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There have been many diets, but there is only one that will truly make you and keep you healthy. Let me introduce you to the Paleo Diet. It’s a new way to eat for a healthier life. Yes, there is an added benefit of losing weight. But it will also make you healthier by giving you more energy and better brain function.
In this post I will start with how I was introduced to this diet. Then I will give you some history of our ancestors. They had a very specific diet for millions of years. We evolved living on this unique diet of food. Straying from it has made us fat and sometimes sick. Lastly, I will talk about the man who came up with the Paleo Diet.
How I got introduced to Paleo.
I was researching recipes for facial washes and shampoos when I came across a website where a lady was talking about her Paleo Journey. Sylvie from HollywoodHomestead.com had been taking several medications because of health problems when she started Paleo.
Not only did it remove the need for all of her medications, it also helped her in unexpected ways; she lost 65 pounds, she stopped getting cavities, her teeth stopped being translucent, the circles under her eyes went away and her level of energy increased greatly.
I was really intrigued. I did some research to see what it included and excluded. As I was looking through a very long list, I found myself looking for chocolate. It was the one thing that I was not willing to give up.
Yay! Chocolate was on the list, so I knew this was something I could try.
Though, it did seem a bit daunting. I decided to give myself a month to ease into it; a transitional month. I will go into more details in my next post, “My One Month Transition to Paleo.”
What is Paleo?
Paleo is short of Paleolithic. The Paleolithic Era was a period that lasted 2.5 million years and ended about 10,000 years ago. In that span of time our ancestors were only eating certain foods. As they were hunter-gathers, they were only eating meat when they could, and eating nuts, fruits and some vegetables when meat was scares.
…and when I say only eating meat, I mean they were gutting that animal and eating it raw. They did not serve it with vegetables. They would also utilize the inside of the bones. Yep. There are good nutrients inside those bones to be had. Eskimos are known to this day to hunt a whale and eat it raw. No sides.
Anyway, this limited diet was mostly because they were unaware of the other foods like grains. These unknown foods were hiding in what looked like weeds. Other foods like potatoes and peanuts that were buried because they were root foods.
You have probably already guessed what changed. Agriculture.
When our ancestors finally discovered grains, they started working the land to grow more grains. This led them to the discovery of the hidden treasures below, e.g. potatoes and peanuts. It was the development of agriculture that changed everything. The higher quantity of calories increased our energy to do more physical labor. This also fueled our population surge to over 7 billion. Unfortunately, this brings us up-to-date with the industrial age that has brought us pollution and laziness.
We really don’t need all of these calories anymore since we have machines to do so much for us.
There are many foods and added chemicals today that were not part of those 2.5 million years’ worth of evolution. Not only has our metabolism not adjusted yet, but we are allergic to some of them.
Gluten is one that some people are allergic to. We are seeing more and more products in stores that are gluten-free.
Dairy is another offender with people getting diagnosed as being lactose intolerant. There are many dairy free options in stores today.
Processed and refined foods are usually high in calories and usually contain trans fat and harsh added chemicals. We have a hard time metabolizing these elements, which can cause degenerative diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, to name a few. The list keeps growing.
The Paleo Diet is also called the caveman diet, primal diet and the carnivore diet.
How Did the Paleo Diet Start?
Dr. Walter L. Voegtlin was the first known doctor to come up with the notion that maybe evolution was to blame for the diseases and illnesses that people were having.
In 1975 he published a book called “The Stone Age Diet”. He explains that there are benefits associated with this high protein,low carbohydrate diet of our ancestors.
I don’t think this book is in print anymore. But there is a digital copy at openlibrary.org.
In an article by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD, “Caveman Cuisine,” they wrote “Dr. Walter L Voegtlin argues for the high fat model in his book “The Stone Age Diet”, published in 1975. Humans are carnivorous animals he asserts, and the Stone Age diet was that of a carnivore-chiefly fats and protein, with only small amounts of carbohydrates. He notes that like the carnivorous dog, man has canine teeth, ridged molars and incisors in both jaws. His jaw is designed for crushing and tearing, and moves in vertical motions. Mastication of his food is unnecessary and he does not ruminate. His stomach holds two quarts, empties in three hours, rests between meals, lacks bacteria and protozoa, secretes large quantities of hydrochloric acid and does not digest cellulose. His digestive tract is short relative to body length, his cecum is nonfunctional and his appendix vestigial. His rectum is small, contains putrefactive bacterial flora and does not contribute to the digestive process. The volume of feces is small; digestive efficiency borders on 100%; his gall bladder is active and well-developed. Both the dog and man feed intermittently and can survive without a stomach or colon.”
I don’t know about you, but I was lingering on “survive without a stomach”. There have been known cases of cancer survivors to live after they had their stomachs removed. We survive because our stomach is more like a reservoir that holds food as it waits to slowly enter the intestine. You can survive like this by eating small amounts of food more frequently.
Okay, so now that I’ve filled your head with a lot of facts, let’s get started. My next post will be “What’s on & off the Paleo list.”
Do you have any favorite diets? Did they make you more energetic or helped your brain functions? Let me know in the comments section below.
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