My Paleo story
In this article I will show you 5 ways to conquer the Paleo diet and win! I have been on the Paleo diet consistently for 2 years. My reason for the huge lifestyle change was to improve my health and lose weight after learning I was sensitive to gluten. The Paleo diet works even if you just want to lose weight. You will feel healthier, lighter and have more energy. At 40 years old I bought my first bikini in over 10 years after losing 15lbs on the Paleo Diet!
What is the Paleo diet?
If you are a history buff you will love the Paleo diet because it is based on our ancestors’ history of food consumption.
What can I eat on the Paleo Diet?
It follows then that the premise of the Paleo diet is to eat meat, vegetables, fruits, spices, herbs, oils and nuts with no portion control limits. In other words, calorie counting and portion restriction are also off limits! Sounds pretty easy right?
What the Paleo diet isn’t
For instance, the diet is based on eating whole, unprocessed foods. As long as you don’t eat anything that comes out of a box or package you will be fine! With our busy lives this is easier said than done, but there are tons of whole foods snack options available that fit within Paleo guidelines. My secret is to always keep some type of nuts in my car & purse so if I get hungry while running errands I am not tempted to stop at a drive thru! See this link for Paleo snack options https://momlifehappylife.com/paleo-snacks-for-kids/
How easy is it to follow the Paleo Diet?
Like anything else, this depends on your current lifestyle. If your current lifestyle incorporates a lot of whole, unprocessed foods it will be a very easy transition. If most of your food comes from a box or package then you will find it more difficult to transition!
How do I cook Paleo meals?
In my opinion, the Paleo diet is easy because whole foods are easy to prepare. For any meal just pair a meat/protein with 2 vegetables and you have a meal and the less processed the vegetable is the better it is for you and the easier it is to prepare.
What types of protein should I buy?
The Paleo diet focuses on grass-fed organic meats and wild-caught seafood, however, this may not be achievable for some dieters due to cost and availability. I focus on doing the best I can on my budget. Check out some of my Paleo recipes on my blog here! https://livingwellwithlyme.com/category/gluten-free-dairy-free-recipes/ Pin these for dinner!
What foods do I have to avoid on the Paleo Diet?
Avoid processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and trans fats. Remember a legume like a peanut is to be avoided on the Paleo diet. It’s name is deceiving but it’s not a nut at all.
Benefits of the Paleo Diet
Once you have been on Paleo for awhile, natural foods will taste amazing! I ate organic strawberries after starting the Paleo diet and I was astounded by how delicious they were. Once you cut out all the artificial flavorings and additional sugar, your body won’t crave it any longer and naturally sweetened fruit will taste incredible.
Downsides to the Paleo Diet
The only downside of the Paleo Diet is that when you do cheat, it may make you sick. Dairy can really make you feel bad. Trust me, I have been there and done that. Junk food that is high in carbohydrates may spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling shaky and faint. Sometimes one cheat day is all you need to get you back on track.
Additional foods you may want to avoid
There are some foods that are listed as Paleo, however, if you have certain autoimmune conditions you may want to avoid them to see if you feel better not consuming them. You should avoid eggs, nuts, seeds (includes cocoa, coffee and seed based spices, nightshades, alcohol and artificial sweeteners. Nightshade vegetables include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and sweet and hot peppers.
Do I have to exercise while on the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet recommends exercising 20 minutes 3-4 times a week. The Paleo diet recommends non strenuous activity. This can be walking or yoga. I didn’t work out much at all while on the Paleo diet as it was winter in northeast PA ,but I still lost weight, which was fantastic!
Paleo Vs Keto
Trying to decide which lifestyle is right for you? Here is the detailed list on Paleo Vs Keto.
Foods you can eat
- Whole foods
- Organic fruits & vegetables
- Wild caught fish
- Healthy oils and fats
Foods you can eat
- All Paleo foods including dairy
- No fruit
- No starchy vegetables
How Keto and Paleo work to help you lose weight
Keto is a very low carb, high fat diet that puts your body into fat burning mode. For instance eating a very low carb diet makes your body burn fat for energy instead of carbs or glucose. This causes you to burn fat and lose weight. However, to stay in ketosis on the Keto diet you must stay under 25 grams of carbs each day. In order to stay in Ketosis, fruits and starchy carbs are out!
Paleo is also considered a low carb diet as well. Most days you will eat under 100 grams of carbs on Paleo. You will also lose weight more slowly on Paleo, but it will be easier to keep off.You can conquer the Paleo diet and win, I promise!
5 Ways to Conquer the Paleo Diet and Win!
- Cut out all gluten, processed foods, baked goods and dairy.
- Only eat whole meats, seafoods etc. Stay away from sausage, bacon and lunch meat as much as possible.
- Eliminate all oils except olive oil, coconut oil or ghee.
- Eat nuts and seeds sparingly
- Eat all the fruit and veggies you want.
Why Paleo wins over Keto (IMO)
Paleo is a more sustainable diet than Keto. The Paleo diet offers more variety in fruits and vegetables. It offers more fiber and sugars than Keto which help with digestion and athletic performance. If you can’t give up dairy, then perhaps you will choose the Keto diet, however dairy is also known to cause inflammation in many people with Autoimmune conditions. For tips see my 5 Ways to Conquer the Paleo diet and Win! If you decide to go Keto check out 10 Essential tips for Mom starting the Keto diet here https://momlifehappylife.com/keto-diet-for-beginners/
In conclusion, when deciding to go Paleo or Keto you must think about long-term sustainability. Of course, you will have days you cheat but these should be few and far between. More variety equals an easier commitment. The more restrictive a diet is, the less likely you are to stick to it. Let’s face it, if there was a diet that only included chocolate, how long would you be able to stay on it? A week? Ok so this is not a great example, but you get my point! Everyone needs variety and flexibility in their diet. Paleo offers that.
For tons of delicious recipes visit Paleoleap.com. http://www.paleoleap.com My favorite salad dressing is the Strawberry Balsamic!
Let me know how your life has changed since going Paleo or Keto! Regardless of which lifestyle you choose I know you are going to feel better!
Christina Mathers is a mom, wife and Lyme Disease Survivor. Her blog focuses on sharing her family’s Lyme Journey so you can protect yours. Her family has been fighting Lyme Disease since 2016. She focuses on a healthy Paleo diet to keep her body fighting. Sign up with your email today to receive weekly Lyme Disease tips/Paleo recipes and a one week Paleo meal plan FREE!