What Is A Paleo Diet?
First, we need to be clear about what the paleo diet is? It’s a diet that consists of foods that were eaten by our ancestors prior the agricultural revolution. Our ancestors had no choice but to eat easy paleo meals because we did not have the agricultural techniques to grow, process and refine many of the foods that are commonplace today. Mass farming and agricultural techniques brought us items such as rice &wheat, seed oils and the big culprit of many a diseases, sugar.
In an effort to turn back the hands of time, the diet eliminates anything processed from the paleo food list, including processed vegetables. So, you may be asking what is on the list? Well think about what may have been available before the agriculture generation began, and you will have items such as plants, meats, and seafood. In a nutshell, eating easy paleo meals should consist of natural vegetables and animal/seafood proteins and eliminate processed foods. We will discuss how this translates into a paleo shopping list a little later.
To give you a visual image of what to eat and what not to eat while eating Paleo; examine the following infographic:
Get a detailed explanation of this infographic at: Eat This Not That – The Ultimate Paleo Food List
You will notice that processed foods and items filled with high refined sugars and are to be avoided, which is probably common sense. However, you may be surprised by is the elimination of legumes, grains and dairy. Generally speaking, these items are can cause inflammation, are poorly digested by the body and don’t maintain the high quality nutrients that animal proteins and vegetables do. Visit the following websites for detailed discussions on the effect of legumes, dairy, grains, etc on the human body – www.thepaleodiet.com and www.robbwolf.com. Both websites are great resources for the science and research behind the paleo diet and eating easy paleo meals.
Now, since the foundation has been laid about what a paleo diet is and (maybe more importantly) what it is not, we are going to explore how to prepare easyPaleomeals everyday.
Paleo Food List
Eating paleo is a lifestyle change. This style of eating typically requires the modern man to cook more often, plan meals in advance and prepare for the times when your away from home. As such, the paleo food list becomes vital to a practitioner’s success at going paleo and staying paleo.
Making a list of what can be consumed in a paleo diet is the first area we will focus on, one food group at a time. First, we have meats, which can include any animal, such as cow, pig, goat, well you see where this is going. It is recommended to use meats that are organic and grass fed. This is true for eggs also. Seafood should be wild-caught and not farmraised, as they are fed a processed diet. This is an indirect way of introducing processed food into your diet. Vegetables that are organically grown are included as well. Finally, the list includes, fruit, nuts, and seeds. However, you will need to watch your intake of fruits, nuts and seeds to ensure they are consumed in moderation. A caveat to the paleo diet is the inclusion of oils from olive, walnut, macadamia and flaxseed as well as avocado and coconut. Click here for a more comprehensive listing of the items that should be included or excluded from your easy paleo meals.
The key to the paleo food list is for it to be filled with whole foods that are not processed. In addition, they should be nutrient dense and nourishing. There is a note of warning; however, some nutrient rich foods are not considered paleo, as alluded to in the paleo food list infographic above. For example, legumes, soy, ice cream, cheese, soft drinks, alcohol, sweets and artificial sweeteners, just to name a few. Additionally, any GMOs based foods should be avoided. A review of this section, speaks to the premise of the paleo diet as foods available to man before the agricultural age began. A loose guideline for paleo shopping is to stay away from the center aisles at the grocery store when you go shopping, fresh produce and meats (including seafood) are usually along the outermost sections of the store. Speaking of grocery stores, it is time to make the paleo shopping list that will contain the necessary foods for healthful meals.
Paleo Shopping List
Like all shopping list there should be a format of some kind to keep the targeted items on and the forbidden ones off. In addition, using the same savvy shopping techniques to save money, works the same here. Look for sales at your current grocer and use coupons when you find them. Consider branching out to farmer’s markets or grow your own vegetables. Since the previous section discusses the foods in groups, such as protein, vegetables, fruit and fats, that is a good blueprint to use. There is also another section for spices, which will spice up the diet and enhance the tastes of all of your paleo creations. The following bulleted lists contain a variety of items for each group, but is not meant to be exhaustive examples. Refer back to the infographic above for more options.
* Chicken – Goat
* Pork – Lamb
* Any grass-fed beef – Moose
* Veal – Rabbit
* Goose – Bison
* Turtle – Alligator
* Venison – Bacon (yes pork is listed but everyone loves this one)
* Bass – Red Snapper
* Salmon – Halibut
* Tilapia – Tuna
* Trout – Shark
Seafood (these all come from shells)
* Shrimp – Lobster
* Scallops – Oysters
* Crab – Crawfish
* Clams – Conch (here’s one that has lots of possibilities)
Vegetables (Non-starchy – eat loads of these)
* Broccoli – Spinach
* Brussel sprouts – Asparagus
* Celery – Peppers (Green, red, orange)
* Zucchini – Carrots
Vegetables (Starchy – watch intake)
* Beets – Squash (butternut and acorn)
* Yam – Sweet potatoes (stay away from the white ones)
* Grass-fed butter (yes, you can have your butter and eat it too
* Coconut oil – olive oil
* Macadamia oil – avocado oil
Nuts (be inventive and mix them up)
* Walnuts – macadamia
* Pecans – cashews
* Pumpkin seeds – sunflower seeds
* Almonds – hazelnuts
Fruits (easily dried and can be mixed with nuts)
* Strawberries – blueberries
* Peaches – grapes
* Raspberries – lemons
* Plums – mango
* Oranges – figs
* Watermelon – pineapple
Spices (remember them)
Black pepper – ground cinnamon
Ground cumin – ground coriander
Granulated garlic powder – Old Bay (for all those delicious fish dinners)
As previously stated, these lists are not the be all to end all but a loose guide to get you headed in the right direction as you put together your paleo shopping list. A caveat to the list is to start in your pantry and freezer to see what you already have. It may surprise you; also it will give you a baseline of where your diet lifestyle is currently. Additionally, consider donating the non-Paleo items to charity instead of discarding them in the trash. Granted, since they are not healthy for you, they will not be healthy for the receiving party, but at least they will not be wasted. Since we know what a paleo diet is, and have reviewed the broad range of foods that can be included, let us get started with looking at preparing easy paleo meals.
Easy Paleo Meals
It is not hard to imagine putting foods together that begin the lifestyle change of consuming paleo meals. To make this process even easier, it is recommended to set up a personalized meal plan. You can find good paleo meal starter plan all over the web (including the My Easy Paleo Meals 7-Day Meal Plan). It helps to plan, document and detailwhat you will eat by the meal for each day until you get the hang of it. It does not have to be fancy. Keeping this simple should help you easily incorporate these foods into the routine of everyday life. For example, Monday would have the meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner and so on. Including intermittent snacks is also realistic, because no matter what diet is being consumed, there will be snacking. Just like the last section, this one will have an outline with an example of what a week on the paleo diet could look like. Some of the menu options have preparation suggestions included as a way to see the available possibilities. Here goes.
Breakfast – strawberries, blueberries and raspberries with a splash of lemon juice. One boiled egg (just because you can eat grass-fed butter does not mean you have to fry everything in it).
Lunch – chicken breast with sliced avocado and raw baby carrots.
Dinner – rack of lamb and asparagus with a splash of lemon or lime juice.
Snack – handful of any of the nuts on the list (eat between any meal but not all of them, remember moderation with the nuts)
Breakfast – grass-fed bacon and fried eggs (consider using the grease from the bacon to fry the eggs). Add some fresh squeezed orange juice or just have it in slices.
Lunch – leftover rack of lamb sandwich with sliced celery.
Dinner – broiled grass-fed tenderloin steak with baked sliced sweet potatoes. Lightly sauté some red, green and yellow peppers in olive oil.
Snack – shredded coconut
Breakfast – smoothie with the fruits of your choice and apple slices (of course, watch the intake but this is a great way to get the fruit intake on the days agenda). Pastured bacon
Lunch – leftover sliced tenderloin steak sandwich with a salad of whatever greens from the vegetable list.
Dinner – crock pot – pot roast stew with carrots, bell peppers, butternut squash and zucchini.
Snack – guacamole and with beef jerky
Breakfast – sliced cantaloupe with shredded coconut and a handful of nuts of your choice.
Lunch – leftover pot roast stew
Dinner – sautéed jumbo shrimp and scallops with broccoli and cauliflower.
Snack – dried fruit and nuts
Breakfast – vegetable frittata and sliced pineapple
Lunch – spinach salad with cucumber, tomatoes and lemon or lime juice
Dinner – Red Lobster (yes – eat out it’s TGIF, but stay away from the cheese biscuits)
Snack – handful of nuts of choice
Breakfast – pastured bacon and eggs with strawberries
Lunch – tuna salad on a bed of lettuce
Dinner – Chicken wings and sliced baked sweet potatoes
Snack – sliced apples
Breakfast – salmon croquettes and poached eggs (it’s the weekend get fancy)
Lunch – fruit and vegetable smoothie
Dinner – crock pot pork roast with carrots, bell peppers, onions, zucchini and celery.
Snack – shredded coconut and handful of nuts of choice
Remember, be as creative as you like, because the paleo diet has an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to cooking meals. Spices are recommended although they were not listed with the meals, because this is something that can be incorporate based on individual taste. All of these are easy paleo meals that can be prepared in a flash. Notice how leftovers can be great meals and eliminate waste. Additionally, the crock pot can be the cook’s helper. The bottom line is they are nutritious and meet the expectations of the paleo diet lifestyle.
In addition, consider the assistance of a cookbook, because it is not necessary to re-invent the wheel. There are several good ones out there. We recommend the following paleo cookbooks, as they are filled with hundreds of easy paleo meals:
– The Paleo Recipe Book
– The Paleohack Cookbook
Using the ideas and perspective of a seasoned individual’s paleo diet knowledge will add variety and mitigate redundancies. With twenty first century technology, surf the web for more of the best paleorecipes and meal ideas or review videos of meals actually being prepared. It will not be hard to find a bevy of support as the paleo diet is incorporated into a healthy lifestyle.
Paleo Weight Loss
The term diet permeates this article for good reason because that is what the dialogue is about. However, the paleo diet is not a fad, but an option to facilitate living a healthier life. The tenets of the paleo diet are informed from the natural beginning of the human species and we have evolved perfectly over thousands of years. Doing the research, will bear out that the paleo diet is and has been around for some time. But, it has existed under the radar, until now. Whether cooking for one or a family, this diet will not disappoint.
There are a number of health benefits to eating paleo, including the paleoweight loss effect. Eating these foods in the limitless amount of combinations has proven to shed unwanted and unhealthy pounds. This means a tangible improvement of overall health, leaner body mass and increased energy levels. In addition, there have been reports of improvement with anti-inflammatory symptoms, because once the processed food factor has been removed so have the toxins associated with them. The metabolic process of the body is regulated with any healthy diet and the paleo is no exception. This is a feasible alternative that demands a closer look from anyone who is contemplating a change to a healthier diet. Read More about the paleo weight loss here.