The paleo diet simplifies nutrition into the basic categories of foods that are easily processed by the body and those that are not. These categories find their definition in the presumed dietary practices of early humans in the Paleolithic Period (otherwise known as the Stone Age), meaning that if a prehistoric human could or would not have eaten it, then it is excluded from the list of approved foods. General exclusions are such staples as dairy, grains, and processed meat.
Planning meals according to the paleo diet does involve more than just reinventing the wheel, however. Rather than focusing on erratic calorie restrictions or redistributing food portions from the old-fashioned Food Pyramid, all the paleo-dieter needs to do is limit their food choices to lean and natural meat from pastured animals or wild fish and game (as opposed to farm-raised stock), natural fruits and vegetables, and non-processed condiments, ingredients, and beverages.
While the categorical restrictions may seem daunting at first blush, a typical day’s meals do not differ all that much from standard fare. An example menu for the day would include an omelet with mushrooms and veggies cooked in olive oil for breakfast, a fresh chicken salad with olive oil or fruit juice (such as lemon) in place of dressing for lunch, and a flat iron steak or roasted chicken with grilled or steamed vegetables and a fruit bowl for dinner. The official Paleo Diet even allows for the occasional non-paleo indulgences, making it a suitable nutritional option for everybody.
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