uxuyeW_4F3ElN81XW6a_BFhJMp4 Real Houston Housewife: Can we really switch to Paleo?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Can we really switch to Paleo?

 I really want my family to be healthier, sadly it is more expensive to eat better and I have an evil sweet tooth. We have considered following the Nourishing Traditions cookbook but I think we are leaning more towards a Paleo diet with a few more carbs than are recommended. Mainly I would like to focus on cutting out artificial ingredients and sugar.....  sounds awful lol. I know that if I start the kids out on healthier eating as children, it will be easier for them as adults though. Here is some info on the Paleo diet for those interested!

"Ten thousand years ago the Agricultural Revolution was the beginning of a drastic change in the human diet that continues to this day. Today more than 70% of our dietary calories come from foods that our Paleolithic ancestors rarely, if ever, ate. The result is epidemic levels of cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, gastrointestinal disease, and more."
- Dr. Loren Cordain

What is the paleo diet?It is a lifestyle that aspires to achieve optimal health by following a diet based on the principles of our Paleolithic ancestors. Essentially, it is a diet focused on consuming whole, natural foods, such as meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats. Although, the average lifespan of our primitive ancestors was shorter than what we experience today, studies show that the vast majority of the population that lived into their 50s and 60s were also free of chronic diseases. If we look at modern day hunter and gatherer societies such as the Inuit, they also tend to live free of modern diseases until they adapt a modern diet. The current paleo movement uses our ancestors as a starting point, but leverages modern science to evaluate the benefits of an ancestral approach to diet.

How to get startedEat plenty of meats, seafood, vegetables, eggs, healthy fats and some fruit and nuts.
Avoid grains and legumes:Especially wheat and other gluten containing grains, such as rye and barley.  Also avoid soy, corn, beans, and peanuts (they are actually a legume, not a nut).
Avoid added sugars:This includes artificial sweeteners. Only occasionally consume natural sweeteners, such as honey and maple syrup.
Avoid industrial vegetable/seed oils:This includes canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed oil, etc. If you are confused about which fats & oils to consume, print this useful guide by Balanced Bites.
Don’t be afraid to eat healthy fats:This includes animal fats, avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, palm-oil, ghee, grass-fed butter (HEB carries a brand called Kerrygold), lard, tallow.
Eat foods with minimal ingredients list:
If you don’t recognize something in the ingredients list or if it is something your grandma didn’t eat, chances are neither should you.
Include dairy in your diet only if you digest it well. Whenever possible, choose dairy from a grass-fed source:If you are not sure how well you tolerate dairy, I suggest cutting it out for a month and then reintroducing it. If you are going to include dairy, it is best to use high-quality dairy from grass-fed sources. Grass-fed dairy is richer in nutrients and has a better fat composition, plus it tastes amazing!
All "cheats" are not created equal:If you fall off the wagon momentarily, stay focused on avoiding gluten containing items such as wheat, rye, and barley. These are some of the harshest foods on our bodies. One function of the paleo diet is to reduce inflammation in the body and improve health and performance by removing food toxins. If you do indulge in a gluten-free treat, such as rice, beans or corn tortilla chips, don’t beat yourself up about it, just get back on track during your next meal.
As the typical American diet is heavily made of grains, at first glance it seems overwhelming to exclude these foods. As we look at what we can eat, we see that the options are endless on the paleo diet. You can have meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, herbs/spices, and healthy sources of fat. Any combination of these foods makes for a fantastic meal!
Is the paleo diet a low-carb diet?No. The paleo diet is actually macro-nutrient agnostic. There are people that choose to take a low-carb approach, particularly if weight loss is the goal. Depending on your needs, you can adjust accordingly. For athletes, they may choose to include lots of starchy options such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes (with no skin, as this is where the toxins are), tubers, plantains, and bananas.
What are some of the benefits of the paleo diet?
  • Weight loss
  • Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in the diet
  • Reduced inflammation in the body
  • Reduced the risk of modern day diseases such as diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease
  • Increased energy and focus
  • Better athletic performance

What are some tips for following a paleo diet?

  • Clean out your fridge and pantry– Throw out all the foods that you will not be consuming on the paleo diet. If they are not around you, it is much less tempting to eat them.
  • Eat enough food– eat until you are full. This may seem counter-intuitive because we have been told so often to eat smaller portions. However, when we are eating the foods our bodies were designed to eat, our bodies also know when they have had enough. Trust your body. Paleo diets typically tend to have a much lighter caloric load than grain based diets, so you may need to eat more in volume to stay full. If you eat larger meals, you will also need fewer snacks. Snack foods even on a paleo diet are the ones that are easy to over eat, such as nuts and fruits. 
  • Be very strict the first 2 weeks - Do not “cheat” at all – I have found from my own experience and from talking to friends that the first 2 weeks are the most difficult. You may not feel great at this time because your body is adjusting to the changes in your diet and you may still be craving the foods you used to eat. Stick with it and it will become much easier after this point. I promise!
  • Be prepared – preparation is key, especially when you are first starting out. Plan what you are going to eat in advance and prepare whatever you can ahead of time.


  1. This sounds amazing! The toughest part for me is the commitment - I always get bored, no matter how great I feel, after a week or two :) I'm a new MBC follower and look forward to your future posts!

  2. This diet sounds great! I'm a new follower. You can follow me back at sugarplumsandlollipops.com