Saturday, January 1, 2011

Eat Real Food

Adapt what is useful
Reject what is useless, and
Add what is specifically your own.
~Bruce Lee

Super trend or strategic defense. Is Paleo the new version of a label or is it a healthy lifestyle? Making sound food choices is the key to longevity and vitality. It can go a long way to arrest or reverse disease that is mainly preventable by diet. Secure your good health because PREVENTION is your best defense. 

Time and time again, it has been shown that a diet that is comprised of foods eaten in closest to their natural state is superior.

YOU get to make the choice. The goal is not to be set up for failure, but for success. 

If Paleo eating is too crazy to consider in our modern world, foreign to you completely or does not support your religious, scientific or ethical beliefs:
  • get individual, most people know now if you aren't in optimal health, what can you change?
  • get familiar with the concepts, terms, food selection and cooking options.
  • make choices that you can live with and feel good about.
There are tips and tools that can make the experience healthy, easy and enjoyable. Don't put a label on it, make it a lifestyle and make it stick.

The key is to eat consciously and make the lifestyle change to support your quality of life.

Here are some categories that are widely used, this may not be a complete list but it covers most.

Paleo/Hunger-Gatherer/Stone Age/Caveman
Making choices based on the hunter-gatherer diet of our ancestors.
Base your meals on:
  • garden vegetables, especially leafy greens,
  • lean meats/fish/poultry,
  • nuts and seeds,
  • some fruits,
  • little starch, and
  • no sugar.
Avoid foods that weren't eaten by Paleolithic man. This includes many foods we (neolithic) eat today.
  • Grains like rice, barley, wheat, and rye.
  • Starches like potatoes and legumes/beans.
  • Dairy products, alcohol, sugar, salt or vegetable oils.
99% +/- compliance
If you are eating at this level there are usually a couple of reasons. You may practice Intermittent Fasting and enjoy fermented/cultured foods. You are able to listen to your body and eat when hungry and in amounts that satisfy you.
  1. Your health depends on it. Otherwise you constantly suffer symptoms.
  2. You have a very focused goal. 
Recommended reading: Paleo Solution, Ancestral Diet, Paleo Diet

Such a great link on definitions and variations.

Primarily Paleo TM
Following the Paleo guidelines above, however allowing for some variations: Some high fat dairy like butter or cream, occasional starch like sweet potato/beans/or non gluten grains (rice/quinoa/buckwheat) usually post work out. You may eat only 2-4 times a day in amounts that satisfy you.

90%+  compliance
Cheat meals may range from 2-4 meals per week and not completely falling off the wagon, but staying with a more Primal or Ancestral orientation.

Recommended reading: Warrior Diet, Fat Flush (Phase 1), Detox 360

Following the Paleo guidelines above, with variations of more occasional dairy choices (butter/yogurt/heavy cream). You eat regularly and are not concerned too much with portion size or a schedule.

80%+ compliance
Most meals are consciously chosen, staying with the guidelines or not eating processed of packaged food, sugars, hormone/antibiotic/chemical free. Gluten free may fall into the 20% of this lifestyle.

Recommended reading: Primal Blueprint, No Grain Diet (Mercola), Primal Body/Primal Mind, Price/Pottenger Foundation (Nourishing Traditions)

Eating Clean
Described as avoiding processed foods, chemicals, preservatives and artificial ingredients. Clean eaters choose natural foods, the way they came out of the ground or as close to their natural form as possible. Vegetables, fruits, legumes, 100% whole grains, egg whites, fish, and chicken breast are clean eating staples. You eat pretty regularly (5-6 smaller meals per day) keeping blood sugar balanced and watch portion sizes.

Recommended reading: Zone Diet, Precision Nutrition, Fat Flush Plan, Makers Diet, UltraMetabolism 

A huge category that can be interwoven into each of the three above listed. Minus most animal proteins but include grains and legumes as staples.
  • Some vegetarians will enjoy eggs, dairy and/or fish.
  • Vegan includes no animal proteins at all.
  • Raw foodies choose foods that are not warmed above a certain temperature, this may or may not include soaked grains but not often legumes.
Many people find great health benefits to a mainly vegetarian lifestyle. Some people will enjoy it seasonally or as a food cleanse. There are many variations and options for guidelines.

"I try to make healthy choices, but," I am not there yet... Definitely enjoys a more gourmet flair for foods...salad, vegetables as a side and traditional healthier meals. Is not concerned about hormone/antibiotic/chemical free foods and may revert to fast food, processed or packaged foods for convenience.

Anything goes!
Standard American Diet (SAD) - not sure what all the fuss is about.

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