New to the paleo diet, need some help?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 07, 2013 at 12:44 AM

Hi, my name is Katie. It really just disgusts me thinking about what kind of artificial grossness we put in our bodies without even knowing it which led me to the paelo diet! So now I'm thinking about starting a paleo diet..What should I expect? Also, I'm not totally clear what to avoid. Obviously things like potato chips, buttery popcorn, candies, starchy potatoes, pasta, etc. I know there's no processed food...Does that mean I can't munch on my bag of planters pistachio almond peanut cashew mix? Also, is a paleo diet hard to mantain? I'm worried about eating out. Any tips? And my parents are going to freak. Most likely laugh in my face actually. You see, they like to eat very unhealthy. Does anybody have advice on how to handle that situation? Another problem (maybe) is I'm a vegetarian. Will this get in the way of a paleo diet? Should I at least bring back chicken and fish into my diet when I have to? I do think it's wrong to kill animals, and the thought disgusts me. But I think i could handle chicken and fish. In moderation. Another thing is, I'm naturally pretty underweight for my age so this won't make me loose any weight will it?

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on August 23, 2012
at 01:42 AM

Read this: http://paleohacks.com/questions/141594/what-are-the-top-5-things-every-paleo-newbie-should-know-but-probably-doesnt#axzz24FO7a2Xc



on August 22, 2012
at 09:20 PM

If you are underweight, and not eating meat, do not stop eating potatoes (unless you have a specific problem with plants from the nightshade family). Starch is totally paleo, many hunter/gatherers rely on starchy root vegetables when the hunt isn't good.



on August 22, 2012
at 03:36 PM

Agreed. Primal Blueprint changed my life.



on August 22, 2012
at 02:06 AM

Organically pastured and unfertalized eggs are a great option for vegetarians that don't eat dairy.



on August 22, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Good idea about introducing chicken and fish. Without dairy vegetarianism is not sustainable.

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6 Answers



on August 22, 2012
at 01:23 PM

Katie, I really recommend reading some of the books as you start. It's not as easy as something like Weight Watchers where you just get points and have to hit a target. Paleo/ Primal is about figuring out what your body needs.

I highly recommend Mark's Primal Blueprint. It's only $12 on Amazon.



on August 22, 2012
at 03:36 PM

Agreed. Primal Blueprint changed my life.



on August 22, 2012
at 01:16 AM

Katie, I would suggest going to your local library and getting some books about the diet to better understand it, like the Paleo Solution. Also at Robb Wolf's web site and Mark's Daily Apple they have some starter guides that would be helpful.

I think some animal proteins could be beneficial, fish would be great. For me, if this is at all helpful insight, I look at what my body needs first then think about the morality, for me I kinda have to separate it if that makes sense - I think one can believe they are morally opposed to killing animals but that is not an argument for what is healthiest for your human body. Two different issues and we all have to decide what's right for us. Best to experiment and see what brings you the best health (and your inner peace is def part of that). The best part is, we can always change our minds! : ) no rules

Good luck on your journey to better health!


on August 22, 2012
at 10:28 PM

I was a vegetarian for nearly 12 years, mostly for food aversion reasons.

Once I came to terms with the fact that I was going to thrive on animal flesh (it really took a year for me to be ok with this idea), I introduced meat by way of chicken soup over the course of a few weeks. I started with drinking the broth, then advanced to chewing a piece, until I was able to handle a whole bowl of soup (which was quite an accomplishment!). I think you can reconcile your ethical treatment beliefs with a diet that is both healthy for you and supports the humane treatment of animals.

I recommend starting small and progressing from there. And you can experiment to see what your body thrives on.

Regarding your underweight situation, you may find yourself filling up faster while eating fewer calories. This happened to my friend who was underweight to begin with but lost 5 pounds on paleo. He decided to keep dairy in his diet (he tolerates it well). He also makes sure to eat more starchy tubers, namely sweet potatoes and regular potatoes.

You'll need to be cognizant of your caloric intake to make sure you are eating enough. But with a focus on fat in the paleo diet (at least 50% of my calories are fat) and a little experience, it shouldn't be too difficult. IE a medium avocado has 275 cal, tbsp of olive oil or coconut oil = 110, a single egg is anywhere from 75-100 depending on size, etc.

And regarding the parental situation, this is a good opportunity for you to practice strength, humility, and leading by example. Draw on your experience being a vegetarian for some insights on how to handle those tough situations when your diet is dramatically different from those around you.



on August 22, 2012
at 09:55 PM

1) If your parents are buying the groceries, and don't seem game, wait until you move out to try this. Seriously, no dietary fix is worth the craziness that will ensue otherwise.

2) If you have your own money to throw down for groceries, they are supportive, and/or want to try it for themselves, good starting places would be:

Kurt Harris' Archevore site: http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

Paul Jaminet's Perfect Health Diet Info-graphic is a thing of beauty: http://perfecthealthdiet.com/the-diet/

Mark's Daily Apple http://www.marksdailyapple.com/

...and go over some of the basics.

The peanuts (legume) in that nut mix and the oils and refined salt they are coated with are probably not what you want to be eating. But there is room for being human, don't let perfection get in the way of pretty good, and eat whatever you want every once in a while.

The biggies are:

Avoid grains.

Avoid processed vegetable oils.

Avoid legumes (although I am the least strict with this one, refried beans are worth it sometimes).

Avoid processed and refined sugars.

Stay away from The Faileo Diet by eating enough fat.

Eat seafood.

Eat as many eggs as you want if you like them.

Eat some veggies, but don't feel like you have to gorge yourself on them.

Eat some fruit, but again don't feel like you have to eat a ton of it.

Eat simply and seasonally whenever possible.

As important as eating well is sleep, exercise, and sunlight. You could even start with those, and move onto diet later.

I know you are currently a vegetarian, but I would recommend seeking out some humanely raised red meat, just for an experiment. You don't have to eat a steak, but even potatoes cooked with grassfed tallow or butter are a good place to start. I was once in your shoes, and so much of my life mentally and physically improved with the addition of lamb, beef, and goat. If that is too much to take on right now, chicken hearts taste just like hotdogs, and chicken liver is really good too as long as you don't overcook it.


on August 22, 2012
at 02:09 PM

I'm sort of a newbie as well and in addition to the previously mentioned titles, I found the book, "It starts with Food" to be very helpful. It's a fast read and very informative. I also scoured Paleo blogs for quite a while before taking the plunge as well. Good Luck! :)


on August 21, 2012
at 11:34 PM

I'm a Paleo Vegetarian (I used to be vegan). Paleo means trying to eat as natural as possible. I mostly eat whole, real, organic foods; most of which I get from my local farmers market. Try to eliminate processed foods that contain additives. Foods I eat include: pastured organic eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and yams. Try to avoid legumes, grains, and dairy. If you make sure you are getting your proper nutrition then you will be fine. As for the Planter nut mix, they usually contain corn starch and bad oils. When I do shop at stores I prefer shopping at Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and my local Health Food Store (as they usually have a variety of wholesome options). If you have a low budget snag some great deals at the farmers market.

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