Here you will get a snap shot overview of the primal/paleo, high fat/low carb approach to eating. Because there are so many different versions out there, I am going to outline my version for you.
I choose to follow a primal diet which is very low in carbs, moderate in proteins, and high in healthy fats. My goal is first and foremost to be healthy and keep my blood sugar under control as well as try to obtain my ideal body weight . I also find that it gives me heaps of energy, clear skin and mental sharpness.
In addition I seem to be able to shake off colds quicker when I do get them (which is quite rare these days) and this way of eating keeps my hay fever allergies at bay. Popping antihistamines like Smarties really is a thing of the past!
My basic guidelines of what I put into my mouth:
- No grains such as pasta, rice, cereal, quinoa, corn, bread (all types) and baked goods made with wheat flour – therefore eliminating all forms of gluten from my diet.
- No beans or legumes – they cause unpleasant digestive issues and are high in carbs.
- No soya – they are often genetically modified and contain nasties such as anti-nutrients and phytoestrogens.
- No sugar, artificial sweeteners, diet drinks or preservatives – they are all poison.
- I avoid processed and ready to eat packaged foods with long nutrition labels and loads of preservatives, colourants and artificial flavourings.
- No vegetable oils, margarine or shortening – they are highly processed and will damage your health.
- I try to limit high carb veggies such as sweet potato, butternut, peas and carrots.
- I use xylitol or stevia as sweeteners in coffee or for baking.
- A treat for me is a couple of squares of dark chocolate (70 to 85% cocoa) a few times a week.
- I snack on nuts such as raw almonds and macadamias. Cashews are high in carbs so I avoid those.
- I consume a little full fat dairy such as cream, Greek yoghurt and cheese. Dairy is not strictly Paleo.
- I restrict my consumption of fruit due to the high fructose content and so stick mainly to a small handful of berries a day.
- I drink wine instead of beer or sugary cocktails. Red wine is superior over white wine because of the resveratrol.
- I eat moderate amounts (80 grams per day) of seafood and good quality protein from animals which have been pasture-reared and grass-fed.
- I love my eggs and can have up to 10 a week.
- I enjoy a few cups of tea and coffee each day.
- I eat a lot of healthy fat (about 90 to 110 grams per day) such as avocados, olives, olive oil, butter, coconut oil and lard. Fat is my friend!
- I eats lots of salads and low carb veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, courgettes, patty pans, green beans, spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, peppers etc. I use them to bulk up my meals and they are full of fibre and nutrients as well. These make up the majority of my carb intake each day of around 50 to 70 grams of carbs.
- When I get thirsty I drink water and sometimes spruce it up with sparkles, mint leaves, cucumber and lemon slices.
The beauty of this way of eating is that it is adaptable for your own needs and goals – you just need to experiment a little (which I am still doing). You can choose to have more full fat dairy or maybe you are very active and at your ideal weight and can therefore eat more sweet potato and butternut. Maybe you want to lose weight quicker so you could decide to cut out all alcohol and treats like dark chocolate. You can make it work for you and your family. Even my kids eat this way although with a little more leniency on certain things.
Need some ideas for meals?
Would a shopping list help?
Click here for a printer friendly 2 page list of foods to put into your shopping trolley. Stick it up on your fridge for a quick reference of what to eat and what to avoid.
Previous posts for further reading: