8

votes

Necessary Items for Starting Paleo

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

As an avid, yet not extreme, minimalist, I am trying to figure out the following question:

What are the items that are most necessary for starting to live Paleo? What group of items would cover most of my needs for the least money?

example: cooking: teflon pan, chef's knife, cutting board. Exercise: Barbell, rubber weights, pull-up bar

I would love y'all's input on this. Thanks so much!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I'm usually not that anal, but we were finding ourselves scrambling some nights because we didn't plan ahead and found those were the days when we would let things slip because of time constraints. Being more organized has led to a huge uptick in our ability to stay on plan

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 17, 2012
at 02:04 PM

And you could add apple cider vinegar, lemon and avocado for a deep hair conditioning treatment.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 17, 2012
at 12:16 AM

any suggestions on a good pull-up bar setup?

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on February 16, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Hmhm, my boyfriend brings 1 or 2 pint size mason jars to work instead of the Mr. Bento we WERE going to buy. We had tried some glass containers and they never sealed tightly. Since there are a couple different meals in the fridge at all times, he just grabs whatever mason jar he wants that day. It's also nice for breakfast if you're in a hurry, just pop in the microwave (minus lids)

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:20 PM

+1 for the reminder of using glass jars for food storage. I've gotten all of my 100+ mason jars at Savers and other thrift stores, all less than 50 cents a jar. Don't use rusted lids and bands and if you want to can in them you will have to be pickier and buy new lids, but they're a no-brainer for non-canned storage.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:18 PM

You can use excess animal fat to render tallow for cooking and maintaining your cast iron. I also keep all my bacon grease in a jar in the fridge and use that for frying eggs. Also, remember that with cast iron and stainless, the food won't stick once it's cooked. You don't need to poke it and move it around very much like you can with teflon- just let it sit and cook in some fat, and then flip or plate. I can't say scrambled eggs work well in the cast iron, but fried is no problem.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Baking soda for your teeth and cleaning your house. Salt for scrubbing your pots and pans, and skin exfoliation. Coconut oil for EVERYTHING... okay, for skin and hair and eating. :)

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:12 PM

We have Wusthofs and love them. Invest in a sharpener and you'll have them for life.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:09 PM

... don't use too high of heat and let those babies soak if you've got stuck on food, and you will love your stainless more than you ever loved your nonstick! I was hard to convert, but I'm an All-Clad girl now that I've learned those two lessons.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:27 AM

+++++++ this. I cook 99% of my meals in cast iron, and I have quite the range. And the best part? I'll leave my pans to someone when I'm dead. THAT is minimalist.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Heat lots of fat on high heat (I like using marrow fat). DO NOT USE BUTTER. Melt the fat and swirl it around the pan. Once you hear it sizzle, crack the eggs, and turn down the heat a little. Tilt the pan so there is enough fat to gather in a spoon. Throw the hot fat over the eggs over and over until its cooked. Salt and pepper, you're done!

3cc6c371d2482e98d1f4e69329399493

(274)

on February 16, 2012
at 02:47 AM

+1 for the spreadsheet and Gcal hacks. Oh, to be so organized!

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:30 PM

any recommendations on chef's knives?

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I cook my eggs every morning in leftover bacon grease so I don't have much of an issue with sticking. Plus, the bacon fat adds a ton of flavor!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 15, 2012
at 07:55 PM

I only cook on cast iron, so I can only speak about that. But a properly conditioned and oiled cast iron pan won't stick. After scooping out the eggs, run under warm water and wipe the egg residue off. Rarely requires scrubbing, even.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:47 PM

wow those videos are impressive!

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I agree, knowledge and mindset seem to be key.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:43 PM

I assume this makes a certain mixture? Is there a reference to what proportions or maybe a how-to video? thanks for your help

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 15, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Anthony is correct. It is probably healthier to cook with stainless steel. Get you self one or 2 pieces of good 18/10 stainless steel cookware. http://www.only-cookware.com/what_is_18_10_stainless_steel_cookware.html

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 14, 2012
at 10:25 PM

+1 for spice rack. between paleo cooking and quitting smoking, flavor is so much more important now.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:34 PM

I cook barefoot!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:33 PM

Skip the Teflon pan and use cast iron instead.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:06 PM

The only place where baking soda, sea salt and coconut oil constitutes a beauty regime.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 14, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Yes, Matthew ♦, that is a necessity these days.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:47 PM

You forgot the computer and good internet connection.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Firestorm said "You don't really NEED anything to start paleo except a good understanding of the principles, and a bit of time to find good food and learn to cook it." I absolutely agree.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I just read your answer after sharing mine. +1!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 14, 2012
at 05:59 PM

well said, Firestorm. I love how well minimalism and paleo work together. +1

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I never knew that, just did some reading up on the subject.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I think you pretty much covered it.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I think you pretty much covered.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Really, how can that be true?

  • 04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

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13 Answers

11
6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 14, 2012
at 06:38 PM

A good spear, a loin cloth, and a cave.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 14, 2012
at 06:54 PM

Yes, Matthew ♦, that is a necessity these days.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:47 PM

You forgot the computer and good internet connection.

10
537001f30670e73eb0ac45779af649a5

on February 14, 2012
at 05:35 PM

teflon isn't paleo, it actually leeches chemicals into teh food

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I never knew that, just did some reading up on the subject.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 15, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Anthony is correct. It is probably healthier to cook with stainless steel. Get you self one or 2 pieces of good 18/10 stainless steel cookware. http://www.only-cookware.com/what_is_18_10_stainless_steel_cookware.html

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:46 PM

Really, how can that be true?

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:09 PM

... don't use too high of heat and let those babies soak if you've got stuck on food, and you will love your stainless more than you ever loved your nonstick! I was hard to convert, but I'm an All-Clad girl now that I've learned those two lessons.

7
5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:06 PM

  1. Your significant other on board. Maybe not a "necessity" but it sure helps. If you don't have a significant other (or your current s.o. is dragging you down), the improved body comp, skin, energy level, sex drive, and teeth will allow you to be more selective in choosing a mate....so you can pick one who's down with the paleo scene.

  2. The ability to apply the principles to any situation and think on your feet...("OMG, I HAVE to go to Applebee's for a work party...what do I do?")

  3. Thick skin. It doesn't do ANY of us (including yourself) any good to lash out at peoples' ridiculous comments about your newfound way of life. Be respectful and answer any questions. However, the resulting cortisol release because of the frustration with others' stupidity will only blunt your progress, especially if it involves step #1.

  4. A good stand mixer (great for shredding cooked meats, making homemade whipped cream, beating eggs, etc.) I also have the meat grinding attachment for mine, so I buy cuts of meat and make my own burger....HMMMMMMMM

  5. As others have mentioned, cast iron skillets and a dutch oven. A good toaster oven for reheating is a huge plus, as well.

  6. A Sams' Club or Cosco membership, for buying butter and whipping cream in bulk (if you're cool w/dairy) as well as veggies and meats (unless you can afford to buy everything from the local farmer's market).

  7. A way to pre-plan your meals. I have a google spreadsheet with a plethora of menu items. Every Sunday we plan out our meals for the week and put them in our Google Calendar and we make sure we have the raw materials ahead of time. We both work so it's hard to shoot from the hip. Shooting from the hip often leads to neolithic crap.

  8. A good chest freezer. During good years, I may bag two or three deer, so it's nice to have somewhere to keep the meat, as well as any other meat I pick up in bulk. I will often buy tons of bacon, hamburger, chicken breasts, etc. when they are on sale. You can't do that with a tiny freezer.

  9. A well-stocked spice rack and a knowledge of cooking. If you can't cook, get some paleo cookbooks. It's really not that hard. If you run out of ideas, you're just being lazy. Deal with it and move on.

  10. (Most important) The desire to live a longer, more productive, and healthier life, free of the agendas perpetuated by the FDA, Pfizer, Kraft, the Corn Refiners Association, or anybody else who wants to keep us all sick, fat, and depressed.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:44 PM

I agree, knowledge and mindset seem to be key.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 14, 2012
at 10:25 PM

+1 for spice rack. between paleo cooking and quitting smoking, flavor is so much more important now.

3cc6c371d2482e98d1f4e69329399493

(274)

on February 16, 2012
at 02:47 AM

+1 for the spreadsheet and Gcal hacks. Oh, to be so organized!

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on February 17, 2012
at 02:25 PM

I'm usually not that anal, but we were finding ourselves scrambling some nights because we didn't plan ahead and found those were the days when we would let things slip because of time constraints. Being more organized has led to a huge uptick in our ability to stay on plan

7
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:52 PM

You don't really NEED anything to start paleo except a good understanding of the principles, and a bit of time to find good food and learn to cook it.

When you're ready to start replacing things, though, this list was gleaned from having done a 2 month x-country road trip in 2 packs (on a motorbike), and it's where we recommend starting from, when you're ready to get your home into the game along with your head and body:

Cooking:

  • Cast iron dutch oven w/ skillet cover OR 2 Cast iron skillets
  • 3 wooden spoons (one with spatulate top)
  • silicone spatula
  • 10 qt stock pot (enameled or stainless steel)
  • Good set of knives (particularly butcher's and paring)
  • Wisk
  • masher
  • Reliable source of cooking heat
  • cloth bag(s) for collecting food, greens, etc. (or for shopping at convenient farmer's markets in the area)

Exercise:

Body -- everything you need to do you can do with the body you've got. If you're gonna wear shoes, make sure you've got good ones, though -- injuries will NOT help your fitness program. (I'm a fool for my Vibrams and Zems)

These suited us, and we figured out that the rest were just bonuses--not that bonuses don't make things a LOT easier, but from an ancestrally-minded perspective, we need a lot less than we think we do.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

I just read your answer after sharing mine. +1!

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 14, 2012
at 05:59 PM

well said, Firestorm. I love how well minimalism and paleo work together. +1

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:34 PM

I cook barefoot!

5
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on February 14, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Totally minimalist kitchen? 1 sharp chefs knife, 1 cutting board, 1 enameled cast iron pan, 1 saucepan, 1 can opener (for tuna and coconut milk). Beyond absolute minimum, I'd add a second saucepan and a crockpot.

For exercise, my minimum would be a pull-up bar and an elastic band for rotator cuff work. Often those are the only pieces of equipment I use in combination with bodyweight exercise.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:30 PM

any recommendations on chef's knives?

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:12 PM

We have Wusthofs and love them. Invest in a sharpener and you'll have them for life.

5
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 14, 2012
at 05:44 PM

Welcome, Charles.

Here are my thoughts, though there are other similar threads as well, i.e. on minimalist cooking.

One, get rid of teflon. It's got a lot of bad stuff in it, and in my mind isn't in line with the paleo lifestyle. Just my opinion. Instead, invest in good cast iron. My skillet set doubles as a dutch oven (one skillet makes the lid). Thus I don't need a pot or pan.

Two, if you want to exercise in a more paleo way, bodyweight is really all you need in my mind. If you get to a point where something like a pull-up bar seems good, then go for it. For some good simple exercises, checkout Hillfit.com by Chris Highcock. Great stuff for strength and endurance. Also check out http://www.wildmovement.com/ There are some good free resources there of ways to paleo exercise without investing in equipment.

Three, if you want to start barefooting, that's a really cheap and easy way to reconnect with the earth. My only pair of shoes are Vibram FiveFingers, so I get the barefoot feeling wherever I go. If you're into that sort of thing, they are a good investment.

Lastly, anything you get, make sure it is something you enjoy. For example, I love my Vibrams, and my skillets or ulu cutting board. They're simple and efficient, but most of all they enrich the process of living paleo. If some item won't do that, don't get it. Paleo should be about feeling good and living well.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I think you pretty much covered it.

Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on February 14, 2012
at 05:50 PM

I think you pretty much covered.

4
7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 14, 2012
at 08:45 PM

Don't forget your "beauty products." Water, baking soda, sea salt and coconut oil.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:43 PM

I assume this makes a certain mixture? Is there a reference to what proportions or maybe a how-to video? thanks for your help

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:13 PM

Baking soda for your teeth and cleaning your house. Salt for scrubbing your pots and pans, and skin exfoliation. Coconut oil for EVERYTHING... okay, for skin and hair and eating. :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on February 14, 2012
at 09:06 PM

The only place where baking soda, sea salt and coconut oil constitutes a beauty regime.

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 17, 2012
at 02:04 PM

And you could add apple cider vinegar, lemon and avocado for a deep hair conditioning treatment.

3
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:36 PM

I definitely second the dutch oven/cast-iron skillet suggestions. Those two and a stock pot can pretty much do anything you need them to in the kitchen. As for exercise, the only two things I use are a doorway pull-up bar, and a sandbag. I have Vibrams that I wear in the summer when I can't go barefoot, and this winter I've been wearing Soft Stars.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 17, 2012
at 12:16 AM

any suggestions on a good pull-up bar setup?

3
0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:32 PM

It's so interesting to me that many of us find Paleo along the path from Minimalism.

I am now a firm believer that health is generally 80% diet 20% exercise, so I would recommend focusing on the diet first. I got rid of 50 pounds in my first 3 months on almost diet alone, with the idea to take it easy on the exercise for the first 6 months until I get back to a healthy weight range.

I would also recommend skipping the weights entirely for awhile and stick to full body-weight exercises and movements. Stuff like this and this. You can always add in some heavy lifting down the road if you like.

Essential cooking tools for me (in addition to a good knife and cutting board) so far include: the oven, a baking pan, a cast iron skillet, tongs, metal and rubber spatulas, a crock pot, and a wooden spoon.

0df0b1c6ae16bbb75b4a5efa3d876765

(2240)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:35 PM

Firestorm said "You don't really NEED anything to start paleo except a good understanding of the principles, and a bit of time to find good food and learn to cook it." I absolutely agree.

04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

(40)

on February 15, 2012
at 07:47 PM

wow those videos are impressive!

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:10 AM

What are the items that are most necessary for starting to live Paleo? What group of items would cover most of my needs for the least money?

  • Search on craigslist for a cast-iron pan, you can even use it in the oven. You can use it for anything and everything, bacon, eggs, sauces, steak, stir fries, fish, even soups and curries if you're making a small amount.
  • If you can afford a chef's knife, great, if not, any knife will do, really.
  • One wooden spoon.
  • A cutting board, I use wood.
  • Pint-sized Mason jars to store individual-serving leftovers!

These items are basically all that I use every single day.

As for exercise, I don't like it "forced exercise", so the cheapest and most effective thing I can suggest to you is a jumping rope!

.

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:20 PM

+1 for the reminder of using glass jars for food storage. I've gotten all of my 100+ mason jars at Savers and other thrift stores, all less than 50 cents a jar. Don't use rusted lids and bands and if you want to can in them you will have to be pickier and buy new lids, but they're a no-brainer for non-canned storage.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on February 16, 2012
at 09:26 PM

Hmhm, my boyfriend brings 1 or 2 pint size mason jars to work instead of the Mr. Bento we WERE going to buy. We had tried some glass containers and they never sealed tightly. Since there are a couple different meals in the fridge at all times, he just grabs whatever mason jar he wants that day. It's also nice for breakfast if you're in a hurry, just pop in the microwave (minus lids)

1
E3267155f6962f293583fc6a0b98793e

(1085)

on February 14, 2012
at 07:20 PM

I have been cooking for 40 years and by far this is the best skillet I have ever used. [Bialetti Aeternum Eco-Friendly][1] cooking surface is Nono-ceramic and white. I love this saute pan

[1]: http://Bialetti Aeternum Eco-Friendly 10 1/4" Nonstick Saute Pan

0
04da75265bf9dd6e9cd94e2f018e26a1

on February 15, 2012
at 07:41 PM

Hey Guys,

I just wanted to thank you for your input. This has been really helpful! Especially the stuff about the teflon... any tips on eggs without a teflon pan?

Please continue to add if you have more ideas.

Again I really appreciate your interest.

-Charles-

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on February 15, 2012
at 07:55 PM

I only cook on cast iron, so I can only speak about that. But a properly conditioned and oiled cast iron pan won't stick. After scooping out the eggs, run under warm water and wipe the egg residue off. Rarely requires scrubbing, even.

5437163ddf70d4532f196bfb4333753e

(3614)

on February 15, 2012
at 08:09 PM

I cook my eggs every morning in leftover bacon grease so I don't have much of an issue with sticking. Plus, the bacon fat adds a ton of flavor!

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:14 AM

Heat lots of fat on high heat (I like using marrow fat). DO NOT USE BUTTER. Melt the fat and swirl it around the pan. Once you hear it sizzle, crack the eggs, and turn down the heat a little. Tilt the pan so there is enough fat to gather in a spoon. Throw the hot fat over the eggs over and over until its cooked. Salt and pepper, you're done!

2fd93e91bb14e641a2bac9c6033e84e2

(1614)

on February 16, 2012
at 04:18 PM

You can use excess animal fat to render tallow for cooking and maintaining your cast iron. I also keep all my bacon grease in a jar in the fridge and use that for frying eggs. Also, remember that with cast iron and stainless, the food won't stick once it's cooked. You don't need to poke it and move it around very much like you can with teflon- just let it sit and cook in some fat, and then flip or plate. I can't say scrambled eggs work well in the cast iron, but fried is no problem.

0
Ee70ee808f748374744404a00e1c22ed

(1163)

on February 14, 2012
at 06:43 PM

Whoops, double post

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