The Paleo Diet or Paleo Lifestyle
The book briefly touches on exercise, and has inspired many other health and exercise professional designing programs around "hunter-gatherer" primal movement patterns: jumping, climbing, pulling, pushing, lifting, running, throwing, etc. If this is the way our ancestors moved to build, hunt, fight and live then that is how our modern body should be moving too. And, it is more fun this way then running on a treadmill!
But this is where the "Paleo Diet" ends, with food and exercise only, and where the "Paleo Lifestyle" picks up. Never heard of it? Let me share.
The "hunter-gatherer" mother would breastfeed her child for as long as they wanted. The average weaning age (if left up the child) is between 2.5 years and 7 years. That child was carried approx 8000+ miles over the first few years of it's life, nursed on demand, sleep next to mother and was with it's mother constantly until it was old enough to join in the daily jobs of hunting or gathering. This child never got vaccinated, exercised outside all day, and ate healthy, nutrient-dense foods. This child's immune system was never compromised by toxins or chemicals.
The Paleo Diet book, although wonderful and informative, does not touch on any of these subjects. How great would it be to teach modern parents that living like our ancestors it easier, healthier and the innate way to live, the way that we were designed to live. Before your child is ready to eat the Foods of our Earth, that breastmilk (not formula) is superior, for alteast a full year, and then for as long after that that the child/mother agree on. Just like F&V and lean meats are the innate foods for our bodies, breastmilk is the innate, perfect food for a baby, full of probiotics, EFA's and immunoglobulins. When a baby is carried by mother, close to mother often and sleeps with mother, her milk supply stays strong and baby feels safe and secure. Baby is less stressed, therefore less prone to illness and disease. And, if baby is not feeling well, he is not pumped full of antibiotics, Ni-quil and left alone. Mama stops what she is doing to tend to baby so he will recover quickly without drugs.
The Paleo Book touches only briefly on the QUALITY of food, which I feel is a huge void in the book, since Dr. Cordain reiterates over and over again to be eating like our ancestors. 40,000 years ago people did not have to worry about GMO's, pesticides, irradiation, antibiotics, growth hormones and soil run-off. But today we do! He does mention briefly grass-fed and free-range beef and chicken. However, we also need to look for "hormone-free" and "no-antibiotics" on all meats and chicken and "wild caught" on all fish. As for Fruits and Veggies, I always buy organic to avoid GMO's and pesticides. Eating the best, highest quality food is VITAL for optimum health!
I am also a huge fan of raw foods. The Paleo Diet Book does not make a formal statement either way, they just encourgae you to eat F&V. I feel eating as raw as possible is the best way to keep all the nutrients and living enzymnes intact in your food. If you do decide to cook your veggies, lightly steam only, so they still have a little crunch.
I encourage everyone to read "The Paleo Diet" book. It is an easy read and highly informative, with some great recipes. Just remember the quality of your food is just as important as the type of food it is. Eating an apple is great; its full of vitamin and minerals, fiber and antioxidants. But none of that matters if the apple is genetically modified or full of pesticides. Why put those chemicals INTO your body, when the reason your eating the apple is to eat healtier!?