Paleo is a style of eating that includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- How It Came to Be
- Let’s Eat
- Foods to Steer Clear Of
- Paleo Spinach Chicken Burgers
- Flare Friendly Foods
- Common Swaps
- Weekly Tip
HOW IT CAME TO BE
The paleo diet focuses only on foods that are unprocessed, high in nutrients, and available and eaten by people in Paleolithic times.
The premise behind the paleo diet is that if humans were not able to consume something thousands of years ago, then they should not consume these types of foods today, because the human body is not adapted to digesting and processing those foods.
Paleo is a refined sugar-free, artificial sugar-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and legume-free approach to eating. Some take paleo to the furthest lengths and exclude all processed foods (even though there are many processed paleo foods that are still very healthy on the market today) and alcohol as well.
On a paleo diet you can eat a variety of meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruit, nuts, and seeds! It is also very easy and even fun to experiment with paleo baking using ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, honey, and maple syrup.
STEER CLEAR OF
- All grains (wheat, rice, oats, quinoa, etc) and products made from grains
- Legumes: beans, lentils, and peanuts
- Dairy and dairy products
- Refined sugars
- Refined vegetable oils, agave, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners
PALEO SPINACH CHICKEN BURGERS
- 1 package ground chicken (turkey also works)
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
- 1/2 cup spinach (finely chopped)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 tsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp almond flour
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or greasing with avocado, olive, or coconut oil.
- In a large bowl mix your egg, olive or avocado oil, and ground meat together (I use a fork, potato masher, or even my hands to make it easier).
- Stir in your chopped spinach and chopped onions.
- Mix in the garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and almond flour.
- Form into desired size burger patties and bake for 20-25 minutes (or until burgers reach at least 165 degrees).
- Serve however you’d like! Try it on lettuce leaves instead of buns and topped with the classics like pickles, tomato, and onions, or try a new route with paleo-friendly pesto on top.
FLARE FRIENDLY FOODS
Steamed and pureed sweet potato with a drizzle of smooth almond or cashew butter (if tolerated well during flares)
Boiled chicken or white fish
Eggs scrambled with avocado
Bone broth – sip on it plain or cook in some veggies and chicken until soft
Homemade paleo baked goods like banana bread
Ripe banana with smooth nut butter
Smoothies with simple ingredients
Dairy-free yogurt alternative (check label for non-paleo ingredients like sugar) with cooked berries
Flour: almond flour, coconut flour, cassava flour, tigernut flour
Sugar: honey, pure maple syrup
Oats: cauliflower rice cooked with paleo-friendly protein powder, honey, nut milk, and cinnamon. Top with banana, berries, nut butter, and/or shredded coconut.
Rice: cauliflower rice
Pasta: Cassava pasta
Candy: Paleo-friendly homemade gummy bears, homemade marshmallows
Sweet treats: there are many paleo-friendly cookie, cake, pie, etc. recipes on Pinterest and even some that you can buy at many stores
Cereal: grain-free granola
Bread: Liberated Specialty Foods cashew bread, Liberated Specialty Foods coconut bread, Base Culture breads
Does eating out sound daunting while navigating dietary restrictions? Here are our top tips:
- Get comfortable talking to friends, family, and significant others about your dietary needs.
- Ask if YOU can pick the restaurant.
- Look at the menu beforehand to plan what you can get or if you will need to plan to eat beforehand.
- Call restaurants beforehand to ask if they are willing to accommodate dietary restrictions.
- Always have a snack packed just in case the restaurant ends up not being able to accommodate you.
The paleo diet bears many similarities to other diets, including dairy-free, gluten-free, low FODMAP, and the specific carbohydrate diet. In fact, the autoimmune protocol diet is an extension of the paleo diet.
There are currently no cohort or randomized controlled studies that support the use of the Paleo diet for improving IBD symptoms or inflammation, although many anecdotes from IBD patients exist.
However, there are several studies that show that certain nutrients and ingredients common in the paleo diet, such as omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, may reduce the risk of IBD. These studies also show diets high in red meats and processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables are linked to increased amounts of inflammation.
Moreover, several studies have found that individuals who follow a paleo diet show a diversified gut microbiome that may reduce inflammation, although many studies show conflicting results (study 1, 2, 3).
For more information and tips on living with inflammatory bowel disease from the medical and patient communities, download the Gali friend for IBD mobile app and she will create a personalized feed of articles just for you!