Why You Can Go Paleo and Still Have Your Oats Too

November 30, 2018

For several years now, the Paleo diet has consistently gained popularity. It’s become more than just a fad diet. It’s #trending. It’s proven to be particular popular among those who are active, specifically into Crossfit, running, and powerlifting. Like most diets, it has specifics as to what you can and can’t eat, but unlike many diets, there’s plenty of flexibility. In our opinion, the Paleo diet isn’t crazy strict as much as it is open to fueling your body the way it needs to be fueled. But first, let’s get into the background of what the Paleo diet entails and why there are so many fans drinking the Paleo juice.

The Paleo diet gets its name because it resembles the diet eaten in the Paleolithic era. Many years ago -- we’re talking a couple million years -- a typical diet consisted of lean means, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Basically anything that could be hunted and gathered. What it didn’t include were foods that came about when farming emerged. Think dairy products, grains, and legumes. It’s no surprise that another name for the Paleo diet is the Caveman diet. We sometimes hear it called the Stone Age diet too. Call it what you will, this diet is similar to what early humans ate. Quite different than the way we eat now ….unless you’re a caveman that is. But then again, if you were...would you even be reading this? Jokes, we got ‘em.

Paleo dieters are those who wish to maintain a healthy weight or lose a few pounds. It can include those on strict regimens and those who like a little flexibility. Others simply lean towards this diet because they prefer “clean eating” or avoiding foods that may cause allergic reactions.

Let’s break this down. Here’s what the Paleo diet looks like in a nutshell:

Eat plenty:

  • Lean meats, especially that of grass-fed animals
  • Fish, especially those rich in omega-3s like salmon and tuna
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Oils from fruits and nuts like olive oil, walnut oil

Eat less, or avoid:

  • Dairy
  • Legumes, like beans, lentils, peanuts
  • Grains, like wheat, oats, and barley
  • Sugar
  • Processed foods
  • Salt

One of the items on the avoid list has recently been up for discussion. That item -- surprise! -- is oats. Research has found that way back when (we weren’t joking when we said a couple million years!), that cavemen used stone to grind grains. One of these just happens to be oats. We’d like to think that many Paleo dieters are a little less “hardcore” and a lot more are “Paleo-ish.” We guaranteed that you’ll be feeling healthier and stronger than ever with a balanced relationship with food. It works for us, and it’ll work for you too!

There are two main reasons why we think the Paleo-ish diet works in your favor. First off, many diets are strict. Like really strict. And when things are too strict, the body wants to cheat. We’re in a judgement free zone over here, so we’re cool with a diet that allows you to be flexible. When you do have a meal that contains a non-Paleo item, make sure the rest of it fits the diet and you’ll be a-ok. The second reason we like a Paleo-ish diet is that it’s hard to stay on a restrictive diet for lengths of time. When you feel comfortable having something that’s usually considered “off-limits”, it allows you to not feel as trapped, and allows for further success. You won’t get as bored, won’t feel so stuck, and remain happy that you’re still making good decisions. Winning all around!

It’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to include oats in your Paleo diet, but the good news is that you can have your oats and stay Paleo the rest of the day. In fact, you can have your daily oats with all Paleo ingredients.

While most oatmeal breakfasts are laden with excess sugar, salt, or unnecessary ingredients to kickoff your morning, we have a few ideas that will put you off to a good start. You’ll be waking up each morning yelling “Let’s do this!”

Here are a few oatmeal topping combinations we think are oh-so delicious and pretty darn nutritious.

Sweet Oats:

  • Chopped apples, almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and coconut milk
  • Banana, almond butter, cinnamon
  • Pineapple chunks, unsweetened coconut flakes

Savory Oats:

  • Fried egg, chives, hot sauce
  • Mashed sweet potato, cinnamon, almond butter drizzle
  • Avocado, tomatoes, toasted sunflower seeds
  • Sauteed kale, caramelized onions, red pepper flakes

Now that we’ve got you all hungry for breakfast (sorry if it’s 3pm!), we hope you’re at least feeling inspired to try some spins on your daily oats. Whether you like it sweet, savory, or a combination of the two, one of the above recipes will be a great way to start off your morning with a little bit more energy and satiety. You’ll be feeling fueled and ready to start your day in a healthy way!