I am not, and never have been, a fan of diets.
I don’t advocate for them, Paleo or any other kind.
Already I can imagine, as I write this, the puzzled look which will now be appearing on your face. If this is not about the Paleo diet then what are you doing here and what is it all really about?
It is about LIFESTYLE and it has always for me been about lifestyle………………
When I started this Blog roll I had always intended to write about Paleo food in the context of a balanced lifestyle. The star of the show was always meant to be delicious, healthy and well presented food with the lifestyle as the all important backdrop and context. Diet in the accepted sense would not even be receiving an invitation to an audition for a simple walk on part.
In other words I have never seen my interpretation of Paleo as a restrictive practice that is built on forbidden or restricted dietary choice. My view of the food items available and those not available is that what Paleo offers is a food list of wide choice that is healthy and which suits my body type and metabolic physiology.
The Lifestyle is built upon balance between a number of elements to be discussed later in this post after we first of all look at the star of the show; Paleo Foods
The Paleolithic diet is based on those natural food items that so-called ‘cavemen’ were most likely to have consumed during the Palaeolithic, or Stone, Age period (note the correct spelling of the historical period compared to the evolved dietary label) This is about 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. The earliest known fossils of what we term modern humans were found in Ethiopia and have been assessed to be dated to about 200,00 years ago
This diet would consist mainly of lean, grass fed, animal proteins, fish, wild fruit and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds. Paleontologists describe this as being a hunter-gatherer dietary system. The modern interpretation of the diet specifically excludes foods that came into more common usage when farming became established from roughly 10,000 years ago. The modern Paleo diet does not include, dairy, legumes, tubas or grains through kumera or sweet potato is often included.
Given the slow speed of evolution 10,000 years is generally considered as not long enough for our digestive systems which were developed over 190,000 years to have adjusted to what 10,000 years ago was effectively the beginning of human manipulation and the origin of primitive food processing by cross cultivation of those items we exclude from a Paleo diet today.
Of course the human manipulation has become ever more complicated, complex and sophisticated, to the point where we may not know if we are eating genetically engineered food, before we even start to consider conventional chemical additives and other contemporary and ever developing processing techniques.
When I talk about balance what I mean is that food is only one component of a lifestyle. If we want to be healthy we have to think about all the other things that contribute to a holistic view of health and well-being. In my other posts on this website there’s lots of advice on food and guidance on where to get answers as well as pointers to useful books that can help with the food component.
For the moment I just want to ask you to consider the other part of the lifestyle that contribute to pour overall health and well-being. Below I suggest 4 areas that you might want to consider in terms of your current behaviours and what adjustments you may consider making to arrive at a balanced lifestyle.
Highly important and much neglected by many. If you have never considered sleep hygiene before or you just don’t know where to start in understanding what you should be considering, all the facts, guidance and advice you need can be found on the US National Sleep Foundation Website, Well worth a visit and the experts will do a far better job than I will of getting you thinking about the right things to do with sleep hygiene.
Basic simple rudimentary, but regular exercise is really important to a balanced
lifestyle. Those who seek to achieve weight control with Paleo can do so but not by food alone. You cannot beat the basic science of the energy in, energy out equation. Quite simply if you eat more than you burn you will put on weight. Exercise can be quite challenging if you have never done it or have not done any for a long time. It might only need as little as 3 twenty minute walks a week to effect change in your metabolism. There is some great guidance here at Shape.com
Many of us have stressful jobs and given the current situation around the world there is a lot more stress out there for everyone. It pays to recognise what effect this has on us and to be aware of wheat we can do about it in order to maintain our mental health equilibrium. Patricia Harteneck provides some really good advice which overlaps with much of what I write about on this site. You can find here advice on the website Psychology Today. In addition to this I recommend considering meditation. I have tried it with some success. There is some excellent advice on meditation techniques here at Mission Meditation.
Good social interaction is great for your mental health and well-being. This is particularly important if you have a young family where whenever possible you should set time aside (and make it sacrosanct) to spend time with your children. My experience tells me that they crave your time far more than physical or material items. I had a job in my career formative years that all too often took me away from my children and there were experiences that I missed and just will never get back ever again which I regret to this day. Try not to make that same mistake. Make time also for your wider family and friends and you will be happier and more fulfilled.
Where To Start
In the next section there is a link to a useful book that you can use to start thinking about how you might like to go about starting your Paleo lifestyle. There is no one correct answer, you have to adapt to suit your particular circumstances and needs.
`One of the first things I would do, having made myself aware of what Paleo does and doesn’t contain, is to remove as much from the pantry, as is practically possible, that does not align with the direction you intend to take in implementing your Paleo lifestyle. Then you need to replace it with those items it is useful to have to hand. Much of this is contained in the Paleo Food List for Beginners, linked in the next section.
Some Basic Tools
Reading This Blog For The First Time?
If you are on this website for the first time you might just find it helpful to know what food items are included as part of the Paleo Lifestyle. My post on Paleo Food List for Beginners provides great ideas about the healthier options, that make moving away from the heavily processed, salt loaded diets, that many suffer today, easy to contemplate.
A Good Staring Guide to Have to Hand?
I have posted a review on the Paleo Beginners Guide a book which is available through Amazon.com this is a great reference to have handy when starting your paleo journey. As a matter of note, should you click through the link and punches it via my review it will of course cost you no more than if you had gone to Amazon direct. I can highly recommend it to you. My own copy is well thumbed through!
Feedback and Comments
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I hope, that you have found this post of some use and that I have hit the mark that I was aiming for when I set out to write it; you my readers, I think, are easily the best judges of that!
Be healthy and have fun.
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