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The Ultimate Guide to the Paleo Diet

The largest paleo diet community online. Teaching you the paleo diet tips with new paleo diet recipes!

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The Ultimate Guide to the Paleo Diet

The Ultimate Guide to the Paleo Diet

The Ultimate Guide to the Paleo Diet

More and more people are getting serious about their health and wellness and taking full advantage of new research. Research that shows just how important it is to eat the right foods and fuel our bodies.

This is great news. Considering the fact that recent research suggests that nearly 80% of all adults and children in the United States are headed towards clinical obesity. That’s if they haven’t already reached clinical obesity already. We are dealing with a serious health epidemic unlike anything ever faced before. A lot of it stems from the fact that most of us eat foods that are nowhere near as healthy or as beneficial as we would like them to be.

The Paleo Diet is a healthy eating lifestyle that a lot of people are trending towards today

Not just because it has been conclusively proven to boost our health and improve our overall wellness significantly. It’s because it also isn’t anywhere near as limiting or as unenjoyable as some of the other dietary directions folks can take today.

A truly diverse, varied, and exciting diet, the paleo path is going to help you “reboot” your overall wellness. It will aid you in embracing the kind of approach to food that your ancient ancestors enjoyed. The diet in which is exactly where the paleo moniker comes from in the first place!

No, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat like a caveman to enjoy the kind of health and wellness that we all deserve in the 21st century

But it does mean that you were going to want to strip out as many of the unhealthy foods, processed foods, and dangerous sugars. Especially ones that are so prevalent in our daily intake right now.

The cold hard truth of the matter is this – by following the same kind of dietary decisions we’ve all been making for 50 years or so (overloading on process stand chemically laden food options instead of “whole” food products as close to their natural state as possible) – that we are literally taking our own graves with our teeth.

There is no more significant danger to our overall health and our wellness them the food choices we make on a day to day basis, but there’s also no easier path to leading a happy, healthy, and enjoyable lifestyle – well into our twilight years – just by making some smarter choices and embracing everything that the paleo diet has to offer.

If you are ready to dive right in and learn everything there is to know about the paleo way and the paleo process, check out the rest of this quick guide. We’ll highlight almost everything you need to get rocking and rolling with this diet, and by the time you’re done with the rest of this quick guide, you’ll know exactly what you have to do to make smarter choices right off the bat!

Let’s dive right in.

What is the Paleo Diet, anyway?

You’ve probably heard about the people eating the way that cavemen did, embracing everything that the “Stone Age diet” has to offer, and trying to embrace the same kinds of food decisions and lifestyle choices made by our ancient ancestors – and if you have, you’ve heard at least a little bit about the paleo diet and everything it has to offer.

Shorthand for the “Paleolithic diet”, paleo is indeed a reference to the kind of diet that the prehistoric men and women – our ancient ancestors – followed.

Researchers have long studied the kinds of food choices that our ancestors made (often not by choice, but because of what was easily accessible and available), and by comparing those choices to their physiology and the kinds of food choices we make today and our physiology, have concluded that ancient man hadn’t had to deal with a myriad of the diseases and chronic medical conditions we deal with simply because of the diet that we follow compared to theirs.

This new research was considered incredibly groundbreaking, so now we know it to be common sense. Obviously, ancient man didn’t deal with obesity nearly as much as we do, didn’t deal with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and a whole host of different types of cancer, and didn’t have to worry about the negative impact that processed chemicals or preservatives and extra sugar would have on their lives.

Today, however, these dangers are very real and very prevalent. We have to do everything that we are able to an effort to battle back against these dangerous additives and chemicals in our food, and we now definitely understand the negative impact that extra sugar has on our body and the devastating impact it causes across almost every aspect of our lives.

The paleo diet works to closely mimic the way that our ancient ancestors ate

It focuses on plants and vegetables in as close to their natural form as possible (just the way that our ancient cavemen ancestors consumed them) and it adds a considerable amount of meat and protein into the mix as well – embracing everything that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were able to thrive on.

It focuses on plants and vegetables in as close to their natural form as possible (just the way that our ancient cavemen ancestors consumed them) and it adds a considerable amount of meat and protein into the mix as well – embracing everything that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were able to thrive on.

It does seem a little bit backward that eating the way our ancestors did thousands and thousands of years ago would actually give us a better life and a more healthy one as well, especially compared to all the major advances we’ve made in pretty much every other area of our lives.

But a lot of the major advances we’ve made in the food department have to do with chemical preservatives, “fake” ingredients – like red dye number six, for example – and an increase in sugars and saturated fats that absolutely wreak havoc on our body from the tip of our toes to the top of our heads.

What are the bedrock principles of the Paleo Diet?

There are a couple of real bedrock principles of eating the Paleo way that you will have to embrace if you are serious about moving forward with this healthy lifestyle shift. These principles, when followed, have the potential to completely transform the way you lead your life, providing you with a much stronger immune system, more energy than you’ve ever had before, and a whole host of other benefits that we will dive into in just a moment.

On top of that, by following the bedrock principles of the paleo pathway you are able to have a lot more freedom and flexibility in the foods that you eat on a regular basis. This isn’t a diet in the traditional sense that is going to block you into eating only a handful of different kinds of foods while abandoning all of your favorites.

Stick the the program

So long as you stick to the basics of the program you will have plenty of room to “color outside of the lines” and won’t ever have to give up your favorite foods.

The overarching principle of the Paleo diet has to be “eat the kinds of foods that cave people ate and avoid the kinds of foods that they didn’t eat”. This really is a total distillation of everything that the paleo diet is all about and everything that it embraces, and if you keep this at the top of your mind when you are choosing different foods to eat and different foods to ignore you will find everything becomes a lot simpler and more straightforward almost immediately.

Now, it is important to highlight that you don’t necessarily have to try and find saber tooth tiger meat to eat while abandoning carrots that are grown on a farm simply because our ancient ancestors spent a lot of time hunting those now extinct animals and didn’t have access to agricultural tools like we do today.

No one is suggesting that you climb into a time machine to do all of your grocery shopping, that’s for sure!

When we are saying is that you should strive to eat as many vegetables and fruits as possible in as close to their natural state as possible. Raw vegetables and fruits are obviously the best choices you could make, but at the very least you want to purchase these raw ingredients and cook them with as little embellishment as possible – staying away from canned or processed fruits or vegetables that are inevitably going to be loaded down with all kinds of preservatives, chemicals, and mountains of salt.

You’ll also want to enjoy meat and protein just as often as your budget and your lifestyle allows

Chicken, beef, lamb, game meats, pork, and any other kind of meat is going to be perfectly fine – but if you were able to get organic meat you will be much better off (though not everyone will be able to do so because of their budget).

Eggs and fish can also be a big building block of your daily paleo diet, and you’ll want to try and find as many creative ways as possible to get these foods into your daily intake as often as possible.

You do definitely want to stay away from grains, pasta, rice, processed carbohydrates, anything with a tremendous amount of sugar in it, and a whole host of other foods that we now know cause inflammation throughout the body and wreak havoc on your critical systems. We are going to dive a little bit deeper into all of the foods you should have in your diet and the ones you shouldn’t have in just a moment.

Breaking down the benefits and shortcomings of the Paleo Diet

There are a lot of different advantages (and some disadvantages) to following the paleo diet. This is, after all, a radical departure from the Standard American Diet and it’s going to take at least a little bit of adjusting to no matter how exciting or enthused you are about transforming your life almost immediately just by changing the foods you eat on a regular basis.

Let’s highlight some of the advantages first!

For starters, the paleo diet is probably the easiest of all the diets you come across today as far as compliance is concerned. This isn’t a diet with a lot of extra rules, it isn’t a diet that forces you to focus on counting calories or food macronutrients, and it isn’t a diet that is going to punish you for sliding off the rails a little bit if you really (REALLY) want a piece of apple pie every now and again.

As we highlighted above, the paleo diet is very flexible and gives you a lot of freedom to choose the kinds of meals that you enjoy most. All you have to do is stick to the bedrock principles at least 80% of the time (six days a week out of seven is perfect for most folks living in the real world) and you won’t have anything to worry about and will still be able to enjoy all of the benefits that the paleo diet has to offer.

Secondly, the paleo diet and it’s “no extra sugar” approach is going to allow you to transform into a fat burning furnace literally overnight. Your metabolism will shoot through the roof, your body will seek out and destroy excess fat wherever it hides in the body, and because you aren’t consuming any extra sugar along the way your body won’t produce any extra fat, either.

It’s not at all uncommon for individuals to lose anywhere between 20 and 30 pounds in the first 30 days of the paleo program. Weight loss will (obviously) taper off a little bit after that initial push, but to you won’t have to worry about packing on pound after pound of fat from your diet any longer, either.

Finally, you don’t have to give up any of your favorite foods when you make the switch to the paleo diet.

Sure, you will have to do a bit of extra cooking – popping open a can of beef stew, for example, isn’t going to be paleo because of all the processed junk contained within but cooking beef stew from scratch is a great paleo staple – but a little bit of extra effort to eat your favorite foods is well worth not having to give up on them completely.

As far as disadvantages are concerned, the biggest one for a lot of folks is going to have to be giving up on grains and pasta – especially if you’ve been following the Standard American Diet (SAD) your entire life.

Carbohydrates like this are a huge part of our daily intake, and when you strip them out of your life forever you’re going to notice a big difference in the first three or four days. You may even go through what some call the “carbohydrate cold” where you feel tired, wiped out, and a little bit run down just because your body isn’t getting any of that effortless energy anymore.

What about dairy?

Some dairy foods are also going to have to be chucked by the wayside as well. Processed foods go out the window, as do foods that are loaded with extra sugar, but these kinds of adjustments are usually a little bit more simple and straightforward (especially for folks serious about improving their health and wellness).

As we mentioned above, however, you don’t have to lead a “strict paleo lifestyle” to enjoy all of the results that this healthy eating pathway has to offer. Eat a strict paleo lifestyle six days a week and then indulge yourself with your favorites on the seventh day and you won’t have to feel like you are missing out on some of the foods you would have had to otherwise abandon.

You won’t derail your progress very much, but this will require a little bit of extra discipline. It’s easy to slide completely off of the paleo lifestyle when you have a cheap meal or a cheat day like this, but if you keep it to one day a week you won’t have much to worry about.

Highlighting the staple foods of the Paleo Diet

As far as daily staples are concerned, you’re going to want to take a real omnivore kind of approach to the foods you eat while you are following the paleo pathway.

This isn’t a vegetarian eating program by any stretch of the imagination, but many people that have switched to paleo report getting significantly better results – especially in the weight loss department – when they switch the majority of their caloric intake to fruits and vegetables and only sprinkle a bit of meat and protein into the mix rather than making meet the focus of every meal and supplementing with fruits and veggies.

How do I balance everything?

At the end of the day, you’re going to want to make sure that you are getting a real combination of fruits, vegetables, and meat. Chicken and fish are going to be a lot cheaper than beef and pork (for the most part), but don’t forget about eggs, either. Choosing organic foods is always a better option when it comes to meat, but if this is too expensive for your budget you can make compromises for sure to help you better stick with the paleo program.

Organ meats (like liver, for example) as well as “cheap cuts” of meat – the tough cuts that most people turn into pot roast or stew – can be another inexpensive alternative to splurging on prime rib and filet mignon a couple of times each week. Whatever you can do to boost your protein and fat consumption of their healthy fat consumption) while cutting down on carbohydrates is going to go a long way towards transforming your life for the better.

Make sure you DON’T eat these foods while Paleo

On the flip side of things, you want to stay as far away from cereals and grains as humanly possible. They don’t fit in our ultimate paleo diet guide.

Sure, carbohydrates are wonderful sources of energy for the body, but only after they have been transformed into sugar – in the form of glucose – and that’s where the problems start to pop up.

When you are an elite athlete and need a lot of extra energy, quick energy, in the form of glucose there’s nothing wrong with crushing bowl after bowl of pasta or rice. But when you aren’t deleting anything close to an active lifestyle but are loading up with these kinds of grains and carbohydrates you are simply adding a lot of extra glucose to an already glucose filled body – and that’s when fat starts to add up by the pound!

What else should I avoid?

You’ll also want to avoid legumes, fruit juices and sodas, packaged snacks and treats like chips and fries, for example, and any food that comes complete with ridiculously long ingredient names of chemicals and additives that you wouldn’t even begin to understand without a degree in food science.

This all tracks back to trying to eat the foods that your ancient ancestors ate (at least foods similar to what they ate in structure and form) while abandoning all of the chemically pumped up, over sodium and over sugared foods that we have available to us today.

How can I make implementing the Paleo lifestyle as simple but as effective as possible?

Llike any other diet, you’re going to need to fully embrace everything that the paleo diet has to offer to see the very best results.

Clean out your pantry, your cupboards, and your fridge of any foods on the “DO NOT EAT” list. Make sure to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables. Buy a couple of paleo cookbooks and find some recipes online. Do your level best to create meal plans in advance and prep your meals in advance. This can make willpower and discipline a lot less of a factor in whether or not you stick with paleo from here on out.

Leverage these tips and tricks, as well as everything else you’ve learned in this quick guide for the paleo diet. If so, you won’t have much to worry about. In 30 days of eating this way you’ll see transformative results. It’s likely that you won’t want to get off of the paleo ride after you see just how good life can be by eating this way!

It’s likely that you won’t want to get off of the paleo ride after you see just how good life can be by eating this way!

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Well versed in all-things-paleo, our paleodojo staff is excited to bring to you actionable and exciting information daily! We also love dogs and bacon.

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