It’s easy to find more guidance online, but a book also makes a handy reference. "The Paleo Diet," for example, outlines basic Paleo principles and offers three “levels” that allow for different degrees of cheating – three “open meals” per week on the “entry level” plan, two on “maintenance” and just one on “maximal.” Depending on the level, you might also get “transitional” condiments (low-fat dressing and salsa) and drinks (coffee, beer or wine in moderation) to wash down the meat and plants. You can use the levels as you like. Start with the first and move gradually to the more restrictive – or just stay put. For more dramatic changes, head right to the third.
Alcohol is a no-no if you are strict paleo. Beer is made from grains, and liquor also contains traces of gluten. But, good news for cider-lovers: most hard ciders are gluten-free, so they are allowed. Check the label to be sure. Red wine is more accepted in the paleo community because it contains the antioxidant resveratrol, but sorry chardonnay lovers, white wine is technically not allowed.
These dogs are not actually hot dogs, but are Cajun spiced sausages. You wouldn’t want to eat hot dogs on Paleo because it’s not in line with the Paleo philosophy, even though it does seem to be a meat item. Paleo is about getting back to natural foods, which is why you want to make sure you choose high quality ingredients at all times. These mini dogs have plenty of cauliflower to make them a complete meal, but because of their smaller size they are best used as a snack. They provide a few different dipping options, which it’s always nice to have a choice.
"Loren Cordain's extensive research demonstrates how modern westernized diets drastically depart from the original diet humans consumed for millions of years. In The Paleo Diet and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, Dr. Cordain shows how diets high in grains, dairy, vegetable oils, salt, and refined sugars are at odds with our genetic legacy and then shares his uncomplicated strategy for losing weight and getting healthy."
The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program by Kathleen DesMaisons. While this isn't really a paleo book, it does point out issues with the foods we aren't eating. The books claims the excessive processed sugar consumed is responsible for "mood swings, depression, fatigue, fuzzy thinking, PMS, impulsivity ... [and] unpredictable temper." She says her research shows indulging in sugar highs should be treated much more seriously, akin to heroin or alcohol dependency, because sugar causes spikes in the neurotransmitters serotonin and beta-dopamine just like those drugs.
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*Sometimes instead of regular guacamole, I’ll make “guacachoke dip”, which is this: take a large can of artichoke hearts, an avocado, a quarter cup of lime juice, a pinch of cumin, and a pinch of chile powder and mix it up in a blender or food processor. You can add olive oil or coconut milk to make it creamier if you want. This little creation is amazing and can be served with pretty much any meat or veggie. Yum :)
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However, as I already mentioned, the Paleo template simply gives us a starting point from which to decide how to feed ourselves in the modern world. I make my own choices by weighing the health consequences of the foods I eat—and I also consider the gustatory pleasure of the experiences, too. Over the past few years, my attitude toward food has evolved. When I first adopted a Paleo lifestyle, I strictly followed the rigid dictates of the Paleo diet because this new way of eating made me feel so much better. I didn’t even think to question why it worked. But with time, I’ve learned that it’s more important to stay curious about the science behind the approach, and to be fully conscious of my food choices. I learned that I don’t need to strive for “Paleo perfection” as long as I’m mindful of what I’m choosing to put into my mouth, and why.
DIY roasted nuts are easier than you’d think—all you need is a bag of mixed nuts, an egg white, and go-to spices: sea salt, pepper, rosemary, sage, garlic powder, and paprika. Coat the nuts in the egg white in one bowl, and mix all the spices in another. Pour the spice mix over the nuts, transfer to a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper, and roast for 16 minutes.
This Caprese-style salad is a great Paleo snack when you have just-right produce or an abundance of basil to use up. You’ll substitute mozzarella for creamy avocado loaded on fresh tomato slices. Top each tomato with basil, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and oil and enjoy. This one is great to enjoy while sitting outdoors enjoying a hot summer night.
These crackers are easy to prepare and it’s always a good idea to have a crunchy food around to munch on. These are very versatile, you can use them to scoop up any dip you create, or you can make a chicken salad and use them for that as well. They only have three ingredients, so it’s easy enough to keep stocked up and since it doesn’t take long to make these you don’t have to worry about storing them you can just make them as you need them so they’re fresh and crispy.
If you’re craving toast or bread, you probably need more nitrogen. You can get that from high protein meats and fish. Don’t think of meat as a “snack”? Make some jerky. Even if you don’t have a dehydrator you can still make jerky. All you need to make jerky is a bit of time, some mild heat, and a dry environment. If you’ve been buying jerky, save yourself some loads of cash and make it yourself!
If you just crave sweets in general (not an easy craving to fight off), you could be low in a number of nutrients, namely, sulfur. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, rutabaga, collard greens, turnip (root or greens), maca, radish, and wasabi, among others, are great sources of sulfur, Vitamin C and fiber. They’re also great for fighting off cancer cells.
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
Leftover chicken or turkey breast, pork chop, burger, or any meat with avocado/guacamole/guacachoke* smeared on top. You can just roast a pound or two of any kind of meat in the oven for 13 minutes or so and then have all that meat for snacks and meals for the week. Sometimes we make 3-pound hams in our smoker, slice it up, put it in a glass container and then I can just grab a piece of ham when I want it. Any meat will do!
Our bodies need much more protein than the average person consumes. In fact, protein accounts for only 15 percent of the average person’s daily calories, while 19 to 35 percent of the average hunter-gatherer diet was comprised of protein. This was due to the high consumption of meat, seafood, and other animal products prevalent in contemporary approaches to Paleo eating.
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