While a Paleo diet might conjure images of roasting dinosaur meat, it’s actually based on the idea of eating meats like our ancient ancestors did—from animals that were humanely raised, grass-fed and free from antibiotics. A typical Paleo meal might look like this:
- A fist-size portion of animal protein such as bison, cow, lamb, chicken, fish or pork.
- A healthy serving of vegetables, cooked or raw.
- A small amount of fruit and maybe a handful of nuts.
As the Paleo diet and Primal lifestyle trends go mainstream, your clients might start coming to you for information—if they haven’t already. While the terms and concepts of “Paleo” and “Primal” are similar, a few key distinctions separate them. Here’s a look at the basic, need-to-know differences:
Ancient Eating Explained
How did cavemen dine? According to an article in the European Journal of Nutrition, primal diets “were based chiefly on wild game, fish and uncultivated plant foods. They provided abundant protein; a fat profile much different from that of affluent Western nations; high fiber; carbohydrate from fruits and vegetables (and some honey) but not from cereals, refined sugars and dairy products; high levels of micronutrients and probably of phytochemicals as well.”
Ancient-diet aficionados believe that a return to an ancient diet can reverse a host of common health problems such as asthma, seasonal allergies, acne, eczema, chronic headaches, migraines, irritable-bowel syndrome, ADD, ADHD, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, mental fogginess and chronic fatigue.
Paleo Versus Primal
The main Paleo/Primal difference is that Paleo retains a strong food focus while Primal is more of a prevailing lifestyle than a diet. More on the differences:
- Diet has no grains but is high in animal protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
- Diet eschews all dairy.
- Allows organic dairy, preferably raw.
- Encourages consumption of large amounts of saturated fats found in animal meats, dairy products and coconut oil. Saturated fat would be a natural part of cavemen’s diet because they ate the entire animal, including organ meats and bone marrow.
Paleo and Primal can go hand in hand. Your clients might choose to start with the Paleo diet and then incorporate elements of a Primal lifestyle, such as functional exercise and stress reduction. Regardless of the approach, mindful eating and exercise can help your clients be successful—not only short term, but for life.
Photography By: Steve Parker