People have varying perceptions and definitions of the paleo lifestyle. Most of my friends are convinced that I’m crazy, some people say it’s just another fad diet, and almost everyone that hasn’t been enlightened by it thinks it is impossible.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the foundation of the paleo concept lies in the return to eating and acting like people did before the onset of the agricultural revolution. The idea is that our bodies have not fully adapted to consuming certain foods in the quantities or industrialized state that they are available in today. So not only are we eating things that didn’t even used to really exist, but we have proceeded to make them a staple in the american diet under the assumption that they are healthy and necessary.
So someone who follows a strict paleo diet doesn’t consume anything out of a box. No grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, and no industrialized seed oils either. I think this makes for great nutritional guidelines – but lets be real here. That’s not the world we live in.
I try to keep most of the things I eat within the paleo realm, but I am a total advocate of the occasional indulgence (by occasional i mean anytime that there is icecream around), and I don’t see any problem with cheese and yogurt in moderation. I have however, managed to completely eliminate grains from my diet and it was the best thing to ever happen to me.
I get this question a lot:
‘Sylvia, how the hell do you run for three hours with no bread or pasta or rice? Don’t you need carbs?’
The answer is… sweet potatoes.
Just kidding. (But really, I had about 8 within the 12 hours before my last marathon)
Anyway, People are confused with what has carbs. There are lots of foods that have carbs that aren’t going to cause a blood sugar spike or tear up the lining of your intestinal walls. (hellooo, fruits? vegetables?) And runners need carbs – most paleo crossfitting people restrict carbs but I’m not about that life.
So all of that being said, I try to eat what will result in my optimal performance, and what makes me feel the best on my runs. Any regular person who is trying to lose weight or something should probably not eat like me, but I do think that the paleo diet can be modified for any kind of lifestyle and be beneficial.