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What exactly is a Paleo diet/lifestlye?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 19, 2012 at 12:58 AM

I keep hearing about this health movement, but I honestly have no idea what it is and what it entails exactly.

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 30, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Dave S., that is actually the exact predicament that I'm facing. The more I learn about our agricultural system, the more I am disgusted by the food industry at large. I cannot find a "truly ethical" way to live that does not involve killing. I think Paleo may be for me.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:21 AM

Sure thing Mary

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 19, 2012
at 05:08 PM

+1 for bomb-diggity! @Josiah - there are a lot of different ways to do "paleo". If it's primarily eating real food, it's falls into the paleo rubric. It can be tricky to combine vegetarian and paleo, but people have done it. Just remember that all food comes to us at a cost of life. For example, to plant corn fields they must be cleared of all other plant and animal life and after tilling and planting, kept free of "weeds", animals and insects. A friend of mine who grew up in Idaho told stories of the potato farmer's "bunny bashes" that were pretty gruesome. All food involves death.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Paul Jaminet (in Perfect Health Diet) mentions that vegetarian paleo is possible but with a strong reliance on eggs for animal protein and full fat dairy (cream, butter) for the animal fat sources -- and he goes on to claim that, for that very reason, vegan paleo is just not possible.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 19, 2012
at 02:58 PM

I made a similar comment to this in another PaleoHacks thread: The emphasis on pastured or grass-fed meat is two-fold - one is the nutritional benefits, but the other is the ethical concerns - pastured and grass-fed animals are raised the way they were supposed to be raised and more attention is payed to humanely slaughtering those animals (halal and kosher require a fast painless death as opposed to the captive bolt method used in our slaughterhouses) [and an added benefit, without the fear and pain, the meat itself is not tainted by stress hormones and chemicals].

Medium avatar

(294)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Fantastic answer.

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 19, 2012
at 02:07 AM

It would be a very new way of thinking for me, but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe this option may be better. I consider all life to be of equal value, and I suppose it is the disrespect of (not necessarily the death of) animals which I feel is unjust. I will continue doing research on the Paleo diet to try and make a decision. In the mean time, I will definitely try to cut down on my gluten/grain/wheat intake to see if I notice a difference.

Dea5f440698f5488b975ada2f61daa0d

(393)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:57 AM

I love your answer! May I quote you on my blog should I need to define how I eat?

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Josiah, I have heard that question before, so I'm sure if you google "vegetarian paleo", there are probably some pages on it. Consider that we advocate supporting local ranchers who raise their animals humanely - roaming freely on pasture land and eating what they were designed to eat. If that still doesn't fit with your code of ethics, I imagine you would have to rely heavily on eggs and soaked/sprouted legumes.

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:45 AM

This was very helpful. The more I look into this, the more I could see it being a successful diet. It would make sense that our bodies should eat what we have evolved to need. My only follow up question would be this: Is it possible to adopt both a Paleo AND Vegetarian diet? I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but would really like to try out the Paleo diet for at least a month to test it out.

  • 2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

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5 Answers

best answer

13
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:06 AM

Eat meat and veggies. Don't eat anything in a fancy wrapper unless it is butcher paper. Go out and play in the fresh air and sunshine. When it gets dark outside, come inside and go to sleep.

Medium avatar

(294)

on March 19, 2012
at 09:07 AM

Fantastic answer.

Dea5f440698f5488b975ada2f61daa0d

(393)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:57 AM

I love your answer! May I quote you on my blog should I need to define how I eat?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on March 21, 2012
at 12:21 AM

Sure thing Mary

10
Medium avatar

(10663)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:31 AM

Hi Josiah! I hope the Paleo Diet is something you'll consider trying because it's nothing short of bomb-diggity.

The Basics:

To eat how our ancestors ate before the Agricultural Revolution began for optimal health because this is how our bodies evolved.

The Good:

-Grass-fed, organic meat
-Wild-caught, fatty fish/seafood
-Cage-free, organic eggs
-Lots and lots of fresh/organic/local veggies
-Some nuts and fruits and full-fat dairy (if tolerated)
-A lot of movement, sunshine and sleep
-Healthy fats (grass-fed butter & ghee, coconut oil)

The Bad:

-Grain-fed meat pumped with antibiotics
-Farmed fish pumped with antibiotics
-Stress
-Excess nuts and fruits

The Ugly:

-Gluten/wheat/refined grains/sugar
-Vegetable oils
-Processed foods i.e. foods with more than one ingredient that comes in a package
-Legumes (e.g. beans and soy)
-Having to explain to your friends and family why you choose to eat this way

Everyone, feel free to edit if I'm missing anything.

Af939911afa817f79a4625d4f503c735

(552)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:57 AM

Josiah, I have heard that question before, so I'm sure if you google "vegetarian paleo", there are probably some pages on it. Consider that we advocate supporting local ranchers who raise their animals humanely - roaming freely on pasture land and eating what they were designed to eat. If that still doesn't fit with your code of ethics, I imagine you would have to rely heavily on eggs and soaked/sprouted legumes.

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 19, 2012
at 02:07 AM

It would be a very new way of thinking for me, but I'm beginning to wonder if maybe this option may be better. I consider all life to be of equal value, and I suppose it is the disrespect of (not necessarily the death of) animals which I feel is unjust. I will continue doing research on the Paleo diet to try and make a decision. In the mean time, I will definitely try to cut down on my gluten/grain/wheat intake to see if I notice a difference.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 19, 2012
at 03:02 PM

Paul Jaminet (in Perfect Health Diet) mentions that vegetarian paleo is possible but with a strong reliance on eggs for animal protein and full fat dairy (cream, butter) for the animal fat sources -- and he goes on to claim that, for that very reason, vegan paleo is just not possible.

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 19, 2012
at 01:45 AM

This was very helpful. The more I look into this, the more I could see it being a successful diet. It would make sense that our bodies should eat what we have evolved to need. My only follow up question would be this: Is it possible to adopt both a Paleo AND Vegetarian diet? I am a vegetarian for ethical reasons, but would really like to try out the Paleo diet for at least a month to test it out.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on March 19, 2012
at 05:08 PM

+1 for bomb-diggity! @Josiah - there are a lot of different ways to do "paleo". If it's primarily eating real food, it's falls into the paleo rubric. It can be tricky to combine vegetarian and paleo, but people have done it. Just remember that all food comes to us at a cost of life. For example, to plant corn fields they must be cleared of all other plant and animal life and after tilling and planting, kept free of "weeds", animals and insects. A friend of mine who grew up in Idaho told stories of the potato farmer's "bunny bashes" that were pretty gruesome. All food involves death.

Medium avatar

(2923)

on March 19, 2012
at 02:58 PM

I made a similar comment to this in another PaleoHacks thread: The emphasis on pastured or grass-fed meat is two-fold - one is the nutritional benefits, but the other is the ethical concerns - pastured and grass-fed animals are raised the way they were supposed to be raised and more attention is payed to humanely slaughtering those animals (halal and kosher require a fast painless death as opposed to the captive bolt method used in our slaughterhouses) [and an added benefit, without the fear and pain, the meat itself is not tainted by stress hormones and chemicals].

2860500364b796272eaf8ceee2fded39

(5)

on March 30, 2012
at 03:11 PM

Dave S., that is actually the exact predicament that I'm facing. The more I learn about our agricultural system, the more I am disgusted by the food industry at large. I cannot find a "truly ethical" way to live that does not involve killing. I think Paleo may be for me.

1
00c8eb3f6e6a1884216044ca29cf868a

on March 19, 2012
at 06:31 AM

The term "paleo" encompasses many different versions and variations:
The Paleo Identity Crisis: What Is The Paleo Diet, Anyway?

From the article:

"We call it ???paleo??? for the same reason that we call it ???Latin???, even though we have absolutely no idea how it was spoken. Just as Latin scholars attempt to maintain something syntactically analogous to written Latin, paleo dieters attempt to maintain something nutritionally analogous to an ancestral human diet.

This is where we have to start using science to draw tentative conclusions from the evidence we have. And while it???s tempting to get into speculative arguments about human prehistory, at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves: What is the biochemistry of humans? How does human metabolism work, today, right now?"

JS

0
894b54a0572962e892380139ea98339c

on March 19, 2012
at 10:32 AM

This is required,

-Grass-fed, organic meat -Wild-caught, fatty fish/seafood -Cage-free, organic eggs -Lots and lots of fresh/organic/local veggies -Some nuts and fruits and full-fat dairy (if tolerated) -A lot of movement, sunshine and sleep -Healthy fats (grass-fed butter & ghee, coconut oil)

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