What's the best way to get started with the Paleo diet?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 28, 2010 at 1:23 AM

I just heard about this movement and want to understand more

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6 Answers


on August 28, 2010
at 02:20 AM

Eat real food. Meats, seafood, vegetables, healthy oils and fats, fruits, organic whole fat dairy, and nuts. What NOT to eat? Sugar, grains (including wheat, rice, barley, oats, corn, etc.), fruit juices, reduced- or lowfat dairy, processed foods, MSG, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, or anything else that can't be pronounced.

My main entry into the primal/paleo world came via the blog of Mark Sisson - Mark's Daily Apple. Fantastic daily content on healthy eating, fitness, natural lifestyle choices, and generally improving your health and quality of life! Check out his blog post The Definitive Guide to the Primal Blueprint as a starting point for understanding his approach to the primal life.

Next, check out the fabulous P??Nu (Paleolithic Nutrition) 12-step process for getting into a primal/paleo eating pattern. Going gradually to a primal/paleo eating style is definitely the easier approach than cold turkey! Note that I still cling to my (organic whenever possible) dairy - and so do not qualify as "orthodox paleo". :) I love Dr. Harris' very dry, skeptical, understated writing style, as exhibited in this post, where he wryly observes, "I hope the shirtless photo helps give you an idea of how much sun I was getting as well as just how obese one can get eating 70% of calories as fat."



on August 28, 2010
at 02:14 AM

Throw away all of your processed foods, including bread, vegitable oils and margarine. Replace the oils with coconut oil, or better yet, cook with beef tallow or lard. Eat chickin with the skin on. Don't be afraid of red meat. Eat fish, like salmon. Do not buy farm raised salmon. Almost all canned salmon is wild caught.


on September 01, 2010
at 09:01 PM

For me, the way I started was to sit down, review what foods I needed to eliminate, what I really couldn't give up (80:20), and then do some simple meal plans. Enough to fill out a week.

I will do the same with exercise when I get a bit fitter.



on August 28, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Start by reading more. You have the curiosity, now you need to satisfy it. What will help you, though, is understanding why you want to know more. Many people in the paleo/primal community(-ies) work and experiment to find out what works best. This has both a mass-humanity component and an individual component. The sites that familygrokumentarian referred to are based on what some call evolutionary biology (it's an evolving science!) and they can give you a grounding in the current knowledge and conjectures about how food affects us. Once you've read that you need to find out what works for you and that's likely to evolve over time, too.



on August 28, 2010
at 02:23 AM

eat food that your great great great great great grandmother would recognize... meat (grass fed.. they didn't have cafo's back then), vegetables, nuts, fruit, eggs, fish

She wouldn't recognize 99% of things in the standard american diet.. cheesy poofs, cookies, crackers, chips, soda, cereal, cakes

Paleo foods are foods that our ancestors (like your great great great... grandparents) ate. they are foods are bodies are supposed to get.. and as a result of eating them you will feel better. Allergies, acne, tiredness, poor sleep, disease, weight gain, etc.. are all a product of the crap food that the bodies of most american's are forced to deal with



on August 31, 2010
at 03:10 PM

Someone up there recommended the twelve steps to going paleo, to help you ease into it. But I think that choice depends a lot on your current situation, pathology, and desires. As a sugar addict/binger, it was important for me to go cold turkey right away. I find that even now, having been paleo for many months, just one sugar/carb-heavy meal makes me crave carbs for days.

I do agree that it might be better to phase out the less addictive/harmful foods later... such as organic dairy and meats and even salt...but--in addition to my caution about sugar cravings--I think the first steps are best done cold turkey because then you get a more complete understading of what paleo can do for you right away. If you are wheat/dairy sensitive, for example, and cut yourself down to one slice of bread per day, you are still putting toxins in your body, and this might prevent you from seeing the full effects of paleo bliss.

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