“So what can we eat?” Many of you who eat with a primal/paleo focus, having people around you, knowing you do things differently have probably been asked this question at some point. I have many times. My personal FB account, Primal Activity FB page & Twitter message boxes have questions as above and more a few times per week. It comes about from what I do in my fitness life. I have a professional presence within a large group fitness company and many get to see my mug on the occasional educational DVD so when I blurt out that the standard western diet is 1) not what we have evolved to eat 2) no good for health yet at times an assistant to fitness 3) is making us all sick, the questions start to trickle in:)
A couple of weeks ago I posted a somewhat general list of what to avoid when you decide to dip your toe in to a primal/paleo pool of better health. For this post I’m going to list what I eat in a basic order that I feel will make the most sense.
Let me say up front that as someone who is very active, who has a job based in & around the fitness industry and who is also a road cycling tragic, I do not force myself to eat. I eat when I’m hungry and my past couple of years eating this way has been the easiest two years when it comes to doing just that.
Meats: beef, veal, lamb, pork, chicken, kangaroo
bacon, sausages (gluten-free) speck, prosciutto, shaved ham, chorizo, jerky.
I look to purchase grass-fed and free-range protein where possible. At times it can be difficult though with many farmers markets popping up and savvy shop owners realising there is a growing demand, it’s getting easier.
Seafoods: salmon, tuna, calamari, perch, swordfish, barramundi. even the odd grilled flake from the local fish and chip shop
Im not a massive fan of seafood but I do enjoy what I like
Eggs: fried, scrambled, omelette, frittata, poached, boiled.
A stand alone food for me and at any time during the day.
Veg & Fruit: capsicum (peppers), lettuce, carrots, sweat potato, potato, avocado, tomato, pumpkin, onions, beets, zucchini, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, squash, chilies, green beans, garlic, bananas, apples, grapes, strawberries, celery, gherkins, mixed berries
Seasonal F & V are my focus. Top heavy with Veg and I generally only eat fruit when I’m in training mode.
Generally if eating out. Smaller quantities than in years past. More from not wanting rather than consciously thinking of reducing. I don’t care if its white or brown, boiled, steamed fried or whatever.
Dairy: Hard cheeses though not often. Goats cheese. Full fat feta. Milk in tea and I do enjoy a glass of milk with real cocoa as a recovery drink post workout. The occasional heavy natural or Greek yogurt with berries and nuts.
I was a heavy consumer of dairy. Loved it. If i had to place a % on how much I’ve cut back I place it near 80%.
Fats and Oils: Cook in ghee, duck fat, pork fat, coconut oil, some butter, olive oil but no high heat. Avocado oil.
Not a vege oil in sight
Nuts: Non salted mixed nuts. Love brazil, walnuts, almonds, pecan, pistachios.
No peanuts or cashews
Cooking staples: Almond flour, desiccated coconut, baking soda, salt, pepper, spices (so many)
Chocolate: 85% or above is the only way to go.
Fluids: Water out of the tap, Sparkling water that comes out of the ground with bubbles:) San Pellegrino, Santa Vittoria, coffee, long black (maybe with a dash of cream or the occasional Mocha with real cocoa – no syrup) Tea with a dash of dairy milk. Coconut milk and cream are now a must have.
So there you have it. This is pretty much what is on my shopping list. Its easy and the choice it provides is more than enough for this primal guy. At no time do I have “I miss” or “I wish” moments in regards to food. I eat this way 90% of the time and that allows me 1 in 10 meals to drift away slightly…. And I’m fine with that.
Tags: blogs, food, low carb, nutrition, Paleo, primal, science
Hi peeps. The Primal Activity Facebook page has been growing at a rapid rate in only the last week or so. My want is to be somewhat of a portal for all things I see and feel are relevant to the primal/paleo/low carb way.
Nutrition, Fitness, Science, Food recipes, Blog recommendations & reviews, Articles of interest, Books that make you go hmm and a heap of pictures from the best Bacon & eggs #Beggs to inspirational posters. I hope to wrap it all up with a good dose of opinion and I do hope you all find my Australian sense of humour and occasional Aussie slang easy to grasp:)
Tags: food, nutrition, Paleo, primal, recipes, t shirts
When this started for me I had an amazing, beautiful partner who I was crazy in love with. She had a developing interest in ancestral health and evolutionary medicine and after reading Gary Taubes, Good Calories-Bad Calories (The Diet Delusion here in Oz) She basically went quiet for about two weeks. She was also a medical student who was only a couple of years away from becoming a doctor. She is now just that. I would like to think my gentle nudge was if not the catalyst, at least a catalyst for her starting her own blog. It does ok in the primal/paleo world:) We are no longer together but I will pass thanks for the inspiration that had me start my own blog in private mode earlier this year.
As I started to become interested in what she began to talk about my natural curiosity had me asking questions. Some she would answer from the conventional wisdom handbook, almost by default (maybe the first 2 years of med school was sinking in). Others would start in one direction before another new realisation would change her thoughts and statements midstream. Its was great to see her thinking and talking.
With my work within the fitness industry I had more than just an interest as a nosy boyfriend. My life as a quality club level cyclist, staff member of a national cycling team in years past and working as a fitness instructor, at an international level, with the Worlds largest provider of group fitness programs were all reasons I had to follow the carrot like a donkey in a medieval factory.
From our early conversations the thing that became obvious in my mind was that this ‘primal/paleo thingy’ was more about what not to eat rather than what we do put in our mouths.
This is what this post is about. What you should limit if not avoid. What NOT to eat!
Sugars come in so many forms and are generally processed if not highly so. Fruit is not frowned upon as the fiber content and delivery system is as nature intended. In saying that: if someone is heavily overweight, go easy on the fruit:) Seasonality is an issue in modern society with most fruits available 24/7 – 365
Me? I avoid processed foods as just about every bloody one of them has sugar in some form added. I do eat some fruit & look for it being in season.
Many different takes on this one. White potato seems to be a no-no where the sweet potato is smiled upon in limited amounts. Yams and Cassava are to be avoided and beets get thrown in there too. As with fruit, if weight loss is a goal, too many tubers may be a limiter to that endeavor.
Me? I enjoy sweet potato or when in New Zealand Kumara. Much less white potato than I previously did. Cooked baby beets occasionally find their way into the odd salad.
Wheat, Barley, Oats, Millet, Rice, Buckwheat, Quinoa and just about any other grain you can think of.
Me? I have a small amount of rice if I choose to eat out with a Thai, Japanese or Chinese meal though in much smaller quantities than in times past.
milk, butter, cream, cheese,yogurt, ice cream.
Me? A dash of milk in tea though rarely. I used to cook in butter but have stopped and now use coconut oil, ghee, duck fat. Occasional cream in coffee if at a cafe. No more yogurt and the rare hard cheese.
Processed meats or sausages with flour and additives are the main ones to avoid. Meat is about knowing the source and the method used. Some go as far as non-farmed fish.
Me? I do enjoy a quality gluten-free sausage and I look for grass-fed meats (Beef, Lamb, Pork, Kangaroo here in Australia) Quality bacon only. I also enjoy a variety of seafood.
Sunflower, Canola, Corn, Peanut, Soybean, Rice bran. Pretty much all seed based oils and for some, still to be explained name: “vegetable oils”.. All highly processed oils.
Me? I do not go near any of them. Bad oil. Bad fats. Stay away!
Not a big deal from what you see and read around. Nutritional dogma still influences a reaction to salt. Think about the added salt and note that with a paleo/primal diet, the “salt to taste” will, from my experience, require less of it.
Peanuts, Beans, Peas
Me? I do not eat peanuts and I have never enjoyed peas but I do still enjoy freshly cooked beans though again in smaller quantities than previously eaten.
Not much here outside of vinegar though the stance on this is varied.
Me? Love a splash of Balsamic on a seasonal salad.
So there you have it. I will do a post soon with whats left in the basket:) Believe me it is plenty!
Feel free to ask questions or leave a comment.
Luvyawork and Thanks Anastasia.
This is a great place to start. Seriously! Bill & Hayley have done the hard work for you. There are some little issues with certain ingredients depending on what part of the world you live in (I’m in Australia) though as your knowledge grows so does your ability to source alternatives that don’t compromise the benefits of what you are cooking, making, eating and enjoying.
What I constantly enjoy is the process of finding the new and creating food that looks real, smells like food and tastes fantastic. And the kids will love it. Instinctively!
These two and this book was the start for me. Maybe it could be your start too.
Conventional Wisdom. hmm. Thrown around within the nutritional world like goo-goo gah-gah at a baby day care. Lets simply have a look at the meaning of these two words and see what comes out in the wash….