One of the most common lines I’ve heard whenever I introduce the Paleo diet is “But that’s so hard! We live in the Philippines!” Quite honestly, after over a year of not eating a single grain of rice, I don’t find much truth in that statement.
So let’s first take a look as to why people think following the Paleo Diet is difficult, particularly in the Philippines:
1. Rice is our country’s staple.
2. It’s such an “expensive” diet.
Yeah can’t think of anything else really.
*You can throw me any other practical reason and I can easily rebut whatever it is, from a scientific and nutritional standpoint of course.
One – Rice sure is the staple, but it is also to blame as to why our country isn’t at the top of the food chain in many aspects such as general nutrition and body mass or size. Yes you need your carbohydrates to “get big & lift big” but this entry isn’t about that now, isn’t it. So how are we supposed to eat Kare Kare and Dinuguan (absent of iodized salt)?
Solution – Enjoy the same dishes with Cauliflower Rice, an inexpensive alternative to the regular whole grain if your goal is to satiate that need to have rice in your diet. If you don’t like cauliflower, then eat the food with a side of veggies, just like how you would enjoy soup with a side of salad in a restaurant.
Two – This is true. But then again, it goes for any diet other than the “See Food Diet.” And the rebuttal for this is VERY simple.
Eat Clean ($) = No Sickness = No Medicine ($$) = No Surgeries/Operations ($$$) = No extra medical expense.
Made my point yet? You cannot put a price on your health. If you eat clean now, you will prevent any and all extra expenses you may have in the future if you continue to eat low-quality food that depreciate the quality of your nutrition on a daily basis.
Here’s an example of a day’s Paleo-friendly meal plan that would save you a chunk of your lunch money:
1 Whole Roasted Chicken – P200
1 kg Local Spinach (Kang-Kong) – P50
500g Tomatoes – P50
P 300 for an entire day’s worth of meals. Definitely better than spending P 300 on a plate of pasta with a small side of protein or an entire pan of paella.
And here are a few PRACTICAL reasons why Paleo is actually pretty easy/convenient in the Philippines:
1. Fruit is always fresh, readily available, cheap and tasty here.
2. Nuts and seeds are cheaper than in most Asian countries, if you know where to look.
3. Sea Salt is dirt cheap in the Philippines.
4. Coconut oil is one of the PI’s top export products. A rare find in other countries.
5. We have bacon. Lots of it. Be thankful because not all countries are allowed to have them.
The list goes on. You can say I have a bias towards the Paleo Diet and I won’t deny that. It has helped me lose over 50 lbs. in weight, retained my body fat % to a manageable number and made me feel the healthiest I have ever been in my life. I will continue to be an advocate of this diet as I firmly believe in its benefits and advantages.
So if you ever think that just because you’re in the Philippines it’s going to be hard to follow a diet that prescribes eating meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, no sugar and salt? It’s best to think again and analyze first the riches our country offers us.