All You Need to Know About the Paleo Diet (Interview)

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Unless you've been living in a cave for the past few years, you've probably heard of the Paleo Diet. It's attracted plenty of media attention and boasts the likes of Uma Thurman, Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Biel among its followers. Its proponents often describe it as the most natural way for humans to eat.
 
But what exactly does it entail and why has it become so popular? What can you eat and what's off-limits? To try and find some answers, I decided to ask someone who has actually tried Paleo to let me know what it's all about.
 
Laura VonKa is a business consultant who lives in Germany and blogs over at lauravonka.com. She is also a follower of the Paleo Diet. I managed to grab her in between meetings and presentations and ask her a few questions about her lifestyle.

Hi, Laura! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi, Nicola! I am 36 years old, living in Germany and working as a business consultant. I have also started to blog as a hobby, my focus being the lifestyle of professional women (beauty, work life, travel etc).
Please briefly describe the basics of the Paleo Diet for any readers who may not be familiar with it.
Paleo Diet is a nutrition method which mirrors the way of eating of our ancestors. In other words, and my main principle when I go shopping or eat in a restaurant, is to ask myself, would my very far away ancestors eat this? If the answer is yes, then this is Paleo 'approved'.
What are the health benefits of the Paleo Diet?
I am not a nutritionist, so I can only say why it is good for me. Eating 'Paleo' helps me avoid a lot of highly processed foods, like white bread and pasta, and makes me focus on raw, unadulterated food like veggies, meat and nuts. I observed that this way of eating makes me feel good, my digestion is better and it helps a lot sustaining my intermittent fasting protocol.
Didn't our Paleolithic ancestors all die before the age of thirty? Was this due to their diet or other factors?
Again, I am not a nutrition specialist or an anthropologist so frankly I cannot tell when the Paleo ancestors died and why. My common sense tells me that not only nutrition, but other factors might have impacted their life span: lifestyle danger (big animals, wars etc), lack of appropriate healthcare, who knows?
How long have you personally been following the Paleo Diet?
I started this year in March, by reading Ori Hofmekler’s book The Warrior Diet and I was hooked. I went after that reading about intermittent fasting and ketogenic dieting, tried a bit of everything until I perfected my nutrition habits to where I am today.
Have you noticed any differences or changes in your health (physically and/or mentally) since you started eating this way?
Yes, but I think it is in conjunction with the intermittent fasting protocol I am following (fasting from 8 -12 hours per day). First of all, as I said before, I have regular digestion, which I never had before. Then I focus much better and I don’t have these low energy points during the day. I know that, because whenever I eat a piece of bread or chocolate, I start to feel bloated and unwell. I have also lost 10 kg (22 lbs) since February this year, and this is also something I 'blame' the Paleo nutrition for.
Would you recommend the Paleo Diet to everyone, or just certain people? For example, is it safe for type 1 diabetics?
I personally do not recommend any diets because I am not a qualified professional. The only thing I can say is to check it with your nutritionist and give it a go. Only then you can see if it is for you or not.
What advice would you give to someone eager to try the Paleo Diet? Anything important they should know before jumping straight in?
Yes, they need to inform themselves a lot. As this is about your health, please read as much as you can and speak to a qualified professional. There are a lot of people out there suffering for not taking these important steps. Please do not be stupid with your health.
Finally, tell us a little about your blog, why you started it and why we should all read it!
I started my blog because I was very bored in the evenings when travelling for work and social media is so easy to carry around in your bag. On the other hand, I didn’t find too many voices over 30 years old in the blogosphere, which can talk about topics that interest me at this age. The majority of the blogs seem to be for 20 year old girls and 30 year old mothers. I am neither of them, so I wanted to write and befriend people who are interested in what I am. I want my blog to be the sort of reading you do when you come back to the hotel after having meetings the whole day, on a break at work or before a presentation in the board room. And to leave me a comment telling me that this anti-wrinkle cream is what you are going to buy next time you are trapped in an airport because of the pilot strike. Joking a bit, but that’s my vision about this blog.
Anything else you'd like to add that we haven't covered here?
Yes, I would just like to say that I am encouraging people not to think in terms of diets but lifestyle. I personally do the Paleo 'Diet' only 80% of the time (I have a huge addiction to chocolate). And another thing, please try it before dismissing it. You never know, maybe Paleo could really be for you.

Laura, thank you so much for giving up your time and allowing me to interview you about your eating habits!

A simple infographic to help you understand The Paleo Diet

If you follow a certain diet, suffer from an unusual medical condition or just know something unique about health, nutrition or fitness that you'd like to share with the world, leave a comment below or email me at nicspirational@gmail.com for an interview.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
An Introduction to the Mediterranean Diet
Why Fasting is Good for You

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