Paleo is simply eating in accordance with our genetics, nourishing the body in the way nature intended. A diet based on traditional, hunter-gatherer foods maximizes health, healing and wellbeing…and benefits all aspects of the body, not just digestion!
Eating within a Paleo template alleviates and remedies chronic aches and pain, weight-gain, poor energy levels, fluid retention, hormonal imbalance and other conditions aggravated by chronic inflammation, while simultaneously supporting heart health, bone & joint integrity, stable moods, immune function, sound sleep, mental clarity and much more.
Hunter-Gatherers Never Counted Calories
Countless individuals have tried to control their diets by counting calories, grams, points, macros and even number of bites! This tedious diet micro-management can work short-term. However, once motivation wanes or a binge above “acceptable” levels occurs, discouraged individuals often revert to old eating habits (yep, the ones that weren’t working in the first place). Our hunter-gatherer ancestors never micro-managed portion sizes; so what can we learn from them? Traditional eating patterns like Paleo offer a flexible eating template that’s easy-to-follow…even in the modern world of unlimited foods.
How Paleo Helps...
Paleo focuses on traditional, nutrient-dense foods that naturally control hunger. Simply choose foods from the Paleo Pyramid, build meals and snacks with the Veggies + Protein + Fat Template (see below the following list), and say goodbye to counting calories!
How does the combination of vegetables + animal protein + healthy fat help you become calorie-liberated? Here are five specific ways the Paleo Diet releases the need for diet micro-management. Further information is thoroughly detailed in The Paleovation Workbook (specific section book locations are noted in parentheses; supplemental topic info is accessible here.)
1. Hunter-Gatherer Foods Satisfy Hunger and Curb Cravings (Prep Section F, Days 2, 3 & 6)
Not only do Paleo foods satisfy hunger longer between meals, they also interrupt sugar-induced carb cravings. Carb-heavy modern foods wreak havoc on the body’s blood sugar levels. When blood sugar rises after sugar/starch intake, insulin is released to shuttle glucose into cells…either to burn for fuel or store as fat. But when large amounts of carbs are eaten (sugar rush), a blood sugar roller coaster ensues: the body responds with a hefty dose of insulin which can drop blood sugar below normal which then stimulates hunger to bring in more energy. When individuals are hungry shortly after meals they’re more likely to snack on carb-heavy foods and reinforce the sugar-insulin roller coaster. That’s the trap of binge eaters. The Paleo Diet breaks that cycle. Healthy fats, quality proteins and slow-burning carbs from whole vegetables provide filling meals which do not trigger the sugar-insulin cycle.
2. Paleo Foods Tend to Be Burned for Energy Rather Than Stored as Fat (Prep Sections C, F & G)
Modern versions of grains, dairy or legumes promote fat storage either because they contain an overload of carbs, or they interfere with hormonal signaling. As mentioned above, starches and sugars trigger insulin release but when eaten in excess, insulin acts as a ‘storage’ hormone and the body enters ‘storage mode.’ In other words, in the presence of insulin, any excess sugars or fat in the blood is shunted into fat cells to store for future energy needs. At the same time, insulin prevents mobilization of fat reserves for fuel – the body literally cannot burn body fat while insulin is elevated. The Paleo Template consists of nutrient-dense foods that don’t trigger damaging insulin spikes. Subsequently the body is free to burn fat, both from the diet or body fat reserves (this is called ‘fat-adapted’). When food is being burned for fuel with no risk of being stored as fat, there’s no need to count the calories! Just eat to satisfaction.
3. Ancestral Staple Foods Encourage Fat-Burning Metabolism (Prep Section G, Day 2)
When the body relies on carbs for energy, it’s like sustaining a campfire only with quick-burning kindling - an inefficient and ineffective way to fuel a fire. However, if a big “fat” log is burning at the base of the fire, the fire burns efficiently for an extended time. The same is true for metabolism. By reducing carbohydrate sources of grains and sugars, the body relearns to burn fat from both body reserves and diet. These fat fuels burn low and slow, providing an energy source that is not dependent on meals or constant snacking. When an individual is eating fewer times throughout the day, it lessens the need for calorie counting.
4. A Paleo Template Provides Nutrients in Advantageous Proportions (Days 1-3 & 23)
Historically, humans relied heavily on foraged foods including vegetables, tubers, nuts, seeds, eggs, insects and fruits. When hunting and fishing were successful, hunter-gatherers ate everything on the animal from nose to tail, including the fat. Unbeknownst to our ancestors, this is a strategic nutrient-delivery plan. Combining abundant vegetables with animal products simultaneously provides:
a. Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and trace nutrients
b. Healthy fats essential for energy and fat-soluble vitamin absorption
c. Quality, bioavailable proteins
d. Building blocks for hormones, digestive enzymes, DNA, bone density, neurotransmitters and more
The Paleo Template provides ample nutrition without interference from anti-nutrients found in grain-based foods. Additionally, Paleo prevents the complications from low fat diets (insufficient fat to build healthy hormones and cell structures, or deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins like D3 and K). The proportions of nutrients within a Paleo Template naturally encourage their utilization…and a well-nourished body is less likely to suffer cravings due to nutrient deficiencies.
5. Balances the Gut Flora (Days 15 & 23)
Overall health is highly influenced by the gut flora (all the bacteria, yeasts, fungi and parasites that naturally live in the digestive tract). A typical western diet, with an overload of glucose, overwhelmingly feeds the pathogenic microbes. Surprisingly, this dysbiosis can interfere with hunger signaling, insulin sensitivity, craving cycles and digestion of food; in fact, the gut flora in obese persons is much different than those of normal weight (good to know: the gut flora rebalances upon weight loss!). The Paleo Template supplies synergistic amounts of non-starchy foods that contain fiber, prebiotics and short-chain fatty acids to cultivate and nurture good gut bacteria. Eating foods to maximize gut flora helps maintain proper weight and banish the need for calorie counting.
Why a Template is Easier than Counting
Rather than time-consuming tallying or measuring specific amounts of grams and calories, Paleo eating uses rough proportions to ensure the right types of nutrients are present each meal. Just think “veggie, protein, fat” when planning a meal or grabbing a snack. If any pieces are missing, fill in with a grab-and-go item such as baby carrots, kale chips, hard-boiled eggs, jerky, olives, guacamole or coconut flakes (tons of ideas are in the Paleovation Workbook!).
Examples of Veggie + Protein + Fat Paleo Meals & Snacks:
Breakfast: Sautéed greens with sausage patties
Breakfast: Smoked salmon Benedict over veggies
Lunch: Frozen turkey burger with guacamole on a bed of salad greens
Lunch: Butternut squash soup (with chicken broth) and bacon bits
Dinner: Lamb curry over cauliflower rice
Dinner: Roasted chicken with mashed sweet potatoes
Snack: Mini bell peppers filled with egg salad
Snack: Cashew hummus and fresh cut veggies
There Is No Catch! Simply Eating Paleo Naturally Induces Proper Body Function.
Just 2-3 weeks eating Paleo is enough to clearly realize vast improvement in health and vitality. All is takes is conscientious food choices: eliminate inflammatory foods and emphasize restorative, traditional foods. There are no expensive powders, special-formulated products or endless exercise routines necessary
The body already has the innate ability to heal – Paleo simply creates the ideal set of circumstances to foster and sustain this natural healing.
How Do I Start?
Individuals new to Paleo often appreciate assistance identifying typical inflammatory foods, sifting through abundant Paleo resources, finding easy-to-understand information and staying prepared. This is the basis of The Paleovation Workbook: It’s like having a trusted mentor support the reader each day.
The Paleovation Workbook details the Why's and How's for healthy, long-term diet change
This workbook is arranged in easy-to-read, daily sections designed to keep the reader informed and organized. Each day reinforces the commitment to dietary change by explaining specifically why these diet changes improve health as well as how to implement them, loaded with ideas for snacks, recipes, socializing, practical planning assistance.
Substantial information is compiled in an easy-to-read “bottom-line” format with charts, checklists, templates and practice exercises. Additionally, to build a balanced approach to lifestyle modification, information includes other pillars of health such as stress management, sleep tips, sensible exercise and more:
Destructive nature of sugar and starch
Fat facts – the good, bad and ugly
Problems with modern foods
Chronic inflammation and its complications
Cholesterol and heart disease
Gut health and probiotics
Detrimental effects of stress
Smart nutritional supplementation
Stock a Paleo kitchen
Generate meal ideas and recipe resources
Manage food cravings
Enhance fat-burning metabolism
Substitute non-Paleo foods
Devise strategies for social situations
Promote deep sleep
Break through a weight loss plateau
Solidify long-term dietary success
The advantage of this workbook is it teaches the reader what to do AND how to do it, ultimately increasing odds of lasting success.
Develop a Personalized Dietary Template
Elimination diets are commonly used to test for food allergies or sensitivities. The method is simple, just avoid specific irritating foods for a set period of time, then carefully reinstate them to observe personal tolerance levels. Participants learn to connect the dots between their trigger foods and symptoms of inflammation within their bodies.
The Paleovation Workbook walks the reader through a 4-week elimination diet and reintroduction period. The beauty is that there are no cookie-cutter results – each person reveals a customized list of well-tolerated foods. In the long run, this knowledge is used to formulate a personalized, flexible approach to dietary success.
The Paleovation Workbook provides the framework to stay informed, motivated and accountable during the Paleo transition and beyond.
Cheers to your renewed health and vitality!
The Paleovation Team