When people hear “paleo”, most immediately think, “that’s the diet where you eat lots of meat, right”? And I can understand why that’s the perception, because most people only want to know what you get to eat. My answer is inevitably: fish, lean meats, leafy greens, and root vegetables. Some people follow up with, “what about fruit’? To which I reply, “as long as you’re eating local, seasonal fruit, and not eating it every day”. These can be huge discussions and conversation because there’s so much information out there and none of us received any education around food. We eat what our parents gave us and that’s all we got, and that’s what we formed our entire adult diets around. The fact of the matter is, I went paleo to reverse high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and pre-diabetes. These are preventable diseases, yet most are okay with handling them with a pill rather than change their diet. I digress. Back to diet. It’s not just a diet. Paleo is a concept, a lifestyle, a mind-set. Take the photo above, for example. Undoubtedly, with the holidays upon us, many of you could be attending a holiday function, a work party, a celebration of some sort, where someone offers you a cookie. Harmless, right? Unfortunately, not. Think about a major retailer like Costco and how many cookies a manufacturer must make to distribute at Costco. Millions upon millions of cookies. And I’m sure they’re not just selling at Costco. Think about the ones in Target, Walmart, K-mart, etc. Maybe billions of cookies, all with chemicals in them know to cause cancer. I don’t know why this is okay. My friend says, “But you probably have to eat pounds and pounds to actually get cancer”. If you dilute rat poison down enough with Kool-aid, you won’t get sick either. Doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Back to the concept, lifestyle, mind-set of paleo… Start questioning what you’re eating. Start making better choices. Sure, have a cookie, but have a homemade one instead. Maybe use almond meal instead of flour. Maybe choose walnuts over peanuts. Use actual cocoa instead of chocolate flavored soy. Maybe start examining your food habits and establishing better ones. It’s a process, but important to your well being. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you incorporate small changes week after week, you’ll finish a much healthier person in months to come. I’ve been paleo for almost seven years now. It wasn’t until about 3 months in that I really felt changes. You can’t undo decades of poor eating habits in a few weeks. Commit to a healthier diet. Happy Holidays!