I’m always searching for recipes and food ideology that fit the allergies I suffer. Not easy. I need to tweak, change, and replace ingredients in most recipes to fit my needs. And I still have digestive issues to which the solution is far from obvious.
Practical Paleo, by Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC
I happened on the paleo diet twice this year; when I first started the Elimination Diet to determine which foods I reacted to, and last month while shopping for books at Costco. Back in February, Dr. Brian mentioned the Elimination Diet was very close to the paleolithic diet, or the caveman diet. Our paleolithic ancestors grouped together and survived by gathering plants and hunting game. Their diet was simple: meat, fruits and vegetables.
It’s why the Elimination Diet works so well to determine which foods cause havoc in one’s system. Meat, fruits and vegetables is the simplest of diet to start detoxing the body.
To be clear, the modern paleo embracers do not live in communes, living off their gardens and hunting trophies. They do not eat raw meat off the bone and they do not drag women around by their hair.
Last February, after I determined that gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, legumes and corn were the culprits in my diet, I tried to avoid those foods in my daily life. I still wanted carbs though, still wanted to bake, so I tried many gluten-free flours. Most gluten free mixes are made from grains (rice, oat, millet…) and I reacted to those. My diet became dull and redundant. I did experiment with coconut flour and was able to bake some muffins, but I wasn’t satisfied. I’m a good recipe follower but I’m not a chef and I’m not a food scientist. Coconut flour requires experience to manipulate it into fluffy baked goodies.
I caught the book cover of Practical Paleo at Costco last month, those words especially: Over 120 easy recipes, all gluten, grain, legume, dairy and refined sugar free. Jackpot! I shelled out the twenty something dollar for the book. It’s worth the 3.5 pounds it will take in my suitcase when I leave for Montreal.
The Diet That Fits Me
In the last two weeks, I’ve researched the paleo diet. It’s more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle. And when you find food intolerances like mine, a new lifestyle is not a choice, it’s mandatory. I shouldn’t say that, because it is a choice. I’ve seen many people around me, with serious heath concerns like diabetes or heart clogging cholesterol, and they will simply not change their diet. I heard them say that it’s genetic,they can’t control it, modern medicine has all the right meds to keep them going. You know what I hear? Excuses.
“Most people with a family history of high cholesterol have a family history of poor diet and lifestyle, not an actual genetic disorder,” says Diane Sanfilippo, author of Practical Paleo. This is the most frank and direct author I’ve read in a long time.
The paleo lifestyle has opened a new world for me. I found podcasts, magazines, blogs giving advice and sharing the science behind the diet. It’s fascinating and most of all, it fits my needs.
In Practical Paleo, the author offers changes in recipe for those who can’t follow the paleo diet fully, like me. When replacements are possible, it’s noted. In the Balsamic Braised Short Ribs recipe, tomato sauce (nightshade vegetable) can be replaced by beef broth.
This book and the paleo lifestyle will board the plane with me come next Sunday.