Paleo Diet Basics
We are all individuals, what works for one person might not work for the next. Therefore, what we eat should not fit into a “one-size fits all” protocol. The Paleo lifestyle does a great job catering to that idea! In the Paleo world, many follow what is known as “the 80/20 rule”. So what exactly is the 80/20 rule?
Eating 80/20 paleo is the idea that you eat 80% paleo and the other 20% non-paleo real foods. Now remember, we are not advocating that you count calories or any of that jibber jabber. All this rule is saying, is that most of your diet be strictly following a paleo template, while a small portion can be other foods that you enjoy. . However, most of the time you should stick with eating real foods. The 20% is not there to allow yourself to eat a box of Oreos once a week. The main concept of eating a real food diet is to nourish your body with nutrient dense foods. You want to provide fuel for you body so it can function at its’ optimal level. If you don’t believe this wholeheartedly then you may have a tough time living this lifestyle. Remember, the focus is not on a specific number. Everyone needs to individually choose the ratio that works for them. Someone with severe health issues would be best following a gut healing Autoimmune protocol, which is 100% paleo, whereas someone else might feel fine eating paleo 85% or 90% of the time
You may be thinking, “I’m so done with people telling me that I am my own person and I have my own diet. Can’t someone just tell me exactly what to do so I can lose weight/get healthy!” The 80/20 rule allows you to experiment with what foods make you feel good, vs what foods you may be reacting to First, advocates recommend doing a 30-day “hard core” Paleo detox to give yourself a good starting baseline. From there, play around and see what works for you! Maybe try a little goat cheese with your burgers or see how your body reacts eating hummus. Take the time to be a little flexible with your diet, and have fun with it. One thing we do recommend is that you avoid all gluten-containing foods. Gluten=Bad. Depending on your sensitivity levels, a single exposure of gluten may damage your gut for up to six months, altering your gut flora and heightening your immune response Therefore, we advise avoiding gluten 100% of the time in order to feel your best.
The 80/20 rule is a great tool for those inevitable times when you go out to eat with friends or family! Social eating can be a nightmare. Maybe your loved ones don’t agree with your lifestyle, or you go to a restaurant and you have no choices suitable for you. This rule allows you to get that salad with feta cheese so you aren’t sitting there picking out every little crumble. Be mindful of your choices, but try not to stress about it. The Paleo Gods will forgive you! If it is a complete disaster, just let it go and move forward. Maybe next time you do the cooking, or do more research on restaurants that have paleo friendly options. You always have a choice.
Eating healthy, nutrient dense meals should be enjoyable. The food we eat should power us to live a fun, exciting life. Remember eat to live, don’t live to eat.