What is Paleo?

The term Paleo comes from the idea that we should eat as our Paleolithic ancestors did because that is how we are genetically designed to eat -- lean meats, vegetables, some fruit and good fats.  Basically, meat, fish, fowl, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and fats such as olive and coconut oil.  That's actually a lot of stuff! 

I'm not one for spouting of scientific facts and such, but there has been a lot of research done by really smart people.  I would encourage you to read Robb Wolf's site and book to get started.  The dude is wicked smart and pretty stinkin' funny.

Why are you so stoked about Paleo?

There is a long and a short answer here.  Short: The proof is in the (coconut milk) pudding.  Since we began eating Paleo in early 2010, we have lost weight, our blood pressure and cholesterol are squeaky clean, and a host of other nagging issues have disappeared (acne, sleep issues, digestive issues (including diverticulitis), energy levels, to name a few).  Sometime soon I'll get into more details, but that about sums it up for us.

So, what CAN'T I eat?

First off, the point here isn't what you can't eat, but more about eating to give your body the best fuel you can.  However, we still have times where we indulge in "non paleo" stuff.  And you know what? It's not a big deal.  We've learned to stop taking everything so stinkin' seriously and just enjoy ourselves and eat what makes us feel good.

That being said, here are some things that are NOT part of a Paleo lifestyle:
-Grains (wheat, corn (yes corn is a grain), barley, oats, rice)
-Legumes (beans -- including soy, peanuts (no, they aren't a nut!))
-Sugar or other sweeteners
-Starchy veggies (like white potatoes)

Um...this looks kind of weird and impossible...

At first glance, yes, it might look weird.  And it might be a change from what you are used to doing.  But, give it a shot and I will guarantee that you will feel better.  Seriously guys, you will.  Honestly, I think the hardest part initially, especially with small kids, is the convenience factor.  But, with time, I think you'll see that eating/cooking/shopping actually becomes pretty simplified.  And dare I say it, enjoyable!  We have both lost weight and our cholesterol levels are lower than they've ever been.  Both of our doctors have asked us what we've done because they are so impressed with our improved health.

But what about the kids?

Our kids eat what we eat. (Truth be told, they eat a lot more fruit and nuts than we do.)  We don't keep stuff in our house that isn't Paleo.  Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive about getting our kids to eat more veggies (we have one kid that tends to gag fairly violently if he so chooses...), but we have been amazed at how they eat now.  When we go out, we don't hound our five year old about what to eat.  However, he has learned that if he eats certain things, he'll feel it later, so he's started making better choices on his own.  Not all the time though...especially when tempted by treats!  And again -- it's okay!  Life isn't meant to be a set of rules and restrictions.  And we want our kids to learn to make good choices, not to just be told what to do.