What is Paleo?

Written by Nadine Bahlke

September 18, 2018


“Eat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar” - Greg Glassman (the founder of Crossfit)  

The caveman diet

So you have a friend that joined Crossfit and started eating Paleo, but what EXACTLY is it? 

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THE Idea Behind Paleo

It’s a solid Idea: eat the foods our ancestors had access to. It’s really that simple. We haven’t evolved much in the last few hundred years, but our diets have. We haven’t adapted to the grains of modern agriculture or the added sugars that are added in excess in these processed food.Technology has made it possible for us to process food in a way that makes them shelf stable and extremely palatable. However, these products are less “food” and more “food like substance”. So why not eat a diet that our bodies were designed to eat and thrive off of? 

What foods are paleo?

Does it have a label? Yes? Then it isn’t paleo. It goes a little further than that though.

The paleo diet avoids dairy, legumes (beans), and grains along with anything that is processed. If it came from modern farming/agriculture, it’s not paleo. You’re trying to eat foods as close to their natural state as possible (please still cook your meats though). This means lots of vegetables, grass fed meats, and healthy fats from nuts and seeds. 

Will it help me lose weight?

If you do it right, yes. Yes, you can do paleo wrong. Everyone's dearly beloved bacon is paleo, but that still doesn’t mean you should be eating bacon all day. Your friend found a recipe for paleo muffins? Awesome! They’re gluten and dairy free, but they’re still miniature cakes disguising as a breakfast food. Paleo bread? Still bread. You get the point. 

However if you’re switching from a highly processed diet full of “food like substances” that we haven’t evolved to eat, then you’ll see some amazing benefits. Your bubbly bloated stomach will calm down, and you’ll be setting yourself up for success whether your goal is weight loss or muscle gain. 

Sound like something you want to try?

Don’t be afraid to give it a shot, you don’t have to make all of the changes at once. Not ready to fully commit? Start by shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where you’ll find the fresh healthy foods! Then slowly work your way to eating a fully paleo diet. Even if you implement only a few of these changes that lead you away from processed foods, you’re helping yourself out in the long run.