What is the Paleo Diet?
Below is a guest article written by my friend Dee from paleodietplusplus.com
I myself am not a strict paleo guy but I do think that many of the principles involved in eating in a paleo style are sound and can help a person reach a healthy weight and feel strong and energetic (and do understand that not everyone in the paleo-community agrees on exactly what it means to eat "paleo").
PaleoDietPlusPlus.com explains the philosophy and argument behind why it may be in your interests to experiment with this approach to eating, and lays out detailed plans to take out the guesswork in how to begin. Best of all, there are a ton of recipes on the site to make your entrance into the paleo-lifestyle easy and delicious...
What is the Paleo Diet?
The original paleo diet was made popular by Dr. Loren Cordain with his book “The Paleo Diet.” The diet favors eating more beef, poultry, pork, fish, and leafy green vegetables, than fruits, nuts, and berries. Basically, eat more protein, healthy fat, and vegetables, than carbs, sugar, and alcohol. The diet uses an evolutionary perspective to argue that optimal health is obtained through eating the way we evolved to eat. Specifically how we ate during the Paleolithic era, where most of our hunter-gather physiology developed.
The era following the Paleolithic - the Neolithic - has only existed for approximately the last 10,000 years, a blink of an eye from an evolutionary point of view. During the Neolithic time, we stopped being hunter-gatherers and started farming, with an emphasis on cash-crops such as wheat, rice, soy, and other grains; an abundance of grains has helped our species thrive in terms of population numbers, because through large-scale farming we were able to instigate and support the huge population growth that has occurred within the last few millennia.
The problem is that we haven’t had enough time to adapt to eating a diet of grains and dairy. Those who couldn’t survive on a Neolithic diet were ruthlessly selected against and their genes eliminated from the human gene pool. Those who could survive (not thrive) and stay healthy long enough to reproduce continued their blood line. It’s not optimal but at least you’re alive and passing your DNA to the next generation.
I think the original paleo diet by Dr. Cordain is brilliant and a great tool for getting healthy and for losing weight. But to me it’s more like a blunt weapon in the fight against obesity: you’ll lose weight and get healthy but it might be difficulty to get to your absolutely ideal weight and to get to near perfect health (or as close to it as possible). Why? Because the paleo diet only addresses your physiological health.
My version of the paleo diet, Paleo Diet ++ uses the paleo ideals as a dietary base but the real foundation lies in your mind and mental state. I argue that everything in life, from your health and career to your personal relationships are a product of how you think and the emotions you feel.
Food determines how you feel (if you don’t believe this, drink a handle of tequila and tell me how you feel), how you feel determines what you think, and what you think determines your actions, which ultimately determines who and what you are in life.
I’ve observed people (and myself) on why we do certain things that might lead us to some undesired outcomes. Conversely, I’ve also observed behaviors that lead to great personal and financial success. I studied and thoroughly thought over these actions and behaviors and came up with a structured plan on how to get more wins than failures. I call it the Paleo Diet Plan. It’s a 30 day diet and mental plan to help people get to their ideal weight.
The biggest problem with the plan was the length - people didn’t want to do a full 30 day diet plan, so I created a quick 4 day detox, which is the first 4 days of the Paleo Diet Plan (Paleo Detox). I tried to squeeze the principals of the paleo diet, my research, and observations into those 4 days as much as possible, but to get the real benefits people should at least do the entire 30 days.
So the paleo diet is eating the way we were are supposed to eat. The Paleo Diet ++ is eating and thinking to optimize what we desire most from life.