Paleo brownie recipe below the article.
The Paleo style of eating is not another diet (Lord no, not another diet), but more of a lifestyle. You see, tens of thousands of years ago, before Nike, frozen pizzas, pasta, and Healthy Choice meals, our ancient ancestors survived and thrived as hunter-gatherers. Although it’s been a really long time, our genetics haven’t changed that much since then.
As the name indicates, Paleo refers to the Paleolithic or the ancient style of eating where natural and wild foods formed the staple of the human diet and not the processed foods prevalent today. A modern day eating plan with Paleo meals may thus include food items which do not require much processing and can be consumed in lightly cooked or raw form.
During the Paleolithic period, many thousands of years ago, people ate primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots and meat – and a wide variety of it.
Back in the day, grains were not part of our diet. We ate what we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional vegetables, some tubers and roots, occasional berries or seasonal fruits, and seeds that other animals hadn’t decimated. Grains came around extremely late in our development cycle and have been causing problems ever since.
Today, these staples have been largely replaced with refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cereal, bread, potatoes and pasteurized milk products along with processed foods of all kinds… and a much narrower selection of vegetables, fruits, roots, seeds and nuts.
While we may consider ourselves to be at the pinnacle of human development, with our highly advanced technological, manufacturing and transportation wonders our modern food manufacturing processes have not created a race of super-humans in possession of great health and longevity.
Quite the contrary…
Humans today suffer more chronic and debilitating diseases than ever before along with the staggering statistics that reveal as many as two thirds of us are overweight to some degree or another. And there can be little doubt that our food choices play a major role in this development.
When we look a back at our ancient ancestors the average Homo Sapien back then: was tall, muscular, agile, athletic, and incredible versatile.
Today’s “average” Homo Sapien: overweight, out of shape, lacking energy, stressed out, sleep deprived, unhappy, and dying from a myriad of preventable diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
So what the heck happened? Agriculture! A few thousand years ago humans discovered farming, the agricultural revolution took off, and we changed from hunter-gathers into farmers. We settled down, formed societies, and the human race progressed into what we are today.
The problem is, our bodies never adjusted properly to eat all of the grains that we were now farming. So, instead of loading up on lean meats, vegetables and seasonal fruits, we have become a species “dependent” upon grains – bread, pasta, rice, corn, and so on. Our governments continue to recommend 6-11 servings of grains a day, and the people in our world continue to get fatter and sicker by the day.
Clearly something’s completely ‘out of whack’. The Paleo concept of eating is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, before the agricultural revolution, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.
The Diet That May Beat All Others…
While you won’t be able to find many of the wild varieties of plant foods eaten by cavemen even if you wanted to, you can certainly mold your daily eating plan around the principles of Paleo eating rather easily as a ‘healthy diet’ is qualified by the following key factors:
- Unprocessed whole foods
- Often raw or only lightly cooked (ideally, try to eat at least one-third of your food raw, or as much as you can manage)
- Organic or grass-fed, and free from additives and genetically modified ingredients
- Fresh foods that come from high-quality, local sources
- Carbohydrates coming primarily from vegetables
Okay, so if we cut out the grains, almost all processed foods, you are left with only things that occur naturally:
• Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed…which causes the same problem in animals as they do in humans
• Poultry – chicken, duck, turkey…things with wings that (try to) fly
• Fish – wild fish, not farmed fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue
• Eggs – organic free range if possible
• Vegetables – as long as they are not deep fried, eat as many as you want
• Oils – olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural
• Fruits – have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight
• Nuts – high in calories, so they are good for a snack, but don’t eat oodles of them
• Seeds – same as nuts, can be high in calories
• Tubers – sweet potatoes, yams. Higher in calories and good carbohydrates.
Steak with asparagus and sweet potato fries, grilled chicken salad, massive omelets that will fill you up for the whole morning, apples dipped in almond butter (my favorite snack ever), and so on. Pick any of the things from that list, and eat as much as you want of them (with the noted exceptions), and you will feel so good you will be able to leap tall buildings with a single bound. 🙂
Can a Stone Age Diet Make You Healthier?
Eating the Paleo or caveman way, works by keeping your body’s chemistry in better balance. The goal is to reduce excess body fat, aid in the normalization of blood sugar levels and reduce toxins and anti-nutrients. “Normalizing” your system is the true strength of the so-called caveman diet. By eating foods that are concordant with your genetic ancestry, you can avoid many of the diseases associated with our modern diet.
The nutritional qualities of modern processed foods and foods are discordant with our ancient and conservative genetic blueprint. This genetic discordance ultimately manifests itself as various chronic illnesses, which have been dubbed “diseases of civilization.”
By severely reducing or eliminating these foods and replacing them with more healthful food choices that possess nutrient qualities more in line with the foods our ancestors consumed, it is possible to improve health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Fortunately, if we can simply expand our horizons and remove certain types of food from our diet as much as we can, we can stop worrying about the threats to our waistline and health forever.
Don’t forget to check out the Paleo cookbook, chock full of 370 recipes to help you make better choices for you and your family.
½ cup coconut oil – if solid warm till melted over hot water or gently in pot
½ cup cocoa powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup almond meal (can blend up raw almonds in a blender to get the ‘flour’ or ‘meal’)
Cocoa powder to dust (optional)
Preheat oven to 160° Celsius/325° Fahrenheit.
Place the coconut oil, cocoa powder and cinnamon in a bowl and combine well. Add the coconut milk, honey, egg, almond meal and mix until combined.
Line a small brownie tin or cake loaf tin with baking paper. Spoon the brownie mixture into the tin and smooth the surface of the mixture.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator for 60 minutes.
Dust the brownie with cocoa and cut into individual portions to serve.