body feels. Putting excess hormones and antibiotics into your bloodstream will only create a toxic environment, and the benefits you hope to get from lean protein will be canceled out.
 

3. Eat Your Veggies!

Vegetables are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. They fight disease and give your body a pure dose of nutrients. Drizzle your veggies with olive oil and eat them raw, or cook them in a healthy fat (see above). As always, choose organic options to avoid harmful pesticides.
 

4. Limit Your Fruit Intake

Organic fruit provides a healthy amount of nutrients. However, it also can provide a sugar overload. When reaching for fruit options, stick to low sugar types such as berries, and avoid the high sugar types like bananas and apples.
 

5. Say Goodbye to Grains, Dairy, Legumes and Added Sugar

Modern food practices – while providing a fast and efficient way to create our products – strip away all the good-for-you-components that your body needs. Grains, dairy products, and other food groups are typically genetically modified and pumped with synthetic nutrients to make up for the lack of nutrients. Eating these modified foods confuses your body, creating autoimmune and other degenerative diseases, and causing you to become malnourished.
 
While on a Paleo diet, you will stay away from grains like wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, and brown rice, as well as legumes like soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
 
And last but not least, you will have to cut the added sugar. Stay away from sodas, fruit juices, and sweet treats. If it is in a box or has a shelf life that lasts a decade, don’t touch it.
 

 
Follow these tips and you are one step closer to following a healthy Paleo diet! Taking on the Paleo lifestyle may seem daunting at first, but hopefully these guidelines will ease your mind and help you move in the right direction. Try not to take it too seriously. Have fun and enjoy all of the healthy options available to you!
 
Do you follow a Paleo diet? What tips or tricks do you have for your fellow yogis? Share them in the comments below.
 

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Jessica Gomes

Jessica Lynn Gomes is a twenty‐something creative writer and health enthusiast living in Laguna Beach, California. As an athlete, she develops her own workout routines and practices a clean eating lifestyle. She is constantly experimenting in the kitchen, creating new ways to cook for her gluten‐free lifestyle, without sacrificing taste and nutrition. To get to know more about Jessica, head over to her personal blog, The Naked Bohemian.

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