There’s a million Paleo and Primal living sites on the internet. Why is this one different? Because we’re not experts. Vince and I are just like you — curious how this works and wondering if it’s even a plausible way to live the rest of your life.
We’re going to assume that if you’re on our page, then you already have a slight foundation of the Paleo Diet. Mark’s Daily Apple and a host of other sites have done a wonderful job breaking everything down for us. Here’s a fast crash course to get you on par with us.
What is Paleo – This diet calls for lots of good animal meat and vegetables. The diet omits grains, rice, beans and to some, dairy. Dairy remains a point of contention among many sources. But basically, if your meals consist of good, grass-fed meat and a ton of veggies, then you’re on the right track.
Let me stop you right there, no, it’s not Atkins
Many people start associating a diet lacking in carbohydrates to Atkins. The biggest difference between the two is that the Atkins diet doesn’t specify the quality of any food items. The meat you eat on Atkins doesn’t have to be cage-free, grass-fed or non-hormone injected. The only real demand of Atkins is to restrict your net carbs.
Eating Paleo is a complete lifestyle transformation, not just a diet. It’s designed to transform your health, nutrition and increase your fitness.
The Atkins diet restrikes carbohydrates, thereby causing the body’s metabolism to switch from burning sugar (or glucose) to burning stored body fat.
Okay fine, so What is Paleo then
Eating Paleolithic spawns from the premise that modern humans are genetically adapted to the diet of their Paleolithic ancestors and therefore an ideal diet for human health and well-being is one that resembles this ancestral diet. Ancient man was lean, agile, strong and possessed great endurance. Part of that was because he had to hunt and forge for his own food. However in modern day, we participate in regular exercise to simulate this trait.
So what ruined it for us? Agriculture.
10,000 years ago we figured out how to farm. This allowed us to concentrate and control crop growing. Gone were the days of forging, we could simply walk out to our yard and pick what we wanted. We also figured out how to grow and mill grains, legumes, refine sugar and create processed oils — all of which can be linked to obesity, cardivascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, autoimmune diseases, acne and depression.
So you’re saying you want to be a caveman? Seems dumb.
Kinda. The modern Paleolithic diet simply consists of food that can be hunted and fished, such as meat and seafood, as well as goods that can be gathered, like eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, vegetables, herbs and spices. Foods that are excluded from the diet include those that didn’t exist before the agriculture revolution, including: grains, legumes (remember, peanuts are technically not a nut), dairy products, refined sugar and processed oils. Needless to say, alcohol is out as well.
Ya, but cavemen didn’t have food processors or other amenities, so now you really look dumb.
Obviously, we’re able to enjoy modern amenities that cavemen didn’t have. Which should make eating more Paleolithic even easier, right? You don’t have to hunt your own food to be more paleolithic. It’s the theory behind it all that you need to grasp. Acknowledging how we’re programmed and genetically designed to eat and following the blueprint. We weren’t programmed to live off a diet of doughnuts and Dorritos while sitting in front of a computer for 40-hours a week.
This sounds great in theory, but it’s 2013, my life’s too busy.
Which is exactly the point of this site. We live extremely busy lives much like yourself. All of this theory sounds great, but the Political Scientist in me wants better data — I get it. This is why our website is perfect for you. You’re going to live through a 90 Day Paleo Challenge that Vince and I established for ourselves, to see if two average guys with busy lives can even make this work in the modern era.
We’re also going to try recipes and post our findings. Does Paleo Rice work? Can Spaghetti Squash really make you forget about pasta? Do Almond butter cookies really taste as good as peanut butter cookies? All of these are great ideas (in theory), but do they taste any good? Because if the food doesn’t taste good, then I’m not — and you’re not — going to continue with the diet. Vince and I are both self-proclaimed foodies, so a diet lacking in flavor or deliciousness is not an option.
So give us 90 Days and lets see how this journey goes. Who knows, you may join us too…