Introducing the new Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid
Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, , recently released an updated version of his Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid. Different from the USDA dietary guidelines, this new pyramid refocuses our choices to plants and vegetables as primary foods. This is intended to simplify our eating. If followed, Mark Sisson claims this can bring any individual to optimal health. Squirrel & The Bee started as a bakery, but we support and encourage this new pyramid – including adding as many vegetables as possible. A diet rich in real, whole foods and free of processed, packaged foods is the key to ultimate health. Many of our offerings support the ideas presented in this pyramid. Let’s take a look below.
Vegetables: Mark puts a heavy emphasis on the consumption of many vegetables. Ultimately, half your plate should be filled with fresh, local vegetables. It is important to include variety to ensure you are consuming all essential nutrients. To keep from getting bored – get creative with your vegetables! Try roasting, steaming, sautéing and adding different seasonings. At Squirrel & The Bee we are ALL about vegetables. Every day we have a variety of sides – brussel sprouts, sweet potato, spaghetti squash, kale salad and many, many more.
Protein: The second largest group, protein, should make up the bulk of your caloric intake. However, this does not necessarily mean volume. For example, half your plate might be full of vegetables but a 4oz piece of meat will still have a higher caloric content. Mark encourages all protein to be from a local, organic source to avoid ingestion of any harmful chemicals or hormones. While we do not offer meat here at Squirrel & The Bee we do offer eggs on our breakfast menu, hard boiled in the cold case, and in the spinach cobb salad. Also, any of our vegetable sides are great to take home and serve along with your choice of protein.
Healthy Fats: Different from ten years ago, fat is in. Yes, consuming fat is good for you and most people don’t eat enough. However, all fats are not created equal. Focus on avocado, animal fats, olive oil, coconut and nuts/nut butter. Saturated fats, the “bad” fats, are found in cream, butter, cheese, and some animal fat. Try to stay away from these. Healthy fats are great compliments to any meal and also help to keep you full. Not to mention most fats contain vitamins good for your skin, hair and nails! We are huge supporters of healthy fats in at Squirrel & The Bee. The Michelle’s Chop salad features freshly cut avocado and many others contain heart healthy nuts. Also did you know our brownies are made with almond butter? Perfect reason to treat yourself!
Moderation Foods: Foods in this category are nothing to be afraid of, but they are not to be consumed in excess amounts. Fruit, while a great source of nutrients, can contain high amounts of sugar. If eaten in excess, this can cause blood sugar spikes and gut imbalance. Dairy, while again does contain some nutrients, can come with excess calories and saturated fat. It is important to limit these foods. At Squirrel & The Bee we do not offer grains, although it is featured as a moderation food in this pyramid. Those suffering from autoimmune disease can suffer greatly from eating grains but Mark Sisson suggests these foods for intense athletes. Lastly, nut butters while a great source of healthy fats are a high caloric food and can cause gastrointestinal distress when eaten in excess. Overall, Mark Sisson wants readers to develop a healthy relationship with food and understand that not all “bad” foods need to be eliminated. He encourages balance and moderation.
Top of the Pyramid: This section features foods that are compliments to your every day diet. Herbs, spices and extracts can be used to enhance the flavor and nutrient profile of foods. Focus on those with additional benefits such as turmeric, oregano or garlic. Supplements are encouraged when there is a dietary need. Lastly, sensible indulgences are something we strongly support here at Squirrel & The Bee! While of course not to be eaten in excess (or even everyday) it is important to indulge in a mindful manner. If you want a cookie, eat a cookie. However, eat a cookie made with nutritious ingredients instead of highly processed chemicals. Since we started as a bakery, we offer a great variety of indulgences that feature quality, beneficial ingredients. Again – everything in balance!