Are you having a caveman holiday? Meaning, are you on the paleo diet and plan to stick to it through Christmas? Don’t fear. You can do it without missing out on all the favorite flavors of the season.
The task of eating on the paleo diet may seem daunting when it comes to traditional holiday fare. This is especially true given some of the big no-nos on the diet are grains, flour, dairy, and refined sugar. But really, it can be done and by the looks of the recipes, it doesn’t look like you’ll be missing much.
The staples of a paleo diet are meats, eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits, and nuts and seeds. So if you were to look at a traditional holiday meal, the main course is often meat. Whether it be a turkey, a roast, or a ham, this part isn’t too tricky. Many recipes call for the meat to be cooked with savory herbs and spices and a few tweaks like honey and cider vinegar. Nothing too difficult.
When it comes to sides, again, vegetables are approved here. If you’re wanting creamy potatoes or marshmallows in the sweet potatoes, you might run into some challenges, but nothing that will sacrifice flavor. Many use almond milk or coconut to cream up the potato dishes, and good green vegetables never need much to taste great in the first place. (more…)
When news broke last week of an unearthed smattering of parchment containing obese President William Howard Taft’s daily diet regimen, Mary Hartley, RD was the first person I thought of. Our resident nutrition expert with the fiery attitude would surely have a wicked take on Big Billy’s nutrition, and she didn’t disappoint.
When asked if diet and nutrition had changed a great deal since Taft’s presidency 100 years ago, she replied, “Not much. And it pisses me off!”
Now why would Mary be pissed off at Taft’s diet? First, I’ll break down exactly what he was eating.
Breakfast: gluten biscuits and lean meat
Lunch: lean meat, butterless veggies, and unsweetened fruit
Dinner: plain salad, lean meat or fish, more flavorless fruits and veggies, and one more dusty gluten biscuit
The Paleo Diet will now challenge The Atkins Diet for the title of “Ultimate Low-Carb Diet.” The Atkins Diet was released to the public in 1958, and continues to be popular amongst dieters thanks to the New Atkins for a New You, an update to the weight loss plan released in 2010. The Paleo Diet is even older—about 2.5 million years older—but is enjoying a modern-day renaissance with seemingly unmatched popularity.
The lack of carbs is where these two diets stop sharing similarities. Atkins is relatively liberal in food selection, allowing for bacon, cheese, seafood, meat, butter, olive oil and cream. Paleo, on the other hand, is extremely restrictive, with dieters limited to the types of foods only our nomadic ancestors would eat. Red meat, chicken, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables, and nuts—albeit not peanuts or cashews— are allowed, but grains, beans, dairy, sugar, salt, and flour are all off limits.
You can pick up the Paleo Diet for $14.95 on Amazon, while the newest Atkins book will set you back a bit more, at $16.99. Both have companion cookbooks which you can buy at your discretion, and they’re each $19.99. The Atkins website features a carb-counting tool, scientific evidence, and a recipe guide, not to mention many other tools and features. Paleo’s site has detailed nutritional analysis, published research, and a breakdown of why it’s good to eat like a neanderthal. And of course, both diets feature helpful mobile apps.
The weight loss plans in each of the books are presented quite differently. The Atkins Diet is more structured, with four phases to conquer individually—Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance—while the Paleo Diet spells out what you can and cannot eat, offers a meal plan, and reads more like a history book. (more…)
When you hear Atkins, you probably immediately think “low-carb diet.” Most of us recall that name being synonymous with the fad of high-protein diets in the early 2000s. Now, the Atkins brand is resurfacing with a refreshed image and an attempt to break free of its previously held stereotypes.
A recent article in Advertising Age discussed the shifts in power at the diet food company and spoke with the current Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Parker. In addition to offering free online tools and selling Atkins brand foods in the grocery stores, Atkins is working to rework their image. Parker told Advertising Age that the company went off track several years ago and many lost sight of what the plan was really about.
“The diet fundamentally teaches you to eat a balanced menu, it never did tell you to eat nothing but bacon and eggs,” he said. “But that is what word-of-mouth became and people literally were doing their own makeshift diet and they didn’t have a very good experience because they didn’t do it correctly.”
They’ll be working hard to get their name out there, as the report stated Atkins Nutritionals, which did not return comment in time for publication, will be increasing their spending by 50 percent this year. This rebranding will take place as many similar diets have really hit the mainstream and one can assume Atkins wants to get a piece of that consumer pie. (more…)
By Kara McCartney
“I wish Paleo wasn’t nicknamed The Caveman Diet.” I once said this to my bosses, Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, authors of Make it Paleo, Gather, and The 30 Day Guide to Paleo Cooking. Hayley replied, “I wish it wasn’t called Paleo.”
Believe it or not, Paleo isn’t a lifestyle where you hunt your own food and cook it over a campfire. Instead, it’s focused on eating real food, such as meat, fish, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Processed foods, including grain and sugar, and foods that are difficult to digest, such as cultured dairy and legumes, are eliminated. Beyond losing weight, Paleo helps regulate blood sugar (did you know a piece of bread raises your blood sugar more than a tablespoon of white sugar?) and burns fat, rather than sugar, as an energy source.