The Road To The 7-Day Paleo Diet: A Simple Day-by-Day Guide And How To Get Started
What Is Paleo Diet?
Paleolithic diet or Paleo diet for short is a type of diet where we only eat food mainly based on what was only available to us humans during the Stone Age. Yes, the Stone Age the one where we humans were called as cavemen or to put it in a more endearing term hunters and gatherers.
This simply means that there is a certain belief that at that age, our human bodies were designed to eat food which could be found in the wild and on the field. This means we were condemned to food composed mostly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, and organ meats. That means dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, and alcohol or coffee.)
Paleo diet is believed to improve our health by boosting metabolism and strengthening our bodies by going back to eating fresh, real, and whole, unprocessed foods that are more healthy than harmful to our bodies.
Before planning to continue on following or trying this certain diet, we should first at least read this list on what to avoid.
A No-go In Paleo Diet
Avoid all forms of added sugar, not just table sugar.
That means no soft drinks, no powdered-based and artificial flavored juices, no chocolates, etc. If it is too sweet then most likely it is bad for you. Bad news for your sweet tooth but that is just the way it is.
Plus too much sugar can lead to hormonal imbalances in your body and of course let us not forget the tooth decay and diabetes.
2. Dairy Products
Keep off on any food that has dairy in it; these includes butter, cream, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and any other food that has milk as an ingredient.
Fun fact: Did you know that dairy is an immune system stressor? Also, it is known that humans are the only species to continue to drink milk after infancy, so I guess it means something.
Eliminate all grains from your diets such as barley, wheat, corn, oats, and rice. Grains can be a source of systemic inflammation and other problems connected with over consumption of carbs.
Grains contain gluten and have a very high glycemic index which means that these types of foods carry sugar into the bloodstream too fast and that just does not sound right.
Think of legumes as grains but a little less harsh because they do contain lectins, saponins or protease inhibitors that are not so good news for our hormonal and immune system.
Peas and green beans are an exception though, as they contain much lower levels of lectins so you can go ahead and eat them but no too much.
Yup that’s right, no booze. As sad as it may sound to you, we both know that even if you try your hardest to find what benefits alcohol can give us, it will always be outnumbered by the number of consequences it may bring.
Now that we have listed what to avoid in this paleo diet it is time to prepare ourselves by being more knowledgeable about the food and meals that we would like to include in this diet.
A Go-Go In Paleo Diet
1. Go For Meat!
You can consume a huge amount of meat products including, beef, lamb, poultry, pork, organ meat, fish, and seafood.
Our bodies need protein, and meat is the most abundant source of it. Meat is the most valuable source of complete protein and eating enough protein and fat will provide the basis for your fat loss.
Try to focus on moderate to high animal protein. Your body craves it, and your waistline will surely thank you. Always stick to quality meat when making decisions on what to pick and buy.
2. Eggs Away!
Eat many eggs, especially egg yolks.
Do not worry about the saturated fat myth, hence the ‘myth’ word. Eggs are especially important for paleo-vegetarians who want to gain more muscle and lose fat during the process.
3. Eat Your Leafy Greens!
Eat lots of vegetables, and by lots, I do not mean in large amounts what I mean is learn to eat different kinds of vegetables.
Discover and experience the different varieties of vegetables out there and here are a few: broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, carrots, bok choy, tomatoes, cucumbers, watercress, spinach, kale, yellow squash, zucchini, beets, turnips, parsnips and a whole lot more.
You can cook vegetables in a lot of ways so that you do not get bored eating them. Sauté them, roast them, bake them, steam them, or fry them in coconut oil or in an Indian curry; it really does not matter but always remember not to overcook them as in decrease the nutrient concentration. Eat as many and as much fresh or frozen vegetables as you want.
The more organic and fresh the better and vegetables can be eaten raw or cooked. It does not matter, just eat it!
4. Yes To Oils!
There are things such as good oils and so use them more often and abundantly.
These good oils include coconut oil, palm, avocado, sesame, grapeseed, and olive oil.
Avoid corn, cottonseed, peanut, soybean, rice bran, and wheat germ oils. Avoid any foods made with these oils though (yes, that means in foods like chips, and mayo…whether it is organic or not).
5. Healthy Fats?!
Eat healthy fats, such as animal fat (lard, tallow, bacon fat), ghee, olive oil for salads, coconut oil for cooking. Avocados, macadamias, almonds, hazelnuts and cashews are also very good sources of healthy fats.
Animal fat itself can be very healthy but also remember that most toxins in animal products concentrate in the fatty portion of the meat and so, make your choice depending on the quality of the meat you can access.
If you have a good access to 100% grass fed organic cuts then be my guess and eat as much fat as you like; if you only have access to industrially grown, conventional meat (common meat sold in groceries and supermarkets) then just go for the leanest cut possible just to be on the safe side.
6. Just The Right Amount Of Fruit
Eat moderate amounts of fruits. Just the right amount of fruits is enough because too many fruits mean too much sugar in your system. And while you are at it, focus more on berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries.
7. I Am Nuts!
According to the paleo ideology, if you can find it in nature, you can eat it.
So cashews, pecans, almonds, walnuts, and the like are okay to consume plus they have essential oils, fats, and proteins that are good for you. But keep them to a minimum. The idea behind of not having too many nuts is that they contain phytic acid which interferes with enzymes we need to digest our food.
So always remember to consume them in moderation, because if you eat them a lot, it can lead to mineral deficiencies in your body such as osteoporosis.
Now that you have a general idea on what food to avoid and some few reminders on the do’s and don't's we can now start following the 7-day Paleo diet. There are a lot of ways to arrange your meal plan in a week for a proper Paleo diet, but the end goal will always be the same.
The 7-day Paleo Diet
What I put here is a one week Paleo diet sample of my own which I based from my personal research and studies found on the internet.
Paleo omelet or two semi soft-boiled eggs mixed in a salad
Some spinach and cherry
Green apple for dessert
Big vegetable salad
Your favorite protein meat source
Some unsalted nuts
Almond butter or macadamia nuts
Slow cooker pulled pork
Sandwich with bell pepper slices instead of bread or Chicken soup
Vegetable side salad
Sun-dried tomato bacon wrapped meatloaf or Salmon (baked)
What I learned from the Paleo diet so far is that when it comes to portion control during meals, you can just go and eat whenever you want to. Do not be afraid to try on new recipes and procedures, or experience new foods including healthy dietary fats, fermented foods, and naturally umami-rich ingredients.
The Paleo diet may feel restrictive at first, but if you keep an open mind and have a curious personality, you will soon find out for yourself that this way of eating may open a whole new world of an infinite variety of food, flavors, and nourishment to you.
But in the event that you are planning on cutting out some weight then I suggest that you limit your intake of nuts and berries to control the sugar and oil your body takes in.
Is Time A Factor?
Time is not really a factor either when it comes to the paleo diet; eat when you are hungry and do not eat when you do not feel like it.
You will have days where you go all day with no food and sometimes days where you eat every few hours. That is just normal. Just do what feels natural just like the good old cavemen days. There may even be times where you get the urge to have a cheat day. Remember, it is normal and okay to have one every once in awhile.
Just remember that cheating doesn’t mean to go out and eat everything you see and get your hands on. It does not mean that you can just suddenly go on a binge eating spree. You can eat non-Paleo foods from time to time, but always try to keep it under control. I suggest you save those certain moments for when you attend parties or holidays, family reunions, social gatherings and other special occasions.
No matter what diet you try, it will always be up to you on how you approach it. A diet usually requires proper discipline and consistency.
Paleo diet, among all of the diet meal plans I have encountered, is one of the most unique ones. It focuses on improving our body’s metabolic rate while basing on a more past time line when we people were hunters and gatherers compared to other fad diets that are more futuristic or advanced.
Paleo diet is also unique in its own way because it does not give a restriction on our portion control, unlike most diets where you basically have a strict amount of food to be eaten and should even be computed or measured.
Of course, Paleo diet has its own advantages and disadvantages. I do not think there is a known diet which can change your health in just one night. You can try a lot of different things and even put your own personal twist in it but in whatever you try to decide one of the most important things to remember is that you should always try to enjoy it.
Try to always be enthusiastic about it and keep finding ways to keep your interest. There will always be limitations no matter what diet plan you try; you just have to find the right one that fits your preferred lifestyle. Diet can also be considered as a way of one’s life.
Hey there! I’m hoping that you find this article to be entertaining to read. Have you tried Paleo Diet? Did you succeed? If yes, care to share to us how you did it and if no, what were the challenges you faced? What foods did you include in your Paleo Diet? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Share this article if you find it helpful so we can guide others too. Cheers!