Can You Eat Like a Caveman?

paleo diet

Photo by Flickr user Zane Hellman

When thinking about health and what people should consume, society is now looking to the past. The new food-plan fad is called the Paleo Diet, referencing the Paleolithic days of humanity. Those who are brave enough to take the challenge only eat what was available during the caveman days, such as certain meats, eggs, and vegetables. This means no processed sugar, gluten, or dairy, cutting most of America’s favorite foods from the meal plan.

Visual Arts Instructor Chelsea Dean is Marlborough’s resident Paleo expert, as she has been on the diet since mid-June of this past summer. She began per her chiropractor’s suggestion, because out of the many benefits, including increased energy and a theorized longer life, it reduces internal inflammation. Inflammation is generally unhealthy, and by cutting gluten—its main proponent—out of her daily intake, it decreased.

When Dean first started, she did a 30-day reset diet, which means that she went straight into the Paleo Diet without an ease in or break.

“It’s really hard in this environment,” Dean says. She admits that it is hard to find foods when she eats out, and that avoiding sugar and gluten is a challenge.

The nutrition plan takes a lot of planning and cooking on the dieter’s part, because it’s more effective to make the distinct and specific foods than to find them at a restaurant. Dean explains that unlike accessible foods, meals that comply with the diet take time and preparation to cook. For example, this chinese chicken salad looks tasty and is completely Paleo but does require time-consuming cutting and shredding.

For anyone who wants to try the diet, she suggests thinking about his or her current food consumption and then creating a version that will fit into his or her lifestyle successfully.

“I think there are different ways you can approach it; it doesn’t have to be all or nothing,” Dean says. She encourages any level of participation in the Paleo Diet, because her mentality and energy levels have improved immensely, and she feels better in her body.