health

To paleo or not to paleo, that is the question

Guest blogger: Head trainer at Flite Fitness, Ashley McLachlan

The Paleolithic diet, or Paleo diet as it’s better known, divides people – you’re either a big supporter or a doubting critic. It’s caused lots of hype recently, but what exactly is it? Head trainer at Flite Fitness and ex-chef, Ashley McLachlan gives you the lowdown to help you decide for yourself, whether the Paleo diet is right for you.

We tend to believe what has stood the test of time. The Paleo diet is based on the belief that we should eat as per our ancestors of the Paleolithic era, i.e. anything that we can hunt or find – including meats, leafy greens and seeds. It focuses on consuming fresh and seasonal produce, free of the nasties that line supermarket shelves.

The low down

Do eat:
• Meat (grass-fed)
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Vegetables (organic/local)
• Fruit (organic/local)
• Nuts/seeds

Avoid:
• Grains
• Legumes
• Dairy
• Saturated fat
• Refined sugar

Following this approach will nourish your body with wholesome food rather than the junk that comes in today’s processed food, such as greasy takeout and sugary soft drinks. It’s all about eating clean. Your carbohydrates come from vegetables rather than refined, high GI choices like white pasta or bread which often leaves you feeling sluggish.

Advocates of the Paleo diet suggest that the human metabolism’s inability to adapt to the relatively new types of food has led to health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. The Paleo diet is perfect for people who are gluten intolerant or suffer from coeliac disease, since grains are excluded.

There are also significant weight-loss benefits without the need for calorie counting. You can still eat the same amount, but it’s all about consuming the right stuff your body needs and rewards you for.

The Paleo diet isn’t necessarily for everyone but it’s certainly something you may want to try. Many people feel lighter and more energetic ‘going Paleo’ and cutting out processed food.

Start by making simple adjustments to your meals, for example: zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of regular spaghetti. To help you out we’ve included a food list and one-week meal plan, free from processed food that is too readily available today. No fast-food, sugary soft drinks or oily take out.

Paleo friendly food checklist

Protein
White fish
Chicken
Turkey
Salmon
Tuna
Lean red meat
Lean pork
No tofu or soy
Venison
Rabbit
Goat
Bacon
Eggs

Non-starchy vegetables
Carrots
Beetroot
Kale
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Asparagus
Zucchini
Beans
Eggplant
Cabbage
Leeks
Capsicum
Mushrooms
Peas
Cucumber
Artichoke

Starchy vegetables
Sweet potato
Butternut pumpkin
Yams
Parsnip

Salad vegetables
Lettuce
Tomato
Carrot
Sprouts
Celery
Cucumber

Fruits
Green apple
Red apple
Pear
Bananas
Kiwi
Peach
Mandarin
Orange
Plum
Nectarine
Strawberries
Blueberries
Raspberries
Mixed berries
Watermelon
Rockmelon

Paleo meal plan

Here’s your easy peasy (super tasty) paleo eating plan by top dietician,  Lisa King.

Breakfast
2 eggs (boiled or poached)
+ baby spinach, tomato, avocado
+ 1/2 cup berries
OR
2 egg omelette with onion, capsicum, rocket, tomato
+ 1 piece of fruit from the list

Mid morning
Smoothie: Blend water, ice, coconut water or almond milk with 1/2 cup chopped fruit and 1-2 cups chopped raw vegetables from the list and 1 heaped tb flaxseed or almond or LSA meal

Lunch
120g lean protein from the list
+ ½ cup of starchy vegetables from the list
+ 1 cup non starchy vegetables or 2 cups salad from the list

Afternoon
1 palm full of raw unsalted nuts
+ 1 piece fruit from the list

Evening meal
120g lean protein from the list
+ 1 ½ cups non starchy vegetables

Beverages
At least 2 Litres of water
+ green tea or herbal teas
1 coffee or tea per day is ok (no dairy, rice, soy milk)
Strictly NO alcohol or sugary drinks

 

Feature image sourced from eatdrinkpaleo.com.au