Paleo(ish)

So what does the word "Paleo(ish)" actually mean?

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First let’s start with what being Paleo (in the modern sense of the word) actually means. I’m sure you’ve heard/read a lot of incorrect information about it, such as calling it a “fad” diet, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

The basis of the Paleo lifestyle is the belief that evolution provides the clues to vibrant health. The development of agriculture, villages, and technology over the last twenty thousand years is a mere blip in comparison to our two million years of being hunter-gatherers.

One of the main arguments lobbed against the Paleo diet is that our ancestors didn’t all eat the same way. This is true—no proper Paleo-devotee would deny it!

Our Paleolithic ancestors didn't all live under the same conditions. There were different environments, stressors, and diets, yet they shared common practices which we can still learn from today. By embracing these practices, you can turn on the genes that optimize your body's form and function, slow down the rate of aging, and feel wonderful.

The other argument is that it’s unnatural and unhealthy to remove food groups (as in grains). This is untrue! There was a long swath of time when our ancestors didn’t consume grains. Once they began cultivating them and making them a main part of their diet, health problems began rising (though starvation was less of a risk!).

Yet removing entire food groups is not even what I advocate for. That’s the true nature of the “ish.”

The Wonderfulness Program isn't dogmatic about being Paleo. I’m not dogmatic about being Paleo. And guess what? You don't have to be, either. There's wiggle room based on what actually works for you, your lifestyle, and your goals. Also, you don't live in a cave. You probably enjoy eating in nice restaurants, wearing gorgeous lingerie, and streaming Netflix. That's why it's Paleo(ish).

Speaking of streaming Netflix, have you checked out it’s short docu-series “The Paleo Way”? Host and chef Pete Evans is charming, the locations are gorgeous, and the food looks scrumptious. But it’s the benefits that the Paleo people rave about that make me so happy. You get to see diet and lifestyle change in action!

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Yes, you can dine Paleo(ish) at most restaurants...

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So many things in life are challenging, aren’t they?

Going out to eat shouldn’t be one of them.

When you’re with a group of friends making dinner plans—or you simply want to treat yourself to a meal you didn’t cook—finding a restaurant that caters to a Paleo(ish) way of eating is a breeze.

Most places you go to will have an animal-based protein option and vegetables. Maybe you’ll have to make some substitutions, such as ordering a vegetable dish instead of the pasta or a burrito bowl instead of having it wrapped in a flour tortilla.

But since you have that helpful (ish) after the Paleo, you can even have the occasional grains, legumes, and dairy (provided you’re not sensitive to any of them).

That gives you a lot of options.

I recently was treated to a delicious dinner at Greens at Fort Mason in San Francisco (thank you, my lovely friend!). They’re a Michelin guide recommended restaurant that’s been serving vegetarian food for forty years. We were seated just in time for a gorgeous sunset on the bay and the food was as fantastic as the view. I had a polenta with roasted summer vegetables and a flourless chocolate cake for dessert—also, champagne.

No drama. No worries. All deliciousness, fabulous company, and it was Paleo(ish) to boot.

If you need to feel bad about something, feel bad about driving to dinner when you’re within walking distance (but you are wearing high heels). You could even feel bad about your pre-meal cocktail (though I’ll argue that a martini is a decent indulgence).

(Are you getting that I don’t find feeling bad or guilty helpful?)

But you definitely have no reason to feel bad about what to eat at a restaurant . Go out and enjoy yourself. There will be plenty of Paleo(ish) choices.

I create these blog posts so you can learn the most effective, simple, and efficient Paleo(ish) practices that counter the effects of aging. You deserve to love the way you look and feel throughout your entire wonderful life. But sometimes knowledge isn’t enough. If you need help figuring out how to actually incorporate these practices into your life, please reach out!