Revitalize Your Body with One of These 3 Wholesome Diets
Truth: Your body wants you to fuel it - not deprive it. These three food choice trends take us back to the old school... to what this Earth is full of ‚Äì whole, rich, earthly foods.
SPECIAL NOTE: As always, please consult with a medical professional before taking on a diet or food choice; we aren’t medical professionals here, just real people who enjoy real food.
The world has been talking about food choices forever. The funny thing though, is that we don’t necessarily use those words - "food choices." We use words like diet or dietary restrictions; it’s been about what can we deprive ourselves of.
Truth: Your body wants you to fuel it - not deprive it.
There are three current food choice trends that take us back to the old school - what this Earth is full of - whole, rich, earthly foods.
Paleo, Keto, and The Autoimmune Protocol Diet are three current food trends that lean into the power of whole foods to make your body a full-functioning machine again.
Here’s what’s cool - all these approaches stick to using whole foods; they’re each just different methods. If you’re interested in a high level, introductory, crash course in all three, well, we’ve got your back. Keep reading.
Paleo springs from the idea suggest that you should be eating foods that a people could only get by hunting and gathering in the paleolithic age. According to Paleo expert Robb Wolf, anthropologist and medical explorers adapted this way of eating because they realized that hunter-gatherer groups were largely free of modern degenerative diseases.
So why not try out what worked for people way back in the day?
What To Eat:
When on the Paleo diet you want to stick to foods that could only be hunted and gathered like:
- Meat that is grass-fed and pasture raised
- Healthy oils
- Nuts/ seeds including almonds, walnuts, and pecans
- Fruits including all berries, apples, peaches
What To Exclude:
You couldn’t hunt and gather processed foods, right? On Paleo, we are staying away from foods that were very hard to find and that you have to process excludes foods such as:
- Refined Sugars
- Refined Vegetable Oils
- Processed Food
- Junk Food (candy, doughnuts, etc)
- White Potatoes
- Cereal Grains
- Sugar Drinks/Caffeinated Drinks
The Paleo diet has many benefits - but, it also may not be for everyone because of the emphasis on protein. If you are vegan or vegetarian, this diet may not be for you as the Paleo diet focuses on eating meats, and it restricts some nutrient dense foods. Now - here’s a new one - there IS such thing as being a pegan. This approach combines paleo with vegan, but focuses more on vegetables and healthy fats, treating meat as more of a condiment than a main course. Like anything, you may tweek the restrictions a little, but you may not get the full benefits of the diet.
Interested? Keeping reading on more approaches, info, and recipes:
The Ketogenic diet is for all you math majors out there. Keto is built in calorie percentages.
Here’s the dish - literally: 70% healthy fats, 20% protein, 5% carbohydrates, and 5% vegetables.
Now, here’s the science, for all you science majors out there: the theory is that this unique combination of healthy fats, protein, and little carbohydrate turns your body into a ketosis state. In that state, the body uses ketones as its primary fuel. Ketones are the byproduct of burning fats. The reason high fat is so important on this diet is because healthy fat does not spike insulin. Pounding carbs and excess protein are two ways to spike insulin. Insulin makes your body use glucose for fuel and prevents fat burning. Sometimes it can be hard to get your body into ketosis, which is why many people see additional benefits of doing a water fast or intermittent fasting to kickstart ketosis.
What To Eat:
- All healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, palm oil, and some nuts and seeds, etc.
- Non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, leafy greens, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.
- Proteins that are low in carbs such as grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry, cage-free eggs, bone broth, wild-caught fish, organ meats and some full-fat (ideally raw) dairy products, etc.
- Low- to zero-carb booze, depending on your desired outcome.
What To Exclude:
- Sugar - this includes raw honey and raw maple syrups
- All grains - this includes oats, rice, quinoa, pasta, and corn
- Processed foods (insert dramatic music here) - that means no chips, protein bars, canned foods, anything processed is a no-no
- Any sweetened or calorie filled beverages are a big no- soda, sweetened milk, etc.
- Limit foods such as full-fat dairy, medium starchy veggies, legumes and beans, and nut and seeds
Because this approach is so biological, the Keto diet can be very different for men and women. It works for both, but each gender will have to approach it differently. Women may have a harder time, but there are adjustments that can be made.
As well, there are potential side effects in the beginning that may include (and are not limited to):
- "Keto flu"
- Muscle weakness
- Brain fog
- Nausea, constipation, upset stomach
Special note: There are many ways to overcome these side effects, so you’re not up a creek without a paddle.
Interested? There’s lots of information out there, but here’s some more detailed approaches, recipes, and info that we appreciated:
Prepare yourself - the Autoimmune protocol/diet (AIP) is the strictest of these three choices.
It’s all for good cause though; this diet’s main purpose is to reduce inflammation and relieve the body of any autoimmune disease symptoms. AIP focuses on eliminating foods that are harmful to the gut and eating nutrient-dense foods. “Leaky gut” is a phrase used to describe small holes in the gut cause food to leak into the body. This makes the immune system overreact and start attacking bodily tissues which then disrupts normal function. “Leaky gut” is believed to be the cause of autoimmune diseases and AIP helps reset the immune system, prevent autoimmune response, reduce symptoms, and prevent secondary autoimmune diseases. Researchers and medical professionals consider this a much more strict version of the Paleo Diet.
What To Eat:
- All grass-fed and pastured meats and fish
- Non- nightshade vegetables
- Sweet potatoes
- Coconut product (best raw)
- Fruit (small quantities)
- Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
- Non-dairy fermented foods
- Bone broth
- Green tea
- Honey or maple syrup (small quantities)
What Not To Eat:
- Any grains (oats, rice, wheat)
- Nightshade vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, okra, etc.
- Nuts and seeds
- Dried fruits
- Legumes such as peanuts, beans, lentils
- Butter and ghee
- All oils except ones above
- Alternative sweeteners such as stevia and xylitol
This diet is designed to help you figure out what your body doesn’t process well so you can eliminate those foods. AIP has a phase-like approach so you can reintroduce some foods along the way if your body can handle them. It shouldn’t be treated as a cure though; it is only meant to identify your respective triggers. Some downfalls of this diet are that it is very strict, time consuming, and can be hard to follow.
Interested? Here’s more information, approaches, and recipes:
WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?
Each one of these choices (I’ll just say it - diets) has amazing benefits, and I’m sure you are wondering which one is right for you. Take a look at your health concerns, daily lifestyle, and exercise habits and goals to determine which diet might work best for you. Ask yourself whether you're looking for fat loss, to maintain weight, gain muscle, or you just want to live healthier?
Playing around with what works best for you can be hard. What’s awesome about each of these approaches is that eventually your body will tell you what’s working and what isn’t. Listen to that. Because this isn’t just about a diet - this is a lifestyle change to support the whole you.