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How To Do Paleo – A Practical and Human Approach

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New year means new resolutions and I bet a lot of people have made themselves many promises along the likes of  ‘this year I will really try to stick to a clean paleo diet’ or ‘maybe this is the year I will try this paleo diet everyone is talking about’. Whether you consider yourself a paleo expert or you’re only briefly acquainted with the afore mentioned diet and lifestyle, this is my list of tips on how to embrace paleo so it no longer scares you, intimidates you or stresses you out before you even get into it.

Please take the time to get to the end as some of the most important points are there.

Quick paleo recap (if you think you need one)

1. Paleo is short for Paleolithic and in our context it refers to a diet, and in many ways a lifestyle, that draws its core principles or philosophies from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s not (and this is a very important note to keep in mind) about replicating the caveman way of life, and we don’t actually know exactly what was eaten back then, but it’s about looking at our evolutionary biology (and we only have to go back as far as our grand-grand parents) – and figuring out what are the healthiest, most nutrient dense foods we can eat to nourish our bodies, prevent diseases and lead a healthier life. And that, combined with modern science and research has led to the development of this eating framework and a diet we now know as paleo.

2. In the media it’s often also referred to as a the primal, caveman, stone age, real food or whole food diet but essentially it’s about eating nutrient dense foods such as meat, fish, seafood, healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and seeds and avoiding foods that are problematic for our health and can distress our metabolism, interfere with nutrient absorption and promote systemic inflammation.

3. The problematic foods we avoid – and they all have a various degree of negative effects on our health and there is a whole bunch of caveats as usual – include grains, legumes, dairy, processed sugar, industrial processed oils and fats such as margarine and canola or soybean oil, and all processed foods containing the above.

16 Comments
  1. This is an awesome post, thank you! I have been doing the paleo diet on and off for a couple of months. Yes I do CrossFit, but being a student I think it is also important and vital to eat healthy and also to learn about what we are putting in our bodies at all times. I am so glad I came upon your site. Will definitely try out a few of your recipes very soon!

  2. This was so helpful! I am trying to switch my lifesytle to paleo and it has proven to be difficult at times! This is so encouraging and great to be reminded that it doens’t need to be strict all the time!
    Additionally, this was full of really great info/facts that make me feel even better about my choice to make the long term switch! Thanks so much so sharing!

  3. I totally agree with everything you’ve said Irey. Keep creating these wonderful recipes for all of us to enjoy. You are an inspiration to me and a lot of others xxx

  4. Thanks for your post and this site. I’ve only just started adopting the paleo lifestyle and your website is already my go-to for advise, recipes and food checks! I’ve ordered your book and it can’t arrive fast enough.

    I love your flexible and easy to manage approach because I have already had people give me their “expert” opinions about what I should and shouldn’t be putting into my body! I’m feeling great and I’m only 2 weeks in. Thanks and keep up the great work!

  5. Thank you! I totally agree – it’s a lifestyle thing, and a healthy lifestyle. I’ve looked and tried quite a few over the years, but paleo is the only one that allows me to eat the foods I love (ie chocolate! – prepared paleo style of course!) and eliminate the need for processed foods. I think of anything out there, paleo should stress people the least because its so easy – particularly with the wonderful, delicious, heavenly recipes you and many other provide!

    The only restraint I have to exercise at this time is eating too much fat (good or not) because I’m trying to get my weight down. But I have no doubt that once I get down, I will have no trouble staying largely paleo thanks to the wonderful blogs of people like you who keep us inspired!

  6. THANK YOU for such an honest & liberating post! Having spent most of my adult life searching for (or running from!) different nutrition plans, diets and lifestyles, the paleo way is by far the best one for me! However, I was already falling into the trap of ‘not being strict enough’ and feeling like a failure – here we go again. This lovely post just flicked a switch inside – I’m already feeling more relaxed and excited to just ‘be allowed’ to get on with it :-) Thanks again and keep inspiring xx

  7. This whole post is perfect Irena. Thank you for taking such a down to earth, yet educated and informative, approach to the paleo lifestyle. There is too much judgement and misconceptions surrounding paleo. As I tell people who question my diet choices, it is about working out what works for you.

  8. I bought your cookbook Eat Drink Paleo at About Life in Cammeray. We have loved every recipe that I have tried.I actually went and bought another copy for my daughter who is trying Paleo.I particularly like that the ingredients are not too obscure and that there is plenty of room for substitutions.Also great that it is relevant to Australian palates and budgets.Thanks,Irena

  9. I love your practical approach and how you’ve highlighted the most important parts of Paleo eating. It really isn’t a diet, but a common sense lifestyle that gets easier as you go – especially when you have great recipes for delicious meals. Thanks so much!
    Gina Faubert
    Health Coach

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