Let me start off by stating that I only follow paleo eating, and not 100% eat strictly paleo. In this post, I want to talk about the plus side of a kinda-sorta paleo diet as well as discuss one of the real “side effects’ of it.
First of all, what is paleo?
The paleo diet consists of foods that can be hunted or fished like meat, organ meat and seafood and foods that can be gathered like eggs, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. Basically, the caveman diet, which you’d assume right away is a very boring way to nourish yourself. Now, I know there are a lot of other eating styles out there that would strongly disagree (vegans for one). I feel there is a pros and cons list to every eating preference.
I first looked into paleo eating last year after my previous roommate had commented on my breakfasts and how I consistently ate paleo. At this time I knew the name but not what it consisted of. So I asked my best friend, Google, what a paleo diet was and true enough, eating eggs, fresh bacon, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, and mushrooms all fell under the paleo way of life. I decided to look into this further and see what a full commitment would look like (and how would it fall into my grocery budget).
My roommate told me how she went paleo for a year. Just cold turkey changed her eating habits one day and fully committed to paleo. She spent hours grocery shopping just reading labels and making sure everything she bought was legit. She commented that as a whole she felt great with this eating choice, but did say the biggest downfall was when she started introducing none paleo foods back into her diet. Like bread.
She had unintentionally given herself a gluten intolerance.
The word gluten is a trigger word for me, and I could (and probably will) write a post about gluten but alas, I digress.
It’s been 3 years since she stopped eating paleo and to this day cannot eat regular bread.
So I guess the takeaway from this should be, if you like bread, don’t fully commit to being paleo.
What it means to follow Paleo
When I told my boyfriend I was going back to the paleo way of life he groaned and asked if he could opt out of our grocery trips because it would take too long. Of course, I said no, no one gets out of grocery shopping. Who will ensure I only have to make one trip from the car to the apartment?
An explanation though is that to me and how I choose to eat, is by shopping what my mom refers to as “the outer rim”. The outer rim starts at produce, goes to meats, dairy then frozen foods. This is how I shop, and 75% of the food you find on the outer rim is part of the paleo diet. The exceptions to this are bread/pastries and dairy, which is where I fall short on the paleo scale.
I personally like to have a slice of toast now and then with breakfast or if I just need a light snack. As well, I drink milk in my tea and enjoy greek yogurt. I feel bad for the caveman who didn’t get to experience honey Oikos yogurt.
Example of my trips around the rim
I just went grocery shopping the other day so I’ll list everything I bought and how much of it was paleo (excluding what I get for the kids)
- Apples (P)
- Bananas (P)
- Onions (P)
- Raspberries (P)
- Strawberries (P)
- Spaghetti squash (P)
- Sweet potatoes (P)
- Baby spinach (P)
- Mushrooms (P)
- Beef cubes (P)
- Extra lean ground beef (P)
- Chicken breast (P)
- Chicken bacon (P)
- Eggs (P)
- Skim milk (NP)
- Oikos yogurt (NP)
- Rice (NP)
- Couscous (NP)
- Rago pasta sauce (NP)
- Dark red kidney beans (P)
- Chickpeas (P)
- Frozen Brussel sprouts (P)
- Frozen green medley (broccoli, edamame, lima beans, spinach) (P)
As you can see, most of what I bought would be found around the outer rim, excluding the canned items and grains. This wasn’t me following a checklist (which I will put together for you anyway), this was just me stay away from the middle aisles where the processed food lives.
It is actually pretty easy to follow and I find the recipes that people put together are really easy to make and honestly delicious. My children are 7 and 1.5 and I never have an issue feeding them anything I put together for myself.
If you’re coming looking to start eating cleaner to lose weight or just move away from processed foods this is definitely the way to introduce yourself to grocery shopping. You can’t buy the food you don’t see!