I’ve learned about Paleo diet about 5 years ago. And I was closed to falling in love with it. The concept that you should eat like the humans that lived the same as “animals,” 5000 years ago, took me in. I am a meat-eater so I could easily explain why I say no to becoming a vegetarian. I really thought Paleo is the way I will live my life for the future. And so, many of my friends though like that since. And then I started to turn my diet and tried to turn my children's diet to Paleo. And this was the big challenge, which ended somewhere here:
NO POTATO and RICE
I think my first action was to forget the rice and potato. This was quite easy for me. Let’s say - almost easy - because there is a period in the Finnish summer when there is this delicious fresh Finnish potato and I had to eat it. It is so different than the ones that you buy during whole year. So my first rule became:
- I don’t eat potato except when the Finnish new potato shows up.
With regard to rice, I have never been a rice fan. So who cares about the rice? Except when we talk about risotto and sushi! So I easily said, "OK-OK" to the idea. What is actually the problem with rice? The starch. No problem. Japanese rice is washed 30-60 minutes in cold water before cooking it, so the starch comes out. And the risotto, is not just a simple dish, it is full of other ingredients, like the pumpkin one or the tomato one… So the other rule came out:
- I don’t eat rice, except once a month with sushi or risotto.
NO DIARY PRODUCTS
Oh this sounded very easy. I don’t drink milk (Very against it.) and I dislike shop-yogurt. But the cheese and the butter -- Oh how I thank god that there is Paleo diet 2.0 which accepts the cheese and the butter. So I immediately said I will follow that with a few small exceptions.
- I do it Cheese and I do cook with butter.
- I do my own yogurt and eat one per week because I feel it is good for my digestion and I cook and bake regularly with my homemade yogurt.
NO BEANS AND CORNS
The first thing I could say easily "NO" to. They are just not good for me. Corn is nice but useless, beans are so heavy for my stomach, and anyway, I eat meat so I can get enough protein from them. Except again:
- Chilli con carne - oh it is impossible to cook without the beans. The portion I eat must have 5 beans inside… So once a month, it will pass. And what about the Hungarian bean soup? Who can resist that? Okay. I said if I go to Hungarian traditional resto, maybe once a quarter is fair?
That is really easy. I can resist bread, most of the time, except when you pass a lovely French or Italian Boulangerie (Bakery). The smell of the fresh bread or croissant is something. And there are couple of bread types I would recommend not to throw away. Tortilla, Kornspitz, real black bread with moderation is good for your health. So take one of them once a week.
But what I don’t suggest is the Paleo bread. I haven’t find any which is tasty, and making them is a nightmare, I tried and tried and tried. And they just eded up a disaster. So the decision was between Paleo bread or nothing? I'd rather forget the bread for the rest of my life.
Well, I do bake. And I would be lying if I say I don’t use flour. I use it, but I don’ eat cakes, muffins, sweets every day. Maybe once a week, I eat something nice, but never more than a piece. I just don’t need more.
PALEO 1.0 – Tomato
I just use it. I signed up for the version where tomato and paprika are accepted. I know about the poisoning compounds, but I think that part of our body will handle it.
No for paleo pasta. I’ve seen it, tasted it but please, I have relatives in Italy. They will torture me for raising my quarter-Italian girl with paleo pasta, no way. And what about pasta in general? Well, if you have weight issues, I suggest you to put it away, but if you dont, once a week. if you feel it is good for you, then go ahead. Take the durum ones because they are really delicious, or make your own one with the kids.
AND FINALLY, THE SUGAR
Yes, there are new alternatives to using processed sugar. Dates as sweetener in cakes or the xylit. Again, this is an important health and weight issue. I and my children consume very few sugar. I mainly use it for cooking and in my tea or coffee. They only eat it when I bake something. We keep the sugar consumption in moderation. We have no tendency to sit next to the TV with chocolate or ice cream. We would rather have salted than sweet breakfast. From time to time, we make pancake more for fun than for daily breakfast purpose. And we are very active, so the hydro-carbon we eat is consumed.
But I kind of agree to put sugar aside as much as you can. Your body will produce what you need, and the fruits and vegetables have already enough.
That is where I ended, and soon after that, most of my friends realized that paleo is a good guideline to start somewhere and for understanding the concept. But later, you need to modifiy it based on what your body needs. Loosing weight can be achieved in a couple of weeks, but keeping it needs a regular diet where paleo could be the first guideline. Also, Mediterranean diet could also be the one, which I am more close with my recipes. The most important will be to always listen to your body and maintain moderation.