Zak’s 40 Day Paleo Challenge

Are you interested in joining Zak on his 40 Day Paleo Challenge and want to know more about the Paleo lifestyle?  Here is a very general guide to explain what it means to be “Paleo” (and is intended to be used for informational purposes only.)  As always, please consult your trusted health care professional before beginning any new diet or exercise program.

So here’s the thing, “Paleo” not just another diet and exercise program: it’s a lifestyle.  It is about what you eat (and don’t eat), but is also about the ways you choose to you live your life in general.  Food and exercise are an important part of how you live, but so is getting adequate, quality sleep and managing and reducing stress as well.   “Going Paleo” can help you get to the root cause of minor (or in some cases, major!) health issues by guiding you toward positive changes to your diet and movement habits – as opposed to just treating the symptoms as so often the case with modern medicine today.

If anything, the Paleo lifestyle can help you get better at “clean eating” and with time and practice can show you how the foods that you eat and the way that you choose to move your body can make a huge difference in the way that you feel.  (i.e., can you help you lose weight and feel awesome.  Really.)  Although weight loss might be your primary goal – if you make health your priority – safe, sustainable weight loss is likely to follow without severe calorie restriction or exhaustive exercise.

The Paleo Plan

What to Eat:






In Moderation:

Dried Fruit (be mindful that dried fruit is high in sugar and can stall weight loss!)

Nuts and Seeds (calorie dense and can also stall weight loss, so be mindful of how much you’re consuming – also note that peanuts are not nuts!)

What to Avoid:


Refined Sugar

Most Dairy (some Paleo folk still consume high fat, quality dairy – little heavy cream in your coffee, yogurt for the probiotics and grass fed butter too.)

Legumes (lentils, beans, peanuts)

Vegetable Oil, Trans Fats, Artificial Ingredients (basically, all the stuff found in just about every processed/packaged food)


Walking (every day)

Strength Training (3 to 4 days a week)

Sprinting (once every 7 to 10 days)

If you are usually pretty sedentary, just start with walking!  Forget crazy cardio, -walk, build some muscle and sprint once in a while.  Add pieces to your fitness regime responsibly and slowly to avoid injury (and scroll back up to the top to read my little disclaimer again.)


For more information and further reading:


Mark’s Daily Apple

The Whole 9 Life

Robb Wolf

Balanced Bites

11 Things I Learned During 11 Weeks of Paleo


The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

The Paleo Coach by Jason Seib

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo


The Everyday Paleo Lifestyle and Fitness Podcast with Sarah Fragoso and Jason Seib

The Balanced Bites Podcast with Liz Wolfe and Diane Sanfilippo

Got questions?  Ask in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them or to get you pointed in the right direction!

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