Paleo is often referred to as the "caveman" diet [I hesitate to use the word "diet" here, because it should not be thought of as a restrictive way of eating, but a lifestyle]. The basics include lots of protein [meats, eggs, fish], vegetables, fruits, nuts, and lots of other yummy things. Foods not on paleo include grains, processed food, and dairy.
Robb Wolf is much more knowledgable about Paleo, and does a much better job of explaining everything, so I'll let him do that for me.
Is Paleo feasible?
Robby and I started eating Paleo in November of 2012. We do all of our own cooking during the week [he's in charge of breakfast, I take care of lunch/dinner], and we do our best on the weekends although we tend to eat out of the house [read: we usually cheat a little on the weekends...].
The original reason:
Robby and I really enjoy Crossfit, and are always looking to improve our athletic performance. Crossfit endorses the Paleo lifestyle, and since we had already drunk the Crossfit koolaid, we figured we might as well jump on the Paleo bandwagon as well and try it out for 30 days.
A surprising discovery:
I have had a life-long battle with dry/itchy skin problems, most notably with eczema and dishydrosis [disclaimer: my hands have never looked as scary as those Wiki pictures...]. About a week into eating Paleo, I discovered that my skin problems had completely cleared up, and soon came to realize a link between gluten and my skin. No gluten = lovely skin! As soon as I cheated, I'd be itching again. I now do my best to avoid gluten, as it often causes me awful stomach pains as well. It's so hard to not have a little nibble of things every now and then, but with all of the gluten-free options out there, I'm slowly learning more and more how to help myself steer clear of it.
How do I get started?
When I first told a friend about Paleo, she responded, "Oh, so you just eat chicken and vegetables every day?" FAR FROM IT. We have made some of the most amazing meals since starting Paleo [no joke]. We have two books that we use almost every day - Practical Paleo [author Diane Sanfilippo's blog] and Well Fed [author Melissa Joulwan's blog]. Other than that, we use various blogs to try new recipes and venture further into Paleo-land. Below is a growing list of blogs that I use for entertainment, learning, and cooking!
- PaleOMG: Juli has my dream life: she is a Crossfit coach, has a Paleo blog, and lives in Denver. I'm attempting to achieve all of these things in the next 5 years. She is also HILARIOUS - I often read her rantings before bedtime and end up crying laughing.
- The Clothes Make the Girl: I own Melissa's Well Fed cookbook and use it often. In fact, it has a lot of ingredient remnants in between the pages. Oops?
- Health-Bent: Super cute married Crossfit coaches [do you think I could convince Robby to quit his job and also become a Crossfit coach?? Working on it...]. I really like the resources that they have for new Paleo-ers on this blog [how to find specific ingredients, prepare foods, etc].
- Fed and Fit: Paleo blog of a college friend. She is extremely creative with her recipes, and has a clean site with beautiful photos. I always feel more confident when I know what a recipe is actually supposed to look like, so I appreciate the step-by-step pictures.