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What the Heck Do You Eat on the Paleo Diet? A Shopping List


Eating “Paleo,” as those who follow the paleo diet call it, is pretty much an exercise in being a cavewoman. Well, minus the living in a cave and hunting down your own food (that’s what Trader Joe’s is for!). Instead, you eat like our ancestors did—clean, unprocessed foods that you find in the great outdoors. While anything with the word “diet” in it, makes us twitch our fit bottoms in disgruntlement, going paleo is really more of a lifestyle than a fad diet.

While I live by the eating motto “all good things in moderation,” as my healthy eating and fitness have been evolving (evolving, get it? Ha!), I will say that I’ve gone towards more of a Paleo way of eating of late. I rarely have dairy, I’m getting the majority of my carbs from fruits and starchier veggies, and I am eating free-range and natural meat when I can. Again, I’m not perfect, and I still get my wine and protein bars in regularly, but I see how this diet can make sense.

If you’d like to incorporate more paleo diet foods in your meals, read on for 10 items to throw in your grocery shopping cart!

10 Healthy Items on the Paleo Diet Shopping List

1. Nuts. Any and all varieties!

2. Eggs. Scrambled, poached, over easy…the eggtastic fun doesn’t stop!

3. Fresh herbs and spices. Eating paleo is a foodie’s dream with fresh herbs and spices to season things up.

4. Wild fish. With so many fishy varieties — each with different health benefits — it’s hard to get bored with this protein.

5. Fruit. From berries to melons to apples and pears, it’s delish!

6. Mushrooms. High in selenium, ‘shrooms of all varieties fill your belly with nutrition!

7. Green leafy veggies. Paleos stock up on kale, spinach, argula and other dark leafy greens to help get calcium and iron.

8. Root veggies. Because grains aren’t a part of the Paleo Diet, most carbs come from root vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, artichokes and beets.

9. Fats. Yummy, yummy fats! On the Paleo Diet you get plenty of avocado, nut oils and coconut to keep you satiated.

10. Meat. I’m a big fan of bison, but really any animal protein will work. Try to get it grass-fed and without the hormones if you can.

What do you think about the Paleo Diet? Love or hate any components of it? It’s hard to disagree with most of the foods on this shopping list. Jenn 

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Jamie says:

    My hub and I are pretty much Paleo, of late – and it’s not bad! Thankfully, wine and tequila make the ‘ok’ list, so that’s what gets me through – wine and dark chocolate with almond butter! We’re not strict or anything, but it makes a noticeable difference when training… and in the looks department, it pays off to be strict with it! I do miss Greek yogurt though, so it’s an occasional ‘splurge’!

  2. laluna says:

    Been eating this way as much as I can for about a year or so now, and it really makes a difference, especially with regards to weight loss. While we all know exercise is great, eating Paleo in and of itself will help you drop pounds!

  3. I’ve been following a Paleo diet/lifestyle for about two years and I’ve never been healthier or happier. It’s the only way of eating that has let me completely let go of my preoccupation with food and really focus on fueling my body with high quality veggies and protein.

    There are so many amazing things to eat and experiment with that I don’t miss grains at all! For reals, yo.

  4. Jules says:

    I’ve been eating paleo+ some grassfed dairy for about a year; I feel better than I have in years, maintaining my weight is effortless, and I get to eat fantastic food. I can’t recommend it enough! Wanted to clarify #1 though- that does exclude peanuts, which are actually legumes. Legumes are excluded due to the high amount of gut-irritating antinutrients (ever wonder why beans make us gassy?) Meat, veggies & fruits are way better sources of protein & fiber, you won’t miss the legumes! 😉

  5. Tracy says:

    I’ve only just started eating Paleo, and I took it up as part of a challenge, but to tell the truth… I’ve been doing it for a week and a half, and I’ve never had this much energy IN MY LIFE. I’m actually waking up earlier, and I WANT to go to the gym, instead of just wanting to go to my exercise classes.

    Something tells me that I’m going to try to keep this up much longer than the challenge dictates. I’ve never even THOUGHT about a piece of bread, although I will admit, I do miss rice. Pasta, on the other hand, I don’t miss at all.

  6. Balanced eating plans effortlessly encourage weight reduction by providing your system the right nutrition and stimulating the metabolic process to burn extra calories. Steer clear of gimmick …Paleo Diet

  7. Greg Boss says:

    Thanks for the Paleo tips, Jenn! With the Paleo diet are you following more of a 5 meal a day snack schedule, or are you able to maintain 3 meals daily? I could see myself having trouble, especially in the middle of the day with this type of “quest” because I wouldn’t know what to do for lunch during work, etc.

    1. Jenn says:

      Good question, Greg! I’m doing three smaller meals and two or three snacks, but I really eat pretty intuitively. So basically, if I’m hungry, I eat. Some days I’ll eat way more than others, but that’s just the ebb and flow of my energy needs from one day to the next. I’ve found making sure you have a nice balance of protein, non-grain carb (sweet potatoes, fruit, starchy veggies) and fat is key for feeling full and satisfied. Snacks for me are usually veggies w/almond butter or a few pieces of turkey with an apple and maybe a piece of avocado. For work, I’d just pack a bunch of Paleo foods and then eat what sounds good. 🙂

  8. I eat a Paleo Diet for the most part after being a strict vegetarian for 17 years. I was diagnosed with severe anemia and no matter how many vegetarian iron supplements and digestive enzymes I took, I could not reverse my condition until I started to include meat back into my diet. I became acutely aware of the fact that I was celiac and could not absorb many of the nutrients I was ingesting. I simply cannot digest most grain, legumes and beans. The Paleo diet has been revolutionary in my life! Thanks for sharing this info Jenn!

  9. Waterloo Sunset says:

    I’m pretty sure my paleo ancestors were strictly gatherers as I cannot bring myself to eat animal flesh. They may have gathered in some eggs though, as I will eat those. Don’t drink milk or use butter, but boy is regular cheese hard to give up.

  10. Kua says:

    I love paleo. i started paleo as part of a weight loss program when i weight 275lbs and watched 30lbs drop off without any exercise in about a month. i was full all the time with no cravings and no hypoglycemic spells. my joints stopped aching, my bowels worked unbelievably well and I had tons of energy. when i added exercise, the weight just peeled off and i had the energy to exercise. it was unbelievable and i went in to this as a sceptic. i’m a doctor and the idea of eating meat-meat-meat really bothered me as we advocate a diet high in fruit and veg so it was a real eye opener how well i felt. the interesting thing was by cutting out my carbs, i ate more fruit and veges and had a more balanced diet…i highly recommend paleo.

  11. Scott says:

    There is a lot of good info at http://paleoaholic.com they have recipes, shopping lists, and everything.

  12. SMN says:

    I have been eating Paleo since May 1, 2014. I’ve lost 17 pounds, have more energy, have no aches and pains, sleep like a baby, and think more clearly. AND I’m not hungry because I can eat anytime I want and have LOTS to choose from. I am 58 years old and have suffered with overweight/obesity off and on for many years. I have seen Dr.s through the years about my aching joints. Constipation was an ongoing issue. Paleo eating has transformed me.

  13. Jen says:

    Wow there are some super inspiring comments on here! 🙂 I started paleo around early November last year, which was 3 months ago. It was dumb to start right before the holidays! I have a chocolate problem… But I was doing well for awhile and I noticed a major difference in my every and health too. I also dropped about 5 pounds and people were commenting how I had lost weight. My tightest pants were getting loose. I was not trying to lose weight, I am a tiny person 5’0″ and normal weight, so losing weight sort of freaked me out about it! But I am definitely getting back into it again now! It was already making such a huge difference! Also I had candida and it really helped me to get rid of it.

  14. Eugenia says:

    Wow, reading all these comments is so motivating! I actually haven’t started the Paleo diet yet, but for the past week or so I’ve been researching it and really considering it! Then today I ordered two really great looking books on Amazon! I’m so excited to get this started! I’ve always been terrible about eating, to the point where I’ve gone whole days having eaten just one cheese stick. It’s not that I have some kind of eating disorder or anything, it’s just that I’ve always been so disastisfied with the options available to me. Oh, do I want a poptart or a toaster strudel today? Neither! They’re both gross! I felt so gross about all the food around me that I would just avoid it all, but that’s maybe even worse than actually eating it! As a result, I have terrible energy, I’m always sore, and my metabolism is crap! I eat one little thing and I bloat up like a whale! I’m so excited to start this new lifestyle and finally be healthy!! It’s so inspiring to hear you guys talk about having the best energy and being the happiest ever! I’m so looking forward to getting on your level! Wish me luck guys!! 😀

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