Paleo/Primal Diet 30-day Challenge Guide
I borrowed this idea for a Quick Start Guide off Robb Wolf’s website (in a couple places verbatim) – I’ve included Dr. Lorein Cordain (popularizer of the Paleo Diet)’s list of encouraged & discouraged foods, linked at the end.
The 6-step Paleo/Primal Challenge Guide
1. Throw out all the shit stored in your kitchen
2. Go shopping
3. Cook & Eat!
4. Hang out with your friends (at Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg)
6. Don’t cheat
1. Throw out all the shit
If the Paleo concept is new to you, then you might not be completely aware of the scientific backing behind the Paleo Diet, or convinced of its rationale. It might seem extreme to you to throw out everything that does not comply. Ok, then you need to gather all items that follow, put them in a non-see-through bag, and then store the bag in a dark corner of your basement. Do not trust yourself to have self-control! Bread (+breading), oatmeal & all cereals, rice, dried or canned beans, pasta, cookies, crackers, all dairy products including yogurt, pudding, & ice cream, apple sauce, juice (even 100%), soda (even diet), sweeteners (artificial and natural like honey and maple syrup), soy sauce, ketchup, mustards (excluding Maille Dijon Originale or any other brand without sugar), & canned soups. A major source of calories in processed/packaged & canned foods is the linoleic acid (in the form of polyunsaturated fats/vegetable oil). Most things stored in boxes or packages have some sort of sugar, flour/gluten or polyunsaturated fats added. Seasoning packets usually contain the same kinds of crap – stick to the basic dried spices or scan ingredients carefully..
2. Go shopping
Eat protein with every meal – Ideally grass fed or wild caught. But conventional options are fine. Beans and rice do NOT count as protein.
Pork, beef, lamb, kangaroo, deer, Chicken, turkey, duck, ostrich, & all types of Fish, shrimp, crab, etc.
Round things out with some good quality bacon (Tulip brand found at Rewe & Metro has no sugar), omega-3 enriched eggs (kein Ei mit der drei).
Eat as many veggies as you want! Ideally these are local and organic, but again, not a deal breaker. Farmers markets have terrific produce at a great price. Mix up the colors. Avoid white potatoes if your goals are weight-loss. Sweet potatoes, squash, and pumpkin make great post-workout therapy for your muscles.
Limit fruit to 1 serving per day if fat loss is your goal. A serving is not a whole watermelon! In order of preference: Berries, melons, citrus, apples, pears. Bananas, papayas and mangoes are great for athletes post workout but not for folks who want to lose weight.
If going paleo represents a huge change for you & you are a carb-monster like my husband and I were in our Triathlete years, we recommended that you stay under 30 net carbohydrates (total carbohydrates minus fiber intake) for at least the first 2 weeks. This will force your metabolic machinery to use and burn fat stores for energy. Some experience the low-carbohydrate flu for the first few days to a week – read about it here.
Olive oil (extra virgin) coconut & coconut oil (you can consume by the spoonful), avocado (oil and whole), macadamia (whole and oil), almonds, walnuts. If fat loss is a goal limit nuts to 1-2 oz. per day. Schmalz would also be fine if you knew the animals were healthy and grass-fed.
Spice it up.
Marinara sauce, herbs, spices-curry powder, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam massala, chili powder, black pepper, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and basil. Keep your vinegar, keep your tomato sauce and Tomaten Mark, as long as the ingredients are natural: tomatoes, basil, and salt, for example. Herbs and spices will keep your cooking lively and varied.
Because you will be in fat-burning mode, you will want to drink plenty of water (Stilles!) to support your body’s work. You will lose a significant amount of fluid as your insulin levels fall within the first couple weeks (you won’t retain water like you would on a high-carb diet), so drink like a fish! Dr. Michael Eades believes that the reason why people who drink more water lose weight faster may have something to do with increasing the loss of ketone bodies (which contain calories) via the urine.. You can also continue to enjoy mineral water, coffee & tea. We want your liver ridding your body of extra fat and toxic substances during this 30-day period of time. Because your liver has to handle the caffeine, drinking coffee and black/green tea would just mean more work for it to do.
The only vitamins or supplements I recommend are Vitamin D – at least 2000 IU daily if you aren’t getting sun – and fish oil capsules (1 gm with each meal) or cod liver oil (lebertran). Probiotics are great, especially if you got pelted by the flu this winter like our household did and were forced to take antibiotics.
3. Cook & Eat – 3-4 meals per day!
Do not count calories or fat. If you are hungry in between meals, then increase the fat content of future meals. Just stick with real foods. The majority of your meals look something like this:
• 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.
• Several servings of vegetables, either raw, steamed, or lightly cooked.
• Good fats from Avocado, olive oil, coconut, or a handful of un-salted nuts
such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts.
4. Hang out with your friends (at Reebok CrossFit Nuernberg), or just get outside and move
You don’t have to even exercise intensely. But you are always welcome to come to RCFN just to hang out with people who share the same fitness goals, have some fun on our equipment, practice new skills, or just engage in some quality conversation. Remember that exercise and nutrition are only two variables in the equation of health – and that maintaining social connections plays an enormous role in happiness. Don’t confuse activities which provide distraction with those that provide pleasure. Here is how Chris Kresser di
fferentiates between them:
“Distraction is something that prevents us from giving full attention to ourselves and our lives. Pleasure is almost exactly the opposite. When we experience pleasure we are more fully present to life, more grounded in our bodies, more alive and aware. Pleasure activates our calm and connect system; distraction does not.
For example, watching TV and browsing the web are often distractions that divert our attention from our own experience. But getting a massage, listening to our favourite music or taking a walk barefoot on the beach are pleasurable activities that connect us more deeply with ourselves and the world around us.
It is this experience that is crucial to our health and – I would argue – our happiness.”
Use your Rolladen. REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from computers, TVs or alarm clocks. No nite lights. Better not to watch TV or look at a PC or iphone for at least 1 hour before bed. You should be getting at least 8-9 hrs of sleep, so go to bed early. You shouldn’t even need to be using your alarm to wakeup.
6. Don’t be a Cheater
There is absolutely no cheating allowed during our Paleo/Primal 30 Day Challenge!!!!!!! Robb Wolf says it only takes a little bit of gluten every 10 days to keep the gut inflamed. Get true results – DON’T CHEAT YOURSELVES and don’t waste our time trying to troubleshoot why paleo/primal eating didn’t help you significantly toward reaching your goals at the end of 30 days. If you do cheat, then mind that you never EVER claim that you “did” our Paleo Challenge.
You have to start over from the beginning.
If you are curious about these recommendations read The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf for a great, short intro. Or just follow this guide, reap all the benefits and don’t bother with the details. It’s up to you.
Urgeschmack provides fantastic information about the Paleo Diet in German & a lot of great recipes:
- Die Paleo Diät
- Grundsätze der Paleo Diät (7 Einfache Schritte zu einer ganzheitlich gesunden Ernährung)
- Die Paleo Diät im Detail
- Warum Sie keinen Zucker essen sollten
- Warum Sie keine Getreideprodukte essen sollten
- Warum Sie auf Pflanzenfett und Margarine verzichten sollten
- Warum Sie ihren Obstverzehr mäßigen sollten
- Warum und wie Sie auf Ihr Omega3:Omega6 Verhältnis achten sollten
- Warum Sie stark verarbeitete Lebensmittel meiden sollten
- Warum Sie vielleicht auch auf Milch verzichten sollten
- Ein typischer Tag mit der Paleo Diät
- Paleo Diätplan
- Häufige Fragen zur Paleo Diät
Here is Dr. Loren Cordain’s detailed list of permitted and discouraged foods that I promised
And here is our official support group already stocked with great links and resources for all things Paleo (heartfelt thanks to Andres D’Alessandro who created it a couple months ago): RCFN Paleo Challenge