Part 2 of Jump Start Your Paleo Diet (part one jump-start-your-paleo-diet-part-1)
Higher protein intake, protein comprises approximately 15% of the calories in the average western diet, which is considerably lower than the average values of 35% found in hunter-gatherer diets. There are even some hunter gatherer cultures that have been studied that have an even higher percentage of protein in their diets.
Lower carbohydrate intake and lower glycemic index, non-starchy fresh fruits and vegetables represent the main carbohydrate source and should provide for at most 35-45% of your daily calories. Almost all of these foods are low glycemic in that they are slowly digested and absorbed, and won’t spike blood sugar levels.
Higher fiber intake, dietary fiber is essential and whole grains are not a good place to find fiber. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more than refined grains. Even fruits contain twice as much fiber as whole grains and more that the refined grains we have been use to eating.
Moderate to higher fat intake dominated by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats with balanced Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. It’s not the total amount of fat in your diet that raises your blood cholesterol levels and increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, but rather the type of fat. Reduce all trans fats to zero and lover the Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, as outlined earlier, and increase the healthful monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats that were the main fats of our paleo ancestors.
Raise your potassium and lower your sodium intake, unprocessed, fresh foods naturally contain 5 to 10 times more potassium than sodium, a ratio that our bodies are adapted to. Potassium is necessary for the heart, kidneys, and other organs to all work properly. Low potassium is associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke, and those are the same problems linked to excessive dietary sodium. Today, the average American consumes about twice as much sodium as potassium, the wrong ratio.
Keep you food balanced, eat plenty of veggies along with your meats.
Simple to summarize: eat grass fed meats and range free poultry, fish and seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts, seeds and healthful oils. Don’t eat, cereal grains, legumes, dairy (with exceptions as noted), refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, salt, and refined foods.
It doesn’t take a whole lot of finesse or smarts to put together a Paleo meal. You can start with a salad, add a dressing that you make – balsamic or some oil and vinegar combo, stay away from the store bought dressing with all those ingredients you cannot pronounce and keep to nut oils verses cottonseed or corn oils; olive oil is great for salads.
You can eat just about any vegetable and if you want to loose weight limit the starchy vegetables. Kale is one of the best veggies and the cabbage family, including broccoli, collard greens, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cauliflower. Eat protein with your meals, about a palm full of the proteins listed earlier. If you want to have a bread, well that will be a little more difficult. There are some Paleo breads on the market, but none that I have tried that are worth buying (or eating unless you just got to have some). The Paleo breads I have tried are either almond or coconut based flours, and although that is a great base for a Paleo bread, the execution on the ones I’ve had just fall short. You may have to make your own at this point. There are some mixes available that are Paleo. Look on line, especially at GlutenFreePaleoDiet.com and other Paleo sites for nut breads. Also look at recipes on PaleoGlutenfreeRecipes.com. I’ve had some wonderful breads baked at home using almond flour combined with various other roots flowers and eggs to make a bread that can be used as for sandwiches and I’ve had wraps made from dehydrated chopped up onions and ground flax seeds (and ground up vegetables as well, to give some extra flavor). You may have to do some hunting around to find what you like. Much like our ancestors – except you can use a computer and a grocery store.
Sleep is extremely important – not just for Paleo diet followers but for anyone. Sleep is when the body resets so to say. Many hormone cycles are linked to the 24 hour wake/sleep cycle. Sex hormones, stress hormones, human growth hormone, etc., are secreted during the night sleep cycle. Going to bed shortly after dark and rising with the sun would be ideal, although that may not mesh with modern day work schedules. There have been numerous studies showing a lowering of stress hormones when a sleep schedule as described above is adhered to and additional studies indicating links to depression, bipolar disorders and other “psychiatric” named maladies from disrupted sleep cycles” Also as
part of ones sleep regime keep electronics, lights, TVs, computers away from you before sleep times. The lights from the screens will disrupt the production of melatonin – a sleep inducing hormone. Sleep in darkness as well.
Standard exercise in the United States is not running or biking aerobics on a treadmill or a stationary bike, mostly in a gym, while watching a screen. Rows and rows of treadmills all spinnings away have supplanted the exercise our ancestors did even up to 50 years ago. Exercise in Paleolithic times wasn’t exercise, it was the standard day to day life. Hunting and gathering consisted of walking and harvesting of foods and the chasing down of small game. So how can we mimic this activity, short of living that life style? There are a few exercise techniques that mimic the hunting gathering aspect of Paleo life. These consist of low output walking or light jogging interspersed with fast sprinting, like soccer playing. Like circuit training, Crossfit training, Peak 8. These type of exercise regimes cause the body to produce beneficial hormones, set the body up to better burn fat and lower insulin resistance, stimulate the release of human growth hormone and testosterone. The treadmill regimes do not do this. You can get onto one of these programs and start one time a week and build up to 3-4 times a week. If you are really athletic you can adopt this kind of fitness regime daily. The time you must devote to a program like Peak 8 is less than 30 minutes a day. Also one needs to do strength training. There are too many of those types of fitness regimes to go over here, it should suffice to say that you should weight lift and gain muscle strength throughout the entire body, legs, back shoulders, arms, etc. Some regimes for strength training are the Push-Pull methods, Controlled Fatigue Training. There are many strength training methods out there. Pick one that you feel comfortable with and like anything else, if it works for you, use it, if not try something else.
End of Part 2 – Part 3 to come with Food lists and proportions/percentages —If you would like permission to reprint informaton from this page, please contact me.