So what exactly is this Paleo diet you are on? That’s a question I have been hearing quite a lot lately. Here is a picture I found on another blog that sums it up:
If you can kill it or pick it fresh, most likely I will eat it. I hate labels so I refuse to label myself as being “Paleo” or any other diet religion. People who label themselves become crazy and run around judging others for eating the “wrong food” according to their particular diet bible. So, I don’t call myself Paleo, or low-carb, or say that I am doing Atkins any more. My diet is simple: I don’t eat grain, sugar, starches or processed foods 95% of the time. Well, maybe 90% of the time (lately stress seems to impact this percentage) The fact is that nobody sticks to their “fad” diet for years on end without cheating on something, so I believe striving for 90/10 compliance is acceptable for me with what I am seeking to accomplish. Since adjusting my diet away from strict low carb and leaning toward the paleo diet I find that I am actually on plan most of the time with the exception of maybe one or two planned carb-ups in the past few months, or during a tuna induced weakness.
So for all of you that have been asking, here is what I eat/don’t eat normally: I stole this chart directly from the Paleo Bible and then edited in a few of the corrections that I have made in my own diet. The most important thing I can do for myself is to avoid grains and sugars. I do not like or use the terms “lean” meats or “healthy” fats. There is too much confusion on what is healthy fat and what isn’t. So I just eat meat! Most of my fat comes from beef or pork. I collect bacon grease and filter it when I bake my bacon on cookie sheets. I saute my veggies in either bacon grease or the drippings from the steak or ribs I am eating that meal. I also would never tell anyone to avoid alcohol. That would be just crazy! How could you be expected to make it through most days without it? I have found that you can still have alcohol by avoiding grain based liquid delights. Just trade up for Ciroc, gold tequila, or a glass of wine or three glasses. Wait there’s only 4 glasses in a bottle, so you might as well just finish that one bottle. Ask me sometime about Norcal Margaritas….
So that’s my diet, I keep it simple and it is working for me. Yes, much of it could appear Paleo or low carb. I just hate to be labeled. I also recently added in bulletproof coffee to the start of each day and that has increased my energy levels and also spurred more weight loss. I work out 1 to 2 times a week only with heavy weights, no joint-killing crossfit or running for me. I also use cold therapy a 1-2 times a week, but that’s a topic for a future blog.
People ask me how are you able to go out to eat all the time and still stay on plan and not gain weight? I don’t find it that difficult if I keep my simple rules at the front of my mind when making food decisions. There are sugar and starch free options anywhere (except a pasta bar) if you look hard enough. Here is an example of my typical feast at the local casino on weekends lately: You’re looking at two beef ribs (no sugary bbq please), crab legs, spicy shrimp skewers, mussels, raw oysters, prime rib, and a little taco meat mix I made up topped with tomato, jalapeno, onions, and cheese. I ate these and then went for seconds and thirds of the crab and prime rib. So why didn’t I gain weight this past weekend? Because I avoided the blatant sugar and starches and chose high protein / high fat options. I could have had breaded shrimp and pie or cake for dessert (yum!), but I opted for pineapple and strawberries instead. Its not hard because natural food is really good. Its just hard to get use to sometimes after being a sugar addict for so many years.
Now, one final point: Why do I eat this way and ignore the almighty ADA when it comes to my diet choices? Guys like this motivate me to try to make better choices:
In summary: Buy fresh meat of any kind, fresh veggies, and fresh fruit. Avoid grain and sugar at all costs and you will be amazed at the new you!