Smoked salmon on bed of beansprout, baby tomatoes, sliced onion, chive and shredded coconut - my typical Paleo lunch menu
My 80/20 Paleo snack - mix nuts, blueberries and flax seed
Kale and chicken breast in clear vegetable soup - Paleo dinner
80/20 Paleo breakfast of banana, mix nuts, sultanas, berries and pomegranate
Dinning out menu choice of Tuna steak on bed of steamed vegetable and olive oil
Satay or spiced beef and chicken on skewer, the best Paleo dinner!
Dining out menu choice for brunch of poached eggs on bed of smoked salmon and spinach.
Skip the Hollandaise sauce!
A Paleo must, coconut oil
Another Paleo choice for dining out, Sushi salad with no dressing
Homemade mayonnaise with almond oil
Captain and I, we are quite peculiar when it comes to eating. We do not belong to any diet group; not vegetarian, not vegan, not lactose free or gluten free, but we have our phases. For an example, when we travel to the US we usually go vegetarian. Well, why not when we can take advantage of the best of many vegetarian restaurants which we can only dream of here in Dubai. Sometimes we would go gluten free or fully organic, just to take advantage of what the places we visit has to offer. But a few month ago, I was attracted to a type of eating style called Paleo. I'm sure to many of you Paleo is a no brainner but to those whom may not be too familiar of this word, allow me to give a bit of explanation.
Paleo or Paleolithic diet or in plain English, Caveman/Stone-Age/Hunter-Gatherer diet is a type of diet that was designed to allow us to eat the closest possible to the way human did during the Paleolithic or Stone Age era where agriculture was not known of. Human back then eat what they gathered or hunted - meat, fish, nuts and fruits. Robb Wolf the author of Paleo Solution, The Original Human Diet and probably the person that started the whole Paleo craze, claimed that it is the healthiest way we can eat as it gives us what the body needs to stay lean, strong and energetic. Research has shown that today's diet or eating habit that filled with process and refined food, sugar and trans fat was the main contributor to diseases like obesity, cancer, heart problem, Alzheimer, Parkinson and depression. The idea is to eat lean proteins, lots of fresh fruits, vegetable and healthy fats, the cleanest possible. Not bad, huh?
So there I was, drawn, intrigued, all hyped up and excited to start living healthy life and try my best to go Paleo for as long as I could. Before that lets see what are the dos and don'ts of Paleo diet :
Oil - Olive, Canola, Coconut
Nuts except peanuts
Meat - Beef, lamb, chicken
Fish and seafood
Wheat- even whole wheat
Grains and seeds including rice, quinoa, corn, oats, cereals
Beans - cheakpeas, red beans, black beans, peas
Bread of any kind
Pastas even whole wheat
Rice even brown or wild rice
Sugar, added sugar, artificial sugar even honey
Dairy and its product
As I scrolled the don'ts section I had to do 'double take' a few times. What?? No quinoa? And oats?? But these are the good stuff, stuff that are healthy! This can't be right. So I did more reaserch and found out that grains and seeds were not part of our ancestors' diet as they were only available after the knowledge or agriculture. Bummer! Still, I went with it. Was it hard? Well, honestly I might be an Asian but I can really do without rice. I was never a fan of pasta, hardly eat bread unless it's really good bread and milk, what am I, 3? But, after a while I was missing cheese.. and then quinoa and a month later rice. I then started incorporating some of these things I missed back in my diet, you know, a scoop of rice every couple of weeks, a tablespoon of Parmesan with my salad once in a while, some quinoa and flax seed... (Oh, c'mon! Flax seed is good for health!).
Then it came the time for my vacation and what is a trip to Italy without the fresh Mozzarella and Burrata? Well, lets just say I tripped and savored every bite of those cheeses. Back in Dubai I tried going back on track but I found myself trying to justify the healthy things under the don't list that I was told by every health book I read as good for our body like grains, honey and seeds. After much deliberation and further consideration , I agree that too much of 'good' things is never good for me and decided that I will continue eating the Paleo way but once in a while I am going to give my self a break and have that scoop or rice or slice of bread with cheese, a dash of milk with my coffee.. after all there are people who live to be 90 or more and some I am pretty sure do not even know how to spell Paleo let alone know what it is all about. Conclusion is, I'm sure Paleo is good (or not?) but for me moderation prevails.