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The Slow Paleo Transition primal diet-min

The Slow Paleo Transition

A lot of people seem to prefer to jump straight into Paleo. To clean out the kitchen, buy new cookbooks and go cold turkey on the grains all on the same day.

For others however, jumping straight in is a scary prospect. After eating a certain way for an entire lifetime, a slow, gradual transition into Paleo is the favoured approach for many. So how do you make a slow transition?

There are lots of plans that I think lead very gently into a Paleo diet, making it much easier to become “fully Paleo” without any fuss or issue. A lot of people who used to rely on refined grains, find suddenly cutting off those carbs can result in “carb flu”. This can last for a couple of weeks, and is not an enjoyable experience – but well worth persevering with to come out the other side, feeling like a new person.

Research and Reading

I always think the best start to a new routine is research. Understand exactly what you’re doing and why. Read everything you can Paleo from blogs, ebooks and books such as Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint and Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution.

Replace Industrial Oils

A quick win is to replace industrial seed oils with coconut oil and olive oil. You won’t feel your missing out on anything by throwing away the canola, sunflower, soybean, vegetable oil and margarine – but your body will thank you for it!

Quit Sugar

Giving up sugar is a great next step. Until you do this, you probably won’t realise how much sugar you actually eat. Ebooks like the Balance Bites “21 Day Sugar Detox” and Sarah Wilsons “I Quit Sugar” make the process easier, by taking you through this step by step.

Weston A Price

Once seed oils and sugar are in hand, I think adopting a Weston A Price approach would be an easy transition. This will enable you to focus on the quality of the food you eat. You don’t have to give up grains – yet – but you will be preparing them the minimise the harmful effects. You’ll still be consuming dairy, but you’ll be careful to ensure it’s good quality, raw dairy, which will be a significant bonus to your health.

Primal BluePrint

Once you become used to Weston A Price, it’s time to let go of the grains and address the rest of your lifestyle. Mark Sisson’s Primal BluePrint plan is the perfect next step. You’ll get rid of the grains, but keep the dairy. You’ll see the importance of the rest of your life and start sprinting and lifting heavy things. You’ll see the importance of sunshine, reducing stress and sleeping well. You’ll understand that there will be occasions you don’t make good food choices, but with the 80:20 rule, that’s ok – you’re getting it right far more often than not.

Whole30

One the Primal diet is dialled in, it’s time to go fully Paleo. I think the Whole30 is the best way to start this – and having been Primal, all you’re going to give up is dairy; not a big ask at all. A dedicated 30 days will enable you to see the benefits of eating this way and start to develop habits and routines.

Fully Paleo

After the Whole30, you can assess how you feel and slowly start to reintroduce foods (if you feel you really missed dairy, for example).

With a slow transition, you should be able to go from a SAD to a Paleo diet, without any real hardship or difficulty.

What was (or will be, for those just learning about Paleo!) your approach? Are you black or white, or do you prefer a slow transition? Did I miss any steps in a gradual transition?

The Slow Paleo Transition primal diet-min

Whole 30 paleo network-min

Time for a New Whole 30

With the month of May rapidly approaching, I feel it’s the ideal time for another “Whole 30”.

What is a Whole 30?

The Whole30 is another word for “strict Paleo” for a month. This is a popular approach recommended across the Paleosphere as a way to initially get into Paleo, to identify any food intolerances you may have, or just as a means to refocus. A Whole30 means eating lots of good quality meat, eggs, vegetables a little fruit, nuts and seeds. Grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol have no place on the Whole30!

Why am I Doing Another Whole 30?

Whilst I have been following Paleo for a couple of years now, I’ve found I’ve recently got a bit lazy with my nutrition and have been having lots of the same meals over and over. Whilst there’s nothing specifically wrong with this, it’s not the most interesting approach, and probably isn’t meeting all of my micronutrient requirements. I’ve also been having dried fruit more often than I should (why did I have to discover medjool dates?)

I’ve been keen to try an auto-immune protocol for a while, so incorporating this into my Whole30 will work well. I often forget to my supplements, especially Vitamin D, so for this month I’m going to be religious about it – good timing on the Vitamin D as we’re seeing a lot less sun, as we approach winter here in Australia.

With an auto-immune protocol I will also be omitting Nightshades (tomatoes, capsicum and peppers – since I don’t have potatoes they won’t be a new omission for me) and nuts and seeds. Some people skip eggs too on an autoimmune protocol, but I think that’s a step too far for me. I don’t have any particular health issues I’m looking to clear up since Paleo took care of my Asthma, but I have suspicious I’d fare a lot better without Nightshades. All will become clear!

How to do a Whole30

The Whole30 is so easy to do, but it does require some organisation. If it’s your introduction into Paleo, it’s a good idea to clean out your cupboards and fridge before you start – get rid of anything that reminiscent from a SAD diet and make sure you have all of the herbs, spices and ingredients on hand for the coming month. There’s a fantastic step by step guide in the Whole30 ebook explaining how to go about this for success.

I use the Whole30 as a culinary challenge – I use it as an excuse to try lots of difference recipes. In fact, the last Whole30 was such an enjoyable experience last time as we ate a different meal every single day – something I’m very far from at the moment!

My Whole30 approach is to spend some time on Sundays working out what’s happening during the coming week. When I know what I’m doing each day, I flick through my Paleo Cookbooks and assign a meal to each day. I then go out and buy all of the ingredients I’ll need for that week (taking a lot of care to ensure everything will be as fresh as possible on the day I have planned to eat it!) and prep anything I can in advance. This time I’m going to quadruple everything I cook, to stock the freezer up with lots of different lunch options to take into work.

Strict Paleo Whole 30 Days

I’m going to track my Whole30 using Cronometer, so I can get a good assessment of where my macro and micro nutrient ratios sit over the month. This month should give me some good tools (and recipes!) to tweak my diet after the Whole30.

Fortunately my house mate is also very keen to do another Whole30 – sharing the shopping, cooking and culinary inspiration certainly makes it a lot easier!

Have you done a Whole30 yet? How did you find it? Care to join me for a Whole30 May?