How to Make a Basket Wall

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Original article by Ten Thousand Villages

Don’t go to a big box store and settle for a piece of mass-produced wall art. With a few simple materials and some fair trade baskets, you can quickly transform your space from run-of-the-mill to world-travelled. It’s so much easier than you think to create a unique basket wall in your home!

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

Fair-Trade Baskets

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Whether they are Tonga baskets from Zimbabwe or raffia baskets from Uganda, choose the look you love! Each one is made with local materials and traditions passed down through generations. Are you keeping it neutral? Are you looking for a pop of bold color? Will you choose warm and welcoming colors or cool and calm designs? The possibilities are endless!

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Removable Picture Hangers

If you want to hang baskets without damaging your wall (renters, we are looking at you!), use picture hangers with removable adhesive. Most are capable of holding up to five pounds and won’t leave any marks on the wall after you remove them.

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String

Most baskets have loops for hanging woven into their structure. However, if the baskets you choose don’t have any, be sure to have some string handy. You can make your own hanging loop by simply tying string onto a section of the basket.

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Paper, Pencil, Tape

Having a plan is always a good idea, and this holds true for your basket wall. Trace each basket on a piece of paper, cut them out and use them as templates. Try a few different arrangements of the sizes and spacing on your wall.

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Get creative! Keep in mind color combination and the fact that baskets of different depths can overlap a bit, which can lead to endless composition possibilities. When you’ve settled on a layout that you like, make a light mark with your pencil where each basket will be placed. Now you can hang each one confidently.

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Voila!

You now have your very own basket wall! It’s one of the easiest ways to give your home a one-of-a-kind new look.

May 2017 Book Club Selection

The Circle

Ok, So we cheated and saw the movie already! Normally we would  recommend reading the book before seeing the movie, as it usually provides more details that the movie typically leaves out, (and trust me, this one left us with lots of questions!) which is another one more good reason that we chose this as our book of the month for May.  We are seriously hoping that this book answers a ton of questions that the movie left out! So anyways, we are really hoping you either go see the movie or read this one so we can discuss! It is definitely something that will make you think and make you FEEL. Either you will love it, or you will hate it. We want to know. Get over to goodreads and join us! Here is a summery of the story below. We don’t know about you, but we love Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. The movie was intriguing, we’re hoping the book is the same. Enjoy!

Overview (via Barnes and Noble)

Now a Major Motion Picture starring Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. A bestselling dystopian novel that tackles surveillance, privacy and the frightening intrusions of technology in our lives.

When Mae Holland (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency.

As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO.

Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public.

What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Get your copy of  The Circle

April Book Club Selection

Happy Spring! Its time for our April book selection which will be “The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman. This story is based on Nazi WW2 and is also a movie in theaters now! We highly recommend grabbing the book by clicking the book cover below, grabbing a friend, read the book and enjoy a night out to go see the movie! We can’t wait to discuss this one with you! You can also join the bookclub by clicking here.

 

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Introducing The Colors of Brazil Collection!

We are so happy to announce that we are now carrying eco-friendly jewelry by Colors of Brazil! This beautiful shop is owned by Nathalia Maduenho who hand crafts many of the breathtaking jewelry you will see at Black Oak Market. She is a proud supporter of the Fair Trade Market giving women and men in other countries a chance to earn an income through their craft of jewelry making.

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“Jewelry is a way to connect with the beauty that surrounds us and to express ourselves”

Nathalia believes in jewelry made of nature’s resources as a form to represent all that mother-nature provides, and the beauty we need in our lives.

She has worked with Information Technology for many years, but deep inside she always dreamed of doing something else, something that she could use her imagination and creativity, although she has never thought about herself as being a creative person!

Nathalia’s passion for jewelry started late in her life with a necklace made of a fiber-like plant named “golden grass” that is originally from her country of Brazil. Getting to know the history behind that piece ,and all lives that are touched by its powerful shine, made her want to be part of this chain that connects and empowers women and men through their craft.

Each piece of her jewelry carries the energy of artisans hands who work with her, giving to that jewelry an unique history and identity. Through her jewelry, someone`s dream can come true.

Together, lets make this dream come true.

More about Nathalia

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I am Nathalia Maduenho, I live in Columbia, Missouri with my husband and our two daughters.
Since 2011 when we have moved to Columbia, I decided not to have a full-time job anymore to be able to be with my daughters !
But the desire to start something new also appeared and I have decided to start working with small-scaled artisans and to make my own jewelry using resources mainly from nature and more important to my jewelry be eco friendly.
I am happy and excited to be on Etsy and with the opportunity of so many people to see my work !

March Madness!

Happy March!

As you all know, Black Oak Market has teamed up with Thrive Market to bring you some of the best quality of food out there straight to your door-if you’ve been on the fence about signing up, we’ve got something to sweeten the deal!

We are offering 25% off your first order in addition to your 30-day free trial AND free shipping! Just click the link here and start shopping. You can also visit our post about Thrive Market here.

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ANTINUTRIENTS

Original Article by Thrive Market

In the comic book universe, no superhero exists without an equally powerful villain to create dramatic tension, and the real-life world of nutrition isn’t much different. Here, superfoods are the good guys, boosting your health with powerful antioxidants and vitamins.

But lately, there’s been a lot of talk about the danger posed by evil antinutrients—substances that lurk in many of the foods you consider healthy, and actually cause damage. But what, exactly, are they? And should you be afraid of them?

Antinutrients are exactly what they sound like: a compound that inhibits your body from absorbing nutrients. They exist to protect plants biochemically from predators, much like a suit of armor. Where are they found? Legumes, nuts, grains, and a host of other foods.

PHYTIC ACID, THE MOST NOTORIOUS ANTINUTRIENT

Perhaps the most notorious antinutrient is phytic acid. Also known as phytate, it’s found in plant seeds and is present in most nuts, grains, legumes, and soy. Phytic acid is an antinutrient because it prevents the absorption of iron, zinc, and calcium in the body. You’d need to eat a ton of a phytic acid-heavy food (seriously, think basically eating only raw almonds and pretty much nothing else for six months) in order to see negative effects, but you can offset phytic acid through sprouting, soaking, and fermenting these foods.
If you follow a Paleo diet, you’re probably nodding your head in agreement. But do you know about the other sources of antinutrients that might be lurking in your healthy diet?

TWO MORE ANTINUTRIENTS: GOITROGENS AND OXALATES

Stay with us, we’re gonna get science-y. Goitrogens and oxalates are two other common antinutrients found in your favorite healthy foods. Goitrogens depress thyroid function and can mess with the way your thyroid excrete hormones. That’s bad news for your metabolism.

These thyroid-destroying compounds are found green veggies that are usually celebrated for their health benefits: broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and soybeans. Confused? The short answer is that the health benefits outweigh any risk, and on top of that, goitrogens are easily neutralized by cooking or fermenting. So if you’re worried, give those Brussels sprouts a quick sauté.

Oxalates are another antinutrient making waves laterly. Similar to phytic acid, they, too, bind to minerals and inhibit your body’s absorption. Spinach, quinoa, raspberries, collards, chard, and blueberries are just a few of the delicious and otherwise uber-healthy foods that contain oxalates. In fact, many of these foods are considered superfoods because of their high nutrient value. The minimal oxalate count in your blueberries won’t negate the health benefits, and just like their other antinutrient counterparts, cooking these foods reduce their effectiveness. Noticing a trend?

DON’T MISS THE POINT WHEN DEALING WITH ANTINUTRIENTS

So now that you know the deal with antinutrients, you need to remember that you shouldn’t be that worried about them. Yes, they can be harmful to your health, but you’d have to be eating copious amounts of raw veggies and nuts and legumes and almost nothing else over many months to see negative effects. Ideally, we try to eat as well as we can, and that’s why some avoid antinutrients. But if you’re skipping out on vegetables, fruits, and legumes in an attempt to stay healthy, you might be missing the whole point.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

The Black Oak Book Club!

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I cannot express how excited we are about starting up our very own public bookclub! If any of you are like me, I love to read, and I love to discuss even more.

The most exciting thing for me is that I get to present the opportunity to bring people together who share the same love: books. This community will be able to discuss the book, the author, the issues, compare and contrast the story or information to real life, and share stories with one another. We may just find that although we are all different in our beliefs, views, morals, and values, we still have something in common, and that is that we are human.

HOW THE BOOKCLUB WORKS

  1. We are going to aim to have 1 book to read per month, starting March 1, 2017.
  2. Our bookclub will be hosted on the goodreads website, which will be linked below. You will have to create a login, but don’t worry it is 100% free to create an account! Next, you will have to find our bookclub by clicking “COMMUNITY”⇒ “GROUPS” (at the top of the page) then search for “Black Oak Market Bookclub” in the search box.
  3. Once you join the group you are free to join in the discussions!
  4. About halfway through the month, check the bookclub page for discussion questions! (We want to give everyone a chance to dive-in and get a head start before any potential spoilers arise in discussion)

 

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Our first book will be “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt. (You can purchase the book on Amazon here.) Check out the book description below!

 

Taken from goodreads:

It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

We hope this book sounds interesting to you and can’t wait to meet you on goodreads! PLEASE feel free to share this post, and invite your friends or other bookclub members to join us as well! Happy reading! Access the Goodreads website here.

Sincerely,

Megan @ Black Oak Market

Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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Original Recipe from Thrive Market

We’re always looking for new ways to enjoy chocolate chip cookies. Is any dessert more universally satisfying?  We can’t get enough this particular recipe, made with fruity olive oil and bittersweet chocolate. The combination is irresistible (trust us).
Use a bright, full-bodied olive oil for maximum flavor.

OLIVE OIL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Yield: 12 cookies
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

6 tablespoons melted grass-fed butter or ghee
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon large-flake sea salt
5 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together butter or ghee, olive oil, brown sugar, and unbleached sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the flour mixture into the sugar mixture until just combined. Fold in chopped chocolate. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.

Scoop out 1-inch balls of dough and place 1-inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake 11 to 12 minutes until the edges are golden brown while the centers remain gooey.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

 

What is the Paleo Diet?

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This article is originally from Thrive Market

At first glance, the Paleo diet looks a lot like an outrageous fad. It’s spiked dramatically in popularity within the past couple of years, counts Miley Cyrus and Kobe Bryant among its celebrity followers, and has a hashtag with over 6 million posts on Instagram to boot.

But there’s a reason that “going Paleo” isn’t going anywhere—it’s not really a diet that helps you lose weight fast, but instead an overall lifestyle change that can yield positive and lasting results.

WHAT IS THE PALEO DIET?

Sometimes called the Neolithic diet, eating “primal,” or the caveman diet, it’s based on eating the same things that were available to our hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago. The menu back then contained lots of meat, fish, berries, tubers, and vegetables—and none of the packaged and processed foods that most modern-day eaters rely on for the majority of their meals nowadays.

Why eat like a caveman? Paleo proponents believe that a diet high in processed, genetically modified food causes modern health issues like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune diseases. Their argument is that humans ate a certain way—the Paleo way—for hundreds of thousands of years, and our bodies have been conditioned to accommodate this way of eating.

But about 10,000 years ago, we started putting down roots and began farming, and this agricultural revolution pretty much turned our old way of eating on its head. Those who stick to a Paleo diet believe that our bodies haven’t evolved enough in the following years to be able to successfully digest foods like grains, dairy, and sugar. Eating these foods—which happen to be the pillars of the Standard American Diet—are thought to be the root cause of nearly every ailment that afflicts modern humans.

Sounds scary, right? And considering that 66 percent of Americans are considered overweight and 33 percent are technically obese, it certainly seems like there’s something wrong with the way we’re eating now. Fans have found that adopting this old-new diet helps improve their overall health, and many success stories credit the diet with reversing chronic health issues.

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RULES OF THE PALEO DIET

Despite what you’ve heard, it’s actually not as strict as you might think! Paleo eaters love the diet, despite its detailed rules, because they can eat as much as they want instead of tediously counting calories or practicing portion control. According to Dr. Loren Cordain, the self-proclaimed founder of the Paleo movement,

“[Adopting the] fundamental characteristics of hunter-gatherer diets will help to optimize your health, minimize your risk of chronic disease, and lose weight.”

Cordain recommends the following seven dietary guidelines when trying to eat like our Paleolithic ancestors.

Eat more protein.

Hunter-gatherer diets relied on animal protein for 19 to 35 percent of their calories, says Cordain, which is more than what most of us are eating on a daily basis. However, it’s not all you’re going to eat—Paleo gets a bad rap because some people think that it’s all meat, all the time. Clearly, that’s not the recommendation.

Add tons of non-starchy vegetables

The more veggies, the better! You’ll want to pick mostly green things with a low glycemic index, meaning vegetables with less sugar and carbohydrates. Remember that vegetables are relatively low in calories and high in fiber, so you can basically eat as much as you’d like on the Paleo diet.

Increase your fiber intake

If you eat more fruits and vegetables, this will happen naturally. “Dietary fiber is essential for good health, and despite what we’re told, whole grains aren’t the place to find it. Non-starchy vegetables contain eight times more fiber than whole grains and 31 times more than refined grains,” Cordain writes. Adding more fiber to your diet will help regulate blood sugar and control weight and fat gain. A high fiber intake has been also proven to reduce risk of developing heart disease by 40 percent.

Add more healthy fats to your diet

On the Paleo diet, fat is your friend—in particular, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. According to Cordain, “It is not the total amount of fat in your diet that raises your blood cholesterol levels and increases your risk for heart disease, cancer, and type 2 diabetes, but rather the type of fat.” Everyday staples that are also sources of healthy fat include avocados, fatty fish, grass-fed animal sources, and some nuts.

Choose fresh, unprocessed foods over packaged goods

According to Cordain, the average American now consumes about twice as much sodium as potassium. And much of that excess can be traced back to highly processed packaged foods that rely on extra sodium in order to stay shelf-stable and add flavor. It’s pretty obvious that our Stone Age ancestors didn’t stop at 7-Eleven to pick up a slurpee and a bag of chips while they were hunting down their next meal—so follow in their footsteps, and eat as cleanly as possible.

Eat more alkaline foods to balance dietary acid

This rule is a little controversial amongst the Paleo community, but Cordain maintains that it’s one of the tenets of the diet. Meats, fish, grains, legumes, cheese, and salt are all considered acid producers, and fruits and vegetables are alkaline producers. Cordain believes it’s best to limit your intake of the former as much as possible, because “a lifetime of excessive dietary acid may promote bone and muscle loss, high blood pressure, and increased risk for kidney stones, and may aggravate asthma and exercise-induced asthma.” Many other Paleo experts back up Cordain, in that they view these “acid producers” as inflammatory—and believe excess inflammation in the body is the root cause of disease. No matter what, eating more fruits and veggies is never a bad thing.

Up your vitamin and mineral intake

Grass-fed meats, fruits, and veggies naturally contain potent levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Instead of eating processed foods fortified with added nutrients, Cordain recommends getting all your nutrition from whole food sources, which he believes are better absorbed by the body.

What Can you eat on the Paleo Diet?

At first glance it might seem limiting, but the Paleo diet is actually very inclusive. Because you’re not counting calories, you can essentially eat as much Paleo-friendly food as you’d like. Whole head of broccoli for dinner? Sure, why not! As long as you stick to the list of approved foods—check out our Ultimate Paleo Food List if you have questions—you’re good to go.

Protein

About 19 to 35 percent of your meals will come from a protein source, but it’s important to make sure that you’re eating grass-fed—not grain-fed—meat. Grains aren’t allowed on the diet because they contain antinutrients that Paleo advocates believe to be toxic to the body. Antinutrients are just what they sound like: compounds that inhibit your body from absorbing nutrients. They exist to protect plants biochemically from predators (like a suit of armor)—and they can cause anything from gastrointestinal distress to joint pain when ingested on a regular basis. Avoiding grains in every form is an important part of eating like a caveman, and you can read Primal expert Mark Sisson’s excellent blog for more information about why to avoid grains.

Fruits and veggies

Eating the stuff that comes straight from the ground should make up the bulk of your calories and nutrients, just like our Paleolithic ancestors. Sure, they probably had a slightly different range of produce available back then, but eating locally grown and seasonal fruits and vegetables is the easiest way to emulate the caveman diet. Eat as many non-starchy and low-glycemic index produce items as you’d like.

Healthy fats

Yup, our ancestors were all about eating fat. Think about it—fat is the highest calorie macronutrient. It weighs in at about 9 calories per gram, in comparison to the 4 calories per gram in carbs and protein, which means it was the most efficient fuel for Paleolithic people who spent hours every day hunting down their dinner. Eating fat isn’t going to make you fat, especially when you’re getting those calories from good sources.

Animal fats, nuts, coconut, avocado, and olive oils are all Paleo-approved healthy fat sources. Limit your vegetable oil intake as much as possible, as it can be inflammatory and contains polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs, which contribute to increased levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol.

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BENEFITS OF GOING PALEO

Not quite ready to give up the bread basket? The benefits of adopting the Paleo might change your mind. Many claim that eating like a caveman can help you:

-Lose weight
-Improve your overall health
-Clear up skin issues like dermatitis or psoriasis
-Boost your energy levels
-Lower your body-fat percentage
-Improve athletic performance
-And even treat autoimmune diseases

CRITICISM OF THE PALEO DIET

Of course, for all the people who credit the Paleo diet with transforming their lives for the better, there are just as many naysayers. Critics claim the Paleo diet grossly simplifies what our ancient ancestors actually ate. They point out that early humans relied more on what was available based on their surroundings—people in desert climates would have little access to fish and large game, and those living by the water would probably depend on fishing more than hunting for their protein.

Geneticists point out that contrary to what the Paleo community says—that our bodies haven’t adapted to modern diets—many subsets of the population actually have adapted over the past 10,000 years to foods that aren’t allowed on the diet, like milk and wheat.

SO, SHOULD YOU GO PALEO?

All in all, the diet itself is pretty balanced: A typical meal is made up of protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. You may lose weight on the diet just because you’ll be cutting out junk foods like sugar, sweets, breads, cheese, ice cream, chips, and crackers, all of which can wreak havoc on your waistline.

Always consult a doctor before you begin a new diet, but it couldn’t hurt to try eating Paleo for a few weeks. You might just love the results! For basic essentials, pick up our Paleo Starter Kit right here.

Photo credit: Paul Delmont

Thrive with us!

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Here it is: the launch of the Black Oak Market Blog!

As you have heard, Black Oak Market is focusing on going green and organic in 2017. We LOVE our homes and want to make them beautiful. At the same time, we feel that it is important to have a HEALTHY home. Throughout our blogs, you’re going to see some really neat ideas on how to make your home work for you and your health! (Not to mention your spouses’, kids’, and pets too!)

Last year around Christmas time, we teamed up with Thrive Market to help promote a clean, healthy lifestyle by choosing organic food and other products that are beneficial to HELPING our bodies and not hurting them. We also aimed to find a new, creative way to gift-give. We wanted to give people the gift of HEALTH. Without our health, we cannot live our day to day lives without restriction-it takes a toll on our dreams, and our relationships.

So, why THRIVE MARKET?

This year, we are joining together with THRIVE MARKET because they offer organic, nutrition-packed, AFFORDABLE food and everyday living products. For just $5/month ($59.95/year) you have access to CLEAN food shipped straight to your door. Some of these brands can be found in local grocery stores, but at Thrive Market they are 25-50% off! Thats HUGE! You shouldn’t have to say “no” to your health because its too expensive….its not.

What else does Thrive Market do?

We also love this company because of what it stands for. For every annual membership bought, they DONATE one membership to a lower-income family. We will continue to campaign clean food for our health throughout the entire year. We will also join the fight against the POISON that big corporations are putting in the majority of our food supply. Just realize that our biggest food sources are making us sick and putting us in hospitals and doctors offices driving up medical bills. Yes, the everyday food we consume with preservatives and other additives (aka chemicals) are causing diabetes, high cholesterol and blood pressure, obesity, and so many other diseases, not to mention, cancer.

To kickoff this campaign we will be offering giveaways and incentives, recipes, health tips and more. Please follow us on our journey to better health on our Facebook page, future blog posts on our website, and INSTAGRAM! Thank you so much for your support, we can’t wait to thrive with you!

For the month of March, we’re offering 25% off your first order in addition to your free 30-day trial and FREE shipping!! Its March Maddness-take advantage now!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Paleo Diet Food List

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This article is originally from Thrive Market

It’s official—the Paleo diet has hit the tipping point. Although this prehistoric eating regimen, also known as “primal” eating, has been in the zeitgeist for years (it was Google’s most-searched term in 2013), more people are going Paleo to lose weight, feel better, and simplify their diets.

RULES FOR EATING PALEO

The rules for eating Paleo are pretty simple: Eat the same things that our caveman ancestors would have eaten in Paleolithic times. Not sure what exactly was on the menu of these ancient hunter-gatherers? Here are the basic guidelines to keep in mind.

Foods that are in their most natural state are preferred. Our ancestors didn’t spend a lot of time cooking complicated five-course meals; they just ate whatever they could pick from the ground or kill with a spear with little to no preparation involved.
Avoid processed foods. Paleolithic predecessors couldn’t head to the store to pick up a bag of chips when they were in need of a midday snack.

Eat a diet that is high in fat, relatively low in carbohydrates, and contains moderate amounts of protein. Eat low-sugar foods, which might mean cutting out certain fruits; some are too high in fructose and can affect blood sugar levels negatively.

Try to go for grass-fed, organic, and pasture-raised meat as often as possible. Organic vegetables are also preferable to non-organic or conventional produce that could have been sprayed with pesticides and toxins. There’s nothing Paleo about Roundup!

Basically, go gluten-free. Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet for a couple reasons. One, they contain gluten and other antinutrients, which cause unnecessary inflammation in the body. And two, grains and legumes typically need to be processed in order to be eaten.

WHAT TO EAT ON THE PALEO DIET

Even though the media tends to paint the Paleo diet as limiting and restrictive, there are actually tons of foods that are fair game. You might be surprised to see things like bacon, ghee, and eggs on the list. Don’t be shy about eating these so-called “unhealthy,” yummy foods.

Here’s the thing: When you go Paleo, you don’t need to count calories or worry about portion sizes. Eat anything on the list, and as much of it as you’d like, when you’re hungry—just remember to eat high fat, medium amounts of protein, and low-carb. Here’s the complete list of foods you can eat on a Paleo diet.

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Paleo Diet Meats

If all you know about the Paleo diet is that primal eaters love bacon, you’re actually on the right track! Nearly all meat is Paleo-friendly, but processed proteins like hot dogs or spam aren’t exactly the best dietary choice for those trying to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors. Get to know your local butcher or head to your town’s farmers market for the freshest protein. Look for grass-fed, humanely raised animal protein when food shopping, and when cooking try not to burn or create a char on meat—it’s carcinogenic, and decidedly un-Paleo.

Eggs (duck, chicken, or goose)
Turkey
Chicken breast
Pork tenderloin
Pork chops
Steak
Veal
Bacon (nitrate-free)
Pork
Ground beef
Grass-fed beef
Chicken thighs
Chicken legs
Chicken wings
Lamb rack
Shrimp
Lean veal
Chuck steak
Lobster
Clams
Salmon
Venison steaks
Buffalo
New York steak
Beef jerky
Bison
Bison steaks
Bison jerky
Bison ribeye
Bison sirloin
Lamb chops
Rabbit
Goat
Elk
Emu
Goose
Kangaroo
Bear (seriously)
Wild boar
Reindeer
Turtle
Ostrich
Pheasant
Quail
Rattlesnake

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Paleo Diet Fish

Most fish are safe to eat on the Paleo diet—except for those that tend to be highly carcinogenic or contain lots of toxins. Plus, fish are full of brain-boosting healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly recommended on the Paleo diet. Just as with meat, try to buy the most ethically sourced, wild-caught fish possible.

Bass
Salmon
Halibut
Mackerel
Sardines
Tuna
Red snapper
Shark
Sunfish
Swordfish
Tilapia
Trout
Walleye
Crab
Crawfish
Crayfish
Shrimp
Clams
Lobster
Scallops
Oysters

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Fats to Eat on the Paleo Diet

It’s been proven that eating fat doesn’t make you fat. Instead, filling up on healthy fats from nuts, meat, and oils can help many people lose weight while supporting healthy hair growth, supple skin, strong nails, and better brain function. The following healthy fats are a Paleo eater’s best friend!

Coconut oil
Olive oil
Macadamia oil
Avocado oil
Grass-fed butter
Ghee

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Paleo-Approved Vegetables

Almost all veggies are good to eat on the Paleo diet—they’re loaded with nutrition, low in calories, and packed with fiber! That being said, avoid starchy tubers like potatoes because they have a high sugar and high carbohydrate content (more on that later).

Asparagus
Avocado
Artichoke hearts
Brussels sprouts
Carrots
Spinach
Celery
Broccoli
Zucchini
Cabbage
Peppers (all kinds)
Cauliflower
Parsley
Eggplant
Green onions
Butternut squash
Acorn squash
Yam
Sweet potato
Beets
Fruits That Are Paleo

Ok, so fruits can be a little tricky on the Paleo diet. Sure, they’re some of the healthiest foods available to us—so many necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are found in the fruits we eat every day. But some fresh and dried fruits can shoot blood sugar levels up as high as a cookie or candy bar. Stick to the items on this list in order to balance blood glucose levels and promote fat loss.

Apple
Avocado
Blackberries
Papaya
Peaches
Plums
Mango
Lychee
Blueberries
Grapes
Lemon
Strawberries
Watermelon
Pineapple
Guava
Lime
Raspberries
Cantaloupe
Tangerine
Figs
Oranges
Bananas
You’re going to want to steer clear of super-sugary fruits and fruit juices—those aren’t cool on the Paleo diet.

Nuts on Paleo

If you’re going Paleo, nuts are going to be your new BFF. While processed foods are a no-no on this diet, nuts are an easy grab-and-go snack. That being said, they’re also extremely calorically dense, so if you’re trying to lose weight on the Paleo diet, don’t go too … nuts. Here are some of the best nuts for the Paleo diet.

Almonds
Cashews
Hazelnuts
Pecans
Pine nuts
Macadamia nuts
Walnuts

Seeds to Eat on Paleo

Hunter-gatherers were all about that seed life, so if you’re going Paleo, you should be, too. Mix them into your favorite nutty trail mix for an energizing snack.

Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

FOODS TO AVOID ON THE PALEO DIET

If you’re used to eating the Standard American Diet, which is full of whole grains, dairy, and sugar, the first few weeks of eating Paleo might prove to be tough. It’ll force you to get a little creative when it comes to making your old favorite dishes (check out this Paleo-friendly mac and cheese for inspiration!) but you’ll love the way you feel after just a couple of days of cutting back on these foods.

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Skip: Grains

Sorry, but all grains are off-limits (as are grain-derivatives like corn syrup). Not only can grains contain detrimental antinutrients, but they’re loaded with carbs. Load up on filling and nutritious fruits and veggies for complex carbohydrates, instead of getting your daily carb intake from a slice of bread or any of the following:

Cereals
Bread
English muffins
Toast
Sandwiches
Triscuits
Wheat Thins
Crackers
Oatmeal
Cream of wheat
Corn
Corn syrup
High-fructose corn syrup
Wheat
Pancakes
Pasta

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Skip: Dairy

While grains are a definite, “NO!” on the Paleo diet, dairy is a little bit of a grey area. Sure, dairy can be a great way to introduce healthy bacteria into the gut via foods like kefir and yogurt. On the flip side, many people have an allergy or intolerance to dairy, simply because our bodies aren’t adapted to ingest milk after our first few years of life. The best practice would be to avoid dairy altogether, but if you choose to incorporate it into your diet make sure you stay away from these items in particular.

Butter
Cheese
Cottage cheese
Non-fat dairy creamer
Skim milk
Low-fat milk
2% milk
Whole milk
Powdered milk
Dairy spreads
Cream cheese
Yogurt
Pudding
Frozen yogurt
Ice milk
Ice cream

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Skip: Legumes

Beans, peanuts, and lentils are among the most popular legumes. Unfortunately, they aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet, namely because they tend to cause gastrointestinal distress.

All beans
Peas
Black-eyed peas
Chickpeas
Snowpeas
Sugar snap peas
Peanuts
Peanut butter
Miso
Lentils
Lupins
Mesquite
Soybeans
All soybean products and derivatives
Tofu

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Skip: Sugar

Pretty much all sugar is frowned upon on the Paleo diet. Have a hankering for something sweet? Grab a piece of fruit from the Paleo-Approved Fruits list above instead! Avoid:

Sugar
High-fructose corn syrup
Molasses
Honey
Artificial sweeteners
Alcohol sugars

Skip: Processed Meats

There are so many different types of meat you can eat on the Paleo diet, it’s not worth messing with these sub-par cuts. Stick to the good stuff instead!

Spam
Hot dogs
Sausage
Low-quality meats

Skip: Starchy Vegetables

Most veggies are okay on the Paleo diet, but these starchy tubers are high in sugar and carbs. Opt for the plethora of Paleo-Approved Vegetables above instead.

Potatoes
Yucca
Batata

Skip: Alcohol (Mostly!)

Sorry, but alcohol intake is limited on the Paleo diet—after all, it is essentially poison to your body. There are a few spirits you can enjoy in moderation, like tequila, vodka, and gin, but in general staying sober is the safest way to stay Paleo.

Beer
Wine
Colored Spirits
Tonic water
Mixers

BENEFITS OF EATING PALEO

There’s a reason that the Paleo diet has turned into a full-fledged movement—for many, it works. Thousands have lost weight, healed digestive issues, and found renewed energy through primal eating.

According to Paleo expert Robb Wolf, eating like our ancestors is simply the only way to regain our health:

“The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Research in biology, biochemistry, ophthalmology, dermatology and many other disciplines indicate it is our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, depression and infertility.”

Because the main tenets of the Paleo diet are to eat whole foods, low amounts of sugar, and avoid processed products, the eating plan itself is actually very healthy. In fact, eating Paleo has been proven to be beneficial for those with diabetes or anyone trying to maintain even blood sugar levels. It’s also been linked to stronger athletic performance, which is why many athletes follow a Paleo eating plan.

WHO EATS PALEO?

The real question is, “Who isn’t eating Paleo?” Check out some of the celebrities and pro athletes who attribute their athleticism and health to following a primal diet.

Jessica Biel
Megan Fox
Jack Osbourne
Miley Cyrus
Matthew McConaughey
Grant Hill
Gwyneth Paltrow
Kobe Bryant
Uma Thurman
Aaron Rodgers
Anne Hathaway
Jeb Bush
Christina Aguilera
Bill Clinton
Novak Djokovic

WEIGHT LOSS ON PALEO

If your goal is to lose weight, the Paleo diet can definitely work for you—and you won’t have to count calories. Instead, fill up on veggies and healthy fats like coconut oil; aim to make vegetables about 75 percent of your plate. For the rest of your meal, eat a lightly cooked piece of meat. Remember that part of eating a Paleo diet is eliminating carcinogens, so don’t burn your burger to a crisp.

All in all, the Paleo diet is a much healthier and more balanced way to eat than most people might realize: It consists of mostly greens, healthy fats, proteins, and no sugar. Want to try it for yourself? Check out our favorite Paleo-friendly recipes here!