Do not eat grains. This includes (but is not limited to) wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, rice, millet, bulgur, sorghum, sprouted grains, and all gluten-free pseudo-cereals like quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheat. This also includes all the ways we add wheat, corn, and rice into our foods in the form of bran, germ, starch, and so on. Again, read your labels.
In fact, the health benefits of the paleo diet are unproven. "Our ancestors ate this way and didn't have many of the chronic diseases we do, but that doesn't mean the food they ate is the reason why; drawing that conclusion would be like saying we live three times longer than our Paleolithic ancestors because we eat fast food," says Christopher Ochner, MD, research associate at the New York Obesity Nutrition Research Center at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals. Still, a handful of small studies have tried to determine if a paleo diet is a healthier diet. One small study published in the journal Diabetologia found that the diet improved blood sugar over 12 weeks compared to a Mediterranean one that allowed grains, low-fat dairy, and oils, but it's hard to say whether researchers would come to the same results in a larger study.
Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health by Gary Taubes expounds on his 2002 article in the NY Times (What if It's All Been a Big Fat Lie?) and then in Science Magazine (see below). He shows how public health data has been misinterpreted to mark dietary fat and cholesterol as the primary causes of coronary heart disease. Deeper examination, he says, shows that heart disease and other diseases of civilization appear to result from increased consumption of refined carbohydrates: sugar, white flour and white rice. Or in other words, without using the word Paleolithic, he justifies the paleo diet. Here is an excellent chapter by chapter summary of the book [archive.org].
However, placing certain food groups on your "do not eat" list does have the potential work against you. "When a person sees the foods as 'off limits,' and consuming them is somehow breaking a rule and therefore sees themselves as a 'bad person,' mental damage is what is going to ensue long term versus the 30-day health benefits that you will receive," Smith cautions.
The program was created by wife and husband Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig in 2009. They both became certified sports nutritionists; he worked as a physical therapist, and she was working at an insurance company during the day and doing nutritional consulting in her spare time. She quit her job to run the Whole30 business in 2010. They co-authored It Starts With Food (2012) and The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom (2015). They separated in 2015. Melissa Hartwig took over the business, and published Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food in 2016.
There is little argument over the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The only caveat for paleo dieters is that some vegetables are starchy (e.g., potatoes) and some fruits are higher in sugar (e.g., bananas). So, if you are trying to lose weight or watch your blood sugar levels, eat these in moderation. In fact, potatoes are banned from some strict versions of the diet.
In that sense, Whole30 has been so helpful in understanding my body. So how am I eating now? I would say that I'm eating pretty "paleo" these days. I definitely still indulge once in a while, with some red wine or french fries, but I haven't been tempted to binge in the slightest. I would definitely do Whole30 again, but I need a bit of a break from it at the moment. Instead, I'm ready for a mindful and moderate approach to my new chapter of life, back in New York City.
The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf, a research biochemist. Readers will understand digestion, how protein, carbohydrate and fat influence hormones, and how this plays into fat loss, health or disease. They'll understand the significance of dietary fats whether the concern is performance, health, longevity, or making your fanny look good in a bikini. The book goes into how lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress influence the hormone cortisol. It gets into basic blood work and what things people should ask their doctor to include to better assess inflammation and health. It also includes a detailed 30-day meal plan and a beginner exercise program. The exercise program is geared to the beginner or someone who is quite de-conditioned but the nutritional info would be helpful for anyone regardless of background. The author's website is Robb Wolf. He likes to pass out the information via weekly podcasts. Here's a video Introduction to the book. And here is an excerpt from the book: How to Keep Feces Out of Your Bloodstream (or Lose 10 Pounds in 14 Days). The many Amazon reviews all rave about the book. Published September 14, 2010.
We want you to be a part of our community. We want you to take this seriously, and see amazing results in unexpected areas. We want you to look, feel, and live better than you have in years—or maybe ever. We want you to find lasting food freedom. Even if you don’t believe this will actually change your life, if you’re willing to give it 30 short days, DO IT. It is that important. We believe in it that much. It changed our lives, and we want it to change yours too.
Alcohol is a no-no if you are strict paleo. Beer is made from grains, and liquor also contains traces of gluten. But, good news for cider-lovers: most hard ciders are gluten-free, so they are allowed. Check the label to be sure. Red wine is more accepted in the paleo community because it contains the antioxidant resveratrol, but sorry chardonnay lovers, white wine is technically not allowed.
Anyone and everyone that has come through the bay doors at CFA will answer this question "what is your favorite part about CFA?" the same: the people. From all walks of life. In all shapes and sizes. All ages. And without exception, everyone is a genuinely good person. The camaraderie experienced at CFA is the first time since high school athletics that I’ve felt like I was a part of something bigger than myself.
While founders Dallas Hartwig and Melissa Hartwig are adamant in their book and on their website that “you’ve done harder things than this, and you have no excuse not to complete the program as written,” the Whole30 is not for the lazy or noncommittal. Without careful planning, a strong support system and dogged dedication, a business lunch, flight delay or date night can throw you off and send you back to the start. By nature, diets that eliminate entire food groups are tough to follow. On the other hand, it’s only 30 days.
Breakfast: My favorite breakfast during this program was leftovers from the night before — it was easy and usually had all the elements I needed to feel full and jumpstart my day. If there was leftover protein, I might throw it over some greens and make a salad. If there was soup, that was always perfect too. When I was feeling breakfast-y, eggs did the trick with some roasted veggies.
The Garden of Eating: A Produce-Dominated Diet & Cookbook by Rachel Albert-Matesz and Don Matesz presents evidence for a diet of vegetables, fruits, and pasture-fed animal products. Provides a practical plan and 250 delicious, family-friendly, grain- and dairy-free recipes. Buy from the author's page The Garden of Eating. Rachel's blog The Healthy Cooking Coach. The cookbook maintains a perfect rating at Amazon.
Dr. Georgia Ede reviews the EAT-Lancet’s global nutrition study, “Food in the Anthropocene—the EAT-Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems,” which envisions a “Great Food Transformation” based on minimizing consumption of animal foods. She concludes, “the report fails to provide us with the clarity, transparency and responsible representation of the facts we need to place our trust in its authors. Instead, the Commission’s arguments are vague, inconsistent, unscientific, and downplay the serious risks to life and health posed by vegan diets.”