Paleo – older or ancient, especially relating to the geological past
What is the Paleo diet?
A diet where only food available to our ancient ancestors are eaten. The past hundreds of years have greatly changed the way we eat. We now consume large quantities of starch, grains, dairy due to massive commercialization. The Paleo diet just reverts us to be more in line with our pre-historic selves.
Guideline = Anything that is natural and unprocessed is allowed.
Our introduction to Paleo
We started trying out this diet about two years ago. Why? There was a paleo challenge going on in our crossfit gym and curiosity and the promise of big improvement to our workouts acted as the final tipping point.
I have to say, I do not regret doing this challenge and this diet. It was hard originally because my body craved processed sugar (cakes / pastry etc.) and artificial processed food. However, after the first couple of days, things started getting better. Whenever I am on this diet consistently for 2-3 months, I personally feel a significant improvement to my performance in the gym and my overall wellbeing.
Biggest change for this challenge
- No cheese -> No normal lasagne, No cheeseburgers
- No grain -> No noodles / Pasta / Bread / Rice -> Biggest challenge was no noodles and tofu for me (being a Singaporean)
- No dairy -> No milk, no cheese
- Nothing processed -> Potato chips / Corn chips / cup cakes / Fried rice / Instant noodles
Potato is a discussion point, we personally think it is ok to eat some of it. Its glycemic value is really high and for some can be a problem triggering the insulin reaction, but some carbs are good if you want to build muscle mass. During the challenge, we refrained from eating it. Afterwards, we slowly added potato back into our diet, but only eating it for our dinner, the final meal before we go to bed so that any sleepyness does not affect our day.
During the 30 day Paleo challenge, we even refrained from wine and coffee (black).
Our main diet during the challenge was really simple
- Tons of salad / stir fry vegetables / roasted vegetables
- Eggs / Grilled steak / Grilled chicken or chicken in crackpot / Minced beef chili / grilled fish
- Fruits and nuts
After the Paleo challenge, we consistently go onto this diet as much as we can because of how we feel. With practice, it makes it easy to turn down processed sugar and food.
Why do we stop doing this diet? Main reason is for convenience because current offering at restaurants do not always include Paleo selections and also whenever I am out with friends, it is difficult to participate at functions. Paleo is a way of life that requires some commitment with really huge payout.
The first book that I started reading to better understand Paleo is: The Paleo Solution from Robb Wolfe. We were definitely sceptic initially, but once we tried the challenge, we were sold!
This was the start of our lifestyle change.