What is the Paleo Diet?
This is a summary of an online article that I think explains the Paleo Diet very nicely. Our menu at Cafe YOU has a number of yummy paleo options including our Smoked Salmon Breakfast Salad, our Shakshukah, most of our soups and much more. Come in and enjoy!
If a caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you – that’s the Paleo diet in a nutshell!
When you are following the Paleo Diet, you can eat anything we could hunt or gather way back in the day – things like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. Pasta, cereal, and candy all have to go! Anything that didn’t exist in caveman times don’t exist on a Paleo plate or in a Paleo stomach.
You don’t have to keep track of how much you’ve eaten or obsess over how many calories you have consumed or how many grams of a particular nutrient you’ve had. All you have to do is focus on eating caveman food.
The Paleo Diet in more Detail
The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.
Back in the day, grains weren’t part of our diet. When we (over)consume grains regularly, our bodies take those grains, which are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs get turned into sugar in our system.
That sugar is then either burned as energy or stored as fat. That’s right: the grains you’re consuming are stored as fat in your body and they’re what most Paleo experts believe are the main culprit in why people are overweight.
Next, most grains contain gluten and lectins. What are they and what’s wrong with them?
- Gluten is a protein found in things like rye, wheat, and barley.Many experts now believe that much of our population may be gluten-intolerant (hence all the “gluten-free!” items at Café YOU). Over time, those who are gluten intolerant can develop a dismal array of medical conditions from consuming gluten: dermatitis, joint pain, reproductive problems, acid reflux, and more.
- Lectins are natural toxins that exist within grains to defend us from eating them! Grains have evolved to keep themselves from being eaten by us. These lectins are not a fan of our gastrointestinal tract, prevent the tract from repairing itself from normal wear and tear. This can cause all kinds of damage.
Long story short: our bodies don’t process grains well, and they are causing a boatload of problems.
The Paleo Diet also almost completely eradicates sugar. Unless you’re getting your sugar from a fruit, forget it. Sugar causes an energy spike and crash in your system, turns to fat unless it’s used immediately, and wreaks all kind of havoc on our bodies.
So, no grains, no sugar, no processed foods. Whether you’re talking about the paleo diet or not, many studies have shown that an incredible number of diseases and lifestyle issues can be reversed with these three simple changes.
Dairy’s a tough one, as most Paleo folks tend to stay away from it – a portion of the world is lactose intolerant, and those that aren’t usually have at least some type of an aversion to it. Why is that? Because no other animal in the entire kingdom drinks milk beyond infancy.
Hunter-gatherers didn’t lug cows around with them while traveling – milk was consumed as a baby, and that was it. As with grains, our bodies weren’t designed for massive dairy consumption.
There is evidence that some adaptation to dairy has taken place throughout the years, specifically with people with ancestry in herding cultures, but this is not the majority of the population.
So, this is one that Paleo purists will avoid like the plague, while others have found that consuming dairy in its various forms work for their genetics, goals, and lifestyle.
If you’re not sure, remove dairy from your diet and only introduce it back in when you’re ready to see how your body responds.
So no grains, no sugar, no dairy: what DO I get to eat on this diet?
Okay, so if we cut out the grains, almost all processed foods, and dairy, you’re left with only things that occur naturally:
- Meat – GRASS-FED*, not grain-fed. Grain causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans.
- Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly.
- Fish– Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
- Eggs –Look for omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
- Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
- Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
- Fruits – Have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack, but don’t eat bags and bags of them.
- Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs, so these are good for right after a workout to replenish your glycogen levels.
*If you can only afford grain-fed meat, that’s still better than grains. Do the best you can with your situation!
Steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, grilled chicken salad, massive omelets that will fill you up for the whole morning, apples dipped in almond butter (a delicious snack), and so on. Pick any of the things from that list, and eat as much as you want of them (with the noted exceptions). You’ll feel better and be healthier.
Here is a link to the full article; https://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/
Café YOU’s December Chefs’ Dinner
Our next Cafe YOU Chefs’ dinner is this coming Saturday, December 16th.
This is when our Chefs showcase the best of their best in a 6 course dégustation menu. They spend hours researching and collaborating and testing out new ideas to come up with a really special gastronomical experience for YOU. Once the menu has been finalized I work out the wine pairings. More long hours of research, reading reviews about the wine, checking ratings and buying the wines, sometimes just one bottle to make sure its the right wine before buying enough for the evening. Our chef’s dinners can be enjoyed with or without the wine pairings.
Here is the Wikipedia definition of a Dégustation menu; Dégustation is the careful, appreciative tasting of various foods, focusing on the gustatory system, the senses, high culinary art and good company. Dégustation is more likely to involve sampling small portions of all of a chef’s signature dishes in one sitting.
We still have some space left at this Saturday’s dinner. Don’t just buy gifts for others, spoil yourself for the holiday season too. Bring along some friends or come come on your own and enjoy a wonderful food experience with good company.
Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Menu – December 16, 2017
Braised Artichokes – w/ lemon verjuice
Snapper & Shrimp Ceviche – w/ melon & basil oil
Pan Roasted Halibut Towers – w/ green onion & rosemary sauce
Filet au Poivre – green peppercorn demi glace & candied root vegetables
Coco Almond Fondant – w/ coconut milk, brittle and Amaretto spheres
Rosemary Baked Camembert – w/ chopped cranberries & almonds
Dinner presented by:
Chefs Ed Rocchio & Sam Wood, Pastry Chef Ana Lewis and Wine Aficionado Marlies Laaper.
Previous Chefs’ Tasting Dinner Photos;
Course 1: Almond Encrusted Asparagus w/ Dijon Bearnaise – Created by Chef Ed
Course 2: Salmon Tartar w/sesame soy & pickled veggies – Created by Chef Sam