If you want to adopt a paleo diet, preparation is everything. An eating lifestyle with the word "paleolithic" in the title may sound complicated, but it doesn't need to be. If you are prepared in three core areas--basics, execution, follow-through--you'll have everything you need to succeed.
The basic premise of the paleo diet is that it is "a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture" ("Palaeolithic diet ("stone age" diet)" qtd. in Wikipedia).
The basics are the hardest and the easiest part of a paleo diet, figuring out what's in and what's out. Meat is the easiest: meat is almost always allowed. Lean meat is preferred to fatty meat so if you're going to eat beef or pork, go for lean cuts. With meat, any game (non-domesticated) meat is fair game (no pun intended). This includes venison, alligator, bison, and emu. Whole Foods and other health and speciality stores stock more exotic cuts of meat. Of course, chicken breast works too.
With other foods, if you can gather it naturally, you can eat it; if it requires farming or processing, it's out. Fruits, most vegetables, nuts, berries... all good. Beans, legumes, tubers, potatoes... all out.
Now it's time to actually execute your new paleo meal plan. Browse this list of paleo foods and start to think of meals you already eat & recipes you already prepare that use these foods. If you have favorite meals with non-paleo ingredients, can you make substitutions? It may be helpful for you to invest in a paleo diet meal plan, or you can make your own (more on that in the follow-through section of this article).
Start with foods you like. Don't worry about making 3 giant feasts a day; instead, eat throughout the day from a variety of food groups.
If you want to succeed with your new meal plan, you'll need a plan for follow-through. It's easy to skate through the first few days; making your paleo diet sustainable will be crucial for long-term success (and all the health benefits that go along with it).
Taste & Variety
You can only eat apples, nuts, and unseasoned chicken breast for so long. At some point, you'll need to put together a plan that includes includes variety and foods you want to eat.
In Stock & Convienent
You can't eat food if you don't have it. Make sure that you always have paleo foods stocked and ready to go. It is important to have the "big" ingredients like meats, fruits, and veggies, but also don't forget to have garnishes, spices, and oils on hand, those will turn your food into a meal!
On The Go
Life happens outside of your home. You need to be prepared when you're on the go too. Have a go-to list of easy to prepare and easy to transport foods you can make and take with you when you're out running errands, on a road trip, at work, or otherwise away from home. Fast food options are paltry, most things are breaded, fried, or full of fat, all no-nos on a paleo diet meal plan.
When you are going out to dinner, plan ahead and research restaurant options and their menus. Plan out what you can eat at a restaurant while sticking to your paleo diet meal plan. If you are dining with friends, make sure they know in advance of your diet.
If you are adqueately for the basics, the execution, and the follow-through, your decision to adopt a paleo diet meal plan is sure to be a success!