Welcome to the newest round of the PALEO CHALLENGE!!!
I am thrilled to have you joining me (and many others) on this 31 day journey to eating a paleo diet. Whether you’d jumping all in, or you’ll be eliminating foods slowly (depending on your needs and style), I’m confident that by the end of the 30 days, you’ll feel great and wonder why you didn’t eat this way sooner.
What Is Paleo?
The Paleo diet could be in in which people have a goal to eat like our ancestors ate as hunter-gatherers long ago. Others see it as a way to simply eat optimally for our body’s make up in a world where much of our food is the furthest thing from actual FOOD. I really am not basing my own diet on a caveman diet at all. Essentially, Paleo is cutting out all grains, legumes (including peanuts), dairy, refined sweeteners, processed oils and most vegetable oils, juice, sodas, etc. Processed, packaged foods are out!
What Can I Eat?
The most important thing you can do this challenge is to make sure that you have a TON of healthy “yes” foods on hand. You’ll probably find, especially at first, that you will want to eat…. a lot… and often. That’s totally normal! Don’t be alarmed! The cool thing is that it’s very difficult to over eat when you’re truly paleo, particularly if you watch your fruit and sweetener intake.
Additionally, the best foods you can eat are going to be local and organic, but not all of us have the luxury of spending the extra money on truly “clean” foods. No worries. Do the best you can within your budget. If you have to do “poor man’s paleo”, trust me – I’m right there with you. Don’t let that stop you from truly reaping the benefits of the paleo diet!
Here are some foods to stock up on:
- Vegetables (Fresh, Frozen, Canned)
- Meat (Your best bet is local, grass-fed, pasture-raised without all the bad stuff in them!)
- Nuts (Except peanuts – those are actually legumes)
- Eggs (Again, your best bet is local, grass-fed, and pasture raised.)
- Healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, lard, coconut milk, olive oil when used cold)
- Flours such as almond flour or coconut flour
- WATER and beverages such as coconut juice (coconut water), herbal tea, and kombucha
What Is a No-No?
Obviously, as with any healthy way of eating, there are some foods that you must avoid. I’m not trying to be mean here. Getting rid of these will make you feel like a totally different person. You can totally give this a shot for a couple of weeks, right?
- Grains (Rice, Corn, Oats, Wheat, Barley, etc) and foods containing them
- Dairy – Milk, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese, buttermilk – and anything that contains these items (some people will continue to eat butter, clarified butter, or ghee)
- Legumes – Beans, Beans, the magical fruit! This includes peanuts as they are actually a legume as well. Get rid of them and don’t look back.
- Soy – This includes edamame, soy sauce, tofu, and the like.
- Sugar! (Allowed sugar includes honey *preferably raw and local* and pure maple syrup for this challenge. Some people will consider stevia okay for paleo. Use your own discretion.) Get rid of food items that CONTAIN sugar of any type. Check your condiments!
- Processed foods – Cereal, granola bars, chips, ice cream, pretzels, etc
- Soda, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages. (I know some people will be keeping a glass of wine or a bottle of beer here and there. This is your challenge, so plan accordingly)
- Vegetable oil, canola oil, peanut oil
More Helpful Info:
- Paleo Grocery Shopping Tips
- Tips for Dining Out Paleo
- Paleo Resources for the Paleo Challenge
- Paleo Dinner Tips
- How to Stay Paleo at Social Functions
I’d love it if you would join me at the Jenn’s RAQ Paleo Challenge Facebook Group. You can gain support, as well as share recipes, ideas, and learn about new products and ways to tweak your previous diet to become more paleo.
In the comments below, let me know if you’re going all-in, or a little bit at a time toward the paleo way of eating.