Diet Trends: Paleo Diet

By Kim Fischer

Published 07/22 2013 08:24PM

Updated 07/22 2013 10:44PM

Throughout the month of July ABC 4 Utah is looking into the hottest fitness and diet trends of the summer. As part of this series, I’m trying a couple of them to see how they work. For the past few weeks, I've been doing CrossFit and the Paleo diet. Just days into the diet, I learned it’s actually really popular across the Wasatch. So, now I’m showing you what it's all about.

"the idea of Paleo is taking a step back in time in the Paleolithic area and looking at what our ancestors ate before we had the advances we do today," said nutritionist Shannon Doleac.

"So really it's the things you know you can go out in nature and hunt and gather," she continued.

Doleac is a trainer at my CrossFit gym, she's also a CrossFit competitor, a mother to two young boys and she teaches the Paleo plan through her company, primal peak. She invited us into her home to show us what a few Paleo meals look like.

"We’ll start with breakfast, generally speaking we do consume a lot of eggs," she said.

She puts those eggs on a large bed of arugula. Add a little avocado and salsa with a side of berries, and you have a Paleo breakfast. For lunch, she made leftover zucchini spaghetti and meatballs, and for dinner, her family ate farm raised chicken with rainbow chard and asparagus. You'll notice, none of these meals contain dairy or grains.

"The idea is that we really want to try and reduce inflammation throughout the body, and really heal the gut," Doleac said.

She said many people end up with issues like lactose and gluten intolerance because our bodies are not made to break down those foods. Without those items, she said people generally become more energetic and strong.

We talked with dietitian Julie Bolick about the Paleo plan as well; however, she said it's not a diet she would recommend.

“In the Paleo diet, which is a very high protein diet plan, one of the things that it does is it eliminates food groups and any program that eliminates a food group is not going to be nutritionally balanced," Bolick said.

Bolick said we need carbohydrates to fuel our bodies. But Doleac countered, saying the Paleo plan doesn't eliminate all carbs, just certain carbs.

"It really doesn't have to be a no carbohydrate or an extremely low carbohydrate way of eating, it can be, depending on what someone's needs might be," she said.

Doleac said Paleo is like a template, and you can adjust it to fit your needs.

As with any diet, make sure you consult your doctor before starting Paleo.

I have one more week of this diet combined with CrossFit. I've been documenting my progress, as well as the progress of 2 more ladies in my class. Make sure you tune in next Monday night at 10 to see what happens!

Diet Trend: Juicing
Fitness Trend: CrossFit

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