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Paleo Macadamia-Coconut Butter

Yes, the peanut butter’s gotta go when you’re paleo…but you can still dig into a great nut butter packed with protein in about 5 minutes when you whip up your own healthy version! Read more

7 Very Paleo Ways To Protect Your Heart

Forget the low-fat diets and statin drugs for heart health.

Dietician Cassie Bjork writing on Primal Docs offers 7 quick tips to naturally protect your ticker.

Here’s a brief summary of each:

  1. Eat less refined sugar and fewer processed carbs. Both contribute to inflammation which can lead to heart disease.
  2. Eat healthy fats. Choose good fat sources such as avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts (and for our primal friends, heavy cream and butter) – all to nourish and repair blood vessels. Try to pair a healthy fat with every meal.
  3. Skip the inflammatory oils. That would include vegetable oil, canola oil, hydrogenated oil, corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil and margarine.
  4. Eat balanced meals. That means ideally getting the Big 3 with every meal: Healthy proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
  5. Support your heart health with supplements. You might want to consider CoQ10, fish oil, a quality probiotic and L-Glutamine – all can help reduce inflammation and heal your gut.
  6. Relax more. Stress can increase your blood pressure, damage your arteries, produce irregular heart rhythms and weaken your immune system.
  7. Give your heart a good workout. Instead of long cardio routines, the preferred paleo way is shorter and more efficient workouts – look into interval training, HIIT, or CrossFit.

Check out the original article for more details on each of these 7 heart healthy tips.

Paleo Pumpkin-Spiced Granola

Being from the Northwest and all, you’d think I would’ve made a pan full of paleo granola way before now…  Read more

Paleo Cinnamon-Raisin Energy Bars

Need a little energy boost? Bite into one of these delicious homemade paleo energy bars… Read more

Beth & Bonnie Bliss Bars

Recently I was presented with a challenge. A friend of many, many years asked me to come up with a recipe and name it after her and another close friend. Hmmm…so I started thinking… Read more

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Quick Guide: How to Eat Paleo

PaleoNewbie - foods to eat and avoid on the paleo lifestyle

Living the paleo lifestyle begins with choosing the right foods to fuel your body.  Here’s a good starter list of paleo diet foods you can eat, and which ones shouldn’t be on your menu.


GOOD PALEO FOODS TO EAT

Meats – just about every kind of meat is paleo, with the exception of processed meats such as hot dogs, Spam, bologna, and so on. Choose grass-fed beef and free range poultry over grain-fed meats whenever possible.

Fish – freshwater and saltwater fish provide great nutrition for the paleo lifestyle. Avoid farm-raised fish and choose fresh-caught instead.

Eggs – eggs are paleo and rich in protein and omega3 oils. Choose eggs that come from cage-free/free range hens if possible.

Oils/Fats – minimally processed oils and fats are good for you on the paleo diet. Healthy choices include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee and grass-fed butter.

Vegetables – almost all are perfect for the paleo lifestyle. Just avoid those higher in starch and lower in nutrients – especially white potatoes. Also note most legumes (especially dried beans) corn and peanuts are on the do-not-eat list.

Fruits – concentrate mainly on berries to avoid consuming too much fructose (sugar), especially if your goal is to lose weight on the paleo lifestyle.

Nuts – okay to eat, but do so in moderation due to some toxins and generally high omega6 content.


FOODS TO AVOID ON THE PALEO DIET

Processed/Junk foods – if it comes in a box, package, pop-top can or fast-food wrapper, it probably includes additives, preservatives, sugars, processed oils, or any number of things that add useless carbs and health-robbing ingredients to your diet. Think wholesome fresh food and steer clear of pretty much everything else.

Grains – wheat, rye, barley, rice, corn – all grains and products made from grain such as cereals and breads should be avoided following the paleo lifestyle.

Sugars – definitely no table sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cane sugar and similar refined sugars that provide no nutritional value and can be downright harmful. Sweeteners that are better for you (but should still be limited to small amounts) include raw honey, coconut sugar, and pure maple syrup.

Vegetable oils – consuming heavily processed and chemically refined oils (corn oil, canola oil, seed oils) may cause inflammation and possibly lead to more serious problems.

Dairy – no milk, ice cream, cheeses, yogurt, pudding, and so on. We make an exception for grass-fed butter or ghee, however if you want to follow a strict paleo diet, avoid those too.

Soft drinks – no sodas, and it doesn’t matter if they’re “diet” – avoid them all. Get used to drinking pure water instead.

Fruit juices – most fruit juices are about the same as a glass full of sugar water. Enjoy whole fruits instead.

Legumes – most beans, particularly dried beans such as lentils and navy beans, contain toxins and other stuff that can be bad for your digestive system. This includes peanuts. Fresh green beans and peas are less toxic, and when cooked, are fairly benign.

Starchy vegetables – it’s best to avoid white potatoes and other similar vegetables which are higher in starch and lower in nutritional value. While there’s nothing particularly wrong with them, you’ll look and feel better limiting your intake of starch – especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

Paleo Overview

Paleo is shorthand for Paleolithic. The whole idea behind the Paleo lifestyle is that our bodies (specifically our genes) are programmed to function best when we eat only those foods that were available through the Paleolithic Era, which ended about 10,000 years ago. Any new foods that popped up after that on the Neolithic menu and later, are pretty much taboo on the Paleo plan today.

The 10,000-year cut-off is significant because that’s about when those early hunter-gatherers began turning into farmers and started planting and harvesting crops. Before that, eating grass seeds (grains) would have probably been a foreign concept to them. Likewise milking anything. And chances are legumes (beans) wouldn’t have been served at the dinner table because those need to be soaked and cooked to dilute the naturally occurring toxins. And most modern-day Paleo devotees believe the ancient ones didn’t go around digging up tubers either (like potatoes and yams – although there’s some heated debate about this one). Of course, the Paleo plan rules out anything processed, from margarine to Big Macs.

On the Paleo diet, you’re encouraged to eat meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and eggs…basically whatever our distant relatives would have been able to scrounge up in the wilds to survive.

There’s some pretty good forensic evidence to back up the Paleo lifestyle based on the remains and artifacts of our predecessors. Compared to us modern humans today, paleontologists say our predecessors were taller, healthier, had larger brains, experienced less chronic disease, and had almost no tooth decay. Back in the day, the biggest threat to your life was cave lions or aggressive bands of humans rather than heart disease.

Along with the diet, most Paleo followers recommend exercising the whole body (mainly the short-burst kind of activity similar to what you’d get running around spearing a woolly mammoth) instead of spending endless hours on a treadmill.

Most Paleo practitioners also advocate getting regular sun exposure for the vitamin D, and a good 8 hours of shuteye each night.

Here’s a video that starts out with a good summary of the Paleo diet from Robb Wolf, the author of “The Paleo Solution” – keep watching beyond the first minute if you want to learn more: