This is a bulleted list of what not to eat and what to indeed eat with a Paleo Lifestyle (I like to call it a "lifestyle," because "diet" often has a negative connotation). It is from Dr. Ben Balzer's blogpost introducing the diet. You can find the whole thing here.
The essentials of the Paleolithic Diet are:
Eat none of the following:
· Grains- including bread, pasta, noodles
· Beans- including string beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, snow-peas and peas
· Dairy products
Eat the following:
· Meat, chicken and fish
· Vegetables (especially root vegetables, but definitely not including potatoes or sweet potatoes)
· Nuts, eg. walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia, almond. Do not eat peanuts (a bean) or cashews (a family of their own)
· Berries- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
Try to increase your intake of:
· Root vegetables- carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, Swedes
· Organ meats- liver and kidneys (I accept that many people find these unpalatable and won’t eat them)
There are a bit more guidelines with adapting the lifestyle. His articles, and many others, suggest to ease into it with breakfast for a few days, then add in lunch, packing it at home and bringing it to work or school. And I think everyone that eats this way understand that every day isn't going to be 100% Paleo, but the goal is to strive for that. Anyone who has done this for longer than a week knows that a "cheat" meal doesn't really pay off, because you feel so icky afterwards. Junk foods don't even look like food anymore (let's be honest -they're not!) and you crave real, whole foods like vegetables, meats, and fruits. And just to be clear, you don't crave fruit in an, "I need sugar now!" way. It's a wonderful, free feeling that food doesn't control you; you're not living to eat, you eating to live. I can't wait to get back to feeling that way every day. It is the best!