Happy 2013! New Year’s resolutions have been made. As many embark on the journey to weight loss for the new year, it’s fitting to explore the increasingly popular, paleo (Paleolithic) diet. The paleo diet has been around since humankind, but there has been a rise in this particular diet because of CrossFit, a trending fitness regimen that involves constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity within a community environment. As a CrossFitter, I immediately saw that paleo is the diet for CrossFit enthusiasts. It was first introduced to the CrossFit community by Robb Wolf, former CrossFit nutrition adviser and author of The Paleo Solution. News of this low carb, high protein diet quickly spread throughout the CrossFit community and eventually replaced the initial CrossFit Zone diet because it produced results to be lean, energized and strong.
What is Paleo?
Known as the caveman or hunter-gatherer diet, this nutritional plan entails consuming unprocessed foods with high protein, lean meats from grass fed animals and complimented with moderate fruit and vegetable intake for healthier carbohydrate sources. The diet restricts: processed foods, dairy, grains, legumes and sweets. When in doubt, ask, “What would a caveman eat?”
Paleo and Tea
Water is the recommended beverage of choice, but is tea accepted in the paleo diet? Paleo purists would probably shake their heads no, but nowadays, modern Paleoists make exceptions to fit these modern times. Bacon is a processed meat, but many paleo dieters can’t resist it. Along the same lines, tea is a subjective topic for paleoists. Purists forbid it because of its caffeine content; while some say caffeine free blends or tisanes are fine.
Nonetheless, paleo palates can enjoy tea-like substitutes from Art of Tea’s rooibos blends. Although rooibos is part of the legume family, a dietary restriction, paleoists still drink it for its many health benefits. This caffeine-free red bush from South Africa is notably rich in antioxidants and helps fuel the body with iron. French Lemon Ginger, Italian Blood Orange and Rooibos alone are great tisanes to start with.
Other paleoists argue that organic teas or least processed teas are accepted. Given that reasoning, white teas are the least processed tea type (simply picked and dried) and so are often referred to as the most organic. Paleoists who don’t mind the caffeine can drink organic white teas such as Silver Needle, White Picked Monkey and White Peony.
Paleo-coffee fanatics also known as caffeine lovers can still get their caffeine in healthier doses through green tea. It’s widely accepted because of its natural health benefits. In keeping with the Stone Age premise of the diet, we recommend Art of Tea’s minimally caffeinated Kukicha Twig Tea and Green Kukicha. These earthy greens are made of the twigs and leaves from the tea plant Camellia Sinensis.
For more information about the paleo diet, check out Wolf’s website at http://robbwolf.com/. Another plan that follows a stringent nutritional structure similar to paleo is Whole 9. Learn more at http://whole9life.com/start/.
Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.