A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend a Paleo diet nutrition seminar at Reebok Crossfit 5th Ave.
The seminar was hosted by Katie from Paleo Pioneer and a registered dietician. The seminar lasted a little over an hour, but was incredibly informative and taught me about how the American diet has changed, how gluten was molecularly engineered in the 1960s and is slowly effecting all of us, and how the paleo lifestyle is a diet from a time before the diseases that are killing Americans were ever a problem.
The seminar started with some info about how the American diet has changed since the times of our grandparents. After the Great Depression, processed foods became abundant because people did not want to ever fall back to a time when there were widespread food shortages. With their long shelf lives, low prices and ease of cooking, processed foods became the norms in the 70s and 80s. Incidentally, this was also the same time that gluten, the protein found in wheat, was molecularly engineered and obesity, diabetes, autoimmune diseases and cancer rates began to skyrocket.
So what is paleo? Paleo is the diet that our ancestors followed before the luxuries of modern farming, mass produced “health foods and pop tarts. The paleo diet turns the modern food pyramid on its head and completely eliminates grains, dairy and highly processed foods. Instead we are to get our nutrition from meat, fruits, veggies, healthy fats and nuts.
Although the diet may seem extreme at first, with some prep, planning and substitutions, you will never miss the processed foods that you were once so dependent upon. We went through some ideas on how to sub different foods, meals and snacks with paleo friendly items. We also discussed the cost of going paleo. Some people claim that paying extra for quality cuts of grass-fed beef with make your budget go out the window, if you offset the costs of not purchasing prepackaged, processed foods, the dent in your budget is not that noticeable. Especially if you take into account the fact that you won’t be eating out as much!
After the seminar, we were treated to some paleo goodies, which you would never be allowed on a “diet.” We indulged in paleo brownies, cookies and fudge, and trust me, you could not taste the difference!
Overall, the seminar gave me a great deal to think about regarding my diet, and the diet and lifestyle of my family. Tommy and I have been discussing and weighing the benefits of it, and we have decided to start taking steps to going paleo!