What You Need to Know to Start a Paleo Diet

paloe-girl-mirror2If you’re trying to lose weight then I’m sure you’ve heard of the Paleo diet. But is it right for you? Many people refer to it as the caveman diet, since it’s based on what our ancestors would have been eating. Over time, man’s diet has substantially changed and we don’t think it’s a coincidence that our overall health has deteriorated over that same amount of time.

What the Paleo Diet Consists of

With this diet, you’re basically turning back time and eating like our ancestors did. That means basing your diet on what’s readily available from mother nature, whether that be in the form of meat and eggs from animals or veggies and fruits from plants. They didn’t have 10 grocery stores within 10 minutes full of processed food. They relied on the land and they were rewarded with, what seems, much better health than we have today.

What do You Eat?

As with any diet, there are limits on what you should eat. But the good news is there’s plenty to choose from and you normally don’t have to worry about counting calories or any of that nonsense. The exception here is if you need a really good kickstart on losing a substantial amount of weight then you may want watch calories for the first month or so.

Another good thing is that this diet is very versatile. You aren’t restricted to just a handful of foods. You have a wide variety of options available and you can modify your diet from the following basic guidelines according to your preferences and dietary needs.

TIP: Rule of thumb to remember? If it isn’t readily available from mother nature then don’t eat it. That means getting rid of bread, pastas, processed foods in boxes and anything else that doesn’t fit in.

Here are some foods you will want to stock your kitchen with:

Fresh fruits and veggies of your choice
Healthy fats to cook with like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil
Eggs (They’re so versatile! Breakfast, lunch, dinner or hard-boiled for a snack, etc…)
A large variety of herbs to spice up your meals in different ways
Basic meats like beef, chicken and turkey
Fish and seafood like salmon, shrimp, trout, etc…

What to Clear Out of the Kitchen?

Again – Anything not readily found in nature. Get rid of the bread, buns, pastas. Clear out any junk food that we both know will end up tempting you and causing you to give in. No candy, cakes, ice cream, etc… Trash the soda and most dairy (keep a little butter on hand, but make sure it’s real butter and not margarine).

TIP: If something is labeled diet or low-fat you can almost be sure it’s full of artificial and processed ingredients – get rid of it and don’t buy it.

Easy Paleo Snack Ideas

Get creative. There’s an endless variety of snacks you can enjoy on the paleo diet. Here are just a few to get you started…

  • Grab an apple, cut into slices and add a light layer of nut butter (or pick any of your favorite fruits)
  • Enjoy a handful of your favorite nuts
  • Make kale chips – toss some bite sized pieces of kale on a baking sheet. Drizzle with coconut oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and a little garlic (or try some cayenne for a kick). Bake ’em up until the edges get a nice little crunch to them
  • Throw some peaches on the grill
  • Enjoy a hard-boiled egg (top it with a little bacon, just make sure it’s from pasture-raised pigs)
  • A tin of oysters, tuna or sardines
  • A few pieces of cucumber with fresh, homemade guacamole

For more information and some amazing meal and snack ideas, you can check out these sites too:

Primal Palate
Amazing Paleo