SEATTLE - We all know dozens of people who have tried the Atkins Diet, or maybe the Zone. Now, there's a new diet drawing attention around the country, including here in Western Washington, which may actually be the oldest diet around. It is called the Paleo Diet, and it is meant to appeal to your body's inner caveman.
One local Paleo devotee is Jordan Holland. He is a physical trainer at Seattle's Xplore Crossfit gym, and his life revolves around staying fit and healthy. He demands his clients give 100% not just inside the gym, but outside the building as well. That means he talks to them about diet and nutrition, and suggests many follow a meal plan similar to the one he adheres to, the Paleo Diet.
"The idea is humans have basically been on the planet for a while, but most things we eat have not been on the planet for that long," Holland explains. "And so we are not that well adapted to consume things in high concentration like grain, sugar, certain types of fat, dairy, and lots of processed foods."
A quick peek inside Holland's fridge shows exactly what a Paleo diet looks like. It is packed with fresh meat, fish, fruits and vegetables. His cabinets hold a variety of nuts and seeds. But if something comes pre-packaged with a long list of ingredients, Paleos count it out.
"Don't eat anything with a label," urges Holland. "Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. If you can't pronounce one of the ingredients, don't eat it... If you can catch it, cook it, kill it, eat it in an hour, then it's probably Paleo."
Eating Paleo can be expensive and even time consuming since it means cooking a lot of your own food. So, Holland often suggests people new to the diet only try it for about six weeks. He also allows for occasional cheating, like a cup of coffee with cream.
His client Mary Kokstis says she is keeping her diet to roughly 80 percent Paleo and says she feels lighter and healthier ever since finding her inner cave woman.
"I think it makes sense," Kokstis says. "If you look at the back of containers at the grocery store, you probably can't pronounce half the stuff that's in the bottle. So it makes sense to really eat and consume things that you can pronounce, and then things you can say that come essentially from the land."