During my Crossfit class last night, our trainer briefly mentioned nutrition and what we should or shouldn’t eat as we embark on this journey to get fit and healthy. The diet that many Crossfit enthusiast follow is know as the Paleo diet. So this got me thinking, what exactly is the Paleo way of eating?
The essence of this way of eating is to eat what a caveman (or cave-woman) would eat. The word Paleo itself is derived from the Paleolithic era, a time when agriculture and animal husbandry did not exist. So what does this mean – someone following this lifestyle should eat lots of veggies, fruits, meat, fish, nuts and seeds. I noticed in the pyramid above that carbs, starch and sugary goodness are all eliminated. One of the things that might attract me to going on the Paleo diet is their promotion of eating organically and getting locally grown produce and meat. The concept here is that our ancestors were hunters and foragers, so their diet was heavy on nuts, veggies, fruit and meat. And food should only be consumed when hungry, not at predetermined times of the day.
What are some other stipulations of the Paleo diet?
- Salt should not be used; instead, use fresh grown herbs to season meat and veggies. And use naturally occurring oils derived from fruit, like olive oil.
- Water is the only beverage to consume. Think about it, our ancestors didn’t have soda or coffee. But for those who can’t give up caffeine, the Paleo diet does suggest organic green tea as your source of caffeine.
- No supplements are necessary with Paleo, since the food in this diet is already rich with nutrients.
I’ve never been one to diet, but I think this way of eating makes sense. You pretty much just eat naturally occurring products and nothing that is processed or artificially flavored. For me, the hardest part is to give up salt and starches. I’m Asian after all, how can I give up rice and noodles and I have the biggest sweet tooth! But I do want to start incorporating some elements of Paleo into my daily eating habits. I think I’ve got a good start with eating organic and foods that are not processed. Now I just need to be more conscious of incorporating more nuts and seeds into my meals.