Diana Kelly Levey

Eating Paleo: How to Help You Eat Like Our Ancestors

Pexels. Leafy Green vegetables on a table

October 2, 2018 | Categories: ,

When you’re following the paleo diet, changing up the foods you eat at each meal may seem like challenge at first, especially if your pre-paleo plate was filled with eats such as pasta, yogurt, and bread. Try these dietitian-approved meals!

You see, the philosophy of the paleo diet is a return to the eating habits of our Paleolithic ancestors, and a rejection of many of the foods Americans consider staples in their diets today.

If you’re trying this eating approach, you’ll have to say goodbye not only to foods well known to be unhealthy — such as ice cream, potato chips, and soda — but also all grains (including whole grains), most dairy, legumes (beans), and starchy veggies, among other foods. The thinking goes that foods in these elimination groups are toxic to our bodies because of modern farming practices.

There’s a lack of evidence that any of these eliminated foods are toxic to the body; further, the paleo diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies  and isn’t advisable for everyone. (1) But some research suggests the eating plan may help with weight loss and reduce your risk for certain chronic diseases, at least in the short term. (2)

You might be excited about the prospect of improving your health and waist size by kicking processed snacks and inflammatory foods like dairy and grains to the curb. But those hopes won’t make overhauling your eating habits any easier.

Luckily, we’ve done most of the initial legwork for you.

With the help of Seattle, Washington-based Ginger Hultin, RDN, a wellness coach with Arivale, we’ve collected five days’ worth of delicious, easy-to-whip-up meals that can make sticking with the paleo diet a cinch!

A 3-Day Sample Menu for the Paleo Diet

Day 1

Breakfast Eggs prepared your favorite way with sausage and a side of berries

Lunch Garlic Cajun shrimp bowls with spiralized zucchini

Get the recipe at LexisCleanKitchen.com.

Dinner Slow-cooker sweet potato chili with green chilies and ground bison or beef

Get the recipe at TheRealFoodRDS.com.

Day 2

Breakfast Paleo pancakes made with coconut flour and added berries

Get the recipe at PaleoHacks.com.

Lunch Roasted sweet potato vegetable salad with added crumbled bacon and chicken

Get the recipe at PaleoLeap.com.

Dinner Beef, ginger, and broccoli stir-fry cooked in ghee

Get the recipe at IHeartUmami.com.

Day 3

Breakfast Chorizo breakfast scramble with eggs, gluten-free chorizo sausage, veggies, and herbs.

Lunch Paleo-friendly vegetable soup

Get the recipe at EatDrinkPaleo.com.au.

Dinner One-pan lemon chicken with asparagus, garlic, and herbs

Get the recipe at ASaucyKitchen.com.

11 Quick and Easy Grab-and-Go Paleo Snacks

When you’re used to eating on the run and grabbing nosh at checkout counters, gas stations, grocery stores, mall food courts, and airports, making the switch to a paleo lifestyle means you need to think ahead about your meals and snacks.

Here are some paleo-friendly snack ideas to try:

    • Almonds or macadamia nuts
    • Jerky
    • Olives
    • Banana with almond butter
    • Hard-boiled eggs
    • Canned wild salmon in water
    • Halved avocado filled with chicken, fish, or your protein of choice


The Best Places to Find Paleo Recipes

Here are a few blogs and websites chock-full of paleo diet recipes and meal ideas. Many of these bloggers also dive into the paleo diet philosophy and science behind paleo living and how it may affect your health.

The Paleo Diet This site was created by the founder of the paleo diet movement, Loren Cordain, PhD, a professor emeritus at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins and the author of The Paleo Diet. It has recipes and success stories, and addresses the latest news from the scientific and nutrition world about the paleo diet.

Visit ThePaleoDiet.com.

Mark’s Daily Apple Mark Sisson writes about the concept of living a “primal” life and offers a blueprint on how to “get primal.”

Visit MarksDailyApple.com.

Paleo Leap This paleo blog divides recipes and topics into category pages at the top of the website, and touches on common questions about the paleo diet, like why certain foods are on the diet and others aren’t.

Visit PaleoLeap.com.

Robb Wolf Wolf is considered one of the world’s leading experts in paleo nutrition. On his site, you can learn the difference between the ketogenic diet and the paleo diet, and get recommendations for paleo podcasts and other resources.

Visit RobbWolf.com.

PaleOMG This paleo blog offers paleo recipes and meal plans, as well as tips for traveling while following the paleo diet. Its blogger, Juli, also shares her fashion, beauty, and fitness tips.

Visit PaleOMG.com.

Whole Foods Market The popular grocery store has a blog dedicated to paleo-friendly ingredients, recipe ideas, and meal suggestions. Think of this site as a one-stop shop for paleo recipe ideas, grocery shopping, and coupons!

Visit the paleo blog at WholeFoodsMarket.com.

Must-Read Books if You’re Following a Paleo Diet

While there are plenty of books on the paleo diet, these five are considered must-reads for beginners.

  • The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat, by Loren Cordain, PhD. Written by the creator of the paleo diet, this book offers a good primer on eating like our ancestors.
  • The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, by Mark Sisson. Kicking foods in the standard American diet that are off-limits in the paleo diet is made easier with this book of paleo-friendly recipes.
  • The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body, by Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. This book is billed as a solution for autoimmune diseases, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. In the text, Ballantyne discusses her own struggles with autoimmune disease and helps guide readers on how the paleo diet may help relieve their symptoms, too.
  • Paleo in 28: 4 Weeks, 5 Ingredients, 130 Recipes, by Kenzie Swanhart. If you’re looking for a straightforward plan to help you adhere to the paleo diet, consider this read, which provides actionable steps and recipes to develop a paleo lifestyle.

Read the full article on Everyday Health!

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