Last Updated on January 3, 2021 by Lori Geurin
If you’re looking for some hints and tricks to get you started with the Paleo lifestyle, you’ve come to the right place! This Paleo diet quick guide will touch on the basic concepts of Paleo. I’ll explain what foods you can eat as well as the ones you’ll want to avoid.
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And, even though the title of this article says Paleo “diet” I consider it a lifestyle because that’s truly what it is. Paleo is a way of life.
To me, dieting is more of a temporary fix to an ongoing problem. Also, the word diet has deprivation written all over it and Paleo has nothing to do with depriving yourself. So if I use the word diet, just know I mean lifestyle.
What do you say we jump right in?
What Is Paleo Anyway?
To understand Paleo we must travel back in time to the Paleolithic era – yep, to the time of the cavemen and cavewomen.
Taking a quick look at how our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate reveals Paleo in its purest form. Because they didn’t have access to the sugar-laden, highly processed foods we do today. They ate food that could be hunted or gathered – meat, fruit, and vegetables.
Plus, they worked hard to get their food (and had built-in times of fasting out of necessity) which burned calories and built muscle. In comparison to many of our modern-day desk jobs and Netflix-watching nights, is it really any surprise that our country is facing such an uptick in obesity and disease?
The good news is that research shows that taking part in the Paleo way of life can reduce some of the risk factors for chronic disease when compared with other diets. (1)
So let’s take a quick look at what to eat and what to avoid on the Paleo diet eating plan. Please keep in mind that this is a quick guide, so it doesn’t include every food, but it will give you a good overview of what to eat. (Look for a more detailed list of suggested foods coming soon.)
The Paleo Diet (What The Cave People Ate)
What To Eat On Paleo
Focus on eating plenty of natural foods and healthy fats. There is no need to go hungry when you’re living the Paleo lifestyle, so make sure you’re staying well-nourished.
Beef, turkey, pork, bison, chicken, deer, rabbit, sheep, lamb, veal, etc. Grass-fed and antibiotic-free are best when possible.
Fish, lobster, crab, mussels, oysters, clams, scallops, etc. Wild-caught and antibiotic-free are best when possible.
Free range and antibiotic-free are recommended.
Coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, nut butters, nut oils, lard, avocado oil, etc.
5. Nuts And Seeds
In addition to the nuts and seeds themselves, this also includes flours and nut butters made from them, such as almond flour and cashew butter. Yum!
All fruits are allowed, but if you’re trying to lose weight you may want to stick with berries for now.
Or look for fruits that are low on the glycemic index.
Focus on eating non-starchy vegetables, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. These include all of your leafy greens, onions, peppers, and asparagus.
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What To Avoid On Paleo
Avoid any foods that weren’t available to the cavemen. Eat like a caveman diet means avoiding processed, pre-packaged foods, and anything considered junk food. Please note that different versions of Paleo allow dairy and legumes, but I’m going to list them here just for fun.
Wheat flour, cereal, pasta, tortillas, bread, corn, rice, and basically anything containing gluten and lectins, which can cause inflammatory issues.
Cheese, butter, milk, yogurt and ice cream
Beans, peanuts and peas
4. Sugary Drinks
Soda, sweet tea and fruit juice
5. Artificial Sweeteners
Sucralose, Aspartame, and Saccharine – A great natural alternative that we use in our coffee every morning is Stevia. This is our favorite Stevia.
6. Starchy Vegetables (see #7 above)
Potatoes, squash, corn, peas and parsnips
7. Processed Meats
Hot dogs, deli meat and bacon
8. Refined Sugar
White sugar, brown sugar and honey
Beer or alcohol containing gluten.
Any highly processed fats such as margarine, vegetable oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil.
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Summary – Paleo Diet Quick Guide
I hope you found this Paleo diet quick guide helpful. Look for more to come on the Paleo lifestyle and feel free to check out the resources below for more information.
Also, I’ve read and own each of these Paleo books and recommend them all.
Are you familiar with the Paleo lifestyle? Do you have Paleo tips or a favorite recipe to share?
Please leave your comments below. You’re the best!
If you enjoyed this Paleo Diet Quick Guide you’ll want to read:
- Intermittent Fasting 101: Everything You Need To Know
- Top 25 Healthy Food Instagram Accounts To Follow
- Living Alone And Poor Nutrition: What You Need To Know
- Top 20 Best Healthy Snacks: The Ultimate Guide
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