Babe, have you ever considered eating like a caveman to hit all of your nutrition and health goals? Alright, fine – neither have we. But that is exactly what the popular Paleo diet is all about. Short for “paleolithic”, this way of eating prioritizes foods that were obtained by hunting and gathering way back in the day. If at this point we’ve got you scratching your head a little or wondering if you need to get out your hiking boots – don’t sweat it, sis. Just hear us out! Everything you could ever want to possibly know about this diet is right here in our Beginner’s Guide to Paleo.
What is the purpose of the Paleo diet?
Class is in session, babe. And before we can go any further into this Beginner’s Guide to Paleo, we think it’s important to outline exactly why this diet has gained so much popularity in recent years. And, why so many people believe it is the way we are truly meant to eat.
The Paleo diet aims to get back to basics and to essentially consume what early humans did. And although that might sound far-fetched in our modern world, the reasoning behind it does have merit. The thought is that the human body is not genetically made to benefit from our new ways of eating. This ties into how our bodies adapted to foods that emerged with farming practices, also known as the “discordance hypothesis”. Let’s break this down further.
According to this fancily titled hypothesis, farming really changed what people ate. Meaning that foods such as dairy, grains and legumes became additional staples in what most humans consumed. However, this doesn’t mean that the human body easily adapted to ingesting these nutriments. Those who swear by the Paleo lifestyle say that the incorporation of these foods into our diets has had an impact on the increasing rates of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease we see today. Therefore, by ditching these foods, the idea is that you can keep your weight and health in check.
What can I eat if I’m following the Paleo lifestyle?
If you’re considering trying this diet out but are worried you’ll have to gather most of your food from a bush in the woods, let us reassure you a little, babe. Eating Paleo-approved foods is actually a lot easier and less intimidating than you might think. In fact, it looks a lot like what some babes like to call “clean eating” in general. Here is a breakdown of what Paleo lovers consume on a regular basis.
- Fruits & vegetables
- Lean meats
- Fish (especially options that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids)
- Nuts & seeds
- Oils that are derived from fruits & nuts (think olive oil or even walnut oil!)
What can’t I eat?
If you’ve made it this far in this Beginner’s Guide to Paleo, you might be getting tempted to try this diet out. But before you commit, here is the list of foods that are not permitted on a paleolithic nutrition journey.
- Refined sugar
- Dairy products
- Grains (think oats, wheat, and barley)
- Beans, lentils, peanuts, and peas
- Highly processed foods in general (you know, the kind that definitely weren’t available to cavemen thousands of years ago)
We know that this might seem like a long list of restrictions. But the truth is that your body does not need these guys to survive. In fact, ditching the list above can have some pretty killer benefits for your overall health.
What are the benefits of this paleolithic way of eating?
Well babe, there’s a reason you’ve likely heard so much buzz around this back to basics diet. It is mainly because the positive effects it brings are pretty impressive. From weight loss to increased focus, it is no wonder why lovers of the Paleo lifestyle believe so fiercely in it.
Additionally, eating Paleo can improve your glucose tolerance, help with blood pressure, lower triglycerides, and help you better manage your appetite. Many people love this way of eating because it does not involve counting calories or carbs the way some traditional diets do. Moreover, many babes report even sleeping better while on this diet. This is because the serotonin that the brain releases as a sleep signal is less affected by chemicals from processed foods. Pretty wild when you think about it, right?
Moreover, sticking to a Paleo diet means that one is barred from eating junk and fast food. As we all know, these guys are seriously bad for our health no matter how delicious they can be (hello, we’d be lying if we said we didn’t love us a Dorito here and there). By committing to this way of eating, cravings for these types of foods diminish over time and your body learns to live easily without them. Which in our books, can only be a good thing! What’s more, cutting out empty calories and carbs is the easiest way to give your energy levels a boost. Not to mention, a super important aspect of living a long and healthy life.
The benefit you’ll love for more than one reason…
Finally, another Paleo benefit we are *totally* here for is detoxing. And not in the juice cleanse, light-headed, 7 days without food kinda way. By consuming foods that are free of toxic chemicals and by upping your antioxidant intake (you know, thanks to all of those fruits and veggies you’ll be consuming) you’ll be naturally providing your body with a beneficial detoxing effects.
With a little consistency, this can lead to feeling more clear-headed and focused thanks to the Paleo way of nourishing your body. Oh and, a bit of antioxidants certainly don’t hurt when it comes to keeping your skin looking ahhh-mazing. Intrigued? We’ve got you. Click here.
What are some things I can do to complement my Paleo diet?
Before we wrap up this Beginner’s Guide to Paleo, we need to give you a few more tips that will make reaping the benefits of this diet even easier. After all, we wouldn’t want you to feel anything less than prepared to embark on this healthy journey, babe.
First off, this diet highly prioritizes consuming a lot of that good old h2o. Luckily for you babe, we have a whole blog post on staying hydrated, right here. Not only will this healthy habit help curb unhealthy cravings. It will also give you some highly desired beauty benefits, too. Hello healthy skin and hair, honey.
Finally, keeping active while you’re incorporating any diet changes is highly beneficial for a ton of reasons. You’ll benefit from better energy levels, and you’ll even help your body crave more of those healthy Paleo-approved foods. If your exercise routine is in need of a revamp (or if you need to simply create one in the first place), we recommend that you head on over to this trusty little link right here. Because, um, *spoiler alert* - we’re giving away a free Peloton to one lucky BBE babe.
Add a fun, sweat-inducing routine to your new Paleo-approved meal plan and you’ll be well on your way to feeling like you can conquer anything.
Be the meal-prepping goddess you are to ensure all of your Paleo success.
In the beginning, sticking to a new diet regime can be pretty daunting to say the least. Changing our habits in general is never easy and getting out of our comfort zone can throw us for a loop. This is normal, babe. I mean, we are human after all! This is why we think this next tip in our Beginner’s Guide to Paleo will help you get that much closer to crushing your health goals. That is, without wanting to pull your hair out or throw in the towel prematurely.
Being a meal prep queen will help you stay on track and keep your week ahead feel stress-free. What’s more, it will make reaching for the healthy option so much easier than ordering take-out for the 6th night in a row. Make Sunday’s all about organizing yourself for your week ahead, including the meals you’ll be having. It’s one less thing for you to worry about after your already hectic day at work and will make the switch over to Paleo life *way* smoother.
Need some Paleo meal prep inspo? Check out these babes below.
Ready to try out the Paleo life and ride off into the living room sunset with your new Peloton?
Girlfriend, that sounds like a total dream if you ask us. Clean nutrition accompanied by workouts you can never get bored of? I mean, what more could a healthy babe ask for?
Before we sign off, we should also mention that no one other than your beloved Doc is better suited to let you know whether a diet or new exercise regime is right for you or not. If you’re worried about how a new change in nutrition may affect you, reach out to none other than the pros for some guidance. Once you get the go-ahead, fill us in on how it’s going below! For real, we love to hear from you.
Until next time, gorgeous!
Crunchy almonds & juicy apples,