With a sudden boom in people following the Paleo diet, we wanted to share some insights into what it is and how it could benefit you.
In this article, we discuss what the diet is, the benefits and how you can combine it with sous vide cooking methods for a kitchen masterpiece:
What is the Paleo Diet?
Following this diet involves eating as our ancient ancestors ate i.e. eating like a caveperson. Unnatural and processed foods are replaced by ingredients including meat, fish, berries, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Although termed as a diet, eating Paleo is more than just healthy eating; it is a lifestyle change. From reducing stress to increasing physical activity, Paleo is all about replicating the caveperson’s life with a modern twist.
As well as being easy to follow, there are several benefits for your health and life. If you’re asking whether this lifestyle change is for you, here are some benefits that could suggest it is:
- Increased amount of energy
- Weight loss
- Feelings of happiness
- Balanced blood sugar levels
- Leaner physique
- Satisfied for longer
- Improved sleeping pattern
- Assisted recovery from many health conditions
- Avoids empty calories
- Body detox
- Reduced bloating
- Clearer skin
To give you the best insight into the pros of this diet choice, we’ve asked some of our favourite food bloggers to tell us about the changes they’ve noticed:
Removing Refined Sugars and Gluten – Ceri from Natural Kitchen Adventures
Ceri, a natural chef and expert in living by an all natural diet, has shared her insight into the benefits of removing refined sugars and gluten from her diet:
Cutting out refined sugar has helped my blood sugar levels and keeps my energy constant, which helps me concentrate and function to a high level on a day to day basis, as well as sleep better! Really, it’s all one circle as better sleep helps with my energy levels.
It goes without saying that unrefined sugars are still sugars, so if you truly want to feel the benefits of the Paleo diet, you should also work to reduce or remove these from your diet.
Removing gluten has helped with my symptoms of IBS, but I do this on a ‘natural food’ basis and try to avoid replacing gluten foods with their gluten-free junk counterparts – I think it is really important to remember this. Instead, replace with an extra vegetable to add more fibre and nutrients into your meal.
Improving Health Conditions – Jo from Comfort Bites
Jo talks to us about how the ‘caveperson diet’ has improved her skin condition and how it can help other health conditions:
A growing number of people have found that as well as helping them lose weight, the Paleo diet has helped ease some chronic health conditions. For example, I’ve seen a dramatic improvement in the severe Psoriasis I’ve suffered with since I was a teenager.
I follow the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP; a tweaked version of the Paleo diet designed to reduce inflammation) and now my Psoriasis is pretty much non-existent.
Other conditions that some say have been eased following Paleo-based diets include digestion problems, autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety and depression. I can certainly say that I feel far better than I did before I went Paleo!
As well as encouraging you to eat quality, nutrient dense foods, which come with extreme health benefits, eating Paleo is about improving your lifestyle, reducing your stress and assisting your sleeping pattern – all of which will have a positive impact on your life.
SousVide and Paleo
SousVide cooking methods and eating Paleo go hand in hand; each one enhancing the other and making the lifestyle easier to follow. So, how can your SousVide Water Bath be the perfect tool for the Paleo diet?
We spoke to Khim from Sous Vide Guys who gave us some tips and advice for combining the two:
Once you start cooking sous vide, you pretty much automatically embark on a Paleo diet as the equipment is perfect for preparing all the foods allowed in the Paleo diet.
Beef, specifically grass-fed, is a Paleo favourite and coincidently, ideal for sous vide. Grass-fed beef tends to be less marbled than regular grain-fed beef, which means less fat is spread throughout the meal. This requires much more precise cooking techniques so that you can avoid overcooking the meat.
Also, as an expensive alternative to regular grain-fed beef, reliable cooking methods are essential to ensure your money has been spent well.
Using standard home cooking equipment and techniques for grass-fed beef won’t be as accurate as you would like or need it to be. However, the precise temperature control from using sous vide cooking methods ensures a perfectly cooked steak every single time so that you can enhance your grass-fed Paleo steak dish.
Fish and Seafood
Fish and seafood are two key components of the Paleo diet, and if you’ve ever tasted sous vide salmon, you’ll never want to eat the pan fried version again. (Yes Khim, we think you’d love our recipe for sous vide salmon with caramelised maple syrup, lemon and chilli!)
As with beef, these ingredients are often expensive and easily ruined by overcooking. To avoid turning delicate, fork tender fish into dry and chewy chunks, replace traditional cooking methods with the sous vide alternative.
Eating Paleo usually means eating plenty of eggs and the perfect restaurant-standard poached egg is more than achievable with a water bath. Simply set the temperature and timer and allow your eggs to poach beautifully. When ready, serve on a bed of salad for a light and tasty lunch.
(We love serving eggs for the perfect power breakfast – read our recipe for sous vide poached eggs with asparagus ribbons and smoked balsamic.)
Follow Sous Vide Guys on Twitter @sousvideguys for delicious sous vide recipes!
So, is the Paleo diet for you? Whether you want to improve your eating habits, overall health or change the shape of your body, Paleo could be the solution for you, and when teamed with Sous Vide equipment, it couldn’t be an easier ‘diet’ to follow.