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A Little Bit Paleo
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A Little Bit Paleo

Dread the idea of giving up grains, beans and dairy? True followers of the Paleo lifestyle clench their jaws and march their way through the 30 day introduction. When the month is up, most report that they don’t even notice the food that’s been eliminated…much. Except when they’re eating out, eating with friends, at family get togethers, at the grocery store. Well, you get the picture.

Modified Paleo

A growing number of Paleo dropouts are modifying the basic diet to incorporate more variety. Reports are positive. They are consistently:

  • losing weight
  • increasing energy levels
  • getting rid of cravings
  • experiencing fewer aches and pains
  • stabilizing their blood sugar level
  • lowering their cholesterol

The mix and match approach is gaining in acceptance, though true adherents to the Paleo lifestyle insist that consumption of beans, grains, sugar and dairy is setting your body up for failure. The moderates insist they feel better, and have the numbers, especially for blood sugar and cholesterol, from their doctors to prove it.

If you’ve tried to eat the Paleo way and haven’t been able to maintain the regimen, consider doing it part way. Adopt a low-carb eating style. The basics are similar to Paleo but less restrictive.

Be careful with the grains you select

Avoid wheat, soy, and corn, the grains that most commonly cause problems for the human digestive system. Eat rice, quinoa and barley in moderation.

Find substitutes. For example, a zucchini run through a low cost spiral vegetable slicer makes a delicious pasta replacement.

Cut back on dairy

Select low or nonfat milk, yogurt and kefir. Greek versions of yogurt and kefir have more protein.

Instead of snacking on cheese or using it as a main ingredient in a recipe, use small amounts just to give flavor to dishes. You can do a lot with just a tablespoon of shredded parmesan or cheddar, or crumbled feta, blue or goat cheese.

Track your carb consumption

Aim for forty to sixty carbohydrates a day from healthy sources. Over the weeks your body will respond to the carb restriction. You will lose weight, cut cravings and experience more energy. Over time you can increase the amount of carbs you eat, letting your weight and health determine how many grams you can safely consume in a day.

Use a carb tracker app for your mobile device. The Atkins version is popular, but you can use any diet tracker app. Online you can try FitDay or Cronometer. Even simpler, just use a small notebook and a list of carb grams for common foods that you can download online.

Eat less sugar

Sugar causes spikes in blood sugar and increases the chances for inflammation, the root cause of many diseases. Eating too much of it is a direct cause of the Type 2 Diabetes problem. The empty calories it provides are linked to metabolism disorders and obesity.

Check labels for sugars masquerading under other names, including fructose, malt syrup, sucrose, maltose, dextrose, cane juice, corn syrup and Ethyl maltol. And those are just a few of the names manufacturers use for sugar. Look online for a complete list that will help you decipher ingredient labels.

Your eating plan is a tool

The modified Paleo approach is different for each user. Basically, limit carbs, cut some grains and reduce consumption of others. Eat as much unprocessed food as possible. A simple rule of thumb is if you don't understand the ingredient list, don't use the product.

Listen to your body. Keep doing what you're doing if you feel good, look good and are getting the results you want. If not, don't be afraid to keep tweaking your food regimen. It's your tool, not an end in itself.


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