I'm a freelance writer living on the Sunshine Coast.
Published March 14th 2015
Going ape over Paleo
Celebrity chef, Pete Evans' face sits proudly atop the counter at Sumo Salad in Sunshine Plaza, Maroochydore. Pete continues to promote and popularise the Paleo diet in Australia. He has written a few books on the subject and is touring Australia, teaching people how to cook the Paleo way.
The Paleo diet consists of eating meat, fish, fruit, and vegetables. It excludes processed sugars/carbs, dairy products (milk, cream etc), legumes (beans, lentils etc), potatoes, grains (wheat, rice, oats etc), and highly processed foods (deli meats, trans-fats etc). Paleos would prefer to eat nitrate-free bacon and grain-free sausages. By focussing on grass-fed beef, organic meats/veges/fruits, free-range eggs, wild-caught seafood, and non-processed foods, paleos also easily avoid consuming preservatives and other toxic additives. That's why it is seen as a lifestyle change, not just a diet.
The Paleo diet encourages eating organic, fresh, and wholesome food. It promotes weight loss because it eliminates the intake of processed fats, sugars and carbohydrates, which cause weight gain and associated illnesses such as obesity and degenerative diseases. The focus is on meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and olive/advocado/coconut/nut oils. Another way of looking at it is taking the top (cheese) and bottom (flour dough) off a pizza and eating the rest. Only kidding! Paleo recipes would substitute the dough base with a cauliflower and almond meal base.
Organic fruit can be grown in your own backyard.
What about ice-cream? Paleo ice-cream is made of coconut milk, raw honey, and banana/ avocado. Everything "bad" has a "good" substitute. Read any paleo recipe and you will often see sweet potato in place of potato, and zucchini ribbons instead of pasta. Substituting whole milk is easy as there are many different alternative options these days, such as coconut and almond milk. Soy milk is a no-no because soy is a legume. Similarly, rice milk is a no-no because rice is a grain. Eliminating grain-based flour from your everyday cooking can be a little more tricky, as substituting with almond or coconut flours means the flavours of your foods will change significantly. But it won't be a problem if you enjoy nutty flavours.