How to get started with paleo?

Eat real food, don’t waste your time – and your health – with empty fillers.

 

Wait! Before you start:

For anyone considering going paleo, I really recommend reading this book first!

Not only does it tell you how and why, it also sets you in the right frame of mind to adopting your new diet successfully.

Based on personal experience, I can tell you that it is all too easy to focus on the obstacles; the food you should avoid; Concentrating on the trouble instead of seeing the obvious (and delicious) solutions.

We are so brainwashed and hold such a warped idea of nutrition that it takes a while to shake the illusion and see what real food is.

Warning: May contain traces of verbal vegetarian bashing. For gentler herbivore souls, we recommend reading Dr Cordain’s The Paleo Answer instead.

 

What should I eat?

Here comes the good news: healthy food is delicious! Enjoy delicious, clean, high quality fresh produce and your body will thank you for it. We as a species have evolved to eat plenty of meat, seafood, vegetables, some fruit and a little bit of nuts – all the good stuff – and will thrive on it.

Just make sure the produce you choose to eat is clean and high quality. Whenever possible, choose organic, good quality local produce in season. Always select grass-fed meat (as grain feeding effectively destroys all the healthy Omega 3 fatty acids) and try to eat animals that have had a happy life (free-range, not stressed or pumped full of antibiotics).

When shopping, restrict your browsing to the fresh fruit, veggies, meat and fish section of the supermarket. Better yet, visit your local butcher or fruit and veggie shop or organic growers market. Ideally, grow it yourself!

  • Organic, grass-fed meat
  • Fish
  • Vegetables (excluding potatoes)
  • Fruit
  • Nuts (excluding peanuts – they’re a legume, not a nut)
  • Cook with olive oil, coconut oil and animal fats (tallow or lard)
  • Drink water (instead of sugary soft-drinks and juices)

 

What should I avoid?

Neither grains nor dairy were a part of our diet until the advent of agriculture, which happened 10,000 years ago. I realise that 10,000 sounds like a Very Long Time, but when you consider that in all that time there has only been 333 human generations, it’s easy to grasp that the time has not been sufficient for us to evolve physically to digest these newly introduced food groups. On an evolutionary scale 10,000 years is a blink of an eye.

Until then our diet was entirely meat, seafood, vegetable, fruit and nut based. Sure, we ate some wild grains if we were starving and no other source of nutrition was available, but that was largely an exception to an otherwise grain free existence.

As for dairy, just stop for a second and imagine a herd of huge wild aurochs. Now try to imagine a caveman attempting to milk one…

As a rule of thumb, if it comes in a box/bag/wrapper, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. Avoid anything and everything processed, pumped full of additives and sugars.

  • Processed food
  • Grains
  • Dairy
  • Legumes (including peanuts and soy products)
  • Sugar

 

Paleo & weight-loss:

It should be noted, that for anyone specifically wanting to lose weight, it is recommended to keep fruit and nut intake to minimum. The carbs in fruit can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and baking with nuts can pile up the calories very, very quickly!

While this website offers a lot of recipes and ideas involving fruit and grain-free baking with nuts, a recipe being paleo should not be taken as a ‘get away from jail free’ card in terms of its effects on weight management. Baked goods – even if they are paleo-friendly – should always be considered as treats. Enjoy them now and then, but they definitely shouldn’t be a part of your daily diet!

 

Next steps:

Read more about paleo