What exactly is the paleo diet?

Posted on by sorellapulita

This is Ms. Ellen Tremiti’s first post for us on GMS. Ellen has been an influence in the cooking at GMS for years, first being a vegetarian, then slowly reincorporating meat into her diet, and now following a mostly paleo diet. Ellen’s adventures hopefully will help you to learn more about making good choices in your life, and learning about how food influences your mind, body, and soul. While neither Jennie nor Corelyn are paleo, we are excited to learn more about this diet along with our readers.

Hello world! This is my first post for Garlic, My Soul as a contributing blogger, and I am honored that Jennie and Corelyn asked me to be a part of the team! I’ve been inspired over the years by GMS: their love of cooking is unparalleled.  After knowing Jennie and Corelyn for years, the obvious question may be “Why now?” The answer is, I have changed my eating habits since last summer, and the journey I’ve been on has taught me so much about food that I just have to share!

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I started working with a trainer once a week last summer and he challenged me to question my food choices. The biggest question he had for me was, “Am I eating clean?” Eating clean? I hadn’t heard of that phrase before then.

Eating clean, according to Clean Eating Magazine, is the consumption “of food in its most natural state, or as close to it as possible. It is not a diet; it’s a lifestyle approach to food and its preparation, leading to an improved life, one meal at a time.”

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Every prepackaged food item (pop tarts, frozen meals, a lot of cereals, candy, soda, pre-made store juices, the list goes on) is unclean. These items are made with preservatives and often times, include high levels of sodium, sugar, as well as high fructose corn syrup. These days, it is up to the consumer to check labels because any company, no matter how healthy their platform appears to be, may be cutting corners to save money on cost at the expense of your health. Instead of purchasing foods that have been processed to high heaven, it is fairly easy to make your own version, or, to find a natural alternative.

I began cooking a lot more and eating clean foods for snacks, such as nuts and fruits. I cut down on dairy and breads and focused more on lean protein. So, for me, it really was a no brainer when I sat down with one of my best friends from home, and she told me about her journey into Paleo eating. Paleo eaters also eat clean, but in addition, they do not consume dairy or grains.

According to Practical Paleo Living, the paleo lifestyle “centers around the idea that our bodies have not adapted sufficiently to eating foods that weren’t available to us 10,000 years ago. We put so much processed food into our bodies […] The advances in agriculture and mass food production have caused us to move away from eating real food; food meant to work with our bodies for optimal health. A paleo diet involves eating meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, little starch, some fruit and no sugar.”

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Months later, I feel better than ever, and I am stronger and leaner than before. I don’t crave the foods I don’t eat the way I thought I would. I use substitutions, such as almond milk, and I’ve even made my own ketchup (the ketchup we see everywhere is made with high fructose corn syrup). One of my favorite meal items is homemade sweet potato fries, and I keep a lot more healthy food in the freezer, such as frozen shrimp and veggies.

If you’re looking to make a change in your eating here are some tips:

  • In you’re an Instagram user, check out @Mealprepmondays or @Fitmencook
  • If you’re interested in shopping paleo, try buying the “Is it paleo?” app for your phone for .99 cents. Check it as you shop and it’ll help you learn if you get stuck!

Thanks for reading! I’m excited to share healthy, paleo-friendly recipes with the GMS community!


 

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