Getting started with a new nutrition regimen can seem like an overwhelming task if you fixate on all the changes you think you need to make. Start by taking a deep breath. The best approach is to make small changes that are minimally invasive to your current lifestyle until you get some momentum going. Once you have made some positive progress take on a bigger challenge.
Rome wasn't built in a day. It also wasn't built with crappy tools and materials. One of the critical factors that is often overlooked is having the right tools for the job. You can chart an easier course for yourself if you invest a little money (or even borrow) a few "Must-Haves". These items will not only help you prepare the kinds of foods you need to be eating, but they will also make you a more efficient Prime. Time is our most valuable resource. These items can save you time which means your new Primal lifestyle will give you more time to do the things you enjoy while also making you healthier.
1) Have a good drink you enjoy to replace alcohol, juices, and soda. I prefer coffee and sparkling mineral water. It's good to have something with a little more to it than just water.
2) A good set of knives. Make sure you have a knife sharpener too.
3) Good cookware that is easy to clean. Remember, we're trying to clear an easy path for rider and elephant. Stainless steel cookware is great for your health, but a pain in the ass to clean. That can be the difference in loving the experience of cooking and deciding on take-out. Orgreenic makes a great non-stick, healthy cookware option.
4) A magic bullet. This is a must have. I even travel with mine when I teach seminars or go on vacation. A larger blender is nice to have if you have the room, but a magic bullet can take care of 99% of what you need to do. Before you go spend additional money on a big blender consider a food processor. Beware: I consider a Vitamix to be a huge waste of money. How many times do you really need to blend soup so fast that it boils? How often do you make homemade ice cream from scratch? Have you ever tried to clean one of those things? Remember, the time the beef liver pate got stuck in it and rotted? Nasty!
5) Lots of seasonings and spices. A lack of variety is one of the things that derails a new nutrition regimen. With a small investment in seasonings and spices you can make a steak taste 10 different ways. It also adds a lot of variety veggies. Seasonings can be expensive if you don't do a little recon. Find a market that has a bulk seasonings section. For those of you in the LA area the Santa Monica Co-Op has an incredible bulk seasoning section. You can get anything you can think of for cheap.
Some of my favorite seasonings: Tumeric, Cumin, Curry Powder, Celtic Sea Salt, Black pepper, Dill, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Sage, Mint, Garlic Powder, and Thyme.
6) A couple good cutting boards.
7) A big bowl and a couple strainers of different sizes.
8) A vegetable peeler.
9) Sautee pan…So clutch when you have a bunch of leftover veggies, meat, and grocery "stuff" that you don't know what to do with, but you want to use before it goes bad. Just throw everything in the sautee pan, season it and Boom!
10) A Multi-Vitamin. You don't need to get crazy here. I prefer a multi that is made from whole food sources. Innate is a company I like for this.
11) A good quality Fish Oil supplement. Make sure you get Omega 3 (EPA-DHA). Don't get anything with Omega 6 in it. We get enough of that in our diet and the point of supplementing with Fish Oil is to balance out the ratio of Omega 3 to 6 to calm down systemic inflammation. Quality matters here. Don't cheap out. You can almost always get a better deal online than you can in a store, especially if you are thinking Whole Foods. More like Whole Paycheck. Ascenta makes a great Fish Oil that is high quality for a good price. I get the concentrated liquid that is high in DHA (extra good for Prime brain function) that costs around $26 for over a month supply. Best supplement money you will spend.
12) Greens Powder. If you live in warm climates with plenty of access to in-season greens and organic produce this isn't quite as important for you, but if you are in a cold climate then you need to keep getting your greens without resorting to frozen produce. Once again I like to get a greens supplement that comes from whole food sources without synthetic vitamins. My favorite for the price is made by Innate. Jarrow also makes a good one that is a little more expensive.
13) A metal or glass water bottle. Hydration is one of the most important parts of a healthy diet. It is critical for fat loss, muscle building, cognitive function, skin health, immune function and the list goes on. You should be drinking at least one ounce of water for every 2 lbs. you weigh every day. To be safe I don't count the water I drink while I'm working out because I consider that a wash.