What Is The Paleo Diet?
The Paleo diet, also known as The Paleolithic diet, The Caveman diet, The Stone Age diet and Hunter-Gatherer diet, is based on the presumed ancient diet of the early humans who lived during the Paleolithic era, which ended 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets.
Centered around commonly available foods in our modern supermarkets, this new interpretation of the Paleo diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised organic meats, organic vegetables, organic fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts.
The Paleo diet differs from the Mediterranean diet in the sense that the Paleo diet excludes grains, legumes, and dairy products. This diet also forbids the consumption of refined salt, refined sugar, and all types of processed oils.
The Paleo Diet Craze
Anyone with an Internet connection knows that the Paleo diet is the newest weight loss craze.
Being that I’ve always been skeptical of Internet weight loss diets I made a conscious effort to ignore this new craze. My efforts worked until about a week ago when my brother and sister in law announced that they had decided to become followers of this new diet.
This fact made it impossible for me to continue to ignore this new Internet sensation because not knowing how to prepare foods that they will be comfortable eating will only serve to exclude them and I can’t imagine doing such a thing. Therefore, I did a quick Google search on the topic and headed to my local supermarket to see what ingredients fall within the dietary guidelines of the Paleo diet. What I found was quiet extraordinary!
The Paleo diet is far more than just a passing fad diet. The Paleo diet is an extremely healthy diet that can fit into most of our lifestyles.
I started my grocery shopping by putting myself in the mindset of a cave woman foraging for food. I did this by asking myself the following question:
- If I was a cave woman foraging for food in this supermarket, which foods would I recognize?
Of course, the answer to this question let me to all the “Real” food items in the grocery store. Looking around the grocery store, I concluded that as a cave woman foraging for food I would recognize a wide variety of the fruit and vegetables on display in the store as food. I would also recognize food items in the meat department that were not processed. For example, I would not recognize a hot dog either by smell, looks, texture or taste. But, I would recognize a steak.
Likewise, as a cave woman, I would not recognize a bottle or can of soda and a packaged cereal as food, mainly because I could neither see nor smell the items inside the packaging. This realization was quiet eye opening. Previously, I had not made an effort to note just how much of the food that I eat I recognize by the sight of its packaging.
As I made my way around the grocery store, looking at the food options available to me from this perspective, I realized that the Paleo diet is in fact a byproduct of the clean eating movement which encompasses such principles as:
- Avoiding processed and refined foods: Ex white flour and sugar
- Drinking water instead of soda
- Eating organic foods as often as possible
- Reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing local, seasonal foods that are not packaged
- Consuming healthy fats
- Purchasing humanely raised meats which are often antibiotic free as well
The following grocery shopping list is a collection of the Paleo diet ingredients available in my supermarket.
Note: If I have left out any of the Paleo diet’s ingredients please feel free to share them in the comments below
Paleo Diet Grocery Shopping List
|Free Range Organic Eggs of all kind, including Quail eggs and Ostrich eggs||Finding a nest full of eggs, any eggs, would have been a treat for Cavemen foraging for dinner.|
|Berries: Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc||Berries grow wild all over the world. With a little experimentation Cavemen would have discovered which berries are safe to eat|
|Mushrooms||Like berries, mushrooms grow wild all over the world. With a little experimentation Cavemen would have discovered which mushroom are safe to eat|
|Tropical Fruit Such As: Mango, Pineapples, Avocado, Bananas, Passion Fruit, Star Fruit, Lychee, Papaya, Golden Apples, Sweet Orange, Watermelon, Lemons, and Coconuts (including coconut water and coconut oil which cavemen would have ingested when they ate coconuts)||Fruit, especially tropical fruit, which mostly grow year round in tropical climes must have played a significant role in the diet of Cavemen.|
|Nuts (This includes all types of natural nut butters such as organic peanut butter and organic almond butter)||Nuts served as a great source of fat and protein in the Cavemen's diet.|
|Wild Organic Honey||Imagine what a treat finding and obtaining honey would have been for Cavemen!|
|Fresh Ginger||Cavemen could have found fresh Ginger during their foraging sessions. So feel free to add fresh Ginger to your Paleo recipes.|
|All Types of Root Vegetables Such As Potatoes (Even though potatoes are not technically root vegetables)||Root vegetables would have served a role in the diets of all Cavemen since these vegetables are found all over the world.|
|All Types of Onions||It is safe to assume that Cavemen did not enjoy the taste of raw onions just as we don't. However, they could have found onions during their foraging sessions. So feel free to add onions to your Paleo recipes.|
|All Types of Game Meats (Hormone- and antibiotic- free): Rabbit, Venison, Wild Boar, Duck, Goat, Lamb, Pork, Beef, Buffalo, Bison, Deer, Turkey, ||This list includes organs such as kidneys, livers, marrow, and tongue since it is easy to assume that Cavemen did not waste any edible parts of a fresh kill.|
|All Types of Fish, Especially Fresh Water Fish (Hormone- and antibiotic- free): Anchovies, Bass, Cod, Flounder, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Sardines, Tuna, Cat Fish,||Humans have always fished. And it is easy to assume that fishing for fresh water fish in lakes and rivers would have been easier for Cavemen than fishing for salt water fish in the oceans.|
|All Types of Shellfish Such As: crab, clams, lobster, mussels, scallops, squid, and shrimp||Though rare, and hard to acquire, shellfish must have served as an awesome source of protein for Cavemen.|
|Oils Allowed During The Paleo Diet: Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Peanut Oil, Oils Derived From Animal Kills Such As Bacon Grease||These are all oils that Cavemen would have ingested by eating their sources. Therefore, The Paleo Diet plan allows their use in Paleo Food recipes|
Photo courtesy of: ~ezs