How would I get started on the paleo and primal diet?

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Answered by: Ute, An Expert in the Diet and Health Category
Why Paleo?

Paleo comes from the term paleolithic. The paleo diet is also known as the caveman diet, and therefore it is the oldest diet around. As modern “cavemen” we attempt to eat the way our ancestors did, before they settled down and started farming. This means, we eat real food, unprocessed if possible. What are real foods?



Meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.

Of course, living in the 21st century, we won't be able (nor do we truly want to) eat exactly what our ancestors did. Over the past 10.000 years, we've learned a lot about the science of food, and we'd be silly not to make good use of healthy foods that are available to us, including fats, oils, honey, maple syrup, coconut flour, almond flour, dark chocolate, etc.

Why do you want to eat paleo, rather than what Common Wisdom would have you believe?



Look around you. What do you see? Celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, ulcers, leaky gut syndrome, migraines, high cholesterol, cancer... These are just a few of the modern day maladies we suffer from. A majority of them could be avoided by eating the foods we are meant to eat. (*Disclaimer: I am NOT a doctor, and the nutritional advice is strictly my opinion, and not be considered a diagnosis or a remedy to any illnesses or diseases.)

Meat:

Ideally, you'll opt for grassfed, pastured meats and wild caught fish. Grassfed meat is free of antibiotics, and not saturated with GMO corn, soy, or other grains. But, if you are on a tight budget, simply buy what is within your means. Many people on the paleo diet will buy their meat in bulk, meaning half or quarter cows, a number of chicken fryers at a time etc. Or they'll eat some grassfed meat and supplement with cheaper meat, depending on the budget.

Enjoy these meats:

Beef, veal, lamb, buffalo, sheep, rabbit, boar, elk, duck, turkey, chicken, goose, quail...

Salmon, trout, cod, halibut, mackerel, anchovy, herring...

Lobster, shrimp, scallop, oysters, mussels, clams...

Processed meats, such as salami, bratwurst, and liverwurst should be eaten in moderation. If you have any connection to hunters, who would be willing to share some of their meat with you, count yourself lucky. Try to add as much variation as is possible, as you'll find different nutrients and the various kinds of meats that are available to you.

Vegetables:

Vegetables should make up a major part of your meal. Their natural fiber, vitamins, and nutrients are immensely important for your digestion and well-being. Don't mistake the paleo and primal diets as "all meat and no vegetables". This is a common mistake, and it is simply untrue. On the paleo and primal diet you'll enjoy a variety of vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, avocados, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet potatoes, squash, onions, and so much more. Many who subscribe to a paleo and primal diet will develop quite a taste for a variety of new, unknown vegetables to incorporate into their diet.

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