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Paleo and The Valley Co-op

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A few newsletters back, I wrote a blog post about how I lost more than 50 lbs (and still going) by changing my eating habits and activity level. My health resurgence wasn’t achieved by crash-dieting, excessive exercise or strict elimination. It happened after I gave up the Standard American Diet of processed junk, and incorporated a Paleo lifestyle (both dietary and physical) – that and a special coffee recipe. So, what is Paleo and how is the Valley Co-op involved?

“Paleo” is short for Paleolithic. This was the time period dating from approximately 2 million to 12,000 BCE. The Paleolithic era is also referred to as the Stone Age. For most of this period, early humans were hunter-gatherers, competing for food sources with the likes of woolly mammoths, giant deer, bison, musk ox and hare. These people were completely in sync with their natural surroundings and spent their time foraging and hunting. Arguably, this period of human development is where we see the height of physical fitness and it is the framework for the Paleo diet.

The Paleo Diet isn’t a diet at all really, but more of a shift into a different lifestyle, one that can transform your body, digestive health, and overall outlook. Since everyone has to eat, the beginnings of this shift usually start with food. And by focusing on the quality of foods like meat, eggs, fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits, we are naturally avoiding processed items and separating ourselves from the Standard American Diet.

A clean eating trend that dovetails nicely with the Paleo lifestyle is the commitment to eating “local.” Doing this almost guarantees that the food you are putting in your body is the freshest it could possibly be and free from chemical preservatives. It makes sense that if you make the commitment to eating locally, you are choosing foods that don’t need to be preserved since they are going from farm to table in a very short time. All these are important aspects of a Paleo lifestyle.

I started coming to the Valley Co-op for simplicity and because of a shared belief in the importance of local, fresh food. It used to be that on grocery day, I would drive to Chambersburg to get grass-fed butter or cream from Trickling Springs Creamery and then head down the road to a Mennonite-run store for local produce. After that I would make my way to a local butcher for meat followed by a trip to the big-box grocery store for anything else that was missed: Insanity.

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This is when the Valley Co-op started making a huge impact. The mad scramble for high quality, local food became a lot easier with online pre-ordering for Valley Co-op members. With this, I can make sure I get essential items like grass-fed butter, meat, eggs and produce.  When I come in to pick up my order, I browse the shelves for anything additional. Not only do I stock up on food, but also on products like soap, candles, cooking oil, t-shirts, etc. By supporting the Co-op, I’m supporting the local economy, which makes this a great time to be Paleo.

For more information on the Paleo diet/lifestyle, do a quick Google search on the topic. Or, check out: http://robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/

 

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