You’ve no doubt heard your health-conscious friends or favourite TV/radio hosts drop the Paleo bomb recently, and all those who regularly peruse food blogs have definitely seen “Paleo friendly” attached to a bunch of recipes. Each and every time you see those five mysterious letters, you ask yourself: is this a new weight loss thing? is it a food movement? is it a dietary restriction? Well, you’re technically right on all front, but let me explain.
Essentially, the Paleo Diet is a newly created diet where you’re only supposed to be eating foods that were available to humans during the dawn of civilization. Paleo is literally referencing the Paleolithic era of human history, which is why the Paleo Diet has also been referred to as “the caveman diet.”
Eating like a caveman may seem kind of strange, and limiting, but in essence, the Paleo Diet is more of a move away from processed grains and refined sugars than anything else. Paleo Diet purists believe the human body never evolved to process high amounts of grain (rice, cereal, pasta, etc.) which became a staple of the human diet only after the dawn of agriculture.
Casting aside nearly all forms of grain, Paleo-people only eat foods that could have been acquired by our early human ancestors, so meat, fish, nuts, and all sorts of greens. In a clever way, the Paleo Diet helps to limit carb-consumption, but that isn’t to say you can’t eat carbs, it just has to come from veggies like potatoes (which are more nutrient-rich) instead of grain-products like bread.
Food preparation isn’t limited to the methods of the caveman in the rules of the Paleo Diet (thankfully), so the meals you can create can be quite varied, and delicious. Check out a daily meal plan of a Paleo-person below and you may find that you may just want to make the switch as well.
Breakfast: Apple Flax Breakfast Squares
- Grains are out but you can still make hearty breakfast bars. In this case, you just sub out the flour and oats for ground flax seed.
Read the full recipe at Queen of my Kitchen
Lunch: Cucumber Noodle Salad
- Topped with a fresh and zesty Italian dressing, with avocados and olives thrown in, this is a lunch that will give your body what it needs without weighing you down.
Read the full recipe at Hold the Grain
Snack: Nut-Free Blueberry Pancake Bread
- Bread!? But how!? Not using a seed flour (or the regular kind) makes it a mind-boggling feat to create any form of bread while adhering to Paleo-regulations, but this recipe cleverly gets around the problem by using tigernut flour (actually a vegetable) and tapioca starch.
Read the full recipe at Cook it Up Paleo
Side dish: Grilled Sweet Potato Salad
- Solid as a side dish or as a meal in itself, this smokey and hearty salad is well worth the extra effort of grilling your sweet potatoes.
Read the full recipe at Food Faith Fitness
Main Course: Slow Cooked Pork w/Peach BBQ Sauce
- Meat is still very much on the market in the Paleo diet, and this slow cooked pork using a peach-based barbecue sauce (fruits are fine, refined sugars are not) will make you forget that you’re on a “diet” at all.
Read the full recipe at A Calculated Whisk
Dessert: Grain-Free Carrot Cake
- You can still enjoy more than a few bites of decadence while keeping Paleo, and this carrot cake is proof. Nut flours are swapped in for the regular sort, while a dairy-free whipped cream covers the cake.
Read the full recipe at A Clean Bake
Featured image courtesy of Amy Selleck @ Flickr