You may have heard about the paleo, primal or 'caveman' diet. You may have read about some of my own primal adventures on this blog. More than just a diet, the paleo/primal approach is about challenging conventional (and often commercially-driven) wisdom and living a healthier life in all respects. It starts with food but also integrates efficient movement, sufficient sleep, stress management, play and more.
You may know someone who's had great success with this lifestyle. I have a friend who's embracing it after 16 years as a vegetarian (with the majority of that time being vegan) and has never felt better. My still-vegetarian brother has limited his grain intake and among other benefits, it's kept his asthma in check. A friend of his is playing squash again for the first time in years now that his joint pain has gone away, thanks to eliminating grains.
I myself have never felt better. I'm currently approaching the 4-week point of a Whole30 + autoimmune protocol. In short, I have not been eating grains, sugar, dairy, eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, seed-based spices, soy products and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, all kinds of peppers). Believe it or not, it's not as restrictive as it seems! I've been enjoying plenty of diverse vegetables, herbs and quality meat and fish. It's an elimination diet where I'll slowly start reintroducing these foods (except the grains and sugar which will be reserved for very very very rare and special occasions) and hopefully determine whether there are any that my body doesn't like.
I'll blog properly about that experience soon. For now, I wanted to share some of the resources that have served to enlighten, educate, inspire and support me along this transformation over the past couple of years. A lot of people have been asking me about it lately so I thought I'd compile this list.
Mark's Daily Apple – The beginning
For me, it all started with Mark's Daily Apple and I discovered the site in a very random way – while doing some design research! I stumbled upon his site from the portfolio of the woman who made it. I started reading and it was a wrap! Soon I'd read Mark Sisson's book, The Primal Blueprint, and was thoroughly convinced that primal was something I had to do. Mark's remains my go-to site.
Mark's Daily Apple is especially great for:
- The science behind a primal/paleo lifestyle and discovering the truths behind some common wisdoms and assumptions
- Finding out whether or not foods are primal
- Step-by-step workout tips (and videos)
- Incredible success stories
- An example of how to maintain a blog that provides tremendous value and marketing genius!
Whole9 – It starts with food
Whole9 is a community focused on health, fitness, balance and sanity, all built on a foundation of real food and healthy nutritional habits. They are the instigators of the Whole30® program, which I mentioned above and the blog's authors are also authors of the book, It Starts with Food, which I'm excited to start reading soon.
- Really useful blog posts that break down paleo/health principles in a simple way
- Whole30® support system including several success stories
- A community of like-minds
The Paleo Mom – Scientific rigour and practical advice
A scientist turned stay-at-home mom who shares recipes, explains the science behind the paleo diet and its modifications, and blogs about the challenges of raising a paleo family. She's been an invaluable resource for me during my current autoimmune protocol diet.
- Information and advice for those with autoimmune diseases (did you know just how many diseases are classified as such?)
- Paleo for kids (of all ages)
A blog helping you to live paleo in a non-paleo world. When you begin your transformation you may come across people who think it's just a fad, it's unhealthy, it's misguided … and the list goes on! I'm so lucky that my live-in boyfriend and I are on the same page with this but, what happens when you're trying to make these changes and the other people in your household are not?
- Navigating the non-paleo world
- Autoimmune protocol tips
Because I love good food
And if you're still worrying that you'll be punishing your taste buds, prepare for that myth to be debunked in a serious way. These are a few of my fave paleo recipe blogs at the moment:
Image: a serving of butternut squash 'pudding' (squash + coconut milk + cinnamon = simple, quick and delicious!)
- My 21 Days Without Grains and Sugar and 21 Reasons to Try it – In many ways, the precursor to my Whole30 + autoimmune protocol
- Going Primal: Why and How (and What I'm Eating)
- How to Resist Temptation at Events When Going Primal (or Following Any Other Unconventional Diet) – Fantastic tips from my formerly vegan and vegetarian friend, Crystal
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