Paleo is short for Paleolithic, but the name is actually less important than the power of the overall approach.

While the term “Paleo” has gained traction in the mainstream media and on bookstore shelves everywhere due to the improved health of those who follow the lifestyle, you could call it “Primal,” “Grain-Free,” “Real Food,” “Whole Food,” “Nutrient-Dense,” or “Ancestral.”

Whatever name you choose, the “Paleo” way of eating is simple: Mimic our ancestors, who suffered from fewer chronic diseases than modern populations. This doesn’t mean that you’ll recreate a caveman’s food landscape, of course. Our food supply and our environment are different from our ancestors, so we must adapt as new information comes to light – it’s about health rather than re-enacting the past.

Do Eat:
  • Grass-produced meats
  • Fish/seafood
  • Fresh fruits and veggies
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthful oils (Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
Don’t Eat:
  • Cereal grains
  • Legumes (including peanuts)
  • Dairy (or experiment with quality cream & butter)
  • Refined sugar
  • Potatoes
  • Processed foods
  • Refined vegetable oils
  • At least 8 hours a night

The Paleo Diet – Dr. Loren Cordain
The Primal Blueprint & Mark’s Daily Apple – Mark Sisson
The Paleo Solution – Robb Wolf
Primal Body, Primal Mind – Nora Gedgaudus
Hunter-gatherer Blog – John Durant
The Whole 9 – Melissa and Dallas Hartwig


  1. Amanda

    HI there

    Is coffee allowed in the paelo diet and if so I presume no milk would love to try going paelo but think coffee be my biggest downfall

    • Cave Girl

      Hi Amanda — haha, I wouldn’t have ever tried Paleo if it didn’t include coffee!

      Luckily I had mine black (but sometimes now I’ll have a drizzle of organic cream in it). Milk isn’t Paleo of course but some people can tolerate a bit of dairy (which would make it more of a primal diet) — you’ll just need to experiment a little and find what works for you.

      I was (and still are to some extent) a bit in your camp because I really, really enjoy coffee and it was one thing I wasn’t willing to even contemplate giving up. BUT I have learnt the hard way I have to cut out the coffee whenever I’m feeling particularly stressed, or if I have an over-full schedule or have something personally challenging on as it really ramps up any anxiety I’m feeling — even though at the time it’s all I want!

      So, officially yes, coffee is Paleo but maybe you could start being mindful of why it’s your biggest downfall … of course you may just really like the taste :)

      Keep me posted!

  2. Jan

    What about a glass or two of pinot or bubbles at the end of the week. Yes or no. Or soda water daily?

    • Cave Girl

      Hi Jan — officially no, but I always say make your own call on things — depending on what your goals are you might find you are ok with a glass of wine here and there — sometimes it’s worth it in my book! If you’re not feeling great the next day or you aren’t reaching the goals you’ve set, or if you are drinking to relax etc, it might be time to re-evaluate. I drink soda water daily :)

  3. Ruth

    Those two questions are exactly the ones I needed answers to, thanks for that.

    • Cave Girl

      Hi Ruth — yep, those questions come up a lot!

  4. Hi Rachael

    I love your site, the website layout, the recipes and your information. Keep up the good work!

    Paleo Choice – Online Supermarket

  5. Lynn

    Been on diet 2 weeks not losing. Have been following plan. Any pointers.

    • Cave Girl

      Hi Lynn – not quite sure which plan you are following … just general paleo way of eating or something more specific?

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