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Caveman Craze!

Hey there happy reader!

Question: Have you ever heard of the Paleo Diet? Maybe you know it’s what your crazy athletic friends eat, or it’s this strict diet that doesn’t let you eat anything that you like. Well today I want to give you a look at what the Paleo Diet actually is and encourage you that you already eat Paleo! Let’s get started.

The Paleo Diet is based upon foods that were consumed in the Paleolithic, or Hunter-Gatherer, era. What you eat is simply lean meats, veggies, nuts/seeds, and fruits. Sounds pretty simple, huh? Let’s take a look at each food group separately.

First, lean meats are simply protein sources that contain more grams of protein than fat. Examples of lean meats include: turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, sirloin, steak filets, etc. We don’t include nuts or seeds as sources of lean protein because, although they do contain protein, they have more grams of fat than protein.

Now let’s talk vegetables. We encourage you to eat the broadest selection of locally grown organic, non-starchy vegetables. This would include: broccoli, asparagus, lettuces, tomatoes, celery, onions, sweet potatoes, peppers, brussels sprouts, artichokes, parsnips, cabbage, and all kinds of other delicious veggies. We avoid things like white potatoes and beans. Fruits are similar to veggies in the sense that we encourage consumption of a broad variety of whole fruits. However, we discourage consumption of fruit juices, concentrates or sauces as they contain all the sugars but not the fiber to help slow the absorption of those sugars into the blood stream.

Finally, nuts and seeds are not only excellent sources of healthy, dietary fats but they also contain minerals and vitamins. Other beneficial fats we love are coconut oil, coconut milk, olive oil, olives, nut butters, sesame oil, and ghee (clarified butter). Fats we avoid are vegetable oils, butter, cheeses, Crisco/lard, hydrogenated oils, and any chemically altered fats.

On the flip side, the Paleo Diet eliminates grains, dairy, legumes, sugars, processed foods, alcohols and starchy veggies. Now, I know it’s hard to get rid of all those items at one time, so I recommend you start eliminating them one at a time. It’s not easy because these foods are staples of our modern, agriculturally driven diets. Know, however, that these foods encourage inflammation, heart disease, obesity, hormonal disorders, and gastrointestinal disorders (to name a few). So make small changes towards eating a much cleaner, healthier diet and your body, and your waistline, will thank you!

Fun Uses for Coconut Oil:

  1. Use it as a moisturizer! It is 100% natural and super good for your skin. It also contains properties that make it a natural sunscreen (low spf so don’t use alone when at the beach).
  2. Use it whenever baking. It has a very high burn point (like 450 degrees) so I love using it to coat my muffin tins as it won’t burn like other oils.
  3. Spring allergies got you down? I make a tasty hot tea with coconut oil, local honey, and a freshly squeezed lemon to help fight off infections and allergies! The lemon provides loads of vitamin C and the local honey helps you fight those pesky allergies. Coconut oil is about 50% lauric acid which is a super immune booster!

Fun Summer Recipe:
From Multiply Delicious

Brussel Sprout, Kale, and Bacon Salad

  • 5 to 6 slices nitrate-free bacon
  • 1 pound brussel sprout, trimmed and shredded
  • 1 bunch of kale (about 3 cups), stems removed and shredded
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • Juice of ½ of lemon
  • Dash or two of red pepper flakes

Instructions:
In a large non-stick skillet cook bacon a few slices at a time until cooked through. Once cooked set aside on paper towel. Do not disregard the nice bacon grease you have in your skillet.
Heat the same skillet you cooked the bacon with (and still has the bacon grease) over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add shredded brussel sprouts and kale and continue to toss the two until it’s slightly wilted. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and red pepper flakes (to taste) and mix together.
Cut the cooked bacon into bite size pieces and add to the greens and toss to combine. Serve warm as a side dish and enjoy!
Serves 6

-Whitney Bateman

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