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Calgary, AB / 587-437-3197 / jenna@simplynurtured.ca

2016 by Jenna Lessner 

  • Jenna Lessner, BSc, CHNC

Is Paleo the answer?

Updated: Feb 13


I believe that it is! I have been following a Paleo diet for 4 years now. It’s hard to believe that I used to eat any other way at this point. This way of eating has definitely helped me make some significant changes in my life and my body. The Paleo diet has helped me to lose weight, balance hormones and increase my energy. Paleo provides your body with an array of essential nutrients for women’s health. It supports healthy fertility since it focuses on foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Paleo provides ample B12 and folic acid needed for optimal fertility. As well as omega 3 fatty acids, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin D and zinc.

But, what is paleo exactly? It is a lifestyle based on our ancestors from the Paleolithic era (2.6 million years ago to 12,000 years ago). It is based on a time when humans consumed a natural diet. A diet that our bodies were designed to eat. The Paleolithic era is pre-industrial. It is before the birth of agriculture which was only about 12,000 years ago. Humans in the Paleolithic era were hunters and gathers. Foods that were consumed were natural, whole and nutritious.

The Paleo diet cuts out the refined and processed foods of the modern industry. Such foods are not really food at all but a chemical array that is put together in an “edible” package. Our society has gone so far away from our natural diet that it has wreaked havoc on our bodies leading to various ailments and illnesses. This type of diet known as the Standard American Diet (SAD) may lead to nutrient deficiencies, impaired digestion and inflammation. With this type of diet, it is no wonder we are seeing a rise in infertility. What we consume on a daily basis affects every cell in our body.

The grains that have become the staple of our modern diet were considered starvation food by our Paleolithic ancestors. By removing refined and processed foods it allows our bodies to come back into balance with our natural diet. Many people notice various health benefits when following a Paleolithic diet such as weight loss, increased energy, mental clarity and improved fertility.

How to get started? It’s important to know that this is not a quick-fix diet. Paleo is a lifestyle. It embodies living a certain way that is natural to your genetics. Following an 80-20 approach is realistic while living in a world of modern luxuries. The 80-20 approach suggests that 80% of the time you consume foods that are part of the Paleo diet and 20% of the diet you can indulge (a little). I still suggest you use your 20% wisely and make the healthiest choices possible. Living 100% Paleo is unrealistic and not necessary. We are human and that’s okay!

Your Quick Guide to Paleo

Paleo includes:

Bone broth

Coconut oil

Extra-virgin olive oil

Free-range eggs

Free-range poultry

Fruits

Grass-fed meats

Herbal tea

Non-starchy vegetables

Raw nuts and seeds

Seafood

Wild-caught fish

Paleo does not include:

Alcohol

Bread

Cereals

Coffee

Dairy products (cheese, ice cream, milk, yogurt)

Grains

Legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas)

Packaged Processed Foods

Pastries

Refined sugars

Soda