What Is Paleo
In a nutshell, the Paleo approach to eating is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should go back to eating real, whole unprocessed foods that are more healthful than harmful to our bodies.
Paleo is an ancestral approach that prioritizes eating real, whole, nutrient-dense foods. At its core, Paleo is about trying to eat real, naturally occurring ingredients that are healthful rather than harmful. Biologically, our bodies respond best to real, whole, nutrient-dense foods like plants, meat, and seafood—all of them packed with the nutrients our bodies evolved to thrive on. It was only after industrialized food production and lab-engineered edibles took over our diets that the ”diseases of civilization“ exploded. Today, wheat, soy, sugar, and highly processed foods continue to drive up rates of autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. But by getting back to eating real food, we can stay healthier.
Prioritize whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense, nourishing foods!
Eat Vegetables, grass-fed and pastured meat and eggs, wild caught seafood, healthy fats, fermented foods, fruits, seeds, and spices
Avoid foods that are likely to be more harmful than helpful!
Especially when regularly and heavily consumed, foods like grains, dairy, soy, sugar, and processed seeds and vegetable oils can trigger inflammation, cause digestive problems, or derailed our natural metabolic process
Meat & Seafood
Grass-fed meat is recommended on the paleo diet because it is leaner than meat from grain-fed animals and has more omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that reduce inflammation in the body and protect your heart. A typical American diet is high in saturated and trans fats and lower in healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, hence the paleo diet’s emphasis on grass-fed meats.
Look for chicken raised without antibiotics and try to source your meat from a local farm to learn more about how it was raised.
Choosing wild seafood over farm-caught may help boost your omega-3 intake too. That’s not always the case, but look for wild salmon and other sustainably-caught seafood when you’re eating paleo.
The key to remember with eating paleo is that you want your diet to contain unprocessed, whole foods so fruits and vegetables should make up a bulk of your diet. Frozen vegetables without added sauce are also allowed on a paleo diet.
Examples of produce to eat on a paleo diet:
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
- Butternut squash
- Berries: including blackberries, blueberries and strawberries
- Citrus fruits
Eggs are allowed because they are high in protein, B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also affordable and easy to prepare. Buy “organic” and “cage-free” eggs for a higher omega-3 content than eggs from chickens raised in cages.
Nuts & Seeds
- Macadamia nuts
- Pine nuts
- Brazil nuts
- Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Chia seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Flax seeds
- Olive oil
- Walnut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Macadamia oil
- Avocado oil
- Coconut oil
Unhealthy Oils To Avoid
- soybean oil
- corn oil
- cottonseed oil
- sunflower oil
- peanut oil
- sesame oil
- rice bran oil
Summary – Some vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids. Scientists have hypothesized that eating too much omega-6 can lead to increased inflammation in the body and potentially contribute to disease
Sample Paleo Diet Menu
Breakfast: Eggs and spinach with raspberries on the side.
Snack: Pumpkin seeds and dried apricots.
Lunch: Spaghetti squash with shrimp.
Afternoon snack: Banana with almond butter.
Dinner: Chicken with sweet potatoes and vegetables.
-This depends on you. But If you would like to have rice, pasta, bread, dark chocolate, and or wine very limitedly through the challenge, that is totally ok and will not hinder your transformation. It would be ideal to eat 10% non paleo and 90% paleo.
Favorite Paleo Brands
Siete is beloved by the paleo community — and for good reason. This family-owned company specializes in grain-free Mexican food like tortillas, taco shells, tortilla chips, hot sauce, and more.
Here are some of the most popular Siete items:
Tortilla chips. Siete offers tortilla chips in delicious flavors like Nacho, Chipotle Barbecue, Jalapeño Lime, and Ranch.
Dips and sauces. Siete’s cashew quesos and enchilada sauces are sure to add flavor to your Mexican paleo dishes.
Bob’s Red Mill is a company that has something for everyone, including those on the paleo diet. Check out these paleo-friendly Bob’s Red Mill products:
Paleo baking flour. Paleo dieters can use Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Baking Flour to make breads, pizza, cakes, and more. Paleo-style muesli. Unlike traditional muesli, Bob’s Red Mill Paleo Muesli contains no grains and is packed with paleo-friendly ingredients like coconut, berries, and nuts.
Let’s face it, even people on the paleo diet need a sweet treat now and then. Thankfully, Base Culture is a company that specializes in making paleo-approved desserts and baked goods.
Here are some Base Culture products that every paleo dieter needs in their fridge or freezer (yes, these products must be kept cool to maintain freshness):
Almond-butter brownies. These paleo brownies are made with nutritious ingredients like cashew butter, eggs, date paste, and unsweetened chocolate.
7 Nut and Seed Bread. Base Culture has a line of paleo-friendly sliced bread, including their 7 Nut and Seed Bread, which is packed with healthy fats from nuts and seeds.
Steve’s Paleogoods is a paleo-friendly company that you can feel good about supporting, as 15% of their proceeds go directly to Steve’s Club, a non-profit organization that “brings fitness, nutrition, and mentorship to at-risk and underserved youth.”
Here are some favored items from Steve’s Paleogoods:
Paleokrunch granola. This grain-free granola is made with nutrient-dense ingredients like seeds, nuts, and coconut.
Dried fruit. Steve’s dried strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are sweetened with apple juice while the bananas, mangoes, and apples are unsweetened.
Grass-Fed Stix. These meat sticks are made with grass-fed beef.
Hu Kitchen is a paleo food company that started as a paleo restaurant in New York City and expanded to offer packaged paleo food items to consumers.
The company is known for their chocolate products, including:
Hu Gems: gem-shaped dairy-free chocolate pieces that are perfect for snacking and baking
Hu Hunks: flavors include Sour Goldenberries, Cashews and Vanilla Bean, and Almonds and Sea Salt
Hu Kitchen offers grain-free crackers in unique flavors like pizza as well.