Not quite sure what suddenly drew me to look into the Paleo Diet, but now that I have, I am really fascinated by it! I haven’t gotten it yet, but I want to read The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Food You Were Designed to Eat by Dr. Loren Cordain, the leading researcher on the Paleo Diet. Funny how when you become interested in something, you start noticing it everywhere. I went to a talk by Dr. Daniel Chong and turns out, he too is a big proponent of this type of eating.
In a nutshell, here is my understanding of why the Paleo Diet makes sense:
- our biology hasn’t “caught up” with our technology (ie we aren’t adapted yet to eat an agricultural type diet)
- grains have a very high glycemic load
- grains are not nutritionally dense (ie for the amount of calories you consume, you do not get a lot of nutrients)
- our biology suggests we eat a more carnivorous diet (for example, comparing the guts of apes and man and their diets, you see that vegetarian apes have much larger stomachs and colons, and smaller small intestines than humans)
There are of course counter arguments to all of this, but to me it makes a lot of sense. With the exception of the “ban” on grains and legumes, I also think it follows along the lines of Sally Fallon/Nourishing Traditions (despite her scathing review of the book, which Dr. Cordain rebuts here– it’s pretty amusing to read).
What makes sense to me right now is to follow NT *if* you are going to use grains in your diet– ie soak, sprout etc to make the grains more digestible. Sally Fallon thinks grains are hard to digest too– that’s not a secret. Her book is all about how these foods have been prepared traditionally to get more nutrients out of them and to make them easier to digest. It makes sense if you want/have to eat a lot of grains. Truth be told, the majority of the world depends on grains and cereals to survive. Grains are cheap, they store well, and they are needed to feed this over populated planet. Dr. Cordain agrees with this, but for most of us, definitely privileged and wealthier Westerners, grains are not a necessity. In general, we can eat differently. We can eat fresh produce, lean meat, seafood, nuts, berries etc…
So basically I am really enjoying learning about this idea, and although I am not a big meat eater, it somehow “feels” right to me. It actually feels more “natural” than NT, because I have always preferred to eat fresh produce, berries, nuts, seafood etc and shunned breads/rice/hot cereals/porridges. First up on my to do list is Pemmican and Salmon Jerky.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
1/2 cup salt (NOT iodized)
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/2 gallon water
Salmon fillets, skin removed
Cayenne pepper, optional
Place salt, brown sugar, soy sauce, and water into a pot. Bring to a boil and stir until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Slice salmon lengthwise (not across the width) into strips 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Place the salmon strips in the cooled brine and refrigerate for 8 to 10 hours to marinate.
Drain the brine. Rinse the salmon with clean water and let drain. Pat dry with paper towels.
Spray dehydrator racks with vegetable oil. Place salmon strips on racks, not touching so air can circulate. Sprinkle with cayenne pepper to taste. Dry to desired doneness according to dehydrator manufacturer’s recommendations.
The salmon jerky may also be dried in the oven on its lowest setting or in a smoker. The drying time could take 8 hours or more, depending on the method and how dry you like the jerky.
Store salmon jerky in an airtight container or ziptop bag.