Unless you've been hiding under a rock (or in a cave, in this case), you'd have heard all about the Paleo diet craze. It's all about cutting the crap, going back to basics and eating the lean, clean and green diet of our cave-dwelling ancestors. It also involves bacon. And, in our books, any diet that encourages the consumption of bacon is a-okay!
To help you on your path to Paleo, we've enlisted the help of Lizzy Marsh and Rachel Jane, the two primal eating experts behind our new favourite cookbook, PALEO. These girls sure know their bacon, having created a list of refined sugar, grain and dairy-free recipes for the modern hunter-gatherer. And, lucky for us, they're sharing their five-step guide to going primal, throwing in a super-simple (and mind blowingly yummo) Paleo pancakes recipe to sweeten the deal.
Yep, it's as easy as (refined sugar-, grain- and dairy-free) pie.
1. Gut Your Pantry
'A Paleo diet starts with a pantry spring clean, so chuck out everything that's been hiding in there for six months or more – as well as packaged foods containing sugars, colourings, chemicals and preservatives.' Processed foods are a big no-no of any Paleo diet, so let 'em all go folks!
2. Eat Real Food
'The Paleo approach is based on the diet of our ancestors prior to the agricultural revolution (and prior to many of the diseases of the modern world). The Paleo diet is based on real, whole foods including high quality meats, vegetables, some fruits and occasional nuts and seeds. It's low-inflammatory, promoting healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods.' So that means grass-fed meats, leafy greens and berries are in and the Tim Tam slams and greasy kebabs are out. Trust us, your bod will thank you for it!
3. Hit The Butcher
'Paleo isn't just about reconnecting with our ancestors – it's also about supporting ethical and sustainable farming practices and reducing our intake of toxins by sourcing grass-fed, free range and Australian meats. Just like we should be eating real living foods, our animals are much happier on a diet that's as close as possible to what nature intended.' Happy animals, happy humans. Simple!
4. Go Loco For Local
'Get to know your locals. Find out where your food comes from. Explore your farmers markets. Not only will you be supporting your community and voting with your dollar, you'll be eating seasonally and learning about your food chain.' So avoid products that have been transported long distances, as they're often packaged, preserved and just down right terrrrible.
5. Trust Your Instincts
'The Paleo diet isn't a fad or short-term fix. It's a natural way of living that's sustainable, holistic and rather eye-opening (TUL note: not to mention completely delicious!). By eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods and plenty of high quality fats, you'll be satisfied, fuller for longer and have a much more steady energy supply.' Now who could argue with those nifty benefits?
Holy-Moly Banana Pancakes
Folks, being Paleo doesn't mean giving up your favourite foods – these Paleo pancakes are lean, clean and completely delicious. Go on, make a stack!
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
For the topping:
½ cup frozen strawberries or berries of your choice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. Put the banana, cinnamon, almond butter and eggs in a blender. Blend until well mixed and a little fluffy.
2. Place a large pan over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Once hot, slowly pour the pancake mixture into the pan (about 9cm across). When bubbles start to form on the surface, flip the pancakes and cook through the second side.
3. For the topping, defrost the strawberries in the microwave for 30 seconds until soft (you can also do this in a pot if you prefer). Add the balsamic vinegar and mix well using the back of a fork. Topping should be sauce-like.
4. Add the strawberries and any other toppings you like! Yum!
Bio: Lizzy and Rachel are two young entrepreneurs from Melbourne, Australia, who have joined forces to produce PALEO, a refined-sugar, grain and dairy-free cookbook with an easy to follow introduction to the dietary habits of our ancestors. Lizzy, a sports scientist and nutrition consultant from Primal Junction, has developed a range of recipes that promote health, vitality and illness prevention. Rachel from Two Loves Studio is a self-taught food photographer and stylist, who has exquisitely captured the simplicity and beauty of real-food.
Editor's note: In need of Paleo supplies? Read our list of the best Paleo shops in Melbourne!