Caveman Cuisine

Article excerpt

A small but enthusiastic group of Winnipeggers have adopted the paleo diet

Laura Allard hasn't just gone old-school, she's gone pre-historic school.

The coach for women in business and owner of Plain Jane Ink has adopted a paleo diet. Far from a fad, it consists of food that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have survived on during the paleolithic era - the time period from about 2.6 million years ago to the beginning of the agricultural revolution about 10,000 years ago.

That includes fresh meats such as grass-eating or free-ranging beef, pork, lamb, poultry and game meat, plus seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and other things such as coconuts and avocados.

"It's the caveman diet," Allard said. "It's not only what you eat, it's what you eat eats. You don't want to ingest hormone-laded meats that are mass-produced at a factory. It has to be from a local grower and chemical- and antibiotic-free."

Paleo also spills over into what you drink. So, water and wine are OK, but any frosty cold beverage that you might like to consume on a patio on a hot summer day (beer) is out because it contains grain. Pop of any kind is also forbidden.

Kristen Mitteness, a chiropractor at Corydon Chiropractic Centre, is another paleo believer. She said how you fuel your body plays into how your cells function.

"It's just like a car. You want to put a certain type of fuel in so it runs the way it's supposed to," she said. "We can feed our bodies junk food or the real food that it needs to thrive. That regulates our hormones and optimizes our genetic function."

Other foods paleo purists don't touch include cereal, oatmeal, granola, cake and cookies.

"It's all so processed and refined. You're just feeding yourself empty calories," Mitteness said.

If you've got a green thumb, grow vegetables in your garden and visit market gardens as much as possible, too, Allard said.

The vegetable growers who sell out of their driveways on north Henderson Highway are "about as pure as you can get."

"Buying local produce is very important (to go paleo). It's a total lifestyle change," she said. …