Caveman Diet and Beyond: Latest Trends in Food + Catering

Have you heard about the new craze? The Paleo Diet, also known as the Caveman diet, Stone Age diet, or Hunter-Gatherer diet, is said to be the world’s healthiest diet and is based on consuming foods that our ancestors thrived on during the Paleolithic era.  Don’t worry, this doesn’t require buying hunting gear and foraging in the park by your house – these are foods that can be gathered, fished, and hunted, including fresh meats (grass-fed as opposed to factory farmed), fish, seafood, fresh organic fruits, organic vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils.

These foods can be purchased in health food stores and found in a handful of restaurants. Foods containing dairy, grains, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods were not part of the Paleolithic era diet. Yes, this means you will have to quit the Starbucks fix and skip happy hours if you decide to adapt to this way of life. There are many benefits to adopting the Paleo Diet, including but not limited to: weight loss, reducing risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, improved athletic performance, eliminated acne (clear skin), improved sleep patterns, having more energy throughout the day, and reduced allergies.

Adam Hiner from Eco Caters expresses, “The Paleo style diet is basically teaching people to eat what was readily available in nature before the onset of factory farming. At Eco Caters our primary goal is to support small organic farms who care more for their produce naturally yielding a tastier and more nutritious final product. Therefore, the Paleo diet is something that we thoroughly support with menus full of pastured organic meats and sustainably farmed organic produce.” With the Paleo Diet, the focus is in the quality of the foods, centering on food that is both local and sustainable.  Mainstream restaurants and stores don’t carry these foods, but since I have a mostly gluten free vegan diet (with occasional fish), I have discovered some great places in San Diego that cater to those seeking a healthier way of eating; it is one of the reasons I love living in San Diego!

  • Windmill Farms, a grocery store in the Del Cerro neighborhood, carries grass fed beef and has a wonderful produce section as well as a wide selection of seeds and nuts.
  • jSix, one of my favorite restaurants in the gaslamp district of downtown San Diego. They have a delicious cedar plank salmon and a great menu to compliment the Paleo style of eating.  jSix’s website reads: “Purity is the hallmark. Grass-fed meats, carefully sourced sustainable seafood from around the world, herbs from jSix’s own burgeoning rooftop garden and organic produce from nearby farms star in creatively simple preparations”.
  • Tender Greens in Point Loma also carries organic produce as well as grass fed and hormone-free meat.
  • The Not So Fast food truck in San Diego is one of about a half dozen food trucks in the United States that offer the Paleo Diet.  Food trucks have become more popular in recent years and will be seen at weddings in 2013, offering appetizers or small bites.

With the rise of interest in the Paleo diet, we will certainly see caterers who offer these options become more in demand. At Your Side Planning has coordinated weddings with organic and vegan menus and it’s always a treat for us to sample the delicious cuisine!  We’ve had amazing experiences in going with a cleaner menu and the guests are always impressed and delighted. We coordinated a wedding at the beautiful Pine Hills Lodge in Julian in which Eco Caters provided mouth watering vegan burgers and fries as well as several other tasty treats. Eco Caters offers organic and vegan options as part of their fantastic full serving catering. The Paleo diet and any diet that sticks to natural, organic, pure food is outstanding for the health of your body and a treat for your tastebuds!  When I stick to my clean way of eating, I can confidently say I feel at my very best. This diet also supports farms providing localized, organic produce and supports your local economy.  Trend Alert: I see the Paleo and similar diets as a big trend in the food and event industries. Look for an update at the end of 2013 to see how things have evolved in a year! Have any experience with these diets? Know of any other great places in San Diego with local and sustainable fair? Let us know in the comments!

(Photos courtesy of Jackie Wonders and Bob Hoffman Video + Photography)

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At Your Side Planning was formerly Ah! Le Party

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