I wanted to help clear up the confusion some may have in living this lifestyle. I get many questions and comments from people who are just confused by all of the varying opinions that people have to “being Primal or Paleo”.
There are no different schools of thought, there are only varying opinions. There is a template for following the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. People choose to eat things as part of the template based on their goals/needs/feelings/reactions to foods. Nothing has changed in that everyone agrees on the basics.
If one chooses to be low carb and not eat veggies, there is not a different template for that. It’s just an elimination of another acceptable food based on that persons needs.
Meats (Beef, Chicken, Pork, Fish, Game meats like Bison, Elk, Deer, etc), Eggs, Fats (coconut products, Extra virgin olive oil, avocados), Non starchy Veggies, Fruits, Nuts.
The Standard American Diet or SAD as it’s known is a diet of inflammation. High levels of Omega 6 fatty acids in the diet due to the inflammatory foods such as all Grains (Wheat, Corn -yes corn is a grain not a vegetable and is Genetically Modified, Rice, Barley, Oats), Legumes (Beans, Peanuts -yes a Peanut is a bean not a nut), SOY (also evil Genetically Modified substance), ALL Packaged Processed foods (if it has anything on the label you can’t pronounce, DON’T EAT IT), avoid it. And finally Processed and artificial Sugars (all artificial sugars are bad. if it has “ose”, “dexterin” ,” itol” in it, it’s sugar), Fruit sugar (fructose) while natural, should be treated the same (sparingly see below)
Those are the basics. Almost Everyone in the Paleosphere agrees on this (see opinion).
Everything after that list above is Opinion, and what works best for you. Your level of what you tolerate and react to, should be in what you figure out works best for you. Some choose white potatoes, or white rice, Healthy people can eat these things…Metabolically deranged people (those who have T2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases such as celiacs/coeliacs) cannot.
Fruits and Nuts on occasion (insulin resistance-high sugar content/high omega 6 content) varies this consumption of these foods.
Sugar in the form of Fruits, Raw Honey, Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Stevia -not the processed Stevia in the Raw you find in the store (that has Maltodexterin or Dextrose- corn sugars mixed with it) you want the pure leaf Stevia or ground Stevia…read your label!! It should say Ingredients, Stevia or Raw Stevia ONLY!! These are natural sugars!!
These natural sugars can be incorporated when you need something a little sweet to flavor some recipes. You can also use various blended fruits to sweeten up things too, however based on your tolerances, and goals, sugar is sugar in any form. It still breaks down in the body the same way and will store as fat if consumed in excess.
If you are living a more Primal lifestyle (according to the experts), consuming Raw Dairy, butter, ghee, cheese, milk (if tolerable) is acceptable.
Red Wine can be incorporated into a healthy Primal/Paleo lifestyle as well.
The quality of the meat matters!! What your animals eat is just as important as what you eat!! You may not think it matters, but to those with gluten intolerances, cannot even consume food that has been fed grains or soy!! I have a friend who thought she was allergic to ALL MEAT…turns out she was an undiagnosed Celiac who became so intolerant to Grains that what her meat ate caused her reaction! She now thoroughly enjoys Beef, Pork, Wild Boar and other meats and eats them EVEN RAW now too because she buys all grass fed/finished/pastured/wild meat!! NO GRAIN Fed at all!!
Grass Fed/Finished, Pastured, Free Range, Wild Caught, all are optimal for the human system. They are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and the animal fat is optimal for consumption. If you cannot get your meat from a local farm source or catch/shoot/spear it yourself, then buy the best quality you can for your budget…remember being Primal/Paleo is not a weight loss plan, it’s an anti-inflammation reset of your system! Weight loss just happens to be an Awesome side effect!!
Support your local farmer/co-op/farmers market/organic producer whenever possible.
If you have no choice but to eat meats you buy in the grocery stores, buy the leanest cuts you can. (fat is not your friend in regular meat due to the high Omega 6 ratio in grain fed animals) You may possibly consider taking a high quality Omega 3 fish oil/krill oil/cod oil supplement if you consume lots of store bought meat. This will help balancing out the ratios. Omega 3 good..Omega 6 not good. Try and limit the amount of Omega 6 foods you consume as much as possible. There is much dispute about amounts or toxicity of even good Omega 3 levels, taking a supplement at the recommended dosages may or may not offer any benefit, but of course this choice is up to you the individual to understand and research. I take a high quality cod liver oil supplement, and have found it useful for me.
Make sure you get your play in, (exercise/sports/fun), get some daily sun 15 minutes a day no sunglasses (if possible, your geographic location will determine this) SLEEP 7-8 hours every night, Lower your stress, and you should be on your way to being the healthiest you that you can be!
I seriously recommend that each person get a blood panel done from their qualified technician/doctor for cholesterol, blood glucose, vitamin D levels, have your thyroid checked, and get every internal test you can get when starting out living this way. Take photos of yourself, and measurements, and don’t worry about a scale number!! Stress causes stalling or gain!! No need for excess stress. The scale is just one tool in how you feel!! Don’t make it your crutch!!
Like I said, everything is Opinion after the basics!! You need to find what works for you and live that way!! Life is about living, enjoy it, don’t make your food so strict that you can’t enjoy life once in a while. You know what you can tolerate and what you cannot, I cannot indulge in the things I used to eat, and find pleasure in a good steak, or some pastured BACON 🙂 LIFE IS WAY MORE THAN BREAD AND SUGAR!!! Steak and Bacon sounds better anyway (to me at least)!!
I am not here to argue with anyone, everyone must find their own path and choose the best foods they can for themselves and their families. Many don’t agree with my opinion or lifestyle, particularly in the Non Meat eater category, that’s fine. Live and Let Live!! You thrive your way, I’ll thrive mine. It’s not a contest, it’s a difference of opinion. WE are not that different. I like many vegetables…I happen to like Real Meat more.
Fat does not make you fat. Consuming cholesterol does not give you high cholesterol! Grains/Sugar/Legumes/Soy all are inflammatory foods…Inflammation causes heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer! Sugar feeds cancer cells. The research is out there. Now I’m not gonna fill this blog post with hundreds of linked articles, as you can easily search on Google for anything with Inflammation in it, and find plenty of information to back up what I say. I spend my day researching a lot, and others should too because I care about my health now after neglecting it for way too long!! Once I found the answer for my diabetes and am reversing it living this way, it doesn’t take any more convincing than real world experience!! DO YOUR RESEARCH!! There are “cures” for diseases that no one wants you to know about!! The system is corrupt, don’t believe them!!! Take your health in your own hands, and realize that the system doesn’t want you healthy, they don’t make money on healthy people!!
“Let your food be thy medicine and your medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
My theory is this…If it comes from an animal, and you tolerate eating it, eat it. If something makes you sick, bloated, makes you break out with acne, gives you headaches, or sweats, causes you to have brain fog, or generally not feel yourself…it’s probably something you shouldn’t be eating!! Pretty simple way to live really.
I am Paleo for Life!! or PAF for Life!! as my tribe in the IPMG (International Paleo Movement Group) know!!!! 😉
If anyone has just started living Primal/Paleo and is confused about anything after reading all this, then please click on the IPMG link above and join our group on facebook!! Greatest bunch of knowledgable real world experience, been there done that with every diet on earth type people you will find!!
You can also find me at my page Big Tim’s Primal Journey on facebook as well!! Thanks for reading my quick post that turned out not so quick. I love you all!