It’s Not Rocket Science…Get Started On Your New Paleo Lifestyle Right Now!
New to paleo and anxious to get going? Awesome! Here’s a simple, no-frills, quickstart guide to the paleo basics. If you could care less about the details and just want to jump right in, this will get you off to a flying start!
Stop eating processed foods of any kind. The same goes for grains, beans, dairy, refined sugars, soy or industrial vegetable oils. Ideally, eliminate alcoholic beverages. Coffee gets a pass for paleo – hold the cream and sugar. TIP: Clean out your pantry, refrigerator and cupboards of all of the above. Donate unopened packages to your local food bank, or toss them in the trash.
Start eating wholesome, unprocessed, real foods. These can include meats and poultry (preferably grass-fed/organic certified), eggs, fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Cook with healthy oils such as olive oil and coconut oil. Substitute ghee for margarine/butter. Remember to eliminate legumes (beans), white potatoes, corn, rice, peanuts and of course wheat/gluten from your diet. TIP: Check out some of my easy recipes for delicious, wholesome meals. Start out with the simplest ones. I strongly urge you to skip past the “Treats” recipes if you’re just getting started.
Go grocery shopping. Keep in mind paleo is an investment in your health and longevity. Eating higher quality food may mean you have to spend a little more at the supermarket. Hit the store with a list and buy only what you need. TIP: Avoid the center aisles of the grocery store and shop the perimeter. On a tight budget? Do what I do and skip unnecessary luxuries like your morning lattes and put what you save toward your paleo shopping trips.
Paleo is a lifestyle, not a fad diet. Commit to it for the long haul if you decide it’s right for you. (You should know that after giving yourself at least 30 days (more if necessary) to get into the Paleo groove.) TIP: I personally recommend starting your first 30 days eating only paleo-approved foods and meals, and NO treats – even if they’re paleo-friendly.
Exercise! TIP: Any physical activity from high-intensity interval training to weight lifting is good. CrossFit is popular with paleo peeps, but any exercise that gets you moving and your heart rate up will help increase your body’s metabolism and energy levels.
Get plenty of sleep. Most studies indicate between 7.5 – 8 hours of quality sleep each night is what you need to fully rejuvenate your body and mind for the next day. TIP: Do not ignore this step…the benefits of good sleep are amazing.
Get regular exposure to sunlight. It’s the best source of vitamin D for your body. TIP: Obviously, don’t overdo this. Adjust the time for you skin type and seasonal sun intensity. Fifteen minutes per day is a good general recommendation for most people.
Don’t freak out if you mess up and eat something that’s not paleo. TIP: Seriously, you’re attempting a lifestyle that may be radically different than your normal routine. Chances are you will slip up. Well so what, you’re human! Just shake it off and get back on track. Paleo can reverse years of poor eating and lifestyle habits…stick with it and you will soon start seeing the rewards!