The basic idea behind the Paleo diet is hunting and gathering. Paleo gets its name from the Paleolithic hunter/gatherers. With this in mind, we can assume that berries, veggies, and meats are all acceptable. Grains have changed our world. One common thing you hear among Paleo-ists is that our bodies haven't had enough time to develop the means to digest grains. I don't know if I agree with that. Wheat has been around for ages. You'd think with this much time that we'd be able to digest it.
Corn is different. Corn came from the "New World". So, unless you are of significant Native American or Indios descent, you probably are not able to digest it well. I know I can't. Corn always messes with my system in ways I won't talk about in this blog.
" [S]ince farming was unknown, intake of crops like wheat, rice and so on was missing. This actually saved them from a lot of health problems which can occur due to crop consumption. Crops like rice, wheat, barley, corn, oats are responsible for many a hazard. Secondly, these cavemen were not having any access to dairy products, which today are so much a part of our diet." http://www.paleodietfoodlist.net/2011/09/benefits-of-the-paleo-diet/
This is what makes the most sense to me. No animal husbandry, no dairy. No farming, no grains. This makes sense to me. I recently saw this list of foods that were acceptable and not acceptable on the Paleo diet. Let me just state that I am not posting this here as a reference. I'm posting it here because it is ridiculous.
Lean Beef (trimmed of visible fat)
Lean Pork (trimmed of visible fat)
Lean poultry (white meat, skin removed)
Eggs (limit to 6 per week)
Other meats (rabbit, goat etc)
Organ meats (liver, tongue, marrow etc)
Oils (coconut, olive, walnut etc)
Beverages (diet soda, coffee, tea, alcohol etc)
AVOID (Pay close attention and I'll explain later)
Grain like seeds
Why are we banning peas? Seems pretty natural to me!
Another thing I had issue with on that list was the prohibition of starchy vegetables (tubers). I guarantee that some hunter gatherers were also root eaters. Toss one of those tubers on the fire and you have yourself a darn good meal! We know they ate meat, so they had plenty of fire! Why ban potatoes and sweet potatoes? What did Cassava root ever do to you?
Next they're trying to take out the fatty meats. Go back to that image you had in your head of yourself is a hunter gatherer (if you're female, I assume you're imaging something like this -->
Got that image in your head? Good. Some beefy dude just took down an animal. Add it to some flames and bingo, you have food. Win. I doubt you know when your next meal will be coming from, but heck, lets just cut the fat off that meat and feed it to the dogs.
Of course that didn't happen! They ate the fatty meats all the time. I understand that this diet has been morphed to benefit our current culture, but that list of foods was just ridiculous.
Now, I know that this diet works, if you don't get too hung up on rules. Not like the Paleolithics had rules about food. Eat whatever is natural. Grains require a lot of refinement, so avoid those. Pretty simple. Don't think you have enough time for this diet, doesn't matter. Most of the foods can be eaten raw. No cooking necessary! After college I didn't have much money. I had a good housing situation because I knew a guy who needed a renter in his extra house. Win. I didn't have transportation so I had to walk to the grocery store. It was only about a mile, but in the summer that weeds out what groceries you can bring home. No frozen or refrigerated foods. Nothing too big, only what I could fit in my backpack. I bought healthy foods because when I was craving junk food, I would be required to eat what I had... or walk a mile to the grocery store. Eating healthier, only eating when I was hungry, and walking a lot (no other real exercise... fail) I lost 50lbs. I've since gained some of it back because I've been traveling around a lot and I began to confuse the words "convenient" and "good". I think it's time to get back on track. So here I go. It's not as hard as you might think... assuming you like fruits and vegetables. :)