The Paleo Diet is one where focusing on eating unprocessed foods is the goal. It should be referred to as an eating plan instead of a diet, since the word “diet” implies that it is solely about weight loss.
The “Caveman” approach to eating is far from being some type of fad diet. Early humans ate whole, unprocessed foods – and thrived on them. This way of eating merely takes us back to our (relatively) recent past and offers us the types of food that we would be eating if we were living a simpler and arguably, healthier, lifestyle.
If you feel (and studies have shown) that many of the diseases that we suffer from are the price we pay for eating “modern”, which would include sugar, stripped grains, and anything processed, this plan may be right for you.
Paleo Diet Benefits
The Paleo Diet is flexible enough that you can approach it in a way that makes sense to you and your taste buds. You go low-carb if you wish or add in carbs like potatoes and rice if you enjoy them.
You can improve your health on a Paleo Diet, but don’t think that it’s all about shedding pounds in a hurry. It is a way to eat well that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds prepared in tasty and interesting ways.
This recipe for jicama carrot slaw is just one easy example and is great for BBQ’s or any get-together!
Use either a food processor with a shredder blade or a box grater to shred the jicama and the carrots. If you want to save time, buy pre-shredded carrots, even though they are usually more expensive to purchase.
Combine the jicama and shredded carrots into a large bowl. Add chipotle mayo, cilantro and lime juice. Stir ingredients until they are well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill to allow flavors to blend before serving.
Summer is a great time for family and friend get-togethers; and this featured Paleo Diet recipe is a great choice for summertime.
But first, a little more about the Paleo Diet.
The Paleo Diet is a very popular way of eating these days. It is also known as the Stone Age Diet and the Primal Diet. Its basic premise is, “What would our cave-dwelling ancestors eat?”
5 Basic Types Of Foods In The Paleo Diet
It includes five basic types of foods:
Benefits Of The Paleo Diet
Choosing to go Paleo in your eating habits can benefit you in several ways. If you choose organic foods, you get natural, preservative-free foods and can eat a clean diet. The high fruit and vegetable content means you won’t have any trouble getting your recommended amount of servings per day.
This type of eating is actually quite filling. Since it is protein-rich and full of fiber, you shouldn’t have an issue with feeling hungry in between meals.
The following is a tasty and healthy Paleo Diet recipe:
Tomato Avocado Burgers
Makes 4 Servings
4 large tomatoes 1 lb. / 453 grams grass fed organic ground beef ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper ½ + ¼ teaspoons fine grain sea salt 1 teaspoon chili powder 1 ripe avocado, divided 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt 1 tablespoon mayo (DIY Paleo mayo by following this recipe) 2 teaspoon fresh lime juice ¼ teaspoon ground cumin A handful of alfalfa sprouts
Slice the tomatoes in half horizontally. Carefully scoop out the seeds and membrane with the handle end of a spoon or a fork and set aside.
Place half of the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork until almost smooth. Add yogurt, mayo, lime juice and cumin. Stir to combine.
Dice the remaining half of the avocado and add it along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir until just blended. Set aside.
In a bowl, season ground beef with chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and pepper. Mix well. Divide into four equal portions and gently portion each one into a 1/2 inch patty.
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Grill patties three minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness is reached.
While patties are cooking, lightly grease a medium no-stick pan with olive oil. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add tomato halves face down and cook for two-three minutes (they should just begin to brown).
Flip the tomatoes and cook for 20 seconds on the other side so they have a bit of color there as well.
To assemble burgers: Place a pinch of sprouts on the bottom of each half tomato, then top with a beef patty, two Tablespoons of avocado sauce. Finish with the other half of each tomato. Serve immediately.
‘Tis the season! Well, not that season. It is the annual season after the “season.” Post- New Year’s Day is when we awake from our national eight week collective stupor and remember that diet and exercise are actually kind of important. Gyms are now overflowing with new zealous members, and Wal-Mart is completely sold out of Slim Fast and Shake Weights. So, why is it that so many eager new dietary Cinderellas turn back into pumpkins in February and March? Here are 5 common mistakes that dieters make:
Turning It Up To 11
I love people who give great effort. Growing up, I always admired the ball players who gave it everything they had every play rather than the extremely talented individuals who succeeded on their skills alone. And while I do admire new dieters often extreme efforts in the first few weeks of January, I also know that it is a very big reason that they ultimately fail to achieve their goals. Far too often people look at a “diet” as a project; something that must be accomplished. The fact is that a sound diet and exercise plan cannot be accomplished, because it is never over. Focus on the process, not the results.
Taking Their Diet Too Seriously
I overheard a lady today standing in line at the checkout at my local pharmacy lamenting about a poor decision that she had made at lunch. Being the interested party that I am about nutritional matters, I happened to overhear that she felt bad about eating some carrots on her salad at lunch. She was on an “Atkins” type diet and was afraid this had completely thrown a monkey wrench into her diet. Whatever was wrong with her figure had nothing to do with carrots.
Being too zealous with extreme elimination diets doom many dieters to failure. Many of these folks spend many weeks eating Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, Christmas cookies, egg nog, and New Year’s Champagne but feel like a failure if they eat 35 grams of carbs in a day instead of 30 on January 5. Dietary compliance is about doing what you are supposed to do in PRINCIPLE most of the time and 10% of the time not worrying so much about your diet at all. The dirty little secret from those with nice physiques is they don’t sweat the small stuff nearly as much as you think they do. Follow your diet, but also live life.
The first time most New Year dieters think about their diet plan is usually when they are drinking their first weight loss shake on January 2. Even then most of their thoughts usually are consumed more with “I’m miserable” and “when will this diet be over”, rather than the actual diet. The stark reality is your diet is crucial to your health, and what you put in your mouth not only determines what you look like but how long you may be around. Low calorie diet shakes and frozen 200 calorie meals with ingredient lists three paragraphs long are not what your body is designed to consume. Educating yourself on WHAT to eat is much more important in the long term than HOW MUCH to eat. Admittedly, some are just people of action who really don’t want to know the “why”, they just want results. In that case I suggest letting a either letting a nutrition professional do the planning for you, or investing in a high quality pre-designed program like our 12 Week Start Up Plan.
Lack of Accountability
When you boil it down to its bare essence, long-term dietary success really comes down to establishing accountability for your nutritional decisions. Those who have the greatest success are usually those who establish guidelines for themselves which hold their feet to the fire on a regular basis. Whether it is weekly trips to the bathroom scale or measuring your waistline with a tape measure, those who adopt accountable habits are those who tend to have real and lasting success.
One of my favorite methods of accountability is a simple wall calendar. Every year, I buy a calendar for the expressed purpose of tracking my dietary and exercise compliance. For a given day, I make a left slash if I have met my diet goals for the day, and a right slash if I have met my exercise goals making an “X”. Each night there is a tremendous sense of accountability when it is time to mark your calendar for that day. As time passes and habits form, you will make sure that you have done what you needed to do that day for the satisfaction of marking your “X”. Give it a try.
I blame this one on two culprits; our instant gratification society and deceptive but very well-funded marketing campaigns by the weight loss industry. You simply aren’t going to look how you want to look in eight days eating cabbage soup, two weeks on a “Hollywood” diet, or 3 weeks using the latest ab gadget. Most everyone knows what they would like to look like, and that look is simply the result of long term sound nutritional and exercise principles. Of the 5 mistakes, this one is the most difficult to overcome due to the massive marketing machine constantly hypnotizing individuals to spend their hard-earned money on junky exercise gadgets, cheaply made but expensive supplements, and fad “quick loss” diet books that have more advertisements than information. A novice dieter would be much better served by spending their discretionary fitness dollars on a little expert nutritional guidance and a lot of wholesome, natural food. After all, quality food and the knowledge about what to do with that food IS what dietary success is all about, no matter what the supplement guys say.
And there you have my five quick observations. Whether you are starting a new diet or are a wiley old veteran, I hope your New Year and new goals are off to a great start. Keep your eye on your objectives and a positive attitude, and success will come your way.
Everybody loves chili. Most people view chili as a “cold weather” food. If you only eat chili when its cold outside, you miss an incredible opportunity to use fresh garden ingredients, which gives this traditional american meal a subtle but noticable flavor jolt. This is a very quick and easy stove top version.It has no beans ( shout out to Texas) and minimizes other carb-heavy ingredients without sacrificing taste. The tomato paste thickens it rathar than corn starch or flour that many chili recipes call for.
5oz (1/2 large) white onion- diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh jalapeno, minced
2.5lbs ground beef
4tbsp tomato paste
2c homemade beef stock
2 c diced fresh tomato
3tbsp chili powder
1/2tsp cayenne pepper
1tbsp ground cumin
In a large pot, melt butter, then add onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add ground beef, cook until browned. Add remaining ingredients, stir thoroughly and let simmer 20-30 min. Top with shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream, and sliced avocado.
Lasagna’s poor little cousin rarely gets press in mainstream society. But it has one huge benefit over lasagna…. It can be made with all-natural ingredients very easily. Techinically, due to my inclusion of meat, my version isn’t eggplant parmesan. The pork adds a great taste bud twist to the usual recipe, as well as some much needed protein! It can easily be made meat-free and is equally delicious, for those in the vegetarian camp. Give this grain free version a try and see what you think. I would bet even Garfield will approve.
1 container of parmesan cheese
16 oz high quality marinara sauce
1 pound ground pork or nitrate-free sausage
2 cups almond meal
4 eggs- beaten
½ cup fresh basil
black pepper- freshly ground
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp sage
1 clove garlic- minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut eggplants lengthwise into slices roughly 1/8 inch thick. Place in colander and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Let sit in sink for 30 minutes to sweat excess moisture out of slices. While slices are sweating, crumble and cook ground pork in skillet with 2 tsp black pepper and the minced garlic. Combine almond meal, oregano, sage, and 2 tsp kosher salt and blend together and place on plate. Beat eggs and place in separate container. Heat skillet with olive oil to medium heat. Begin dipping slices of eggplant in egg wash, dredging in flour mixture, and frying in olive oil on both sides until light brown. Once finished, begin layering mixture into 9 x 11 baking dish. Place a layer of eggplant on bottom, followed by a layer of marinara, then a layer of pork, a dusting of cheese and fresh basil. Repeat until complete, topping with a layer of cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and top is lightly brown (around 30 minutes.) Wait 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.
Who says steaks should have all the fun? Ask your butcher for a “porterhouse” pork chop cut next time you are at the grocery and see what you’ve been missing! I came up with this little recipe while searching for something “a little sweet, a little salty, and a little spicy”. I think its a winner. Try it out!
1 TBSP Cracked Black Pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
3 TBSP raw honey
Juice from 1/2 orange
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 TBSP apple cidar vinegar
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp Sriracha hot chile sauce
2 bone-in porterhouse pork chops, thick cut
1) Preheat the grill to 450 F.
2) Dust chops with black pepper and kosher salt
3) Prepare the citrus honey glaze by combining remaining ingredients in smll bowl. Honey may need to be heated slightly if too thick to stir in.
4) Liberally glaze each chop with the mixture before placing on grill. Re-glaze while cooking.