By: Brittany Stowasser
The Paleolithic Diet, a.k.a Paleo Diet, the Hunter-Gatherer Diet and even “The Caveman Diet” is an interesting newly labeled diet from a very old origin. It is based on the assumed diet of man before the age of agriculture. In the Paleo Diet Solution, Robb Wolf says “the diet gets its most common title from the age known as the Paleolithic Era. Guidelines are based on a pattern of eating that attempts to replicate, as closely as is possible in modern times, a diet based on foods that could have been hunted, fished or foraged in the wild during this preagricultural age.”
Basically, this diet includes wild game, meats, fish and shellfish, eggs, fruits and veggies, mushrooms, tree nuts, seeds herbs and honey. The whole premise of Paleo is that it is meant to be basic. No additives, no processed foods. It also defies that whole grains are necessary and insists that the carbs we need are present in the vegetables and fruits we eat.
Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC and author of Practical Paleo (A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle) said she had repeated sinus infections throughout the year and that all of her close friends struggled with the same health issues. “All of us had a range of chronic ailments like acne, pharyngitis, heartburn, headaches, dental cavities and deteriorating vision in addition to the sinus and digestive discomfort. It never occurred to any of us that we had the power to prevent these problems.”
It is a diet touted to help reduce inflammation and other autoimmune disorders related to inflammation caused by grains and dairy. Controversial claims to some, yet again, if something is ailing you, why not try the power of dietary changes through real food? Food for thought (pun intended).
Here is where it gets personal for me. In the past few weeks, I have shared with you articles that have lightly touched on various diets and Veganism. I am 31 years old, teach fitness classes ranging from Zumba to Yoga, ran a half marathon, never dieted but just tried to eat a really balanced variety of foods and in theory at the height of my health.
The past few months I saw a decline in my own personal health. I started having such intense joint pain that running became increasingly more painful and then impossible over the course of three months. Every doctorI saw was perplexed. After a battery of blood work, and allergy tests with no positive guidance from any of the specialists I saw, I decided to do an elimination diet. Eliminating and adding back, you know, like you do with babies.
Embarking on this experiment, the only thing my doctors had in agreement was that my symptoms were inflammatory. So, I Googled, “Anti-Inflammatory Diet” and got a few options, asked a few people and suddenly “Paleo” repeatedly came up. I had never heard of it in my life. At this point I would have eaten ground beets daily if you told me it would make my symptoms subside!!
Within 3 days of eliminating carbohydrates and dairy as suggested in this approach, I felt my energy increase and within a week my joint paint was nearly gone. Several weeks later and I feel awesome with no joint pain. Coincidence? Maybe! All I know is for me it was worth trying and my doc supports it!
Let me be clear: I don’t believe there are one-sized-fits-all approaches to health or even dietary options. What works for one may not work for another. Doctors and health professionals, we love and need you. Truly. What’s undeniable is that food can be our fuel and for some, it can actually be healing. Everything has its place. Maybe more will consider that place, a garden spot in their yard.
The Wild Ramp has an awesome selection of locally farmed veggies, meats and other goods. Our new store hours are Tuesday-Friday from 10a.m.-6p.m. and Saturday hours will remain 10a.m.-4p.m.