Sunday, October 25, 2009

How's it going with Paleo?

I am totally, 100% into the whole Paleo lifestyle and have decided to incorporate it into my life on a daily basis. Although it may seem limiting in some ways, the health and physical benefits (digestion, leanness, and overall feeling of well being) seem to outweigh the sense of deprivation that may be experienced in the beginning. I have found alternatives to a few of my normal meal staples (using "Nutty" Bread instead of Ezekiel Bread with my morning eggs, pureed root vegetables in place of lentils to pair with a perfectly grilled piece of fish, and coconut milk instead of cow's milk when I decide to drink coffee). With that being said, I have become aware of a few areas that I could make changes to in order to increase the health benefits of such a lifestyle:

1. I should decrease my egg consumption to less than 6 per week. I currently eat 10-14...yikes! I will begin eating one egg plus one egg white, in order to reduce my fat intake while still benefiting from their nutritional value.

2. I eat a lot of fruit. Yes, fruit is good, as it contains fiber, vitamins, and a lot of good stuff, but fruit also contains a lot of natural sugar. I will continue to eat fruit, but will begin to incorporate more vegetables into my daily meals, rather than fruit.

3. My lunches don't always, or don't usually, consist of a protein. I will make more of an effort to include a protein of some sort (likely fish) into my lunches.

And now, something that I learned from Loren Cordain's The Paleo Diet, in the past few days:

Best-Good Oils:
1. Flaxseed Oil
2. Canola Oil
3. Mustard Seed Oil
4. Walnut Oil
5. Olive Oil
6. Avocado Oil

I was surprised to learn that canola oil was second on this list, for it's high levels of Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio. I will continue to omit canola oil from my diet.

I use mostly organic, cold-press, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), Olive Oil, Coconut, and Virgin Coconut Oils in my cooking but have recently begun incorporating walnut oil and avocado oil, as well (mostly in salad dressings/vinaigrettes).

And, speaking of oil...I take one spoonful of Carlson's Norwegian Fish Oil (has a nice lemony flavor and absolutely no "fish burps"), and also try to add freshly ground flaxseed when possible (to smoothies or in my homemade muffins) daily, to increase my Omega-3 intake.

So, with that being said, I will continue to live a Paleo-lifestyle. What does this mean for me? I will eat Paleo on a daily basis and will weigh the costs-benefits of eating or drinking something that doesn't fit within these guidelines (i.e. beer, wine, a really sumptuous dessert, something cooked in butter, if I'm out to eat or at a friend's house...). You get it. I will eat Paleo, I will document my eating, and I will drink and/or eat outside of what may be considered acceptable, from time to time...and, I'm sure I will suffer the digestive consequences of such decisions...and, there you have it...


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