Paleo Food Choices

Now that you’ve made the decision to try out the paleo way of life, you have to do some housekeeping. Open your cupboards and fridge and get rid of all those looming temptations: the leftover chips and crackers, peanuts, breads and cheeses. Now you will have room for all the good foods that you can eat on a paleo diet. It sounds painful, but after a week you won’t crave all that old stuff and you’ll feel great. Now, go to the store and stock up on your new groceries, choosing from the items below. I found that the secret to being successful is to keep the kitchen well stocked. If you have plenty of the right food in the house, you won’t grab something you shouldn’t have. That means lots and lots of fresh veggies and fruits, nuts, and always some pre - cooked meats. You can make up a quick snack in a Ziploc bag and carry it with you to the gym or wherever you’re headed.

Don’t be defeated by moments of weakness! If you’re seriously dedicated to eating paleo, don’t beat yourself up for enjoying an occasional non-paleo meal or snack with family and friends. Just remember to control your portions and get back in the game the next day. The idea of the program is to improve your overall health and well-being. Structure your diet to meet your individual needs.

(This list is recommended for an individual of healthy weight and no metabolic syndromes (hypertension, Type II Diabetes, heart disease, blood lipid issues, etc.)

Lean Beef

Flank steak
Top sirloin steak
Lean hamburger
London broil
Chuck steak
Any other lean cut of beef


Grass-fed lamb chops


Pork loin
Pork chops
Any other lean cut of roast, etc.

Poultry (White meat only)
Chicken breast
Turkey breast
Game hen breast

Other Meats

Rabbit (Any cut)
Goat (Any cut)
Organ meats
Game meats


Any commercially available fish


Calamari (not fried!)

Nuts and Seeds

(High in fat and should be consumed in small quantities.)
Brazil nuts
Pistachios (unsalted)
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds
No peanuts (peanuts are legumes)


Preferably limit to 7 a week


Fresh fruits of any kind
Limit dried fruits (very sugary)


Everything except potatoes and corn
*Sweet potatoes
*Peas and beans (Peas and beans are legumes)

Vegetable and Cooking Oils

Olive oil
Avocado oil
Coconut oil
Flaxseed oil
Walnut oil
No Canola oil


All except blends made with salt & preservatives

Protein Powder

Powdered egg whites (not recommended due to their taste!)
*Whey protein powder is not paleo


Limit nuts to 4 oz. or less a day, and dried fruits to 2 oz. or less

Non - Paleo Foods That You May Decide to Include

Occasionally allowed on some paleo food lists:

*Raw honey
*Maple syrup
*Artificial sweeteners
Diet soda (try to drink water instead)
*Wine (2) 4 oz. glasses (better choice than beer)
*Beer (1)
*Hard liquor (1) 4 oz. serving

Foods to Avoid

All dairy products (no butter, milk, cheese, yogurt)
Cereal grains (barley, corn, oats, rice, rye, sorghum, wheat)
*Legumes (All beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, peas, miso, peanut butter, snow peas, soybeans)
Potatoes and potato products
Salt-containing foods (commercial salad dressings, *bacon, *deli meats, hotdogs, ham, ketchup, olives, pickled foods, pork rinds, salted nuts, salted spices, canned meat and fish, sausages, other processed meats)
All sugary drinks and fruit juices
Candy, sugars, *honey

*Foods allowed in some of the less strict paleo diets. You’ll have to decide for yourself which foods you will eat on a regular basis.

Some Variations of the Paleo Diet Practiced Today
 CrossFit Diet
  • High in lean meat and protein.
  • Unlimited vegetables
  • Easy on the nuts, seeds, and fruit\
  • Blend of Cordain and Barry Sears’ The Zone (40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat)

Robb Wolf - The Paleo Solution:
  • In favor of 100 % paleo
  • Recommends adding some Neolithic foods to the diet of those that tolerate it when they want to meet specific goals. For example, paleo+dairy if you want to increase muscle and/or weight gain.
  • Recommends adding tubers, like yams and sweet potatoes after hard training sessions, again if tolerated in your diet.

Loren Cordain - The Paleo Diet
  • Emphasizes lean grain-fed meat
  • Limits eggs
  • Allows artificial sweeteners

Whole9 Life Program
  • You change to a paleo diet for 30 days
  • Encourages plenty of good fats
  • Foods should have very few ingredients
  • Does not allow honey or stevia or any sweetener
  • No alcohol in any form
  • You are not allowed to step on the scale for the duration of your Whole30 program