What the Paleo? Bariatric Edition

Another week speeds by.  Halloween is in the rearview mirror and for us Canadians, so is Thanksgiving.  For my American friends, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away and for all of us, Christmas is only 8 weeks away.
 
Holy Smokes!  The time is flying…  
 
This is a blog that I wanted to write for some time now but I didn’t have time to dig in.  This morning I have some extra time so I wanted to take a moment to break this down for you.  I think it is important that we stay on top of all the latest fads.  I want to know more about the latest nutrition science and what they are saying about the dietary recommendations today.  We all know how quickly they can change from one week to the next.
 
Now, if you read this blog and you like what you read and it makes sense to you… I will put together a 4-day menu plan that you can follow next week and I will present it to you for free in my next video.  Who’s onboard?  If you are, let me know and I will also send you a free copy to your inbox.
 
The proof is in the paleo-pudding! 
 
Who is tired of keto?  Keto here, keto there, keto everywhere!  And, are keto and paleo so different?  Read this and decide for yourself.
 
I think that the most important thing we need to do is to remove processed foods and added sugar from our daily lives.  After that, everything else is a BONUS.
 
Keto is great but the problem is that Keto for me means a diet of protein, veg, healthy fat, nuts, seeds, and berries.  For others, it means bacon, cheese and processed foods that “say” keto on the label.  I need to make a new lifestyle plan and give it a new name.  I would give it a fancy name…
 
Before Keto came Paleo.  Have you heard about Paleo? Paleo was in the news a few years ago. It was also called the Ancestral Diet.  It was designed to mimic what our ancestors would have eaten thousands of years ago.  It had a few more names.  You may have heard of it as the “hunger-gather diet”, or the “cave-man diet”. 
 
Just like with Keto, people put their own personal spin on it but the original Paleo diet was designed on what would have been available to our ancestors.  
 
The basics state:  EAT – meat, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, healthy fats, and oils.
 
It then says:  AVOID – processed foods, sugar, soft drinks, grains, most dairy products, legumes, artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, margarine and, trans fats.
 
The summary says to me that when eating a “paleo diet”, eat whole foods and avoid processed foods.
 
What is not to LOVE about the paleo diet?  When I first heard about paleo, (years ago), I didn’t pay much attention because I was perfectly happy eating my ancient grains (barley, quinoa and black rice) and I was not ready to give up my legumes and beans.  Just the thought of eliminating those foods from my diet didn’t make any sense to me.
 
Fast forward a few years as I creep closer to my 5th decade (omg).  I no longer eat rice, beans, quinoa, and barley.  As I look at the paleo diet, it most closely matches my current diet?  What the heck?  This way of eating seemed so foreign to me only a short time ago.  
 
Let’s take a moment to compare keto and paleo now.  Remember, there are different schools of thought when it comes to both these lifestyle plans.  My personal thought about keto is that I eat healthy fat and I no longer fear it but I also don’t add LOADS of fat to my daily diet.  I don’t intentionally add an extra teaspoon of butter and I don’t add coconut oil to my coffee.  I eat fat but I don’t pile it on.  Know what I mean? 
 
When I look at both schools of thoughts, keto vs paleo – I now lean more towards paleo.  Today it makes more sense to me.  
 
The paleo part that I don’t agree with (for my personal health) “tubers” are recommended.  Tubers are the starchy veggies that grow in the ground.  They are potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and turnips.  Those foods make my blood sugar and insulin levels soar.  Sure, some people can eat them but they are a “no-no” for me.
 
Paleo also recommends fruits such as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, and berries.  I stick with the berries and leave the other fruits behind.  Once again, it’s got to do with my blood sugar and insulin levels. My goal is to keep them both low.
 
Paleo-followers also avoid dairy.  I agree with this.  The low-fat dairy products are OFF my list because if the fat has been taken out, carbs and chemicals have been added in.  But, I do partake in high-fat dairy like cheese, butter, and cream.  Paleo does permit these 3 dairy items.  Phew – that part works for me.
 
So what would a one-day-menu look like on a paleo diet? Here is a sample:
 
Breakfast: eggs and veggies cooked in butter, olive oil or avocado oil
Lunch: a sandwich made from lettuce leaves with chicken and fresh veggies
Dinner: steak and vegetables with sweet potato
 
Now, between you and me, doesn’t paleo look great?  It even allows small amounts of red wine and dark chocolate.  
 
So what would you fill your shopping cart with if you were interested in following a paleo lifestyle for a few weeks?  What would that look like? Here is an easy list for you.  I have eliminated the things which I don’t agree with such as “potatoes and apples”.  I have added “butter, cheese, and cream”.
 
  • Meat: Beef, lamb, pork, etc.
  • Poultry: Chicken, turkey, etc.
  • Fish: Salmon, trout, mackerel, etc.
  • Eggs
  • Fresh vegetables: Greens, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onions, etc.
  • Frozen vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, various vegetable mixes, etc.
  • Fruits: avocado
  • Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts
  • Almond butter
  • Butter, full-fat cream, cheese
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Condiments: Sea salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic, parsley, etc.
Why do we have to submit to one and only one way of eating?  Why can’t we change things up sometimes?  I consider myself a “low carb” nutritionist.  The paleo lifestyle fits this description.  There is no “one way” to follow paleo just like there isn’t “one way” to follow keto.  But, the basic idea or description tells us to avoid processed foods.  It tells us to eat whole, live, fresh, natural, good quality food.  
 
Now, do you want to know more about this way of eating?  Does this make sense to you?  If it does, I will put together a 4-day menu plan that you can follow next week and I will present it to you for free in my next video.  Who’s onboard?  If you are, let me know and I will also send you a free copy to your inbox.
 
Keep Calm and Low-Carb On! 
 

Don’t forget to watch my FaceBook LIVE  on this exact topic Friday, November 8th at 3pm EST.

 

About the Author: Sheri Burke is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Bariatric Surgery Coordinator at International Patient Facilitators in Tijuana and Cancun, Mexico. She has worked with bariatric surgery clients for over 10 years and especially enjoys providing nutritional guidance to pre and post bariatric clients.  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two teens and cooking up a nutritional storm in the kitchen.

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