I’ve recently started incorporating a Paleo diet into my eating regime and I have a couple of questions for you as I know you’re a fan of the Paleo lifestyle…
Firstly – what’s the deal with potatoes? If Paleo is all about naturally sourced foods like meat, nuts, fruit and vegetables why don’t potatoes count? Surely they’re a natural food – so what’s the harm in some potato here and there?
Secondly – it seems to me the whole point of Paleo is to cut down on processed foods. But how do you square this with protein shakes and bars? When I read these labels they read like a chemistry lab! So do I need to stop taking supplements if I follow a Paleo diet? And if I lose these foods are there any alternatives I can switch to?
* In full disclosure this question is from Richard, my site producer. He’s heard me talk a lot about the Paleo plan lately and had a few questions of his own….
Okay Rich, you have some really great questions and make some seemingly valid points.
Yes you’re, the Paleo plan is lean meats, vegetables, nut, seeds and some fruit. How about we have a little history lesson? Paleo comes from the Paleolithic era in human evolution. For over 2 million years, many species including humans only ate the foods listed in the famous Paleo diet, also known as a caveman diet or stone-age diet.
The reason why potatoes as well as rice and beans aren’t included in the diet regime is because those foods weren’t available to our ancestors and didn’t become food sources until about 10,000 years ago during the agricultural revolution. So Paleo purists will argue that the human body didn’t develop, survive or thrive on a diet containing these newly harvested and grown foods. The theory is that human genetics haven’t changed since this period of time and that even modern humans excel when eating this basic diet. It kind of makes sense right?
Now, it seems hard to follow I know. The thought of not eating breads, grains, potatoes, rice and beans sounds insane! But it’s really not all that hard to follow after the first few days. And to be totally honest I use a version I call the Paleo Twist. What that means is that my diet is about 90% Paleo because on some days I may eat a little potato, a scoop of rice or gasp, I may even have a little corn or cheese! And I still use half and half in my coffee. The thing is that the Paleo plan works amazingly well and the variety of foods you can eat are actually quite large. So I don’t view it as a restricted plan, but one that allows me to eat foods like bacon and pork rinds. This type of diet keeps your blood sugar low and your body burns fat all day. You’ll experience stable energy levels and your sugar cravings will subside.
Now you ask about how I rectify protein shakes and bars. The truth is they don’t fit within the plan at all. But here again I’ll remind you of my “twist version’. Although there some bars that are made with ingredients that fit the plan, the protein content is generally low and they are usually fruit and nut bars. But I look at this way. Our Paleo ancestors didn’t have antibiotics or modern medicine, yet we use these in modern society. While I don’t drink milk or use milk products regularly (except half and half), I do use whey protein shakes. We KNOW that they’re beneficial for recovery and have properties that speed the healing of muscle tissue. And whey protein has also been shown to boost the immune system.
So there you have it. No matter how you look at it, the Paleo plan is a sound regimen. Even if you don’t want to fully commit to the plan and use the occasional grains, dairy and beans, you’ll still get amazing benefits and feel great. I highly suggest for you to try it.
All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer Fitness.com, is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician. No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website. Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.