Once in a conversation someone asked me what eating paleo meant. A young man answered that it meant my diet consisted largely of meat. I get that a lot.
I explained that I don’t eat more meat than I did before I was paleo. For example, if I ate a chicken breast for dinner pre-paleo, I’m not eating 2 and 3 chicken breasts for dinner now. I was surprised that that surprised him. I believe the early simple definition of paleo – eating as the caveman did – left the impression that all we eat is meat!!
My food philosophy:
Strive really, really hard to eat unprocessed or minimally processed foods that are organic and whole, eat meats that are 100% grass-fed, poultry and pigs that are pasture raised and seafood that is wild. And on the occasion that I can’t or don’t eat that way, I enjoy whatever it is I’m eating in the moment. It’s that simple.
Because we don’t live in a perfect world, sometimes, how I try to eat and what I actually eat differ. I love going out to restaurants (see my eating out section) and I know that it’s not going to be a like a meal I would cook at home. I’ve yet to find any Asian restaurant that serves cauli-rice, and I’m not bold enough to sneak in my own (bpa-free of course) tupperware of cauli-rice! I have no problem ordering my cashew chicken with a side of jasmine rice and enjoying it to no end! Every once in a blue moon there is an apple-fritter out there with my name on it. I choose my shades of gray knowing the consequences. So I ask myself…is that apple-fritter going to be worth the stomach ache I’m going to have 20 minutes after eating it? Some days, the answer is yes, yes it is, and I enjoy and savor that damned apple-fritter! But it’s not often that I do that. I would guesstimate it’s about a 90/10 split – 90% of my eating is paleo and 10% is, well…non-paleo.
For me, this is a lifestyle change. Not a diet. I’m not doing this to reach a goal of a certain weight or to lower my cholesterol. I’m doing this to live the healthiest life I can live. So, as best as I can, I choose to try really, really hard to avoid foods play a role in inflammation, leaky gut, IBS, arthritis, heart disease…the list is endless.
I now firmly, without a doubt, believe that what you put into your body has health consequences, either good or bad. I’m not a health professional, doctor, or dietitian and I only speak from personal experience – changing my eating lifestyle has changed my health for the better.