IT has been a VERY long time since we held a cooking challenge on QOTW! This week we are going to be cooking something Paleo... and if you don’t know what that is, its time to learn something new that might be really interesting for you! We've all heard of Vegan diets lately, and many people are following at least a partially vegan diet. I have done so for quite a few years now, and can say that it is good for me, and my body is much better off with less dairy.. I draw the line at pizza though and allow myself that luxury once a week or so!
The Paleo diet is quite different and can include meat. It is based on avoiding not just processed foods, but rather the foods that humans began eating after the Neolithic Revolution when humans transitioned from hunter-gatherer lifestyles to settled agriculture. Other names for a paleo diet include Paleolithic diet, Stone Age diet, hunter-gatherer diet and caveman diet. The aim of a paleo diet is to return to a way of eating that's more like what early humans ate. The diet's reasoning is that the human body is genetically mismatched to the modern diet that emerged with farming practices — an idea known as the discordance hypothesis. Farming changed what people ate and established dairy, grains and legumes as additional staples in the human diet. This relatively late and rapid change in diet, according to the hypothesis, outpaced the body's ability to adapt. This mismatch is believed to be a contributing factor to the prevalence of obesity, diabetes and heart disease today.
A Paleo diet eliminates most carbs, grains, dairy, and sometimes meat poultry and fish. We're doing this to explore it and discover some delicious dishes that are also good for us. Many of us live on Carbs, but most carbs are really like stuffing, and the more we eat of them the more we crave them. Carbs make us feel sleepy, and usually we have energy crashes as they turn to sugar and give us a boost of energy followed by a crash. They also make our mind foggy, and generally slow us down unless you are a very active athlete.
A Paleo diet is a great way to detox, and diet for a few days or a week. It can be too restrictive for many people to follow long term, but I definitely recommend building more Paleo meals into your weekly meal plan. So this week I will present the rules, and invite you to share your idea and tasty Paleo dish. If you have never cooked a Paleo dish before, feel free to Google it and get inspired. Once you have made it, and eaten, see how you feel, and how your belly feels!
Foods to Avoid on the Paleo Diet
- Sugar and high-fructose corn syrup: Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.
- Grains: Includes breads and pastas, wheat, spelt, rye, barley, etc.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils and many more.
- Dairy: Avoid most dairy, especially low-fat (some versions of paleo do include full-fat dairy like butter and cheese).
- Some vegetable oils: Soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil and others.
- Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods. Usually referred to as "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" oils.
- Artificial sweeteners: Aspartame, sucralose, cyclamates, saccharin, acesulfame potassium. Use natural sweeteners instead.
- Highly processed foods: Everything labeled "diet" or "low-fat" or that has many additives. Includes artificial meal replacements.
A simple guideline: If it looks like it was made in a factory, don't eat it.
Foods to Eat on the Paleo Diet
Base your diet on whole, unprocessed paleo foods:
- Meat: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
- Fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
- Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or omega-3 enriched eggs.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
- Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
- Tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, turnips, etc.
- Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
- Healthy fats and oils: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and others.
- Salt and spices: Sea salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.
I am going to allow meat, fish and poultry on the understanding that meat should always come from an ethical, organic, and free range souce. Try to choose grass-fed, pasture-raised animals, and nothing processed. If you do choose to cook with meat you should also pay attention to vegetables and fruits and provide a healthy balanced meal.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN US ON THIS QOTW!
- We welcome everyone to join us and post your answer to this question titled
"ecoTrain QOTW Challenge: Make Something Paleo to Eat!"
- Your answer can be a written post, a video, or any way you wish to express yourself.
- You can post anytime from now until Wednesday 27th November
- Use the tag 'ecotrain' along with any other tags you wish to use.
- Please also post a link to your post in the comments so that I will be sure to find it and add it to the weekly tie-up post.
Ready, Steady... COOK!
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