The Native Human Eating Style:
A Practical Guide to Paleo
- Eating food is for gaining energy, as well as providing the body with the essential building blocks it needs.
- Proteins are essential to grow into a strong guy or gal. Eating quality Complete Protein in the appropriate amounts (depending on gender, size, age and training) is required if you want healthy muscle development.
- Fats provide us with a solid baseline level of energy, plus they serve us in various repair and renewal processes in our bodies
- Consistently eating high-carb meals leads to fluctuating blood glucose levels. This is stressful and disrupts our bodies energy metabolism and hormone (insulin and glucagon) functioning.
- Carbohydrates are for replenishing glycogen. Eat high-carb foods in moderation and mostly on days of higher physical activity.
These main points help us to establish a macronutrient ratio that is compatible with how our bodies’ metabolism, digestion and renewal processes work. The amount of protein should be determined by gender, size and amount of strength training. I stick to eating between 100-150 grams of protein a day. After a strength work-out I may eat some more. For carbohydrates, I stick to the same numbers and eating slightly more on days I’m more physically active. The amount of fat is about 150-200 grams on average. All in all, this averages at a ratio of 1:1:1.333 in grams of proteins : carbohydrates : fats. Calorie intake may very between different days, this is not very relevant. As long as I eat within these ranges and eat enough protein post-work-out and replenish glycogen stores accordingly, I find that my natural appetite takes care of the rest. This is because Nature did not design us to become weak, fat or scrawny, we only became like that when we started eating shitty high-carb foods that contain little nutrients, are disruptive to our digestion, metabolism, hormones and dare I say it, brain chemistry. You simply can’t expect much when you’re eating ground up birdseeds, added sugar, weak/sick animals and rapeseed oil on the daily. The way our body functions and digests food was shaped by evolution; what native humans ate for millions of years. This leads us to an eating style that includes only natural foods that we used to hunt and gather. For the lion-share of Homo Sapiens’ existence, he ate mostly animals (fat and protein), accompanied by substantial amounts of vegetables and the occasional fruits, starch and nuts.
When and What to Eat
This Native Human eating style provides me with stable energy levels, so I don’t need to eat all the time. I just stick to eating 3 large meals and sometimes I eat some pieces of coconut or enjoy a piece of fruit or some red wine in the evenings.
The large meals are as follows:
- 4-egg (organic) omelette (optional: with organic high-fat cheese)
- Guacamole deluxe (bowl of mashed avocado/kiwi/coconut blend with berries (black-, straw-, rasp- or blueberries) and pieces of broccoli)
- Organic meat (usually beef) in Ghee/Coconut oil/Grass-butter
- Leafy Greens (lettuce, endive, spinach, cabbage, chicory, etc.)
- Tad of Olive oil and/or Apple Cider Vinegar
- Piece of fruit (pear, apple, seasonal fruits)
- Organic meat, fish or chicken (switch it up on different days)
- Large portion of veggies (all sorts of cabbages, red peppers, summer squash, mushrooms, red beets, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, leafy greens, carrots, yams, leek, etc.)
Evening Snacks: (optional)
- Piece of coconut
- Piece of fruit
- Some more fat (I like Grass-butter)
- Dark chocolate (once every three weeks, eat in moderation)
- Almonds/Filberts/Cashews/other nuts (eat in moderation)
- Glass of red wine (drink in moderation, 1-2 glasses a month)
Eating in this way will always ensure eating well within the ranges for each macronutrient, plus the included foods contain much more nutrition than any other foods you may consider.
Below are some additional rules of thumb for eating:
I only tend to do the evening snacks when I will be having an active night, for example on the weekends, when I can use some extra energy. For the most part I just stick to three meals a day. I also think it is wise to stick to a ‘three pieces of fruit a day maximum’, as fruits are pretty high-carb foods and it’s easy to overeat on them as they are pretty damn tasty. Also, don’t eat too much high glycaemic fruit like pineapples for example (check glycaemic index for fruits here.
I usually use the dinner meal to switch up the protein and carbohydrates intake on different types of days.
For fish, stick to the wild, smaller and fatty fish (like herring, mackerel, cod and Alaskan salmon) and avoid factory farmed fish (like tilapia, pangasius and others).
Some sea critters (mussels, shrimp ) are fine too.
As for dairy, also eat in moderation and stick to the high-fat products (like butter, cheese and full-fat milk) and make sure the products are certified organic. Some people may have intolerances to dairy, so for them it would be wise to avoid products containing lactose.
Let’s sum up the Paleo/Primal eating style:
- Lots of organic meat
- Plenty of organic eggs and fish
- Cooked in organic grass-butter, ghee or coconut oil
- Lots of leafy greens and other vegetables
- A few higher carb and starchy vegetables
- Water (just drink water, simple)
- A bit of fruit
- Olive oil
- To be enjoyed once in a while: nuts, dark chocolate and red wine
- Optional: Organic high-fat dairy like cheese and full-fat milk
Mark Sisson has recently revised his Primal Blueprint Eating Pyramid and it is a great visual representation of the eating style:
Reference to Resource: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/introducing-the-new-primal-blueprint-food-pyramid/
You’ll notice he also adds supplements, herbs and spices, which can be added as well. As for me, I take Vitamin-D and Omega-3 fish oils supplements, but I don’t think supplements are that important. Not nearly as important as the real foods.
What to avoid and not eat, Processed foods:
- Breads AKA Birdseeds AKA wheat and other grains (name the worst invention since sliced bread, I dare ya :P)
- Cookies and sweets (just more birdseed, refined sugars & rape oils)
- Sugar water (sodas) and alcohol (in excess)
- Non-organic meat, fish and eggs (I don’t recommend eating from sick and weak animals on antibiotics)
- Non-organic vegetables and fruits (I don’t like eating pesticide and from a dying, unfertile soil)
- Non-organic (and low-fat) dairy (margarine, milk, yogurt and cheeses) (again, don’t eat from sick and weak animals)
- Legumes (peanuts, soy- and other beans)
- Rapeseed oils (sunflower, canola and a host of other oils are processed foods and too high in omega 6 fats)
(ps: none of these ‘healthy’ claims of rapeseed oil are scientifically verified, plus the omega-3 comment is highly misleading as canola oil contains much more omega-6 than it does omega-3. If you want omega-3, eat fatty fish and meat from grass-fed ruminants)
- Rice (rice is sort of on the fence, it’s not too harmful, but it is also high-carb and contains very little nutrients, better to avoid it)
Remember, eat for two reasons: solid energy levels & essential building blocks.
DO NOT eat for pleasure or ‘good taste’ AKA for overstimulation of your taste buds and brain chemistry, you’ll pay the price later!
These processed high-carb foods desensitize your taste buds and neurotransmitter receptors. This is how food addiction starts and it is how you start to enjoy natural healthy foods less, because your sense of taste and default emotional state is starting to numb. This is the real reason why you disliked endive and Brussels sprouts (no offence taken :p) and favoured dessert, soda’s and candy. More on this in the next article,
By the way, if you want to receive updates on new articles, you can fill out the form below and I’ll send you the links to the new free content. Your information will be confidential.