First and foremost, Karl and I focus on whole-foods, many that we are able to harvest and forage ourselves. We take it one step further by following what we call a Paleolithic Diet. I think you will notice that even though we follow a strict set of guidelines, the food we eat is, well…pretty “normal” looking.
I have always held the motto: “to each his own.” I’m not here to convert anyone to our way of eating or lifestyle. I simply want to share what works for us and I hope that you can find it helpful, inspirational, or at the very least, entertaining.
You are welcome to this blog no matter what diet you follow. I don’t even care if you eat Twinkies, I won’t judge you!
Karl and I follow a Paleo Diet. We eat this way because:
1. we like to
2. it has improved our health considerably
3. it makes us feel good
4. we want to
Before I tell you what it looks like to eat Paleo, let me tell you why a lot of people choose to eat this way, because I think this is very important.
Although you will find plenty of people who eat this way only for their general health or simply because “it makes them feel better,” I think you will find even more people that eat this way because it has changed their life, cured their horrible disease, or brought them back from what they feel was the brink of death. I’m not exaggerating. People follow a Paleo Diet in order to manage their autoimmune disease, heal their intestinal problems, improve their thyroid function, eliminate Type II Diabetes, arthritis, acne, menstrual problems, psoriasis, autism, ADHD…the success stories are absolutely inspirational.
If you have a health challenge, especially if you want to approach it in a more natural way, I urge you to seek out more information regarding the Paleo Diet! It might be just the cure you were looking for that nobody’s told you about yet.
So, let me tell you a little bit about what Our Paleo diet looks like…
Meat is important and above all else it should come from healthy animals. We are fortunate to have a steady supply of venison in the freezer, and it makes up a large percentage of the meat we eat. We love pastured beef and pork from local farmers (which we are lucky to have a few of around). It is important to us that no part of the animal is ever wasted.
We also hunt wild ducks, turkey and geese in our area. Those are a special treat! We love to fish- mostly for trout, walleye, and pan fish. We also eat other seafood on occasion. Eggs are king in our house! We are just starting to raise our own meat ducks and chickens.
Karl likes dairy but it doesn’t like him. I love me some grass-fed butter, cream in my morning coffee, and the occasional piece of raw, grass-fed cheese. Some Paleo followers eat dairy and some don’t, depending on their health needs or beliefs.
We really enjoy our local fruit. There are lots of berry farms around and plenty of wild berries to be foraged for. We have started planting our orchard and can’t wait until it starts producing! We dehydrate and freeze a lot of fruit to eat throughout the year. Homemade apple cider is our guilty pleasure.
We love just about any vegetable we can get our hands on. Some Paleo followers eat white potatoes in moderation (we do!) and some won’t touch them. Our favorites are salad greens, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cukes, peppers and onions. I love sweet potatoes. Karl is offended by them, maintaining that “they are NOT a potato.”
We use lard, bacon drippings and coconut oil for cooking; and extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or macadamia nut oil for cold preparations like salad dressing and homemade mayo. You won’t see us use vegetable, canola, or any other “refined” oils, which I think is true for Paleo followers across the board.
Nuts & Coconut
Karl hates the taste of coconut, much to my dismay. I still try and sneak it into his food, as I am determined for him to like it someday! Most Paleo followers love coconut and all of its preparations, as do I. We do eat tree nuts, which we mostly reserve for use in Paleo treats like breads or cookies (in the form of almond flour, usually). We do take nuts as a traveling snack for car rides, weekend trips, etc. Peanuts are not a nut, they are a legume…
Beans and peanuts are typically not eaten on a Paleo diet, as they have mostly come about as a result of agriculture, they are hard on the digestive system and contain a high amount of lectins. Soy is definitely off the plate. We will have soaked homegrown heirloom beans (usually in chili) on occasion.
This is really what I believe sets Paleo followers apart. We don’t eat grains. No wheat, quinoa, millet, oats, barley, corn…you get the picture. Some Paleo followers do eat white rice on occasion. We don’t (we’d rather have a white potato). That’s right, no grains, no gluten, nothing made with flour.
We use real maple syrup, stevia, dates and honey, but in great moderation. I think this is what keeps me going. Some Paleo followers are very strict and eat absolutely no sugars, even these healthier ones. If I didn’t, I know I wouldn’t be able to stick to this lifestyle, so that is my choice.
We love to eat as much local food as possible, especially if we have grown or raised it ourselves. We also love a lot of things that our climate doesn’t support- like coconut, avocado, coffee, and chocolate to name a few.
The Paleo Diet, or Paleo Lifestyle has a lot of variation, depending on who you talk to. Which is why I just love what Chris Kesser says, which is that all of us Paleo-minded folks quit arguing and perhaps call it a “Paleo Template.” The term Paleo Diet implying a defined parameters that everyone should follow without room for individual experimentation. A template being a basic format that contains general guidelines that can be formatted and fitting to the unique needs of each individual person. Brilliant!
To me, following a Paleo Diet means eating foods that are whole, unprocessed and close to nature. Food that nourish and heal, promote wellness, fight disease, and that make me look and feel good inside and out. It is even greater that we live in a place where we can produce a lot of these foods ourselves- and for that we are grateful!