Paleo – paleo menus are based on the foods our bodies are designed to function best with: fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, fish & seafood, healthy fats & oils, nuts & seeds, and pure sweeteners including honey, maple and sugar. Some paleo menus include dairy too. What paleo leaves out is more “modern” foods: including grains, legumes, unhealthy oils and fats, artificial and overly refined sweeteners, and junk foods.
Whole 30 – a thirty day elimination diet which is sometimes described as “squeaky clean paleo”. The program provides a solid foundation and fantastic support for anyone willing to commit to a thirty day “dietary reset”. It was designed to address hormonal, inflammatory, digestive and metabolic disturbances which can be caused by the foods we eat and sometimes can even become psychologically addicted to. After completing the 30 day protocol one can reintroduce foods systematically to see what effects they have. Many people decide to continue their Whole 30 for 60 days, 90 days or even longer before reintroducing other foods.
Grain free – all grain-free recipes and menus are naturally gluten free when made with pure ingredients that contain no grain-based derivatives (certain flavorings, thickeners, etc.).
Gluten free – foods that do not contain wheat, barley, rye or oats or their derivatives. (There are now certified gluten free oats which are processed in dedicated facilities to avoid cross contamination)
S.A.D. – Standard American Diet. Basically, the recommendations found in the USDA food pyramid, emphasizing “Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta” as the basis of a healthy diet combined with very low fat intake.
AID / Anti-Inflammatory Diet – certain foods increase or decrease inflammatory responses in the body. Inflammation is not necessarily bad – it’s part of how our bodies cope with allergens, infections and injuries. What is found in today’s modern lifestyle though, are higher levels of chronic inflammation in many individuals, which contribute to an array health problems. A quick overview of an anti-inflammatory diet: Most often gluten free, dairy free, low in refined carbohydrates and high in Omega 3 fatty acids (highest levels found in oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, herring and wild salmon and 100% grass fed meats and pastured dairy). Omega 3’s tend to help reduce chronic inflammation whereas Omega 6 fatty acids (highest levels in safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, soybean oil and in most nuts and seeds) tend to increase inflammatory responses.
AIP / Auto-Immune protocol – A way of eating to help reduce inflammatory responses in the intestines that exacerbate auto-immune conditions including Celiac Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chron’s Disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Psoriasis, Graves Disease, and much more. Some similarities to an anti-inflammatory diet protocol but more rigorous and super detailed in what to avoid and why, with fantastic results for most people using it to “treat” or manage auto-immune diseases.
Low carb – menus based on less of the starchy carbohydrate foods, where the body takes its nutrition and fuel more from fats and proteins instead. Most fruits are high in carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables including winter squashes, sweet potatoes, yams and beets are chock full of carbohydrates. Sweeteners such as maple, honey and sugar are basically 100% carbohydrates. Nuts and seeds contain some carbohydrates as well. In simple terms (and I’m no scientist, folks) carbohydrates can be found in the form of fibers, starches and sugars. Reasons people choose a low carb diet include a goal of reducing insulin resistance to gain better health and/or wanting to shed extra weight packed on by excess carbohydrates in the diet. Transitioning from a higher carbohydrate diet to a lower carbohydrate one involves an adjustment in the body where it learns to “recalculate” – switching from using carbohydrates to using fats as the main source of energy.
Ketogenic / “Keto” – an ultra low carbohydrate diet usually adopted by someone who either is working to regain health from illnesses such as epilepsy, cancer or diabetes, or in bodybuilding for those wishing to get very lean and/or pack on some extra muscle. Ketogenic menu plans don’t look like “typical diet food” at all though, as we see a high level of fats, a good amount of protein along lots of low carbohydrate vegetables. Eating “keto” is a very healthy option for the certain individuals.
Macrobiotic – a dairy-free diet originated in Japan, based on primarily whole grains (mostly brown rice) with smaller portions of vegetables, seaweeds, legumes and vegan proteins such as tofu & tempeh (soy), seitan (wheat gluten), nuts and seeds, and special condiments such as tamari (soy sauce), shoyu (soy sauce), miso (fermented soy paste), natto (fermented soy condiment) and gomashio (toasted sesame seeds and sea salt). Some macrobiotic diets include some fish, some are strictly vegan.
Vegetarian – a diet devoid of animal flesh. No meats, poultry, fish or seafood.
- Lacto vegetarian – includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian – includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, ghee and eggs
- Pure vegetarian – another term for vegan (see below)
Vegan – a diet devoid of any animal products. No meats, poultry, fish or seafood. No animal fats. No eggs. No dairy, including butter and ghee. Some vegans also eschew honey, as it’s produced by bees. Vegan menus can include grains, beans & leagues, tofu & tempeh (soy), seitan (wheat gluten), fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, & oils.