To start the new year off right, I’ve decided to change my eating habits.
As a general rule, I think I’m a pretty healthy eater – I’m not overweight and I usually keep to a well-balanced diet.
So what am I changing?
I’ve decided to go Paleo. Well, presque Paleo. I allow myself to make a few exceptions here and there. Let me explain…
What is Paleo?
If you’ve never heard of the Paleo Diet, the premise is that our bodies aren’t designed to digest all the processed foods that we’ve conjured up. In terms of evolution, our brains have far exceeded our digestive tract so in order to look and feel at the top of our game we need to go back to basics: aka do like the cavemen.
It goes beyond just consuming organic or, as we say in France, “bio” products… It’s quite a lifestyle change.
Cavemen were hunters and foragers. Since they spent their time off tracking wild animals, their “on the move” way of life wasn’t really conducive to agriculture – so no little gardens or pet cows.
Which means no dairy, no grains, no refined sugar, no potatoes, and no “legumes” (beans, peas, peanuts) in the Paleo Diet. (Click here for food list).
But just because you have to cut all of this out doesn’t mean you can’t still live a normal life and have fun! I’ve discovered that dairy can be replaced in recipes by coconut or almond milk and instead of sugar, you can use pure maple syrup!
These past 2 weeks, I’ve been able to appease my sweet tooth by making things like coconut chocolate chip cookies (70% dark chocolate is okay!) and Paleo chocolate skillet cake (recipe to come!).
And I’ve been able to alter a lot of my other favorite meals to make them Paleo too (list or recipes below).
So as you can see, it’s not really supposed to be weight loss plan (although it can help!) but it’s just a way to be and feel healthier!
Why did I decide to go Paleo?
My sister tried the diet a few months ago and told me about it. I dismissed it at the time, but when I went home for Christmas I realized that she looked amazing! Her body was toned and her hair and skin looked great! She made me delicious Paleo pancakes for breakfast one morning and I thought “hey, I could probably handle this.” So I started reading up on it – and the more I read, the more I liked the idea.
“Presque” Paleo: My exceptions
As with any diet, I think it’s best to alter it so it will work for you.
I also can’t handle too many veggies. Trust me, I tried it when I did the South Beach Diet and I thought I was going to die. Ever see that episode of “The Big Bang Theory” when Sheldon changed his diet? Not fun.
Since I need a bit of starch in my diet and I don’t want to overdo the butternut squash (Paleo ok!), I made sweet potatoes one night last week. Not exactly Paleo but healthy just the same. I don’t need my diet to be 100% Paleo (although it would be nice!) but simply making the majority of my meals healthy is a step in the right direction.
It’s only been 2 weeks so I haven’t seen any drastic changes in myself but I’m already feeling more energetic. Also I’m prone to stomach aches and I haven’t had any problems lately. The food really does seem easier to digest. I’ll keep you posted on any other changes I notice.
How to go Paleo in France?
It you’re living in France and want to go Paleo, I highly suggest shopping at Naturalia!
That’s where I got most of my ingredients : )
If you’re interested, below you can find some of my favorite Paleo recipes that I’ve tried:
* Some of these are in French! I’ll put the recipes up in English later
Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake – I felt the cake was too almondy and not creamy enough so I altered the recipe. I used double the amount of cacao powder and I added almond milk until I got a cake batter-like tecture. I’ll post my revised recipe later.
Hope you enjoy! Happy eating! Bon appétit!