After much debate I decided I needed to post this. It’s daily that I get asked what dietary theory I subscribe too. Am I vegan? vegetarian? paleo? Well the truth is I'm none of the above. There is a new term that I refuse to allow myself to be labeled, but it hits the closest to home with regards to my lifestyle choices - pagan. You eat healthy, real food, whole food not processed food. I eat seasonally where some days I juice and some months I don't, I love bone broth in the winter and eat raw most of the summer. That being said I wanted to point out a few things that I love about the paleo movement. While I don't advocate the actual diet itself (remember I don't advocate any one style of eating over another, it’s based on an individuals needs). Here are some of my top reasons why I love this style of eating, or at least the mentality behind it.
- I love the idea of community that you get with the paleo movement. Now I realize that you get the sense of community with vegetarians and vegans as well, but you also get the guilt at having anything to eat that has a face. That is enough to turn many off of a diet that could potentially be good for them. You see throughout history we have always lived in communities, remember that saying “it takes a village”. I love the idea of living in a community where everyone helps each other, where there is support, caring and friendship.
- Get your vitamin D on! Sunshine baby, yup our ancestors spend their days outside in the sun getting adequate amounts of vitamin D. Now I realize that our ancestors didn't have to worry about the ozone layer and skin cancer so I may add that all it takes is 10-15 minutes at the right time of day to get the desired effect.
- Speaking of getting outside, let’s not forget to ditch the shoes and feel the earth between our toes. A little dirt won't hurt, as a matter of fact it will likely heal. The death has helpful microbes in it that our delicate micro biome requires to have a healthy gut flora. We are designed to move so get moving. For example watch how kids play, their movements are so natural. We need to adapt that back into our lives… enough with the treadmill already.
- Cut out the processed food, now unlike vegans and vegetarians I see that the paleo movement doesn’t promote healthy junk food. I like this approach.If it is in a package and is able to survive life o a shelf for weeks, months or even a year then perhaps we don't want to be eating it. Can you say “chemical shitstorm”
- Say no to sugar, real sugar, fake sugar, chemical sugar. You name it, get it out. It’s just not good for you. Mind you I'm ok with the sugar you will get from fruit, just don't overdo it. Too much sugar can have a severe negative effect on the gut, when most of us are already experiencing issues with the gut the last thing you want to do is add to the problem.
- Not the “G” word! Yes I am going to say it… GLUTEN. So here is the deal, most of us just can't handle the protein, the way it’s been processed and let’s face it if you are suffering from hypothyroidism you may want to look at going gluten free as well. 20-25% of those with hypothyroidism had symptoms disappear after going gluten free! Let’s also mention leaky gut (intestinal permeability) gluten is one of the main culprits of this, along with go corn and soy. It can lead to allergies and sensitivities which may cause autoimmune diseases of all sorts. Stay away from the gluten free junk food trap as well though please.
- Fermented foods rock, When you look back at the different cultures they all seem to have some sort of fermented food, they also had a healthier gut than we do. Kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha… the list is quite long and equally as beneficial are the list of bacteria in the gut that you are feeding when you promote fermented food. Aiding in digestion and helping heal the gut in the process. Try to make your own, store bought is not always the most reliable source.
- Sleep, easier said than done in some cases. Getting a good nights sleep is important. Making sure to cover lights, turn off the technology and set up our circadian rhythms for success not failure. Try to get 7 - 9 hours for the ideal result.