Sunday, 6 April 2014

Reaffirmation of the diet from the paleo blog

01:16 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
Living a Paleo lifestyle means eating foods that our bodies recognize as food—foods that are as close to their natural state as possible. It means eating foods that were generally available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, not processed and packaged in a laboratory. You’ve heard people say, “If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, don’t eat it!” Pretty good advice. Unfortunately, though, our food has been adulterated for centuries, and looking to Grandma just doesn’t go back far enough.

paleo blog

Here are some basic guidelines for eating Paleo:

  • Enjoy grass-fed, pastured meats and wild-caught fish and seafood.
  • Enjoy healthy, natural fats such as coconut oil, avocado, tallow, lard, and duck fat.
  • Enjoy lots of organic veggies.
  • Enjoy organic fruits, but not too many.
  • Enjoy nuts and seeds in moderation.
  • Avoid grains, legumes, soy, vegetable oils, refined sugars, artificial colors and sweeteners, and highly processed foods.
  • Consume grass-fed dairy in moderation and only if your body can tolerate it. It’s best to avoid dairy if you have an autoimmune disease or are trying to lose weight.
  • Use natural sweeteners such as raw, organic honey, pure, organic maple syrup, coconut nectar, coconut sugar (also known as coconut crystals or palm sugar), and maple sugar in moderation. It’s best to avoid sweeteners if you’re trying to lose weight.

If you are just starting to learn about this whole Paleo thing, I encourage you to research beyond the basic principles I’ve outlined here and in my paleo blog. In order to fully appreciate the journey you’re about to begin, it is vitally important that you learn the science—the “why”—behind the Paleo diet and really understand what modern foods do inside the body. Without knowing the “why” of Paleo, it will be just another diet that feels restrictive. You must want to eat to be healthy, not to be a size two!

There is an abundance of great information available to help you learn more about the Paleo lifestyle. Read, read, and read some more. Knowledge is power when it comes to your body and your health. Don’t go through life knowing more about the functions of your iPhone than about the functions of your body.

The thing I love most about Paleo is that it isn’t just a diet, but a lifestyle. I know, I know, you’ve heard that before, right? But it truly is! Absorb yourself in the Paleo community long enough, and first you’ll hear a lot about food's to eat and foods to avoid, which is what makes you feel amazing initially. But then you’ll see that it’s really about simplifying your life to make time for food and family, reducing stress, sleeping well in a dark room (not with the neighbor’s porch light glaring in your face), lifting heavy things (properly), and playing. Yes, playing! And the best part is, you get to do it all the time. Every day! Not just for the first few weeks, and then go right back to your stressed, sleep-deprived self.

How does Paleo work in the modern world, you ask? By simplifying, simplifying, simplifying! Our world is stressful and hectic because, when it comes down to it, we choose for it to be that way. We choose the stressful job. Or we choose to stay in the stressful job because we have chosen the nice car and the too-big house. We choose to do ten million activities for the family, and we choose what groceries we buy and what we stuff into our mouths.

So what’s the first step? Choose to simplify! From reducing work hours to decluttering your home, choose to take away the layers that don’t matter so that you can get to the gooey, delicious center of life—the good stuff like playing with your kids, cooking a meal together, or having dinner outside on a blanket and not in front of the TV. You’ll be amazed at the feeling of weight being lifted off of your shoulders when you choose to simplify.

Stocking your paleo kitchen…

When buying your paleo diet grocery list items, look for organic products in BPA-free cans or glass containers. This list isn’t all-inclusive by any means, but it’s a great place to start in turning your SAD kitchen into a Paleo powerhouse!


  •  almond flour (not meal)
  •  arrowroot starch
  •  baking powder
  •  baking soda
  •  cocoa powder
  •  coconut butter
  •  coconut flour
  •  coconut milk ( full fat with no carrageenan)
  •  coconut oil, virgin (tastes like coconut) and refined (doesn’t taste like coconut)
  •  nuts and seeds
  •  olive oil
  •  parchment paper
  •  pure almond extract
  •  pure maple syrup
  • pure vanilla extract
  •  raw honey
  •  tapioca starch
  •  tomatoes (diced, paste, sauce)
  •  tuna, salmon, crab, etc.
  •  vinegars (balsamic, coconut, raw apple cider, red wine, white wine)

Spice rack:

  •  allspice
  •  basil
  •  bay leaves
  •  black peppercorns (buy a grinder)
  •  cardamom
  •  chili powder
  •  chipotle chili powder
  •  cinnamon
  •  coriander
  •  cumin
  •  dill
  •  granulated garlic
  •  granulated onion
  •  ground mustard
  •  Italian seasoning
  •  marjoram
  •  nutmeg
  •  oregano
  •  paprika
  •  rosemary (ground)
  •  sea salt (Celtic, pink Himalayan, Real Salt)
  •  smoked paprika
  •  thyme
  •  turmeric


  •  coconut aminos
  •  duck fat
  •  farm-fresh eggs
  •  fermented foods (kraut, kimchee, etc.)
  •  fish sauce
  •  fish and seafood
  •  fruits
  • ghee
  •  lard
  •  meats
  •  tallow
  •  vegetables


The first time you try a recipe from this paleo blog, I recommend that you make it as-is, with no substitutions of any kind, so you know what the end result should be. If you change multiple ingredients, the recipe is no longer the same, and the result may be less than great. Of course, once you’re comfortable with a recipe, I encourage you to play and tweak the ingredients to suit your tastes.


The recipes on this paleo blog do not call for dairy ingredients, but if you prefer, you can use butter in place of coconut oil with good but varying results. For example, cookies may spread more if you use butter. In place of coconut milk, you can use full-fat, unpasteurized, organic milk or unsweetened almond milk if you prefer.


Because ingredients in Paleo baking are so minimal and contain no gluten from wheat flour or gums used in traditional gluten-free baking, I don’t yet have a simple replacement for eggs. As I discover new solutions, I will add them to my paleo blog,so be sure to check back often. With experimentation I have found some success replacing eggs with a flax “gel” or applesauce in certain recipes. I have noted the substitution in the ingredient list in those recipes.


Most of recipes on this paleo blog use coconut oil, but some call for olive oil or organic palm shortening. You can substitute walnut oil or butter for the coconut oil or olive oil, and butter for the palm shortening with good, but slightly varying, results.


For recipes using almond flour, you can substitute another finely ground nut or seed flour, but not almond meal. In my paleo blog often use finely ground raw sunflower seeds as a replacement for almond flour with exceptional results. But keep in mind that alternative flours must be very finely ground, which generally can be achieved only commercially or in a high-speed blender such as a VitaMix or BlendTec. Replacing a finely ground almond flour with a coarse flour or meal will not yield the same results.


In this paleo blog, I use pure organic maple syrup in most of my recipes because I love the flavor and the fact that it’s lower in fructose than honey. However, I use raw, organic honey occasionally, and it’s a great substitution. Studies say that the fructose in honey may be metabolized differently in our bodies than processed fructose such as high-fructose corn syrup. For any of the recipes in this book, you can use pure maple syrup, raw, organic honey, and coconut nectar interchangeably. In recipes that call for coconut sugar (also known as palm sugar or coconut crystals), the dry form, you can substitute maple sugar.