If you haven’t noticed by now, Primal Platoon™ promotes the consumption of Primal-based foods. From a wellness standpoint, this is the smartest and simplest way to go. You can call it what you want: Primal, Paleo, or even Ancestral (as it’s being called in the academic communities).That’s the foundation of our natural wellness.
We’re not meant to be constantly hungry, overfed, overweight, and pre-diabetic. But, that’s exactly what you get from eating the Standard American Diet (Pssst…This is the diet you were raised on and probably continue to this very day).
In the context of food or dieting, “Primal” means, nothing processed, nothing refined, nothing bio-engineered or genetically modified. Most importantly, no products or gadgets offering the magic solution to a beach body. Basically, just the foods our ancestors were able to hunt and gather. There are some exceptions but we’ll go over those later.
So-called experts telling you anything different are probably profiting from, or have vested interests in, the processed food industries that have just one goal: GETTING YOUR HARD-EARNED $$$. So, here’s your wake-up call: All you are to big food corporations and fast-food joints is this:
“But, it’s expensive to eat healthy…”
Many people think it’s expensive to eat healthy. If you don’t know how to shop for healthy food, yes, it can be. If it’s done right however, you’ll probably break even compared to your normal grocery bill. What’s better, depending on your eating habits, you could save much more money in the long run.
Most importantly, if you’re a fast-food junkie, ridding your body of all the harmful and seemingly addictive substances from these foods will also save you a ton of money. So, in many ways eating primal makes a lot of sense and cents. Here’s how to start:
(1) Stay away from the “healthy foods” aisle
Nowadays, many companies are capitalizing on the healthy foods industry. Put the word “organic”, “green” or “fat-free” on anything and it sells like hot cakes. Unfortunately, these so-called “healthy” aisles are stocked with mostly processed foods and other foods made with ingredients you probably don’t want going in your body. By far, the best reason to stay away from this aisle is that these foods can get pretty expensive.
(2) Stay away from things labeled “fat-free”
Nowadays, even some gummy worms packages brag about being fat-free. Ironically, the sugar in these candies are more likely to be stored in your body as fat than eggs and bacon are.
As far as other fat-free foods, it’s important to know that in the mechanical process required to remove the fat from food, the flavor is also removed, unfortunately. In order to make fat-free food taste good, food companies bathe the food in sugar to make it more palatable. Just say no to “fat-free”.
Chances are, no one you know has ever lost a significant amount of weight eating fat-free food. Quite the contrary, the sugar laced in these foods makes it easier for us to overeat, leading to fat gain. Worst of all, unexpended calories equals fat storage and unhealthy weight gain.
(3) Just buy real foods
Stick with fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, and fresh meats and you’ll be fine. The fresh produce and meats are normally located in the outer perimeter aisles. This is where you should do most, if not all, your shopping.
(4) Just go primal
If you’re a busy adult, you probably don’t have time to delve into all those books claiming to be “THE NEXT BIG THING” in dieting. It’s pretty confusing (even for a Nutritionist). The best place to start would be with the basics. Simply said, just eat real foods. If this concept makes a lot of sense and you truly care about your nutrition and health, they’re many ways to educate yourself.
If you’ve read through the other Primal Platoon™ pages and want to explore more, the Resources page has links to the top Primal/Paleo websites that feature things like foods, recipes, and the latest health news. Bot for now, what you’ve been waiting for; The Primal foods list:
Let’s preface this list of foods by saying, the name of this website is Primal Platoon, not The Primal Police. With that said, no one is going to sentence you to Paleo-Prison if you eat brown rice or black beans on any given day. However, if you’re striving to stay within the general parameters of Primal eating (which is highly recommended) the list below contains the foods you should be eating for optimal health.
And remember, this isn’t a fad diet. It’s the way we’re naturally supposed to eat. More importantly, its the solution for breaking away from the diet that’s been making us overeat and overweight for way too long: The Standard American Diet. So, NOW is time for change. Start with this list:
Meats, Poultry, Eggs,
Major source of: Protein, “good” fat*
Ensure the meats contain no: steroids, added hormones, anti-biotics
Ensure it’s pasture-raised or grass fed
- The traditional meats we’ve consumed most of our lives are from grain-fed animals. Grain is cheaper and faster than allowing the animals to eat off the land, as nature intended. For the agricultural industry, it works to get the animals really fat in a short amount of time to maximize profits and keep overhead low.
- The problem is, these animals weren’t designed for grain to be the base of their diet. It’s totally unnatural.
- Eating meats that are grass-fed or pasture raised ensures that you’re eating animals the way nature intended. The *saturated fat in these animals is actually a source of vitamins & minerals directly derived from the lands these animals foraged on (e.g., omega-3 contents derived from grass).
- If chicken is your thing, aside from the guidelines above, ensure that the package indicates that it’s been “minimally processed”
- Sure, in the perfect world, the Primal/Paleo “rule” is to only buy eggs that are raised humanely, cage-free, and fed a vegetarian diet. In a perfect world, we can opt to pay extra money at the grocery store to feel good about ourselves.
- In the real-world, affordability becomes a reality that hits us in the face really hard. By the way, what you’re not told is that egg farmers are only required to expose chickens to 5 minutes of cage-free time to put the “cage-free” label on the egg packages. Totally unfair isn’t it?
Wake-up call: It’s the real world, so now that you know, don’t be so damn picky with your eggs!
Major sources of: Carbs, healthy fats, & key vitamins & minerals
- Opt for local and organic. This ensures you’re getting the freshest & safest produce out there
- Organic produce is least likely to be infested with insecticides
- Organic, as opposed to genetically modified (or GMO), ensures that the vegetables’ DNA is as nature intended
- Organic also ensures that it’s not bioengineered intosuper sized, insect resistant Franken-veggies
We know…It’s the real-world. Sometimes “local” is a couple of states away. Sometimes, ‘organic’ is mega-expensive or just not available. If that’s the case, don’t sweat it. The fact that you’re making a wise, conscious decision to eat more vegetables and fruits is a giant leap towards your wellness. Buy what’s available.
Major Source of: Carbs, key vitamins & minerals
The vegetable guidelines above pretty much apply to the fruits guidelines below (since they’re also produce). Since that’s the case, there’s no need to beat a dead camel. But here are the key points to remember for fruits:
- Know your body-If you’re diabetic or pre-diabetic, opt for fruits that don’t cause sudden blood sugar spikes
- Portability is everything. Choose fruits that are easy to take on-the-go and that don’t require utensils or construction equipment to peel
- Eat the ones you like-Don’t try to like the “popular” fruits or the ones that you heard were the most nutritious. Eat & buy the ones you like. This will make it easier for you to sustain this nutritious habit, long-term.
Nuts & Seeds
Major source of: Healthy fats, protein, & key vitamins & minerals
Plain & Simple: Choose natural, organic nuts that have no added ingredients (although, a little bit of salt never hurt anyone). Just stay away from the big food brands that are out for your money. How’s this done? Here’s a quick explanation:
Some of us may know about the health benefits of walnuts. They’re rich in anti-oxidants and high in Omega-3s (ALA). As soon as big food corporations get their hands on walnuts (or any other food for that matter), they’ll modify them, transform them, and bio-engineer them into tasting like the best thing on the planet.
You can’t put a patent on natural, organic foods. But, you can transform them into porn-in-your mouth, franken-foods to sell to the masses under the “Healthy” pretense. This is how big food corporations make money: capitalizing on consumer ignorance.
Nuts are great in-between snacks because of their portability and convenience. So, just say no to eating a supposedly, “healthy” cup of sugar-laced yogurt for a snack. Instead, go nuts with nuts!
Rest assured-We aren’t going to re-invent the Primal/Paleo wheel. There are plenty of websites, books, and resources out there listing the “good oils” vs. the “bad oils”. If you’re unemployed or have no social life, go ahead, do the research. If you just want general guidelines, here they are:
- Avoid frying foods: The oils (vegetable oils) go rancid under extreme temperature and this is bad news for your body
- When fried, most oils lose their healthy properties
- If you must fry, opt for coconut oil, it handles well under extreme temperatures
- Olive oil is generally healthy, but again, don’t use it for frying. Use it on salads, searing, or food prep
- For butter, ensure it’s from grass-fed cows and, if possible, opt for the butter made from cows not treated with steroids or growth hormones
Putting it all together
We know; This is a lot of information…Now what? Well, we can spend the next few hours lecturing you on macronutrients, micronutrients, nutrient timing, protein to carb ratios, blah, blah, blah. We won’t. We’ll put it all into perspective.
To begin your mission of sustained, lifetime wellness, start thinking about how you’re going to change the way you eat at home. And don’t worry, as you get better prepping meals and savvier, nutrition-wise, you’ll know exactly where to look for credible nutrition information, primal recipes, etc.
For now, think about this: The typical American family has a food repertoire of about 5-10 meals. What this means is that we normally rotate between 5-10 of the same meals for dinner. Okay, here’s further elaboration; Remember growing up?
What were the top dishes you remember your mom (or dad) serving? Go ahead…name them. You probably named about 7 (or less) meals. So, with the primal foods as a reference, your challenge is to create 5-10 meals you can start preparing at home. It’ll replace your current food ‘situation’ at home with more health-conscious alternatives. Not to mention, you’ll probably save more money this way too.
Still need some inspiration? We got you. There are hundreds of sites for Paleo (aka, REAL foods) recipes. We like this one (click here). Plus, there are more sites listed in the Primal Resources page.
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