Eat Smart · Feel Great

Perfecting the Paleo Diet

In a country where eating healthy is being emphasized more and more, fad diets are becoming increasingly popular. Dieting is extremely hard no matter what anybody says, and there are so many options that it can be overwhelming. That is why your best bet when dieting is to not diet at all, but instead, just look for healthier choices. Dieting has a bad connotation because it usually involves giving up food that you love and going hungry because your portion sizes are smaller. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard though, and an example of this is the Paleo Diet. The Paleo Diet has been gaining popularity due to its simplistic and unique nature. It doesn’t involve counting calories, excessive food prep, or portioning sizes. Sounds great, right? Now, you are probably wondering what the catch is, and how much it will cost you. It can be relatively inexpensive, but the catch is that you have to give up grains, processed foods, and even dairy if you so choose. So it may not seem that appealing anymore, but continue reading because this diet actually works and is not as hard as you think.

So what is the Paleo Diet exactly? Well, the whole premise of the diet is that you eat the way a caveman would have eaten in the Paleolithic era. That means meat, eggs, nuts, fruit, natural oils, fish, and tubers (sweet potatoes) are all fair game. There are no set portion sizes, so you eat whatever amount you choose whenever you are hungry, and eat to your heart’s content! Paleo recipes don’t usually involve many ingredients, and therefore, they don’t take much time to prepare, so you can whip up something quickly if you are in a rush or not in the mood to slave over the stove. The majority of the recipes taste and look great as well. If you don’t believe me just try the Paleo banana pancakes or the Paleo Valentine’s Day smoothie; they’re both so addicting.

The whole point of eating this way is not only to lose weight or build muscle, but to be healthier and even increase your life expectancy. Eating basic foods such as meats and vegetables will increase your metabolism, give you more energy, and even tone your body. For many people though, it may seem too difficult to cut out the sugar and grains that they love so much. Also, being in college, it can be quite the task to prepare your own meals and worry about eating properly. It’s so easy to reach for the telephone and call up Domino’s after a long day of classes, work, or clubs. Personally, even I struggle with the Paleo Diet because the dining hall doesn’t afford a lot of opportunity to eat this way. So, another option to this diet is to do a milder version, which is what I do, and gradually cut back on the grains, substitute regular milk for soy/almond milk, and eat more vegetables at the salad bar so they aren’t smothered in oil/butter. No one says you have to give up every food that you love, and having a cheat day is fine. You can eat a wrap or a piece of cake from time to time, but for the most part, the Paleo Diet is feasible and can transform your body in the best way possible.

Here are some tasty, quick, and simple recipes that will get you hooked:

Sweet Potato Hash with Fried Egg

Valentine’s Day Smoothie

Banana Pancakes

Buffalo Chicken Wraps

 

By Rachel Cathie

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