Should I go on the Paleo Diet?

 The Palaeolithic Diet, or Paleo Diet, seems to be in much vogue. It’s supposed to allow people to go back to basics, eating what our Hunters and Gatherers ancestors used to eat. At that time there were no super markets, TV dinners, processed foods and even grains.

The Paleo Diet would be what humans used to eat before we started agriculture and settled into society groups.

Ayurveda has a few things in common with the Paleo diet. It recommends avoiding all processed food, highly processed dairy products as well as highly refined sugar, flour and salt. It also recommends eating plenty of in-season, organic fruits and vegetables (prepared appropriately for your constitution). Stick to vegetables more than meats because they are easier to digest.

From and Ayurveda perspective, meat is heavy, heating and sweet. As a result, it pacifies Vata and tends to increase both Pitta and Kapha. If eaten in excess it will cause inflammation and other excess heat conditions in the body.

A few meats that are cooling rather than heating include buffalo, rabbit, venison and goat. Favour these specially now that is the summer. And cook your meats well, maybe as a broth, to make it easier to digest. Use nice spices to ignite your digestion, such as ginger, cumin, a little bit of chilly. Also drink digestive teas after with fennel seeds, mint, etc.

From a mental perspective, meat is considered Tamasic, the opposite of movement. When Tamas accumulates in the mind it can cause dullness, heaviness and eventually depression. For this reason, excessive meat consumption is not recommended in Ayurveda or Yoga.

If you are a meat eater and ant to give Paleo a go, try an 80:20 ratio between veggies and meats. Follow the Paloe lifestyle eating foods that are local to the region you live in, eating seasonally as much as possible and doing a reasonable amount of daily exercise to keep your Agni strong.

Favour cooling meats, cook with spices, make soups, make sure you get your meat:veggies ratios right to avoid excessive ketosis and acidity and maybe allow a little flexibility.

To help balancing the Tamasic consequences of too much meat eating, you’ll need to do other things to cultivate Sattva in your life like spending plenty of time in nature and daily meditation…. You might also want to consider seeing an Ayurvedic practitioner from time to time to get your pulse checked for any brewing subtle imbalances.

For a longer review on the subject, click here


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