Sunday, June 9, 2013

Almost Paleo

I have decided to describe myself as Almost Paleo

When I started A Wheat Free Life I was committed to not eating wheat again. I still am, but since following the Whole 30 and then starting the reintroductions, I have realised that my diet is going to be much more that Wheat Free. I have learned that dairy also saps my energy, that rice is hard on my digestive system, and that even the smallest amount of refined sugar disrupts my sleep and makes me feel totally wired. I haven't really reintroduced may grains or legumes yet, but I am hoping that I will be able to include a few things like quinoa, oats and chick peas  occasionally as I love them all. 


I chose Almost Paleo for several reasons;


Firstly, there seems to be several differing opinions about what is and what is not allowed on a Paleo Diet. Many people say you shouldn't eat sweet fruits, like bananas for example, yet Paleo Pancakes, made from bananas, are a favourite high protein breakfast with many Paleo converts. Dairy is included in some lists but not in others. I am not really wanting to enter into the debate of what is and what is not allowed. I am happy to accept that there are differences and work out what's right for me. I think others could benefit from doing the same. Here are some examples of the different interpretations. You can see there is a general theme, but there are also differences.




from http://janeshealthykitchen.com


http://paleodiet-foodlist.com

Secondly, there are degrees to which you want to take this Paleo idea. I have read blogs of people who are really strictly adhering to a Paleo lifestyle. One person stated that he missed riding his bike for example - Paleo exercise would be walking, running, lifting etc. not cycling. I am Almost Paleo as I am not taking it that far. I enjoy living in a house with electricity and other conveniences, and also drive a car. I am simply taking the bits of Paleo that add to my quality of life, and that is the diet above all else (though I do walk a lot and enjoy running too!).

Thirdly there are a few foods that everyone agrees are not Paleo, such as rice, which I am hoping to include, in small amounts on infrequent occasions in my diet.

Fourthly, many folks out there seem to be following an 80:20 rule - where they are Paleo most of the time, but make exceptions. Eating out is hard of you are going to be strict. I plan on following a Paleo diet as much as I can as I feel better for it, but realistically this will not be 100% of the time.

Finally, I am new to this, so the Almost reflects my learning and striving towards a goal.

Another contender for the title was Veggie Goes Paleo, as I was indeed pretty much vegetarian for 27 years (due to the fact that I didn't really like meat). I and have been gradually introducing it training myself to eat it for almost four years now. That too is still a work in progress. 

Please note I am not a nutrition expert. I did study nutritional medicine at The Australian College of Natural Medicine for a while, but didn't complete the course for a number of reasons, like moving to the opposite side of the planet and having a baby! I hope to go back to it one day in the not too distant future, just as soon as I have the time and money and find a nearer institution that supports the blending of both the holistic and the scientific approach to knowing. I have maintained a keen interest in the subject though, and writing this blog is one way that I can keep that going in the interim. 


Also, please be aware that I am not an expert on the Paleo Diet or the Whole30. This blog is simply about my journey, which may be of interest and perhaps even helpful to others.


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