I’m an advocate for the Paleo diet. For the last year I’ve eaten Paleo 99.9% of the time. When most people hear Paleo they think of meat, lots and lots of meat. This isn’t what I want people to think of when they hear me praise Paleo. I eat nutritionally dense, quality food. I eat more vegetables and fruit, and less meat, than I ever did before.
What’s important to me is the quality of the food and avoiding factory farmed animals for my protein source. I constantly strive to move to a more plant-based way of eating, with a focus on local organic free-range eggs, wild-caught Alaskan seafood, and organic free-range chickens for my protein sources, with some occasional grass-fed beef (maybe once a month). I think I’ve seen every documentary available regarding animal welfare, and it’s affected how I look at what I put on my plate.
Cost is always a concern. Wild sockeye salmon costs $18.00/lb. to have shipped. An organic free-range chicken is $13.00 at Safeway. Free-range organic eggs are $5.00/dozen from a local source. I have empathy for factory farmed animals and for me this cost is worth it, knowing the animals were raised and fed humanely. The health benefits of this way of eating are priceless to me.
When you understand the Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratios in factory farmed animal products, it’s easy to cut back your meat consumption, off-setting any higher costs for a humanely raised product (I hate the word product when referring to animals, but this is a reality we must accept as omnivores). This is where green, leafy vegetables have become a large part of my diet. More green, less meat, less suffering, better health.
Will I give up meat entirely? No, meat will always be a part of my diet. I believe animal products offer many health benefits, contrary to what vegans will tell you. But I will always choose humanely raised and fed animal products when possible.
This is what Paleo means to me, and how I wish it was portrayed to others. It’s a healthy, humane way of eating for a lifetime, not a diet.