We squash the myths and misconceptions around paleo with truths, tips and tricks that will transform the way you eat, look and feel.
Mention the word ‘paleo’, and most of us immediately conjure up images of Fred Flintstone and what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate during the Palaeolithic era. Although people have been eating paleo since, the stone age, the diet became popular in the 1960s and then again in the early 2000s when scientist Dr. Loren Cordain wrote The Paleo Diet, a book that set the ground rules for “what we’re programmed to eat.”
In a nutshell, a paleo diet focuses on healthy fats, meats, vegetables, and the occasional piece of fruit as a sweet treat, whilst avoiding grains, dairy, sugar, beans, legumes, and processed foods.
Sound simple? Sure is, but there are mistakes easy to make when trying paleo for the first time.
eating like a Flintstone
Rather than think like a caveman, consider how your great-grandmother or grandmother lived and ate. Meat and three vegetables, minimally processed foods, good quality sleep and no screen time. That’s right - paleo is about eating foods with fewer chemicals, preservatives, and technology. The fact that Barney Rubble would approve with your food choices is mere coincidence. The caveman is merely a mascot.
eating meat (like a dinosaur)
Contrary to popular opinion, paleo doesn’t involve eating a boatload of meat. That's a diet more appropriate for Fred, Barney or a Tyrannosaurus Rex. When humans consume too much animal protein, there can be serious consequences from weight gain to heart disease. Most paleo dieters eat meat at least once a day, which is fine so long as the cuts being eaten are lean, grass-fed and low in saturated fats. Regardless, be sure to consume no more than two or three meals of red meat a week and substitute with organic poultry or sustainable fish.
not meeting your protein needs
As you won’t be getting protein from grains, beans, and dairy on a paleo plan, it’s important to find high quality protein elsewhere. nuut paleo blend is high in plant-based protein and low in carbohydrates, so when blended with water is a delicious way to provide your body with the protein it needs as well as vitamins A, D, E and K and B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 12.
lack of planning
One of the biggest hurdles paleo dieters face is properly committing to it. The hardest part of the day? 3pm when they’ve forgotten to pack a paleo-friendly snack. Whilst it's a no-brainer to plan a week's worth of dinners, thinking ahead for breakfast, lunch, and snacks can make or break a successful diet. Always be prepared, stacking up on raw vegetables like carrot sticks and capsicum, and make up a stash of fresh herb-laden guacamole and stow in the fridge.
depriving yourself of what you really want to eat
No grains? No problem. Whilst paleo doesn’t include grains, processed vegetable oils, and refined sugars, it doesn’t mean you have to stop enjoying plenty of delicious dishes - it’s simply a case of coming up with clever substitutes and ingredient swaps. Corn is a Paleo no-no, so replace the movie theatre favourite with a nutritious cauliflower version. Going Paleo means saying goodbye to traditional hummus, so use cashews instead of chickpeas for a nutty richness that works oh-so-well with pumpkin purée. We could eat baba ghanoush all day, so make your own minus the mayo adding more extra virgin olive oil. Simple!
fruits are not the enemy
While fruit is not a focal point of the Paleo diet, it’s also not your enemy, so don’t treat it like it’s going to send you off track. Having a serving of fruit each day will give you antioxidants, extra fibre, and a taste of something sweet. With so many different vegetables available, many that you may not have tried before, you may be tempted to turn your nose up at some of them. But be sure to try them first before making up your mind. You may discover a new food that you love and never knew it existed.
don’t underestimate the power of smoothies
Filling, nutritious and delicious, a paleo-friendly smoothie is a great go-to. Just be sure to use qualified Paleo smoothie recipes so that you keep it dairy free and healthy (antioxidants ahoy!) Oh, and do add a sachet of nuut to ramp up your smoothie’s protein and nutritional value. Easy.
when in doubt, have salmon
Stuck for a meal idea? Salmon is a delicious fish that is recommended by health advocates across the board. The omega-3s it contains are an important part of Paleo health and wellbeing.
it’s OK to be hungry sometimes. – It’s perfectly natural to get hungry, be satiated for awhile, and then get hungry again. Don’t fear being hungry, it’s good to have a strong appetite before your meals. Your hunger level always tell you something about what’s going on with your body, so listen to it.
buying substandard ingredients
The quality of ingredients is essential for an effective paleo diet. The farmers' market is always a safe place to shop, as you can meet the growers and learn the origins of every item you buy. For example, whilst buying bacon at the supermarket is a cinch, there are varying degrees in quality – whilst salt and sugar are necessary for curing, some brand’s ingredient label reads like a science experiment (words like "sodium ascorbate" or "phosphates" are red flags,) Shop to be pro-you, and pro-planet too.