Paleo Diet Beginners: Read This Guide to Get Started!

A problem that many beginners to the Paleo diet have, and beginners to almost anything, is the tendency to fall into the habit of waiting until the moment is absolutely perfect before taking the first step towards something new. It’s natural; people are afraid of change. How often have you heard yourself or others say things like, “I’m going to wait until the holidays are over, then I’ll start exercising and eating right?” Or another of my favorites: “Eating healthy costs too much, I’m going to wait until I can afford it.”

The problem with that mentality is that there is no deadline to do anything. The moment will never be perfect. The planets will never align and present you with the sign you are looking for. The best way to get started is to do exactly that, get started! The most effective approach will always be to jump in and get your feet wet early on. Don’t worry so much about being perfect. We all know that perfection is unattainable anyway. Below are a couple of simple steps you can take today to set yourself up for success and lasting change with the paleo diet.

Step 1

Clean out the fridge and pantry: When I started the paleo diet, I was a starving, broke college student. So naturally I found this step to absolutely suck! I tried to find reasons to hold on to it all, thinking it would be a waste of money if I threw out my sandwich sides, hot pockets, canned soups, ramen and peanut butter, all breakfasts of champions! (not really) My initial thought was to finish all the unhealthy food I had and then I would start. Well, the problem with that line of thinking is that it doesn’t provide the shock to your system (metaphorically speaking) that this change in your life can really mean. You can even see it as a symbolic gesture. By clearing the house of all the things that are not aligned with paleolithic philosophy, you effectively say to yourself, “That’s it! I’m done putting all that junk in my body!” Go ahead, take off the Band-Aid. Don’t relax, just go ahead and do it! By diving in and experiencing the growing pains now, you’ll set yourself up for a much better transition later. Remember, the hard way is often the easy way. Here’s a simple list of foods to keep and foods to throw away to help you get started:

food to keep

  • grass fed meats
  • fish and shellfish
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • healthy organic oils (olive, coconut, macadamia, avocado)

food to throw away

  • cereal grains
  • vegetables
  • dairy products
  • refined sugar
  • white potatoes
  • processed foods
  • Salt
  • refined vegetable oils

Step 2

Now that you’ve cleared the house of everything that’s not on the approved food list, take a quick trip to the store and fill in the gaps you now see you have in your fridge and pantry. Did you realize that you are missing fish and shellfish? or healthy fruits and oils? Fix it now. Don’t overthink things right now. Many newcomers to the paleo diet think too much and do not do enough. You can always make more adjustments later. It’s just about taking the first step.

So there you have it, two steps to get you started when starting the paleo diet. You’ve cleaned out all the bad stuff and replaced it with really good stuff. Granted, this is a bit simplistic, but it really is all you need to get started.

Best of luck!

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