The Paleo diet is based after the diet of pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers consisting of foods such as meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. It is thought that the advances in technology have made foods available to us that are more difficult to digest. These foods are grains, legumes (including soy), dairy products, refined sugars, processed foods and oils, and alcohol. The Paleo way of eating isn’t exact. There are people who choose to eat dairy, but avoid other modern foods like grains. Is it acceptable to have a treat made with natural sweeteners occasionally? Of course. The word “diet” is misleading. There is no end date. It’s a way of consciously and actively thinking about what you are eating and how those foods effect your health.
Fitbomb gives a much better explanation here.
Consuming meat and fish that have been appropriately raised and support the environment is ideal. Opt for organic poultry and meat (grass fed, if possible) and wild caught fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great resource for recommendations on what is the best fish and seafood to buy and what to avoid. Try growing your own vegetables, shopping at your farmer’s market, or getting involved with a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). If you shop for produce at your grocery store, it is always better to purchase organic. If organic produce is not available, avoid the “dirty dozen”. Click here for more info and a printable PDF you could keep with you.
Balanced Bites writes about Priorities for Eating Paleo on a Budget, including helpful PDF’s on fats/oils and quality foods.
If you are interested in learning more about the Paleo Diet, the following books are great resources: The Paleo Diet, The Paleo Solution, and The Primal Blueprint