Have you heard of the Paleo diet and want to give it a shot? Or are you already a perfect Paleo looking for more ideas?
Welcome to the second of several more to come Menu Challenges! I do not believe that one diet is right for everybody, but I do believe that there is one right diet for everybody. See the difference there? Just because it’s good for you, does not mean it’s good for me and visa versa – but it could be life changing for either of us! And how will you know the right diet for you if you don’t try? That’s the entire premise of this series of menu plan challenges I plan to release over the next few months.
A little back story on the Menu Plan Challenges
We started last month with the Gluten Free Menu Challenge. We had a lot of interest and a lot of successes. People learned that they felt better if they removed gluten containing grains from their diet or if they didn’t. But now they know. Now we move onto the Paleo diet, which is particularly interesting to me because I am no expert in this diet what-so-ever. I purchased the The Paleo Diet for Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance years ago, but for whatever reason, never incorporated the diet into my lifestyle (honestly, I just don’t like to eat this many animals). Now that I have access to these amazing RD approved Meal Plans, I figured this was a good opportunity to get into the nitty gritty of the diet.
The Paleo Meal Plan Challenge in a Nutshell
- 28 days of RD approved menu plans so you know exactly what you CAN eat
- 28 days of healthy and balanced menu plans to avoid any nutritional deficiencies
- Weekly shopping lists that making shopping quicker and complete
- A weekly tracker that allows you to track and understand how your body is responding
- A quick tip sheet with the do’s and don’ts of Paleo living
- You have two calorie levels to pick from 1500 and 2000
- The full 4 week challenge is reasonably priced at just $28.00!
- Or you can try just one week for $7.97!
What you’ll learn if you read this entire post
- What is the Paleo Diet?
- Proposed Benefits of a Paleo Diet
- Potential Drawbacks of the Paleo Diet
- How the Paleo Meal Plan Challenge Works
- What Happens After The Paleo Meal Plan Challenge Is Over?
Or you can purchase your Paleo Meal Plan Challenge NOW!
What is the Paleo Diet?
The Paleo Diet is also known as the Caveman Diet, Hunter-Gather or Primal diet. The idea is that you’re eating what our ancestors did back in the day. If you couldn’t kill it, yank it out of the ground or pick it off of a bush or tree and and eat it, it’s off limits. The diet recommends unlimited consumption of lean meats, eggs, seafood, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils and nuts. This means anything that requires processing is off limits; grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, beans, added sugar or salt, essentially anything that comes in a box, jar, package or bottle. It is estimated that about 35% of the calories are from carbohydrate, 35% fat and 30% protein and just over half of your total calories will come from animal products.
Proposed Benefits of the Paleo Diet
“By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being,” says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University and author of The Paleo Diet. —ABC News, Is the Paleo Diet Right For You
Loren also states that it will help manage blood sugar levels, ensure a healthy ratio of saturate/unsaturated fats, and increase vitamin and mineral consumption. All of these benefits should lead to leaner body and decrease occurrence of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other health problems.
While the premise makes sense, the studies don’t necessarily back it up. And back to my original theory of what’s right for you may not be right for me… But the process of eating raw, whole foods in their purest form and eliminating any and all processed foods and alcohol is a no brainer when it comes to health and wellness. They say weight loss should never be the real reason you start the Paleo Diet, as Paleo is more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle, but it will most certainly be a side effect.
Another huge benefit is that there is no calorie counting or weighing or measuring involved. And the increased focus on fresh fruits and vegetables which are full of fiber, you will feel satisfied. When processed foods, grains and dairy are off the table and animal protein is your only other option, you are bound to fall in love with fresh fruits and veggie dishes to add variety to your day. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption comes with a ton of vitamins, minerals and oh so important phytochemicals.
Potential Drawbacks of Paleo Menu Plans
The largest concern is the large amount of restriction making it a difficult lifestyle to adopt 100%. Eating a lot of fresh, organic produce and grass fed animal products can also increase your grocery bill. And when diets are super restrictive, it can be easy to fall out of macronutrient alignment and you can easily consume too much protein or saturated fat based on your choices. This is another really important reason why I like these RD designed and approved Meal Plans. Not only do you get variety, you also know you’re set and getting the right balance of nutrients. And there is also concern about eliminating whole grains and dairy products as they contain important vitamins and minerals essential for optimal performance.
“Every fad diet thinks it has discovered the root of all evil,” says Dr. Ochner. But nutrients in legumes, whole grains, and dairy—all of which are forbidden on the Paleo diet—can help to lower the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, reduce blood pressure, and promote a healthy weight, he says. Cutting dairy, the primary source of calcium and vitamin D in modern diets, is especially worrisome for women who want to avoid osteoporosis. —ABC News, Is the Paleo Diet Right For You
Paleo is more than a Diet, it’s a Lifestyle
While I know very little of this lifestyle from a personal perspective, my professional experience has tough me two things. First, fitness is a huge part of the Paleo Lifestyle, and Cross-Fit gyms across the nation stand strongly behind it. If you’re planning on adoption the diet, ensure fitness is a part of it as well. There also seems to be a HUGE community of support around the adoption of this lifestyle so newbies can find support groups of FaceBook everywhere and bloggers are posting more and more creative Paleo Friendly recipes (myself included).
How the Paleo Meal Plan Challenge Works
- You make a commitment to yourself that you’re going to try this. You are going to commit to the Paleo Lifestyle for 4 full weeks and pay attention to how you feel, sleep, what your energy is like and so on.
- You join the Paleo Meal Plan challenge by purchasing the menu plan right for you. Most people will be ok with 1500 calories. If that sounds too light, go with 2000. (this is your decision and you are 100% responsible for it).
- You will immediately receive an email with 4 weeks of menus, shopping lists, do’s and don’ts tips and a printable journal to track how you’re feeling throughout the challenge.
- You follow your menu making swaps when necessary, but you follow the basic rules of the diet.
- It’s ok to eat out, just follow the rules of your menu plan when you are in or out of your kitchen. You’ll find you can still enjoy dinner at many of your favorite restaurants — you just need to be mindful of all the ingredients used.
What Happens After The Paleo Menu Plan Challenge Is Over?
This is the BEST part!! You know if you feel better when you follow the Paleo diet! You now know if it’s worth the trouble to stick with it from here on out. You’re also an expert now on how to shop, prepare and eat paleo meals because you just did it for 28 straight days. You made it through the tough stuff and you’ve already put in some serious work towards building healthier habits!