The Paleo Diet Revealed In 1 Simple Image (Infographic)
My Take On This:
As you can see, paleo is much more than a high protein diet. There are many important nuances that can mean the difference between thriving health or a giant “Fail-eo” (paleo fail).
The first thing to remember: there is NOT (nor has there ever been) ONE perfect paleo diet. In fact, the diets of our ancestors varied wildly according to geography, availablity and seasonality. Although modern society has overcome most historical challenges associated with food gathering, it's still important to acknowledge that we are all like snowflakes...unique individuals with specific needs based on several variables. These include innate metabolism, age, sex, activity level, and health status to name a few. As a result, your dietary needs change daily making your ideal diet a moving target. For some, a diet of 30% protein, 30% fat and 40% carbohydrates allows you to thrive. For others a diet of 50% fat, 25% protein and 25% carbohdyrates is best. Whatever you do, don’t become obsessive over specific macronutrient percentages or ratios. Experiment within the paleo framework and tune into your own body. You are the BEST authority on which foods work well for you.
Second, it's important to remember that food quality is of monumental importance when it comes to vibrant health. The reason you may not be reaping all of the benefits of the paleo lifestyle, is that you are also fueling your body with GMOs, hormones, pesticides, herbicides, steroids and antibiotics. These can wreak havoc on your health. Our paleolithic ancestors never encountered these nasty toxins which is one reason their health was far better than ours. Make it a habit to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed/pasture-raised organic meats and wild fish whenever possible. Opt for raw/soaked/sprouted nuts and cold-pressed, organic and unrefined oils. If purchasing high quality food is not financially possible for you just yet, then begin with small changes. Even a whole foods, paleo diet without high quality foods will definitely afford you far better health than the standard American diet. If you need ideas about how to make it more affordable, please check out our article 20 Ways To Make The Paleo Diet Affordable.
Finally, remember that paleo perfectionism is NOT the goal. Why? Because, perfectionism is not possible to achieve. Obsessing is not the most conducive way to radiant health. If you are struggling with leaving your beloved, un-paleo foods behind, opt for strict paleo 85-90% of the time. Schedule a “cheat” meal or two throughout the week. That is unless you suffer from a food allergy/intolerance or other medical condition that warrants your avoiding cheat foods altogether. Otherwise, eat paleo and enjoy life simultaneously. You'll achieve that healthy, happy life you deserve!