La Tela di Carlotta
it en es

11 things you should know about the Paleo “diet”

Oct 6, 2015

Update 2020: since this article many things have changed, first of which: in 2018 I embarked on the journey of sustainable living, which little by little brought me to stop eating meat for environmental reasons (if you are interested, below the comments you can find a post about it: eating responsibly is the diet of the future). This means we’re not paleo anymore.


Although Alex and I have followed the Paleo Diet for years and have been talking about it a lot with family and friends, we still hear things like, “Butter is bad for you,” or “Bacon raises cholesterol levels,” or “Pasta would be so much healthier than this plate of cold cuts I’m about to have.” (sigh)

So today I decided to give you a quick recap on why you should avoid as much as possible processed foods, and decide to buy (and eat) natural—which I call, out of convenience, paleo.

These are the 11 most important things you should know about Paleo (and a bonus :-)

  • Paleo is just a commercial name. It defines an eating style: choosing foods that you can find in nature and eat raw—definitely not the processed foods you find in supermarkets, but not necessarily the organic ones either (which are not accessible to everyone).
  • Why are processed foods bad for you? For many reason, but especially because they contain monosodic glutamate, which basically turns them into a drug. I explained it better here.
  • Gluten is a top enemy. If you don’t want to give up your pasta, at least go gluten-free. Gluten is what causes bloating and chronic inflammation in your intestine (Update 2020: this is untrue, this theory was disproved a couple years later!)
  • Paleo is not a diet (to lose weight). It’s a lifestyle—you do it to be healthier, to feel less bloated and better, to fight allergies and maybe to live longer. Losing weight will be a natural consequence. This is why I do it.
  • No carbs, no energy? That’s somewhat true, but carbs are not only in pasta, bread and cookies. Fruit and vegetables are full of good carbs, the ones that should be at the base of the famous food pyramid.
  • Brown is not paleo. No flour, white or brown, is paleo (and that’s true for amaranth, oat, spelt, wheat, buckwheat, corn, rice, millet, barley, rye…). Almond flour and chestnut flour are paleo because they're made out of natural ingredients.
  • Butter is not bad. The same goes for bacon, olive oil, avocado, olives… it’s fat and fat is good for you. (It’s time to debunk the myth that fat causes cholesterol and heart attack. Soon on La Tela).
  • You can eat a lot. If you eat the right foods, you can eat as much as you want (while maintaining your weight). For real!
  • Fruit is paleo, but it’s full of sugar. If you want to lose weight, eat less of it.
  • Dairy, yes or no? If humans are the only species that drinks milk after being weaned, there must be a reason. We didn’t get rid of dairy, but we consume it in moderation (a latte per day and cheese every now and then).
  • Extremes are not for everybody. If this is your case, you can do like us: we don’t buy bad foods (so there’s no temptation at home), but we do allow ourselves to eat what we want when we go out with friends. So much easier and more practical!

BONUS: If you have a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is paleo and it’s become my favourite dessert after lunch. It’s just a matter of getting used to it.

Did you like it? Tell me in a comment :-)

Tell me what you think

Did you like it? Do you agree or disagree? I'd love to hear from you.

I think you'll like these

The blog

I write mainly about Montessori, parenthood, and multilingualism. Here are some recent posts.

Montessori
One day a few years ago my husband came home and said, "Why don't we put a mattress on the floor in the baby room? It'd be much more natural". "Never" was my reply. That's how our Montessori journey started. Since then we've been living, breathing and applying the philosophy at home day in and day out, starting from ourselves. Because educating children starts from the parents.
Kids understand if you give them honesty
Bean and seed mosaic
I'm not perfect. I'm aware
DIY yoga cards for kids
Children at the restaurant: let's recalibrate expectations
Don't ask your children to share their toys
Those "good job" that erode our children's confidence
Our Montessori birthday
Two alternatives to screens that my kids love
Using fear and threats to control children is never right!
Living sustainably
Living sustainably for me doesn’t only mean to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle. It means to make decisions that are sustainable for our planet, the people on it, but also for our life, our lifestyle, and our happiness. It means to take any daily chance to evolve and be happier, healthier, kinder, more responsible and more caring human beings—the only sustainable way for a meaningful future.
Face yoga is an act of self love
Why you should wear the same outfit twice on Instagram
The power of creating habits (and why you should do it, even if you then break them!)
Responsible eating is the diet of the future (Would you like to teach it to your kids?)
The power of NOT complaining: can you do it for a whole month?
Clean up your planet, please!
Infographic: 8 steps to switch to cloth nappies (a guide for reluctant parents)
A personal note on happiness
A personal note on social media
A change of life always widens your horizons
New to La Tela?
I’ve prepared collections on various topics that I’ve written over the years. Perhaps you’ll find one that interests you.

Travel

We sold everything to travel the world for two years. We're currently in New Zealand.

Books

In 2020 I wrote 4 books for the Italian collection “Gioca and Impara con il metodo Montessori” curated by Grazia Honegger Fresco. The collection is a project by Il Corriere della Sera and La Gazzetta dello Sport.

We also implemented the workshops of the last 15 volumes of the collection with Oliver and Emily.

Podcast

On my podcast, “Educare con calma”, I talk about various topics, from Montessori to sustainability. Only in Italian!

Nov 19, 2020 • 25m
Pene e vulva: normalizziamo le parole
Con questo episodio inizio una serie di conversazioni a tema sessuale, perché credo che in Italia se ne debba parlare di più, soprattutto tra famiglie con bambini. L'educazione sessuale è un aspetto importante dell'educazione dei bambini e deve iniziare da piccoli. Un ottimo primo passo è proprio quello di normalizzare parole "imbarazzanti" come pene e vulva e sostituirle alle più comuni pisellino e patatina. Nell'episodio dico che non avevo trovato la storia originale in spagnolo della "gall...
16
Nov 13, 2020 • 13m
"Non sono cresciuto Montessori e sono venuto su bene lo stesso!"
In questo breve episodio rifletto su una frase che ho sentito/mi è stata detta spesso per difendere l'educazione tradizionale (da genitori che crescono i propri figli con metodi più tradizionali come le minacce, i castighi, le punizioni ecc). Ti suggerisco anche come risponderei io. La citazione che menziono nell'episodio è una frase che disse la madre di Jane Goodall, antropologa inglese che ha dedicato la sua vita allo studio degli scimpanzé: "Se le persone non sono d’accordo con te, la cos...
15
Nov 6, 2020 • 16m
La rabbia, le urla dei genitori e una storia tibetana
In questo episodio sono stata ispirata da una storia tibetana a parlare di rabbia e del perché urliamo quando siamo arrabbiati. Riconoscere i perché e analizzare le mie reazioni quando urlo è stato per me il primo passo per imparare a gestire la rabbia. Nell'episodio menziono questo articolo: Spiegare come funziona il cervello aiuta i bambini a controllare le loro emozioni. Mi trovi anche su www.lateladicarlotta.com e su Facebook e Instagram come @lateladicarlottablog.
14

Instagram

I update Instagram almost every day to be "close" to my family far away.

Why La Tela di Carlotta?
I dreamed of the name La Tela di Carlotta. One morning I woke up and in my dreams I had created a blog named just like the American novel (Charlotte's Web). Many years and endless ups and downs later, this web of thoughts and stories is my work. It took me a long time to understand what kind of online presence I wanted and today I know: I'm transparent, I show real life, I don't advertise, I only recommend sustainable brands (and not only because they pay me) and I believe in the value of my blog and my courses—because if we don't believe in the value of our work, no one will believe in it for us.
Carlotta
Carlotta dreaming of La Tela
I know! I don't want it to be over yet either.