Looking for a New Year's resolution?  Look no further.  Go Paleo for 30 days.  Make the commitment.  See how you change.  The fun starts on Monday, January 3rd.

Paleo Challenge: What to eat

  1. YES to meat, seafood, vegetables, some fruit, eggs, nuts, and seeds.  Beef, pork, chicken, lamb, seafood, tuna, salmon, shrimp.  Avocado, asparagus, arugula, spinach, broccoli, celery, sweet potatoes, yams, any type of leafy green, red cabbage, artichoke.  Berries, melon, pomegranate.  Chicken eggs, ostrich eggs. (no Do Do eggs).   Almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts.
  2. No to processed foods.  Pretty much anything in the middle of the grocery store.  Can't recognize it growing or running around in the wild?  Don't eat it.
  3. No to sugar.  I don't care whether it's super natural 100% organic fair trade sugar from the honey of communitarian bees, ITS STILL SUGAR.  No sweeteners, no agave nectar, honey or maple syrup.
  4. No grains. This includes bread, rice, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, corn and all of those gluten-free pseudo-grains like quinoa and sprouted grains.
  5. No to legumes. Peanuts, peanut-butter, beans, peas, lentils.
  6. No to dairy.  Milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
  7. Less alcohol.  No sugary mixers, no beer or alcohols containing gluten.  
  8. Fewer sweet fruits and starchy vegetables.  Bananas, eating a bunch of apples, dried fruit, or white potatoes.  (If you have serious inflammation issues like arthritis, you may want to consider avoiding all nightshades for 30 days.)
  9. Cook with real fats.  If you're cooking, then cook with lard or animal fat.  If you don't have that, then cook with coconut oil, olive oil, or butter.

Still got questions?  I'll be posting more on all the great things you can eat, how to shop, snacks, and more.  In a nutshell, eat eggs and bacon for breakfast.  A salad with meat on it for lunch.  And meat and veggies for dinner.  Easy!

Note: The initial rules I had up here I had grabbed from Joe Petrusky at CrossFit Love, who had grabbed them from Whole9Life.  I attributed them to Petrusky, not Whole9Life.  Rules are changed, now my own.  Apologies!

Paleo Challenge: How to move

Do some form of high-intensity training (HIT) two or three times a week.  At the simplest, that could mean intervals on a stationary bike for 15 minutes, or sprinting (don't if it's icy), or CrossFit, or anything that gets your heart rate up for 20 minutes or so.  That's about an hour or so of actual working out a week — very doable.

Paleo Challenge: How to sleep

Get more sleep.  Duh.

Okay, that's it for now.  A whole lot more to come.  But you have to decide to make the commitment — you gotta want it.

So…You in?

101 Responses to “Get ready for the 2011 Paleo Challenge”

  1. Donna Ballard says:

    Two years paleo come February-no more antacids, dropped 2 dress sizes, am overall vey healthy…what could be the downside to this!

  2. jackie says:

     does this diet have long term results? like if i go on it and then  start to introduce other foods back into my diet but eating them in moderation with exercise will i gain the lost weight back?

    • Anonymous says:

       Anytime you make a dietary change and loose weight if you don’t make your changes a lifestyle you will gain weight back.   That is with any diet! Why do you think there are so many diets out there. This way of eating is more about health and healing your body then losing weight. You will lose weight initially but when your body gets to its healthy weight you will taper off. But it will keep you thin

  3. Lindsey says:

    Excited to start this diet. But I do have some questions . I’m not a beef or pork eater. So is it ok to do turkey bacon? As of now I have eaten a apple and peanut butter everyday. I am now switching to almond butter. But my question is a apple a day ok with some almond butter?
    I starting this diet on a vacation which is dumb. Continental breakfast are a bust. So I had an apple and almond butter because that’s what I had.
    What do you think about the so called paleo baked goods? If I make them with no sugar is it still paleo ?
    I’m doing this diet for health and strength not to lose weight. I’m actually just a few pounds under weight. I have severe adrenal fatigue and I have been on a great supplement protocol and I already eat no sugars or gluten. But I have seen no change in my strength or well being. I feel horrible all the time and I have a very energetic 16 month old boy. I hope and pray that I see results on this diet. Because I would live to be a good mom and wife and have other children.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Are macadamias OK? What about hazelnuts and cashews?
    Are fruits like pineapple and mango OK?


  5. Morgan says:

    21 Days into the Challenge.  Shed 22 pounds of fat so far and gained some lean muscle!  PACE Program by Dr. Al Sears dovetails nicely.  Missing my Red Bull Sugar Free and having some terrible chocolate cravings, otherwise this rocks!

  6. Still skeptical but participating! says:

     What’s wrong with bananas? Don’t monkeys eat bananas? 

    • suechef says:

      "real" bananas have almost no flesh. and great big seeds. we bought a little rundown shack in Costa Rica and got a local to find us some wild banana plants (very difficult to do). fascinating. They are tiny, purple, and basically big black seeds held together by a little (very astringent) flesh.

      The Cavendish is genetically doomed – in the not to far distant future it will get the same sort of blight the bananas of the Phillipines got, and our supply will vanish – they are working like mad to come up with a variety that will meet the requirements for travel, etc.

      I love them but rarely buy them because: the village in CR where we have our casa is downstream from some plantations. They try to time the spraying right, but when they don’t and it rains right after, all the poison washes into the river, kills the fish, the fish pop up to the surface, and then all the birds eat the fish. With poor results.

    • canoeist says:

      I’m not sure but probably because the well known cavendish is a cultivar that has been modified from the fruit that existed many years ago.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why are legumes not allowed? Sugar snap peas or snow peas are great finger food  and I often eat them right off the plant. 

  8. Joe Wrigley says:

    I’d already joined http://www.glutenfreejan.com/ as part of my "back on the wagon" paleo/primal deal, and decided to make it more open, so I’m tweeting everything I eat (but not measuring anything or counting calories or such nonsense)

    Support and suchlike is appreciated:



  9. Lori says:

    For coffee drinkers who don’t like black coffee, you might like a tea called Morning Thunder made by Celestial Seasonings. (I’m not affiliated with the company, I just like their tea.) It’s made of roasted mate (an herb) and black tea. The flavor is somewhere between black tea and coffee, and (to me) tastes good without adding anything.

    • Dave Asprey says:

      Coffee is the PERFECT carrier for healthy fats. Here’s what I do most mornings:



      You can vary that approach with ghee and coconut oil, although they are harder to emulsify. I have a video going up soon showing how to do it.


      Grassfed butter blends best, but if you are a purist, you can mix coconut or ghee with a teaspoon of cashew butter and it gets 1" of foam on top like a latte.

      Most mornings, my breakfast is 100% fat + coffee, and that’s it. I’m good until 2pm if I need to be!



  10. Anonymous says:

    what about fiber?

  11. Cameron says:

    Me and my wife might start this challenge, but I am reading the Paleo Solution first. It will definitely be hard for us, we love us some bread, but my family has a history of heart disease and I would like to get out from under that sooner rather than later. My wife has agreed to eat whatever I buy so she is in as well. I am pretty excited about it, but it is a little daunting getting started.

    • canoeist says:

      I can do without bread for everything but sopping up my raw egg yolk. I love that. What else can I do, lick it off the plate?

    • aloha! I sure hhope you keep coming to John’s site for the inspiration to keep making changes. Keep reading and experimenting…Sometimes we just have to BE around the change and FEEL the possibilities to stay the course…after enough time and you start experiencing the new found vibrancy you will have no trouble following your path to health. :)

      • Cameron says:

        I am three days in so far.  It turns out my brother-in-law has been doing a diet very similar to this one.  He gave me a book called Maximize Life, and from flipping through it the language and ideas seem very similar to the Paleo Solution.  I am liking the diet so far, the stuff about Gluten really got to me because I remember my Doctor telling me about Gluten last year some time and telling me to eat less wheat, but I didn’t really do it then.

  12. joseph says:

    Here is a great article I found on food & wine.com about how Lard is making a comeback as a healthy alternative!


  13. Joseph says:

    Ok. Day 1.

    I had some bacon and eggs from our chickens we have outside. Cooked the eggs in the same pan with the fat from the bacon.

    Coffee- no sugar- black

    snack- a handful of organic almonds


    A salad made with spinach leaves with a few slices of avocado, red onion, tomato, pork sausage. Water to drink

    Afternoon snack – 1 pear, small handful of almonds and a small hand of grapes.

    Dinner- steamed Atlantic salmon cooked in olive oil, squeezed lemon on top, salt n pepper, onion and tabasco sauce, side of fresh vegetables (carrots and broccoli).

    Sound good enough John? For a brief second in the grocery store my mind wandered and thought how good a Coke would taste but I pushed it away quickly. lol

    • Jenn Hackworth says:


           Please come cook for me.


      Great job!!!!!!

      • Joseph says:

        LOL You’re funny Jenn . Thanks! I’ll take that as a compliment. I think it would be good for us to post recipes  we are using on here so people will always have an option. I think I will post another Salmon dish that is easy to cook tomorrow. Eating junk is such an easier option right? Plus it is less brain work because one does not have to feel the pressure of being so "creative". However,  if we have healthier alternatives available to us and we plan and organize our meals we can replace our bad habits and  foods that are killing us as a society with healthier and great tasting options.

        That is my take on it anyway! ;)

  14. Nessie says:

    I’m doing the challenge! A Biology teacher who’s finally going to start practicing what I preach.  Yay! I’ve finished day 1 and I feel great already, but I realized I need to find some parks where I can do some outdoor fitness and play.

  15. gilliebean says:

     I’m in!!  And I’m bringing my hubby to the intro sesson!  Woot!  We’re also thinking about joining a Crossfit gym near our new place.  Let’s do this!

  16. Chase says:

    What fruit CAN be eated?  Assume the fruits you mentioned (bananas, a bunch of apples) should NOT be eaten?

    Can you suggest a specific meal plan for a generic day for someone willing to simply eat the same set of meals day after day after day for a month?


    • Canoeist says:

      Berries, persimmons, pawpaws, cherries,  plums. melons. It’s hard here because most fruits available at the grocer are recent agricultural developments. And you won’t likely find persimmons and pawpaws at the grocer. I have some in my yard. Which is the point. Fruits are very seasonal. Persimmons are late fall, berries come at various times of the summer, oranges and grapefruits are winter crops. Therefore, paleo man wouldn’t have eaten the same fruits throughout the year nor any fruits all year unless he was in the tropics. Living in far north or south lattitudes, he would get very little fruit. He was simply an opportunist as a hunter/gatherer. He didn’t get shipments from South America. Likewise, not being a farmer, he would only have eaten cereal grains late fall/early winter.

      Living in the tropics gives one a tremendous opportunity to consume a variety of fruits as there are hundreds of indigenous genetically unadulterated fruits that you would never find here and some are available year round – just none available more than briefly.

      Personally, I wouldn’t recommend your intention to "  simply eat the same set of meals day after day after day for a month".   

      Variety is the spice of life. No set menu can provide optimal nutrition. Try to think what a hunter/gatherer would encounter day after day. One day he would be able to catch a jungle fowl, the next he might find snails or crayfish, the next he may be lucky enough to nab a monkey or deer in which case he’d eat that for days on end. The same with vegetation. He certainly wouldn’t find mushrooms everyday, but would eat them when he found them. Good luck.

  17. Carol says:

    After years of health issues, and my Doctor giving up on trying to figure out the problem, I visited an allergist. He discovered I was allergic to ALL grains, blue cheese mold, and peas. No one would believe the difference in my health since the elimination of grains. On my own, I have stopped eating processed foods. However, I still put Stevia and creamer in my coffee, so this will be a huge challenge. I don’t know if I’ll even like coffee without the extras! Fruit will be a challenge too as it is a big part of my diet. I wish everyone would read your book. It just makes SENSE! We have revolutionized ourselves into disease and sickness. When people at work see my lunch, which is always a spinach salad with no dressing, I actually get made fun of!  Of course I am so sad for these people. They are all over-weight with a multitude of health issues. So, a new journey begins…..wish me luck!

  18. Vernon says:



    I’m on board!  

    I’ve been doing crossfit for 9 months, and although my fitness is way up, I’ve been using it as an excuse to eat even worse than before.  It’s time to actually eat like a human being.  I worried it’ll be rough… 

  19. Ian says:

    I’m excited to get started! One question I have is about condiments. I’m guessing mustard is ok, but what about ketchup, A1 steak sauce, and are there salad dressings that are ok? Also, all olives are good?


  20. Ian says:

    I’m excited to get started! One question I have is about condiments. I’m guessing mustard is ok, but what about ketchup, A1 steak sauce, and are there salad dressings that are ok? Also, all olives are good?


    • Joseph says:

      Check the labels. Again, most ketchups have sugar or even worse, the king of kings- hydrogenated corn syrup.

      Like John said in one his latter posts. It really is up to you and how commited you want to be and want kind of results you want to achieve. He said : Don’t eat processed foods and eat wild.

      The rest is up to you. I myself am going to stick within the parameters of what John has relayed as to what is truly acceptable in regard to going Paleo for 30 days and then see what I look like after that. I find that when my mind trys to make convenient exceptions (like ketchup) for instance then it is easier to make exceptions or cut corners in other areas. That is just me though. I am with integrity going to put my best effort forth in sticking to true Paleo as much as I can and (afford to) and then go from there.

      Best of luck! 

    • Paleolady says:

      You have to be careful with condiments, as a lot of them have sugar and processed junk in them.  If you want to make your own paleo friendly condiments, check out Mark Sisson’s post on it here:  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/alternative-healthy-condiment-recipes/


      Also the best that I’ve found for salad dressings is just to sprinkle olive oil & vinegar on the salad.  I haven’t found any commerical salad dressing yet that doesn’t have something bad for you in it.


      Hope that helps!

  21. Jenn Hackworth says:

    I’m in, in Jonesboro, Arkansas!!!!

    This stuff just makes sense.

  22. Morgan says:

    Count me in for 30 days!

  23. RobJo says:

    I convinced the wife, i think we’re doing it, this is going to be dificult because i really enjoy bred. 

    • John says:

      Cool, awesome, welcome. Always easier when doing it with someone else. Also, this doesn’t mean you never can eat bread for the rest of your life…just this 30 day period. But you’ll find that your craving for bread will start to go away.

  24. Dave Asprey says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m in (which for me means skipping 1-2 tsp of xylitol per day and maybe hitting the treadmill one more time for 20 minutes).

    But a word of warning for those of us who are hitting this hard for the first time and have lots of fat to lose, based on personal experience.

    I’m somewhat of an expert in this area:

    I lost 100lbs 15 years ago and have kept it off ever since (I’m 6’4" and 200lbs now, with a 6 pack that doesn’t require any exercise to maintain.) I also run an 18 year old anti-aging and health education nonprofit http://www.smartlifeforum.org  that brings world-class people (Gary Taubes recently!) to present to the public in California. I’m about to publish a book about nutrition for having a smarter baby (http://www.betterbabybook.com). Consider me an expert on human health as it relates to performance, based on personal experimentation, along the lines of Tim Ferriss.

    It’s possible to rapidly lose fat – I lost my first 50 lbs in 3 months – but most fat-asses like I was are storing fat for a variety of reasons, including body toxins that your body stores in your fat rather than letting it get into your brain and liver. We’re talking mercury and mycotoxins (mold-derived like aflatoxin) and some petrochemicals.  If you melt the fat – and you will on this program – you need to take steps to bind the toxins you will flood your body with, or the mercury will take up residence in your nervous system, and you can get sicker. I did.

    So add chlorella, higher dose vitamin C, and toxin-binders like activated charcoal to your diet. B-12, NAC, or my favorite, which is liposomal glutathione. (about to carry that on betterbabybook.com but you can get it at VRP.com) Think DMSA or even DMPS if required.

    You will save yourself some serious pain – usually upper back pain, hand numbness, and skin problems, as your body tries to detox.

    The Paleo diet is the right way to go to live a long time and to be powerful now, without a lot of work, without "dieting" and without marathon workouts. It’s efficient and keeps you stable, which makes you better at work and home.

    Thanks for the motivation, John…

    I blog at http://www.bulletproofexecutive.com and tweet at @bulletproofexecutive


  25. Melanie says:

    I was on a Paleo diet about 10 years ago after years of fighting celiac.  Stayed on it for 2 years, looked and felt great, then I met my Italian pasta eating husband and here I am looking for inspiration to try again!  This is just what I needed, may take some babystepping, but let’s see where it gets me!


    Thanks, Melanie

  26. Kim says:

    I just found your site this evening.  Someone linked an article from here.  I have a few questions.  One is why no grains?  As people wandered, they ate grains.  They ate them raw, but they ate them.  Also, why no honey?  Honey is not just a sweetener, but also has great medicinal uses.  (I’ve used raw honey on open wounds.  It works.  I’ve also used it for coughs and sore throats.  Again, it works.)  Legumes – Soy, I understand.  But the other legumes?  Again, why not?  There isn’t a whole bunch of processing going on.  You pick it and cook it or eat it raw.  Raw peanuts makes a wonderful snack.  Legumes has an excellent source of fiber and protein.  Dairy – Store bought dairy I understand.  But the milk I get from my goats and drink raw?  I also make my own cheese, butter, yogurt, ice-cream, kefir, and use the whey in place of water when baking bread.


    Some of the stuff you are saying makes sense.  The other stuff does not make sense to me and I would like to understand your reasoning in this.


    Incidentally, someone mentioned diabetes.  My husband is diabetic.  He went from pills to insulin, back to pills, and now he is diet controlled.  He also used to be on two different bp meds, a medication for high cholesterol, and (because of these messing up his liver) a medication for his liver.  He’s off of all of that.  So diabetes does not automatically mean medications for the rest of your life.  And, my husband is 3rd generation diabetic.  His father lost his foot, then his leg, and eventually his life.  Same with his grandfather.  So genetic predisposition can be over come as well.

    • Canoeist says:

      I agree with some of what you say, in particular honey.  If he stumbled on a hive, I believe he would have eaten honey.  On the other hand – dairy. This comes from someone that loves cream for coffee and yogurt.  Paleo man didn’t raise anything that produced milk nor was he likely to be able to hold something still long enough to milk it. If he could he would just have killed it and ate it.  I’m not giving medical advice but if your husband is diet controlled on the diabetes he’s close. More meat, fish, fowl in the diet -in effect more protein- has the effect of helping to regulate blood sugar.

    • Anonymous says:

      Buy The Paleo Diet (Revised Edition) by Loren Cordain.

    • John says:

      Kim, you ask a lot of good questions. The short answer is that humans are best adapted to the types of foods we’ve eaten for the longest period of time. So most of the foods you asked about (dairy, grains, legumes) are the product of the Agricultural Revolution — very recent in human history.

      I just did a post outlining the simple way I think about health: http://bit.ly/hASimi

      To go any deeper into those specific foods, either buy one of those books on the list, or search around — and I’ll be addressing many of the points over the coming month!

      As for genes and diabetes, a few generations ago NO ONE had diabetes. Genetics haven’t changed over that time period, so it’s the environment (i.e., our eating habits) that have. No one is destined to have diabetes. Glad to hear that your husband has addressed it.

  27. monica says:

    I love the concept of the Paleo diet. As an Anthropology student I have developed an interest in traditional diets and have done quite a bit of research about them. My question is: does the Paleo diet make any disclaimers or indicate that the diet could be harmful for some ethnic groups? For example, aboriginal Hawaiians that ate their traditional diet of very little meat and mainly all vegetables were relieved of symptoms of metabolic syndrome. And also, many African-Americans are prone to heart attacks and kidney disorders because of their West African ancestors’ little consumption of meat and mainly all vegetables, as  their kidneys are extremely efficient at retaining salt. I also believe it would be helpful to indicate that there is a difference between wild game and farmed meat. Wild game is very low in saturated fat, and most of their fat is mono/polyunsaturated, while farmed meat is high in saturated fat. I still believe the Paleo diet is great for a lot of people, but it might be helpful to indicate that it is possibly not universal.

    • bryan says:

      Monica, I imagine you must be a Huge fan of Weston A. Price and his life work.

      • Monica says:

        Hi Bryan,

        I haven’t read anything by Price. I don’t want to embarrass myself if his work is *the* authority on the subject, but do you recommend it?

    • monica says:

      Sorry, I suppose I should define the difference between my use of the words "Paleo" diet and traditional diet. When referring to the Paleo diet I mean the diet plan you have suggested, and when I say traditional I mean the ancestral diet of particular groups, which may or may not date back to the Paleolithic.

      PS: I’m not trying to criticize what you’re doing here, I support it, just inquiring about certain considerations.

      • John says:

        Good points, Monica. You’re right that there are some regional / ethnic variations in diet. For example, an indigenous person should be more wary of drinking alcohol than someone of European descent.

        And, of course, there is no single hunter-gatherer diet. There are hunter-gatherer dietS. But we gotta start somewhere…and then people can tinker and adjust as they see results and see how they look, feel, and perform (to paraphrase Robb Wolf).

  28. Jami says:

    As someone that has *tried* cutting out white flour and sugar to rid myself of acne, I finally realized that my problem was sugar, flour AND dairy. :-( in order to be optimally healthy I haveto eat a paleo diet all the time.
    I want to be part of a 30 day challenge, then a 180 day challenge, and then a 1-year challenge.

    Any chance you will have a forum for support at some point?

    • Tyler Hurst says:

       I’d like to do something similar because of poor reactions my sinuses have to the same foods, but I’ll be starting in mid-January after my half marathon.


      Totally down to do a 180 and 1-year thing soon.

      • John says:

        @Jami. I’m on a 4+ year paleo challenge! As for a forum, thanks for the suggestion. The best I can offer right now is the comments.

        @Tyler. Cool, join in mid-January or whenever. Good luck with the half marathon. Barefoot? Minimalist?

        • Tyler Hurst says:

          I’m a full-time Vibram guy and this will be my third half-marathon in Vibram Sprints. Don’t think I’ll ever go full barefoot, though I have run four miles barefoot. I like having a little bit on my feet.

          @Jami let’s stay in touch. I’m tdhurst everywhere.

  29. marc says:

    what about green beans? they’re mostly pod and not bean… can i still eat them?

    • John says:

      Beans are out! Tend to be pro-inflammatory and have various anti-nutrients in them.

      Down the road if you want to tinker, be my guest…but if you’re going to give it a shot, go whole hog.

  30. Predator says:

     I am hoping to eat what I kill, although I have not had that much luck the past few days :(

  31. Anonymous says:

    Is there any kind of chips or a chip substitute? I’m a chip fiend and I love to dip them in hummus or guacamole. Are those okay? What about avacados in general? I have a dehydrator that i’ve used before to make zucchini chips.

    • Lori says:

       So glad you asked! I make kelp chips by cutting them into pieces with kitchen scissors and frying them. I normally use ghee, but I’ve also used bacon grease to good effect. The grease has to be slightly smoking. Leave the kelp in the pan until it’s crispy, then turn it. Use an oven mitt for safety’s sake. Since they aren’t made with hydrongenated oil, leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.

      I also discovered last night that soaked and roasted walnuts taste like popcorn–at least, that’s my opinion. Since they’re oily on their own, there’s no need for butter. I soak the walnuts overnight in vinegar and kosher salt, then rinse and roast them at 350 for half an hour. If vinegar is out, I suppose you could try lemon juice or just use salt.

    • John says:

      Yeah, using a dehydrator to make zucchini chips sounds like a great idea. Many paleo folks do eat some roots and tubers (often excluding white potatoes), so those would be options for making your own chips.

      Avocaods are 100% awesome. Most paleo folks avoid hummus since it’s made out of chick peas, a legume. You’ll find variations, but that’s the “orthodox” position.

  32. Erin says:

     I’m SO in! I’ll be blogging it all month, too:)



  33. Anonymous says:

    I’m in John!

    Thanks… I am excited for the camaraderie as I go for my anti-inflammatory way (recently developed an asthma reaction). I have realized my old life included so much wild game, fish ,the garden and my cooking for a family that it was really quite natural for me to eat towards paleo (also my nature to eat like that).

    Then came relocation, single life, no wild man bringing home the bacon and I have developed inflammatory dis-eases. As a nutritionist and a wise one at that I have still fallen prey to eating with and what those around me are eating and quite frankly even though it is not particularly "bad" it is certainly not what my body is begging me for!

    Back to nature for me and maybe I’ll find a rockin cave man to enjoy the journey with just for fun.

    To do:

    Call the local CSA Farmers and set up a veggie box for weekly pick up

    Find local hunters/fishermen willing to sell meat/fish…we have boar, deer (and the best grass fed beef in the world here but I’ll like some wild game if possible)…any one on Maui hunting?

    This all makes my heart sing and is right in line with my year of using joy as my main spice. I know if the body responds with a feeling of refreshment there is no way we would want to go back, this challenge makes it easier to see the offending foods for me.

    Mahalo nui loa!


  34. Jason Hogan says:

    This is just the reset that my body needs! 

  35. Jeanne says:

    Well I have to do something… This eating style seems to make sense to me but I have a TON of changes to make… Wish me luck!


  36. Joseph says:

    I’m in. I think I am in the worst shape I have been in … ever. After losing my job last December, moving to Australia , getting married, and acclimated, I can say I have honestly been inactive for 12mths and have been pretty much eating and drinking whatever I wanted. Been doing a lot of reading on Paleo eating and all the science seems legit! It will be hard for me so I hope we have some kind of community on here? I have come to realize I am a sugar addict and I love my bread in the morning. Not good. Not sure how I am going to make it with no sugar or cream in my coffee either but I want to do this, and feel back to being me- fit and healthy! 


    • John says:

      Joseph — sounds like you’ve been building motivation toward this goal, and doing your background reading, so you’re going to do great. 30 days, but take it one day at a time. The first week is going to be the hardest…you’ll be craving that sugar!!

      Make sure you get plenty of protein and fat. It will curb your hunger.

      • Joseph says:

        I have John, and thanks. I am also going to join one of the MANY Crossfit affliates I have seen in the area after this 30days. Prior to that, and in conjunction with the Paleo challenge, I am going to get in at least 1 hr 4 days a week of HIT.  One question- fasting. When, or how often should we fast during the 30 days? Typically most recommendations I have seen about fasting is you go for as long or short as you want to. It seems to be very subjective. I have fasted in the past, but found it very difficult. Just wondering if there was any specific days or time frames you would recommend over the 30 day trial.

        Thanks again. I think it is really commendable of you that you take the time out of your busy schedule and reply to a majority of the posts offering words of advice and encouragement.

  37. Benny says:

    Im totally in.  I have been waiting a while for this site to go live and I really like what I am reading.  I am a type two diabetic and lost over 100 pounds because this disease was making me sick for such a long time.  I tried eating just meat and vegetables like my doctor told me and I thought he was a nut but it actually worked and kept my sugar levels normal along with less insulin injections than what I was previously taking but the diabetic association told me to stop and said to eat more carbs so now my sugar levels are out of whack again even when I take my injections.  So maybe this challenge will bring me back to normal again.  I am really hoping because the depression from all of this is too great for me to handle anymore.  Giving this a go as a last attempt to get something done about my depression and sugar levels.  I also was told that if I didnt take in carbs that it was actually doing more damage to me, what do you think about all that?



    • John says:

      Welcome aboard, Benny. The American Diabetic Association has criminally bad dietary recommendations. If you want to get your insulin back to normal, you need to get off the carb train.

      If you’ve struggled with this for awhile, don’t expect it to be easy. It’s gonna be hard! But do it one day at a time. You’ve got to want to make the change…stick it through the first week or so, and you’ll really start to feel results. Don’t worry about counting calories or eating too much fat. Go meat and vegetables, seafood, eggs. Go light on the fruit, it’s sugar too (though fructose).

      One of the big improvements for me was improved outlook. Felt more on an even keel, didn’t dip into negative thoughts, more confident, more positive. I expect you’ll see an improvement there too.

  38. JJ says:

    Is salt okay?

    • John says:

      You get some salt from eating things like seafood. By not eating processed foods, you’ll cut an enormous amount of salt out of your diet. I add a little here and there if I’m making something special (chicken stock) or seasoning a cut of meat. But I generally don’t add much at all.

  39. Anonymous says:

     "no cream in your coffee"??? Now, what caveman ever drank coffee?? Or is it too much to ask ‘modern man’ to give such a thing up? (I don’t drink coffee, but rarely).. and tea? 

    Also, olive oil is processed… squeeze some lemon juice on that salad .. works just fine. Or add olives themselves. the salt and flavor and natural oils works well too. 

    I’m celiac also, and eat this way fairly normally.. make cookies once a year, don’t buy any of the crap on the shelves. make bread once a month (but my mate eats it).. I will have a problem with milk. It’s the only thing that pretty much keeps me going well. ANd yes, I could eat a lot more veggies! I’ll be trying this, again; one month can be done!

    • european says:

      I wouldn´t say that Extra Virgin Olive oil is a processed food. Its just olives that are cold pressed mechanically. Nothing else.

    • John says:

      You’re right! Ultimately, I don’t try to eat exactly what a hunter-gatherer ate…that’s impossible. A little bit of coffee on some mornings is a compromise I make with civilization.

      One month can absolutely be done.

  40. Keet says:

    I’m in. But not just one month. I am going for one year. I eliminated sugar & white flour from my diet last year which evolved (pardon the pun) into a mostly Paleo diet. I stuck w/it for 9 months then gave myself "a break" which resulted in undoing in the past 3 months what it took me 9 to accomplish. I gained back all my weight & am back into depression. Sugar sucks. I am a believer. I’m back…let’s GO!

    • John says:

      Yes, welcome back! It’s a lifestyle change, baby. Try to find some people who live in your area who share your views on health — that helps a lot.

  41. Johno says:

    I’m in too! Got some clients joining with me as well, think I am going to set up a blog and posting meal pictures, recipes, workouts as I go, and any changes in biometric data (weight, body fat, bp). any suggestions on a good free blog site? (im pretty weak technologically ha)

    I’ll be following the above guidelines except for worrying about what fruits I eat. I wont be overdoing fruit, but not going to worry about it either. Hardest part for me will be beans, love black beans and lentils!

    When you say cut back on alcohol vs no alcohol, what drinks would you go towards? gluten free beer? norcal margaritas? straight clean liquor? I would almost prefer zero alcohol for me, and allow the occassional beans or cheese =)

    I’ll think about it over the next two days. Starting January 2nd myself, there’s no way I can start tomorrow. On Wisconsin!

  42. Baglady says:

    I am in, but I will be needing lots of support. I already eat this way cause I havve celiac but I have a few things that have been difficult to give up. My number one issue will be with alcohol and it is what has kept me from losing the last of my fat!! Second will be salad dressings, mayonaise and dairy. I am counting on all of ya’ll to help me!

    • Lori says:

       No need to give up mayonnaise. You can make your own with an egg, lemon juice, spices and olive oil in the blender. Bon appetit!

      • Mary C says:

        No need to give up salad dressing either.  Very simple to make yourself using high quality, beneficial oils like olive oil, walnut oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil . . . so many to try, so little time!  Garlic, fresh herbs, a pinch of natural salt (a good source of minerals), a grind or two or pepper and you’re good to go.  Maybe a dab of honey or stevia if your salad calls for a sweet note.  Once you get the hang of it you won’t want bottled dressings ever again.

        • Baglady says:

          Oh Mary & Lori, that is awesome. I didn’t think about all those different oils. This will help me think about what I can have and not what I can’t.  I will try to make my own mayo, there is a lot to learn here for me, Thanks ladies!

          • Lori says:

             Having made several batches of mayonnaise, here’s a suggestion: use extra light olive oil. EVOO is too strong. If a recipe calls for vinegar, you can use lemon juice instead. To me, it tastes better anyway. It might take some practice to get it just right.

          • John says:

            @Mary and Lori. Great suggestions, thanks for chiming in.

            @Baglady. We’ll give you support! Use the comments here, and I’ll be linking to other people participating in the challenge. We’re all in this together

  43. Brad says:

    Question: Why wouldn’t peanuts be okay, but almonds would be? They seem a virtually identital breakdown of fat, protein, carbs, and sugar. Plus, peanut butter has only a bit more sugar per serving than peanuts do (1g more if I recall correctly).

    • mtflight says:

      From the paleo standpoint, peanuts are legumes (not nuts), and they are not edible off the tree as they require processing. Similar concept to avoidance of dairy, because it is not paleo.  From a nutrient standpoint it may look good on paper, but the argument is that it’s a recent addition to the human diet (many people feel better when they eliminate casein).  Peanuts are high in omega-6 unsaturated fatty acids (other nuts are too) which could be concerning at higher intakes or in the form of peanut oil (which is still better than corn or cottonseed or soybean).

    • Nobie says:

       In this case it is not the macronutrient rations, but the micronutrients that are the concern. Peanuts contain proteins called lectins. Lectins are not very kind to the gut and have been linked to autoimmune diseases.  

  44. Laurie D. says:

     I’m in – it’s going to take that long to undo the holiday damage :)  I’m going to link to this page on your site on my blog so any friends that want to join in can do so.

    • Bill B says:

       OK – I’m going to give it a go.  Dairy and some starch are going to be the hardest for me.  I’ll be traveling a lot, which will also provide some challenges.  Good thing it starts Monday.  I had milk with my eggs for breakfast.

      • RH IN SC says:

        I am in for sure.  I have never felt LESS healthy than the past few months and 2011 is  the time for change.  I really need to lose 40 pounds or so from the 220 I’m at now on 5’11.   I have been addicted to sugar in the form of coca-cola, donuts and other processed crap for too long or more honestly forever. The sad thing is I’ve always been active with lifting, running and tennis and this body and drained feeling is what I have to show for it all.  I have been trying to eat more paleo in 2010 but keep falling off the wagon and now that changes!  I am starting today and look forward to feeling and looking better come 1/31/11 and even more 12/31/11.   

        • John says:

          @Laurie D. Thanks for the link (and your friends will thank you too). And you can absolutely undo your holiday damage in less than 30 days.

          @Bill. Yes, travel can be challenging. I often use it as an opportunity to fast for a little bit. (Plus, I hate airport prices.) Try hard-boiled eggs (sometimes sold at coffee shops), jerky, and nuts.

          @RH IN SC. Welcome aboard. Sounds like you’re ready to make a change. And the fact that you already lead an active lifestyle is a great motivation. However, expect your performance to decline for a couple weeks as you acclimate to the new diet. Your body is switching from burning sugar to burning fat for fuel.

          Welcome everyone!

  45. Nobie says:

    I’m in! 

  46. matt weaver says:

    I’m "in" !!!!

  47. i already eat super close to this but i’m gonna stop the banana/apple fest and dried fruit marathons i’ve been having and reduce my stevia consumption. i’d say i use 1 tsp every day. not terrible but i can do better! i try to eat seasonally so does this mean no fruit? or are frozen berries/persimmons/oranges in the challenge?

    • John says:

      Awesome. Yeah, fruit can be an unexpected challenge. We’ve been told so often that it’s good for us, but at the same time, we’ve bred fruit to be super-sweet and available year round.

      I don’t eat a whole lot of fruit in winter. I have a little bit of citrus now and again, but berries are just too expensive.

      You can try to eat seasonally, but that can be tough depending on where you live and access to farmers markets. The most I eat seasonally is in regards to fruit consumption (less in winter).

      • Anonymous says:

        What are the ‘best’ fruits?  BTW, I’ve been eating paleo since labor day and the changes to my body and my mood have been fabulous!

Leave a Reply