Paleo Schmaleo: What’s that Paleo Diet?

Hashtag Paleo Chalkboard| BeckyAmyLew

Paleo, Primal, Caveman. You have heard your Crossfit friends talk about it. You have seen the hash tags all over social media. So what the heck is it?

“Paleo” comes from the Greek word for “ancient”. Also known as the Caveman Diet, the Paleo Diet is a nutritional concept that mimics our early ancient ancestors, “cavemen”. In a nutshell, eating Paleo consists of nutritional foods that would have been accessible to cavemen through hunting. Obvious foods include meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. In contrast, unacceptable foods include dairy, sugar, grains, and soy. Essentially, the latter group is largely comprised of processed foods.

Finally, we came across one that seemed bearable: The Paleo Diet. You really cannot go wrong when you see bacon on the list of items you can eat.

In February 2014, my husband and I decided to change our diet in preparation for an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. We did not want to stand out in the land of beautiful people (or maybe we did). Consequently, with hot Vegas bods in mind, we set out on our quest for a get-skinny-quick diet. Amidst our Googling marathon, we were drowning in a pool of diets: Gluten-Free Diet, Grapefruit Diet, South Beach Diet, French Women Don’t Get Fat Diet, juice cleanses…I mean, where do people come up with this stuff? Finally, we came across one that seemed bearable: The Paleo Diet. You really cannot go wrong when you see bacon on the list of items you can eat.

The steps we took to get started made all the difference: 1.) Meal Plan and 2.) Grocery List. With the help of the Internet, I created a two-week meal plan packed full of Paleo goodness and an accompanying grocery list. A grocery list is key for being successful on any diet. It allows you to shop with a purpose, and eliminates spontaneous grabs…like the shopping carts at the grocery store entrance stocked full of discount Easter candy, you know what I am talking about. Additionally, we gave our pantry and fridge an extreme makeover, cleansing it of any evil temptations like bread, deli meat, flour, cereal, etc.

Currently, with a life packed full of work, school, church, errands, and chores, we do our best. Meal planning takes a lot of work, but it is worth being spared the agony of deciding “what to cook for dinner” during the week. I usually take a couple hours on the weekend for meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prepping. I will admit, we are not Paleo purists, as we love our yogurt, oatmeal, and tofu. But, moderation in all things.

Did we obtain our hot bods in time for Vegas? Well, no. Just as there is no such thing as a get-rich-quick plan, there is also no such thing as a get-skinny-quick diet. Nevertheless, 3 months and many lost LBs later, we are still going strong with favorable and steady results in weight loss, muscle tone, and energy level. Our “get-skinny-quick” diet has turned into a lifestyle.

My advice: Whatever your diet of choice, set a goal, commit.

Paleo cheat sheet of what you can and cannot eat

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