What’s all this Paleo stuff about, anyway?

File_000It’s funny. When people find out I used to weigh over 310 lbs, they get excited and want to know how I lost the weight. When I say the word, “Paleo,” the reaction I most often get is what I can only imagine the reaction would be if I told them, “I have a third eye on the back of my head.”

The name Paleo has some baggage; mostly from our learning about cavemen in school. When I say I eat a Paleo diet, I’m sure lots of people are wondering where I get the mammoth meat from, or if I run from sabretooth tigers. Others, still, think it’s a fad or a craze and that I’m not only denying myself entire food groups, but that I’m eating things like raw meat and grass. OK, I will admit that I like my steaks medium rare.

It’s a shame, because eating Paleo is really eating healthy. It’s avoiding foods that have incredibly high carbohydrate content which is where the fat in our bodies comes from. It’s also focused on eating foods that don’t have additives, chemicals, or drugs (for the meat), and ethical treatment of animals is also taken into consideration by many who live Paleo.

Sherry and I have been at it for a year now, and we can’t be any happier with our diet. Sure, it’s challenging sometimes to find foods in restaurants that are Paleo, but it’s not as hard as you might think. What is amazing to me is how challenging it is to find simple foods like nuts in the grocery store without it having some sort of wheat, soy, or sugar additive.

I’ve had people ask me if Paleo is like Adkins, and I usually tell them, “Mostly,” but not exactly.

Compared to Paleo, there is some overlap between the foods to include (meat, vegetables, and fats) and the foods to avoid (grains), but in the end Atkins is a diet for weight loss, while Paleo is a diet for health. –Paleoleap.com

I’m sure you’re saying, “Ok, so what about the specific differences?” I’ve got that answer for you as well:

Accordingly, Atkins is focused primarily on macronutrient ratios, while Paleo is focused primarily on food quality (eating plenty of nutrients while avoiding toxins). Paleo can be low-carb, but it doesn’t have to be. –Paleoleap.com

Sherry and I have adopted the lifestyle and we have lost weight, improved our health, and we have not suffered nor have we been hungry. Heck, we’ve been enjoying the food and all the new flavors! We’ve even found restaurants locally that cater to Paleo clientele, and the food there is simply inspiring!

Do I miss pizza, pasta, and bread? Honestly, not anymore. I did for a while in the beginning, but now, it’s not something I crave or miss. There are so many other things I eat now that are delicious and satisfying that those other things don’t factor anymore.

If you’ve been looking past Paleo because of it’s name, I implore you to give it a chance. Do some research, read some sites, and look at the science of it all. It’s not hard to understand, and it’s not too complicated. The information you read can change your life. Heck, it might even save it. It saved mine.

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