I want to kinda give this way of eating a trial. I'm not expecting anything - just testing the waters.
Would there be any health risk if I eliminated cereal (bread, oats, breakfast cereal) completely from my diet? I know that's one of the fundamental paleo principles, but I have no "replacement" because I don't yet know enough about nutrition in general unlike most other people on the diet.
Would there be any benefit in reducing (not eliminating) sugar and milk in my diet? I want to try eliminate soda and fruit juices (to be replaced by water) and stop eating breakfast cereal. The only sugar and milk in my diet will be from cups of tea (about 6 per day).
Would there be any benefit in replacing sugar with honey in my cups of tea?
Basically I want to test the waters and experiment with the diet. I'll need a lot more
planning to shift completely. Right now my mindset is "water, meat (tuna, chicken, bacon), eggs, plants ; no wheaty things, no sugar" - boring because I don't know enough about the "rules" to spice things up. I made tuna salad for tomorrow's lunch and when I added the mayonnaise I wondered if there was well, a paleo hack. Probably not.
Absolutely not. You will experience health benefits from eliminating grain. You will notice more constant energy, a better overall "feeling" and probably lose some weight. I understand you don't have a "replacement" but perhaps adding some healthy carbs (veggies!) will help you in this transition/test.
Yes to sugar, and it depends with milk. If you can handle milk, then there isn't a significant reason to cut it out. I would suggest getting raw milk, or at least organic.
Yes. Table sugar is extremely processed. Your body can't naturally metabolize processed sugar; it has to pull nutrients (B vitamins, mostly) from other places in your system to complete the metabolic process. Honey, especially raw honey, doesn't have that problem.
I applaud your openmindness, and willingness to make steps to better yourself! There are some great and brilliant people here that can really help (probably better than I can!).
I like it! Baby steps are better than no steps! I think that considering where you are and where you are considering going is a huge leap forward. You may see such great results in how you feel and look that you may go 100%. No one here is "Perfectly Paleo". Great job. Start now!
I eat pretty much meat and potatoes for every meal. It's not that large a leap from where you are currently. Everyone eats meals like this occasionally, just make them much more common. A lot of people do super low carb etc, but for the time being you could just eat mean 'n' potatoes and not have to deal with the ketosis transition and so forth. Just make sure you choose fatty cuts of grass-fed meat, cook it in clarified butter and put tons of butter and/or cream on the potatoes.
Overall, sounds like a good plan to me. The only thing I would say is I am not sure if there would be much benefit to switching from sugar to honey. Metabolically, they are very similar. HOney may have a tad more nutrition but in the larger scheme of things, I don't think it's enough to make much difference in your health. On the flip side, a little bit of sugar, taken only with tea, is probably not a big deal either, unless you drink tons of tea that is.
I actually think your approach is excellent. Small steps to get you used to the idea, and also to see how your body reacts. If you want, you don't have to try these all at once, but rather one at a time. I think #1 will be the biggest shock to your system, not in terms of a health risk, but in terms of getting out of the "what can I munch on right now?" habit. That was really hard for me. Also, the quick breakfast is gone, so make sure you plan for that if you want to jump on board with #1.