Getting started on Paleo (or any other Real Food diet) – Part 2steemCreated with Sketch.

in #paleo5 years ago (edited)

Some more tips on making the switch to unprocessed foods, and what to expect if you go “cold turkey”.

First up, if you’re not clear on exactly what a Paleo diet is, check out my post that gives an overview on it. Though the picture below will give you an overview of what a real food diet might look like.

In my first post on how to change over to real foods, we talked about:

• Getting support from your household and from Steemit
• 100% vs the 80/20 rule, and making gradual changes
• Logistics and planning ahead – equipment, meals, recipes
• Keeping a journal to log your progress
• Making the first change - breakfast

Now moving on…

What to expect if you go cold turkey

I generally recommend that people make one change at a time, and gradually improve their diet, but for some people it’s more appropriate to change quickly. Some people just because they like to, but others that are very ill and need to change now!

The drawback of going cold turkey is that you are likely to feel pretty bad for a few days, though you may not. Repeating what I said in the previous post: “When you stop eating sugar, or any other foods you are addicted to, they will fight back. Some of them may be foods you had no idea you were addicted to. Don’t get discouraged if you get unbearable cravings for something you’d given up.”

So don’t be alarmed if you have symptoms like headache or general aching, fatigue or weakness, cravings, nausea, foggy head or worsening of any of your current symptoms. Make sure you have food prepared ahead of time, and plan some time off work so you can rest as much as you need to.

The good side is that you will get over it, at least physiologically, in about 4 days, and after that it will get easier. If you choose to do a juice fast or, even better, a water fast, for the first few days, you will probably move through even more quickly, as you will be resting your digestive system.

Don’t undertake a fast lightly though. Look out for my post about water fasting over the next couple of days.

Go through your cupboards

Whether you decide to change slowly or quickly, it’s time to do an inventory of your current food.

If you use a lot of packeted, canned or frozen foods, now would be the time to review those. Read each label. If the ingredients are recognisable as food, you can put them away again. If you see a bunch of things like these, it will need to go:

• Added sugar (or any other word for sugar like sucrose, dextrose, glucose, syrup) – small amounts of honey or real maple syrup are acceptable
• Artificial anything
• Numbers or anything chemical sounding
• Vegetable oils (which are actually usually seed oils) – unless it s coconut oil

If the packet is unopened, donate it to a local food bank. If you’ve opened it, you have a choice. If your budget is limited, you may choose to replace it with something better when it runs out. If you are going cold turkey, just bin it!

Making substitutions

There are a lot of different substitutions you can make, and some of these will be featured here in #paleo over the coming weeks. But here are some to get you started. This is roughly in order of the foods that are likely to be causing most problems. You don’t have to change in this order. Choose something that will be reasonably easy for YOU to start with.


If you must have something sweet, a little honey or real maple syrup is considered paleo. Or you can use some dried fruit such as dates to sweeten.

Soft drinks (soda) / fruit juice

These are a double whammy as far as danger goes. They will either be full of sugar, and you already know why that’s bad, or you wouldn’t be reading this, or they will have artificial sweeteners, which may be even worse. Full strength fruit juice is no healthier than soft drinks, as it is essentially a glass full of sugar!

Ultimately, you are aiming to drink water if you are thirsty. You may also be drinking tea, coffee, herbal drinks, vegetable juices or fermented drinks for other reasons.

But as an intermediate step, try getting some pure fruit juice and then diluting it sparkling mineral water. As time goes on, have more water and less juice, till it’s all mineral water. Maybe with a hint of lemon or lime.


While we’re talking water, unless your tap is attached to your own water collection system, what comes out of it likely to be toxic, if you live in a Western country. This is a big subject, so we’re not going to cover it now, but starting thinking about better sources.


Grains are very high in carbohydrate, which causes a lot of problems for many of us. As well as that, some have specific problems with gluten or wheat. In general, grains are not considered paleo, but choose the levels here that you are comfortable with:

• No grains or pseudo grains at all
• No gluten grains, but a little corn, rice or pseudo grains (such as buckwheat, amaranth or quinoa)
• All types of grains, but only organic whole grains (@woman-on the-wing has lots of great recipes for you)

If you’re going gluten free, you should be able to find suitable substitutes in your local health store, or even supermarket. Just remember that gluten free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy – it may still be very high carb.

If you’re going all the way – no grains at all – there are still plenty of substitutions you can make:

• Bread – look for breads made with nut or coconut flours (there are quite a few recipes like this in my recipe list below)
• Rice – check out @rebeccaryan’s post on how to make rice from cauliflower
• Noodles – you can make your own noodles from carrots or zucchini for example, using a spiraliser or julienne slicer. Or if you’re in a country that has spaghetti squash, the inside of the squash is already in noodle form for you


Technically not Paleo, but some people are fine on dairy as long as it is grass fed, and ideally either unpasteurised or fermented. This is another huge subject, which I’ll write more about soon.

In the early stages, I’d say – if you can tolerate it, a little cheese is fine. Good quality pasture raised milk may be ok fermented (recipes to come). Butter and ghee will be fine all the way through unless you’re very dairy intolerant.

To replace milk, avoid the temptation to replace it with soy milk. This is a very bad idea, and again, a story for another day. For a savoury recipe, meat or bone broths are nice and a good source of minerals. For a sweeter recipe, nut or coconut milks are better. Instructions on how to make your own nut milks are partway down my first recipe post, for a Choc Blackcurrant Smoothie

In a smoothie, avocado also works well.


Any kind of unprocessed meat is fair game, so to speak. But again, it’s highly recommended that you look for meats labelled free range and either pasture or grass raised.

Cooking fats

Extra virgin olive oil is great for salads or pouring on veges once they are cooked. But for heating, you need stable fats or to put it another way – saturated fats! Far from being dangerous, they are the healthiest fats for us.

So you can cook with coconut oil, butter or ghee or animals fats. This includes fat collected from a roast, which has the added benefit of being essentially free!

Sauces and spreads

Peanut butter – this is probably a fairly easy switch. Look for a brand that has just peanuts – no sugar, no salt, just nuts. As peanuts can often be affected by aflatoxins, switching to a nut butter such as almond would be even better. EDIT - there is nothing wrong with real salt, such as celtic sea salt. But processed salt, which has all the minerals except sodium taken out, is not recommended and that is the kind of salt that would be in most peanut butters.

Mayo – again, this is easy peasy – make your own! @baerdric shows you how, right here.

Fermented foods like sauerkraut are also great condiments. See @rebeccaryan’s post on how to make kraut here.

Thanks for reading and let me know how you get on – and ask as many questions as you like!

Remember to check out other articles under #paleo where we’re aiming to gather together some great Paleo authors and share lots of useful info.

The Paleo food pyramid is in a few places but although I can’t find it there, I think it first came from Mark Sisson of The rest of the pics are from Pixabay, or are my own.

Follow me for more health, nutrition, food, lifestyle and recipe posts.

[I offer one on one nutritional coaching or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) sessions by Skype. Bitcoin, Steem or Paypal accepted. Contact me in Discord or SteemitChat.

Some of my previous NUTRITION posts:

The wide variety of healthy diets out and what they have in common
The travels of Weston A Price and his discoveries about healthy diets
Good fats vs bad fats
DNA testing for better Health & Fitness
DNA testing part 2: How Well Do I Digest Carbs?
DNA testing Part 3: I can’t eat Carbs & How to Manage that
About the Gut & Psychology syndrome (GAPS) diet Part 1 – Can it help autism?
GAPS diet Part 2: Foods we can’t have
GAPS diet Part 3: Foods we CAN have
GAPS diet Part 4: What if I can’t eat some animal foods
Salicylate intolerances
Introduction to the Paleo diet
How to change over to real foods - Part 1


Choc Blackcurrant Smoothie
Paleo Cottage Pie
Feijoa Pear Smoothie
Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread
Tip for storing ginger & tumeric
Grain Free Banana Cashew muffins
Warming winter soup
Breakfast ideas
Healthy Chocolate & Fudge
Jerky with vegetables
Choco-mallow protein bars
Equipment for the real food kitchen
Carrot Almond bread
Grain free Fruit & Nut bar
Vegetable muffins
Finger food for a gathering
Real food ideas for snacks and road trips
Grain free cheese muffins
Best ever (and easiest) Christmas cake
Orange Cranberry Xmas Breakfast Muffins
Festive smoothies for Xmas morning
Crisp & crunchy Xmas cheese stars
Xmas menu ideas
Planning your holiday eating to be a bit more balanced
• For MORE RECIPES and my 15 step Whole Food cooking course, see my recipe website.

Badges courtesy of @elyaque and


Hello @kiwideb,

Congratulations! Your post has been chosen by the communities of SteemTrail as one of our top picks today.

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This is a stellar post. It is undervalued!!!

This is a great resource and well done.

Thanks Barry!

You are welcome!

I have had dreams of @rebeccaryan's food blogs on here lately, it is disrupting my sleep a lot lol

That's no good! You need your sleep right now.

I know. lol

TY for the comments today, it was nice to hear from you. Rebecca knows some of the struggles I am having after the car running me over. She lives about an hour or so E. of me, we hope to meet one day soon.

Until then, her food posts make me drool hahaha.

Gosh, is that what happened? I'd heard you were having some bad times, but didn't know the details. How long ago was that? That sounds bad.

Nesting/ Had to reply here - yes, it was nearly 12 mths ago -- she knows a lot more about the story. I am basically living alone and drained and a lot of it has to do with the govts and police burying my file due to my activism for years calling them all out. I have had no income in a year and cannot do anything living this way

I had always helped people and my community so this has been hard to live this way basically disabled in every way.

TY for asking.

I've just added an edit to explain a little more about salt. We need sodium, so I'm not in favour of eliminating salt. Just choose real salt eg sea salt, rather than processed salt.

Very good article, i like that

Thanks, hope you find it useful.

This post has been ranked within the top 50 most undervalued posts in the first half of Jan 10. We estimate that this post is undervalued by $5.46 as compared to a scenario in which every voter had an equal say.

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If you are the author and would prefer not to receive these comments, simply reply "Stop" to this comment.

fantastic post. I know a lot of my posts are not very helpful when it comes to healthy eating, sorry about. Steemit needs balance so thank you for helping in being that balance. You have a new follower, sorry it took so long. Oh, by thw way, a little later today, I am posting an interesting brownie recipe made with black beans and avocado.

Exactly right that we need balance. Even when I can't eat your recipes, I can still enjoy looking at how beautiful they are, and think how yummy they would taste, and there is pleasure in that. And pleasure in how much joy you put into your cooking. So there is a place for all. x

That is very kind, thank you! By the way, can you give me any tips on how to utilize discord better? I need to know what 'servers' are best for my type of posts. Thanks

I have thought for a long time that it's nice to show a traditional recipe or dish beautifully perfectly executed and then show the hacks that change it to another version. In an advanced progression you could have: a traditional, a low fat, a high fat, a paleo and a raw version of the exact same recipe...Just like what you and I loosely did with your original German Chocolate cake post.
I haven't worked all the details out in my mind, but it would take collaboration or at least work on the timing of the posts so that they are linked close together somehow.

Let's all have a think about it, especially thinking about a good recipe to start with, and talk in Chat in a day or two.

If they're grain free and low sugar, put them in paleo-trail as well, otherwise in food-trail is best. They just don't appear to have any curators just at the moment, which @triddin has been talking to you about.

I just responded to @gringalicious on this thread with a collaborative idea.

upvoted and re-steemed @kiwideb. Well done!

Thanks :-)

@kiwideb - I'm glad you posted this, I wasn't aware I was on a Paleo diet till you told me - I just though - I'm just eating healthy, I didn't know there's a term for that and that it is Paleo. Other people who observes this diet gave it quite a strict and extreme definition so I didn't think my food preference actually belongs to it.
About eating Paleo, I couldn't agree more!

Read each label.

Indeed, indeed ! if something sounds like a science experiment more or less its crap the food industry is feeding us many craps and the owners are even eating paleo wtheck

To replace milk, avoid the temptation to replace it with soy milk.

Yes, this is so true - think gmo and breast cancer eeeekkkk, alternative can b coconut milk - but one that says coconut milk and water only. There is as such - organic, too.

Yes, the original definition of Paleo was quite specific and stricter. But as more people have taken it up, it has become looser. No grains and legumes is still pretty standard, but other than that just think Real Food! People also tend to think it's high meat. It CAN be, but doesn't have to be, though animal foods are an important part of it.

@kiwideb I see, that explains it. Thanks

Very valuable insights ...thanks for a great post.

Glad to be of service ;-) How are you going with your changes?

Today, last day of 10 day juice detox. 11 days without coffee, 11 days of lots less alcohol slipped up on occassion but nothing serious (out of girl was away {smile{)... was for me hell. But feeling much better, lighter and energetic. Will start a running program Saturday morning.
Thanks for asking.

I honestly wouldn't have thought I would be finding myself on dieting posts for another couple of months. Generally in winter I ignore all things healthy and then make up for it in nice weather, haha! But A: it's your post and more surprisingly is B: my husband has suddenly started caring about whole and natural foods, nutrition in general. So I'm thinking it would be good, I suppose lol, to care with him even though it's normally my bingeing time of year ;)

You could always just choose to binge on whole food recipes ;-) There are plenty of paleo desserts... Not that we're recommending loads of those, but many people who follow paleo have them. Winter is also a good time for soups, stews, so its not all hard. The aim is not for it to be a diet, but for it just to be a sustainable way of life.

I get that ;) Many diets I've been on in my life were attended to be that but I think there's something about the idea that I feel like I'm denying myself, even if it isn't something I care that much about, my stubborn mind rebels.

Oh yeah, and I just checked out @sift666 and I have to say that I LOVE that that is your guy haha! We would all get along quite famously, my husband is easily as un pc as your man. I'm trying to convince him to get on steemit. He's the one who got me on here, but his huge brain would do well :)

Yep, not many as un-pc as him, so nice to know there are a few :-)

Especially prude ass Americans LOL. His favorite nickname for me is tits or titanias (which is his way of calling them large), which he likes to touch along with my bum at the most inappropriate times especially, haha! Married for nearly seventeen years, I'm definitely not complaining, I think the less hang ups you have the happier you are all around :)

I don't think anyone would call you prude ass! Or as we kiwis, and the Aussies & Brits, would say: prude arse...

Nope, not me, but Americans in general can be a bit...I definitely could tell your guy (husband?) thinks so and I can't disagree with him LOL

And to be honest, once upon a time I was one of them (cringe) I grew up in a very censored household, church two to three times a week, Jesus is the only way to heaven etc. I went on a long journey of rebirth as the new free me which didn't completely come to fruition until my late twenties. I like to say that MKultra has nothing on born-again Christian parents haha! Don't get me wrong, I love my folks, we just no longer view the world and beyond with the same narrow lens. Though they have relaxed a bit themselves in recent years ;)

Great post @kiwideb. Thanks for sharing! Although many of my dishes are paleo, I could not survive on a paleo diet (too much meat for my animal heart), like you mentioned it is all about finding your own balance and what is possible for you. Was just wondering, probably I have learned this in one of the nutrition course I took but kinda forgot, what's the issues with legumes. I get the grains, especially the highly processed ones or the ones with gluten. We often eat chickpeas, lentils, beans to meet our protein need on days we don't eat meat or fish.

The Paleo theory is that grains, legumes and dairy are all recent foods that our ancestors didn't eat. Some people have adapted better than others and they can eat raw dairy, properly prepared legumes or properly prepared grains, for example.

So as long as the legumes you eat are soaked well in advance and then cooked in fresh water, and you don't have problems digesting them, I would still consider them Real Foods. I have a chart that I made up comparing some different real food diets. That might be a useful post to share too.

The main issue with legumes is the high carbohydrate percentage in most of them (>50% carbs). Generally we as humans are getting way too many carbohydrates in our diet and this leads to inflammation and hyperinsulinemia. It's why things like wheat, sugars and starches are removed from paleo.

That said, legumes are a great source of iron and protein, so if you can fit legumes into your diet calorically and macronutritionally, and they don't cause you intestinal issues, then there's no reason not to eat them in controlled portion sizes.

An alternative style of eating, which is paleo-adjacent is known as LCHF.

Generally it's harder to do LCHF style as a lacto-ovo vegetarian (you need to consume eggs, cheese, butter, etc as part of your diet to offset the reduction in legumes), and almost impossible to do it as a vegan (at least not without nutritional supplements).

If you are actually lacto-ovo or just meat averse, then it's completely possible to follow a nutritionally complete LCHF style eating plan, with a minimum of meat consumption. We are LCHF in our household, and often have completely meat-free meals.

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