You’re here, you’re amazing and you’re making a change that’s going to result in a healthier, happier you! When you live a healthy, paleo inspired lifestyle, you eat real food… food that your body is designed to consume. For the basics on where to start, check out this page. You’ve got that paleo is a grain free, sugar free, dairy free and gluten free lifestyle. But then you get a little confused when you see butter in recipes, because, like, isn’t butter dairy?! You’re probably wondering why soy and legumes aren’t included or agave – agave is healthy right?!
Well you’ve definitely come to the right place. These Paleo Frequently Asked Questions are a list of everything we’ve ever been confused about on our paleo journey… so we’re guessing you might be too, as well as the questions we get asked every day! If we’ve missed anything, let us know and we’ll add it to the Merrymaker Paleo FAQ list!
Will I lose weight following a paleo lifestyle?
Yes you will! Fill your plates with delish meats, heaps of green veggies, good fats, small amounts of high carb veggies, nuts and fruits and you are pretty much guaranteed to lose some weight. What’s better is it’s 100% guaranteed you will feel more awesome! You can read about our paleo weight loss tips here!
Can paleo make me put on weight?
Yes it really can! We’ve both been there and done that, so don’t make the mistakes we made! Read about them here. It really is a matter of trial and error and figuring out what works for your body.
If paleo is a cave man diet… didn’t caveman only live for about 30-40 years of age?
Ahh we’ve heard this a billion times. Yes, cave men and women did have significantly shorter life spans but they were also running away from crazy animals with big teeth and living in harsh conditions. So duh, of course they lived shorter lives but it wasn’t from what they were eating!
Why aren’t legumes paleo?
We don’t cook or eat any legumes as they have anti-nutritional factors (phytic acids and lectins) and our tummies feel *URGH* after eating them. Some paleo-goers consume a small amount of legumes as it’s been found some of our ancestors (like Australian Aborigines) did in fact consume some legumes.
Why is butter paleo and not any other dairy product?
In merrymaker land, grass-fed organic butter is paleo because a. it’s 80% pure fat b. it makes us feel good c. it’s freaking delicious. If you don’t eat it, that is oh so fine! Where a recipe uses butter, just swap it for coconut oil or ghee! If you’re wondering… the other 20% in butter is water and milk solids which are proteins and salt. We’ll say it again: do what works for you and what makes you feel good.
But hang on isn’t ghee still dairy?
You’re right, ghee is dairy… it’s clarified butter. Meaning all milk parts have been removed (lactose and casein). When these parts are removed you’re left with a fat that is highly saturated, yum and full of Conjugated linoleum acids (CLA). We use grass-fed organic ghee, so this means it’s extremely pure and energy boosting, some people even say it has anti-cancer properties! CLA is also used as a weight management product as it actually reduces body fat and increases lean muscle mass!
Do I need to eat grass fed, organic meat?
Yes, we recommend you do. Pasture raised and organic animals aren’t treated with antibiotics or hormones. They lead better lives so it’s more humane. Grain fed is not natural therefore it funks up the animal’s body, e.g. the omega 6 vs omega 3 count is way out of whack. Make sure you get grass fed and grass finished. Our number one recommendation is to be best buddies with your butcher and ask a billion questions. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, set a goal like: I will eat 99% organic meat by the end of the year. You can read more about organic, grass fed meat here.
Do I need to eat organic fresh produce?
Again, we recommend you do. Fruit and veg from the large supermarkets are drenched in chemicals and they’re not fresh (sometimes they are even frozen!). These chemicals are found to lead to a heap of illnesses and when you think about it… man-made chemicals should be the first thing we stop consuming. Click here to read about why we made the decision to eat organic vegetable and fruits. We highly recommend you watch Food Matters, we have an annual subscription to Food Matters TV, they share this video and HEAPS more which have literally changed our lives and taught us a heck of a lot. Find out more about this here.
If I don’t eat dairy, won’t I be calcium deficient?
Do you see any other animal drinking another animal’s milk… NOPE! We believe it’s quite unnatural to consume dairy and again, it makes our tummies feel sick. There are plenty of other food sources that give us all the calcium we require like almonds and dark leafy greens. Read more about where to get calcium from when you eat paleo here!
Do you have a shopping list?
So you eat a lot of eggs… doesn’t that give you high cholesterol?
Nope! Eggs are amazing. One egg has 6 grams of quality protein. So they keep you full and feed your muscles. Plus they have all nine essential amino acids (your body cannot make these and this is why eggs are known as a complete protein). Read more about eggs here.
Why isn’t corn paleo?
Guess what? Corn is a grain (shut the front door!).
Is paleo a low carb diet?
To get the best results for weight loss and feeling awesome, we’ve found that sticking to a low carb paleo lifestyle works best for us. On days where we are doing high intensity workouts we choose to include higher carb veggies like sweet potato!
What do you use instead of sugar when eating paleo?
Why do some paleo people say no to any sweet treats?
A lot of people suggest that our bodies don’t require any sweet treat to create perfect health. This is obvious and of course if we weren’t such huge fans of sweet things we would skip them too! But… we sort of… ummm… LOVE them! They are 100% better than the regular refined sugar and chemical filled kind. We have a stack of recipes here and you can even get a copy of Make It Merry which has loads of healthy treats too! Remember! They are STILL TREATS!
Why isn’t agave syrup paleo?
Agave is 90% fructose which is not good at all! It funks up your hormones and leads to heaps of health problems, you can read more here. We have a low fructose sweet treat eBook, it’s all kinds of delish! Get your copy here: Make it Sweet – Minus the Sugar!
What is the paleo Whole 30?
The Whole 30 is a 30 day program where you go strict paleo with no ‘paleo-fied’ items (so no paleo pizza, paleo pancakes etc.)… no sweet treats either! It’s a good program if you’re overdosing on sweet treats and nuts but we recommend to not get crazy obsessive. Listen to what your body truly needs and don’t overeat. Read about our weight loss tips here.
Is paleo a high meat diet?
We eat the same amount of meat as any ‘regular diet’ (100-150g servings) but we take out all the nasties like grain and gluten filled rice, pasta, bread and swap for more vegetables. We eat lots of veggies… maybe more than vegetarians. Read more about the meat we eat here.
What’s the best oil to cook with?
We cook with coconut and macadamia oil. We sometimes cook with olive oil, some say heating olive oil causes free radicals (this is bad) others say it’s ok (#confused, you make your own decision). We also cook with grass fed organic butter/ghee and animal fat. Don’t cook with any seed oils or vegetable oils. Click here to read more about the best paleo oils to cook with… and the worst!
Does the paleo lifestyle and a diet high in saturated fats lead to high cholesterol?
NO. The idea that fat makes you fat and gives you high cholesterol and heart disease is completely false! Read about it here from the amazing Mark’s Daily Apple.
Do I need to do CrossFit?
We like this one… there is a strong connection with CrossFit and paleo, but no, if you eat paleo you don’t have to do CrossFit! We’ve tried it. As long as you are moving in some way you’re doing great! CrossFit is based on functional movement, this means what our bodies are designed to do. This is why paleo + CrossFit = a match made in heaven! But we like to mix it up with functional movement sessions, walking, yoga, running, BodyPump, BodyBalance… everything!
Can my kids eat paleo?
Of course they can! This is the perfect lifestyle for kids. They will get all the essential vitamins, minerals and energy required to thrive. The only thing they will miss out on is sugar, chemicals, grains, gluten… and we don’t think there’s any harm to saying no to these! Loads of our recipes are kid approved!
What do you eat for breakfast?
For some reason people just can’t bear to think what on earth we do without cereal boxes and toast… hehe! We’ll have you know that we enjoy extremely delish breakfasts! From smoothies, to chia puddings, granola, pancakes and bacon and eggs and here’s even more paleo breakfast ideas!
What do you substitute for bread when eating paleo?
That’s right, we don’t eat regular bread! Shock, horror! So you don’t have a sandwich for lunch? No! We don’t and we cope just fine. We usually enjoy left over dinners and salads for lunch. Check out one of our fave paleo bread recipes HERE!
What do you substitute for rice?
Got another question? Add it to the list!
Got another question you’d like us to answer and add to our paleo Frequently Asked Questions?! Just leave a comment below and we’ll add it to the list!
Emma + Carla