Frequently Asked Questions
The Paleo diet is a major deviation from the Standard American Diet (SAD) and naturally stirs up many questions.
The following information should enlighten some of your thoughts and concerns. If you're still not sure if Paleo is for you, our best advice is to use The Paleovation Workbook to implement the diet for a month, then assess your health at that point.
I've never heard of "Paleo." Is this another fad diet?
Paleo is a diet and lifestyle that has been around for a long time - it's based on our ancestor's hunter/gatherer diet. "Paleo" is getting increasingly more attention as people find relief of life-long ailments just by changing what they eat to fit a Paleo template. Although the Paleo diet is not new, there is new understanding of the link between human digestion and the types (and quality) of foods eaten. Consider using The Paleovation Workbook as an introduction to the Paleo diet and lifestyle. Just one month following anti-inflammatory Paleo principles will answer your questions about how diet change can improve your health. After that, you can decide if you want to incorporate these strategies long-term.
I've done lots of yo-yo dieting. I'm worried that this will be the same.
You are not alone. Many people yo-yo diet because when the "diet" portion is done, they go right back to their old habits -- the ones that obviously weren't working. The Paleovation Workbook helps you reach a healthy baseline, then explains how to reintroduce foods to test yourself for sensitivities. With new health, diet habits and tools offered in the Paleovation Workbook, you can continually optimize your personal food intake based on those sensitivities. Regardless of age or current health status, Paleo can effect remarkable change in quality of life.
Isn't Paleo just low-carb?
Paleo is low-crap, not simply low-carb - but that doesn't mean all carbs are bad. There's no question that eating Paleo is naturally much lower carb than a standard American diet, but there are many carb sources from vegetables (and occasional fruits) that are perfectly acceptable (root vegetables tend to have higher carbohydrate concentrations). On Paleo, there is no counting carbs (or fats, or proteins) - just build your meals following Paleo priciples and nutrients will naturally balance.
So, no pizza for a month?
Right, but it's only a month. All inflammatory foods are removed to establish a baseline of health, then at the end of the Paleo Protocol, select foods are systematically reintroduced back into the diet to evaluate personal tolerance and inflammation triggers. Depending on the food, sometimes there's a reaction, sometimes not (pizza will surely trigger symptoms). Often yearnings for comfort foods subside when it's discovered how uncomfortable those foods make you feel. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which foods can be comfortably digested by your system. By the way, there are many recipes for 'paleo pizza'!
What about coffee?
If you like coffee, we encourage you to enjoy it with your breakfast rather than a meal replacement. You may drink it black or with coconut or almond milk during the 28 days. If you are a regular coffee drinker and would like to withdraw, going through a sugar and caffeine withdrawal at the same time can create very uncomfortable symptoms. Therefore, we recommend waiting 1-2 weeks into the Strict Paleo Protocol, then cut caffeine consumption by half for a week (some accomplish this by combining with decaf) followed by complete withdrawal the following week. For those with autoimmune conditions, coffee can be a symptom trigger.
What about stevia?
Stevia is a calorie-free sugar alternative refined from the root of a South American plant. It's significantly sweeter than table sugar. The good news is that for those who need a sweet crutch, stevia does not raise blood glucose levels and is a natural sugar alternative; The bad news is that your body still expects glucose when the sweet taste hits your tongue and will release some insulin in response, reacting the same as if you ate real sugar (although at a much lower intensity). If you can completely immerse yourself in the Paleo program outlined in The Paleovation Workbook, we recommend eliminating stevia too. If sweetness is a must or if that issue is the only obstacle to undertaking a diet change, stevia is an acceptable sugar alternative.
Can't I just do this on my own?
Sure you can do this on your own! There's a lot of information available about paleo-style elimination diets. We've seen them; we've studied them; we've done them! However, we've also found that the intent to implement a diet and actually doing it are very different. When observing typical dieting patterns, several patterns emerge:
- The diet gets perpetually postponed and never even starts
- The diet is terminated prematurely due to lack of preparation, resources and understanding of exactly what is happening in your body
- The diet is implemented short-term with no long term strategy and old unhealthy dietary habits are eventually resumed.
The Paleovation Workbook is designed to remove those obstacles for a successful short-term dietary cleanse, followed by successful long-term implementation strategies.
Do I need to take nutritional supplements?
Most vital nutrition can be reaped from the abundance of healthful foods eating the Paleo way. However, because neither our food choices nor our foods are perfect, some nutrients are either hard to attain or of insufficient quantities from diet alone, including detoxification nutrients, antioxidants, vital trace minerals and nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties. Read more about nutritional supplements.
I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight - is this book still appropriate for me?
Yes - the most important part of the program is relieving symptoms of inflammation. When your body begins to function as designed, it can more easily regulate weight - whether that means gaining, maintaining, or shedding pounds.