I try to cook paleo at home most of the time, plus or minus a few wheels of cheese and blueberry pies and pizza crusts. That's why a lot of the recipes on Worthy Pause are marked paleo, gluten-free and Whole30-approved.

So, if you're roaming this website and you're all like, "Paleo? WTF is that?" I have a short summary of what it's all about.


What is PALEO?

The term "paleo" means different things to different people. To me, it's just making real food a priority.

YES:

  • Vegetables
  • Organic, grass-fed meat and eggs
  • Healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, ghee, etc.)
  • Fruits
  • Natural sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, date syrup, etc.)

NO:

  • Sugar
  • Processed food with weird additives (corn starch/syrup, MSG, unpronounceable words, etc.)
  • Grains (corn, whole wheat, quinoa, rice, etc.)
  • Legumes (soy, peanuts, chickpeas, peas, beans, etc. — green beans and snap peas are OK because they are mostly pod)
  • Bad oils (soybean oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, etc.)
  • Dairy
  • Alcohol

What's the point?

  1. Eating tons of vegetables is good for everyone, no matter who you ask.
  2. It may eliminate a lot of potentially inflammatory foods. Many doctors and researchers now believe that inflammation is at the root of chronic conditions like heart disease, rather than cholesterol levels. 75% of people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol, BTW.
  3. It is a low-glycemic diet, meaning your blood sugar remains steady throughout the day and your risk of insulin resistance is low. Insulin resistance is also known as metabolic syndrome and is a precursor to type II diabetes.
  4. It's easy on your gut, meaning the good stuff gets in during digestion and the bad stuff doesn't.
  5. Hormonal balance. Hormones run the show in your body, bossing all the other cells around. Legumes have estrogen mimics called phytoestrogens — and dairy is full of hormones because it's meant to nourish a baby cow and help them grow.

o there's a rundown of how a paleo lifestyle works, but keep in mind that I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist, nor do I want to push some kind of nutritional agenda on you like a jerk. If you want some more science dropped on you, there's a whole Internet out there waiting for you.


    Additional resources:

    • It Starts With Food. This book totally changed the way I think about food and inspired this blog in the first place. I read it and immediately cleaned out my kitchen, went to the grocery store and the rest is history.
    • The Whole30. This book goes over the Whole30 in more detail, which is a strict, 30-day paleo detox that spawned this blog (because I was cooking so much over those 30 days).
    • Well Fed: This book by Mel Joulwan of The Clothes Make The Girl is my all-time favorite paleo cookbook. The sequel is pretty great too. 
    • Nom Nom Paleo: Another phenomenal cookbook by another phenomenal blogger. Michelle Tam's Peruvian chicken is daaaamned good.