Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Guide to Paleo diet menu plan

08:03 Posted by Dhaval Bhandari
It can be hard to always come up with original paleo meal ideas or not to slip off the Paleo wagon from time to time from lack of options or a pantry that still contains some not so good food choices.

I believe in making easy for people not only to understand what foods are healthy and what foods are not and why, but also to grasp what it entails to be eating Paleo everyday, consistent basis.

The best way to represent a typical paleo plan is to give out a sample of a week or two worth of food. Remember that you can skip a paleo diet meal whenever you feel like it and the paleo diet is really not about eating three square meals per day, quite the contrary. If you decide to fast for a day, that’s perfectly fine as well, but I've included three meals and a snack everyday just to give you enough options to play around with it.

To be perfectly honest, a paleo diet meal plan like that can easily be stretched to four or even five weeks, because there will be leftovers to about every dinner as well as some of the lunches that you can use whenever you want during the rest of the week or freeze for a later time. This will also save you from having to prepare food for every single meal. Some of the meals require quite a bit of preparation time, but most can be prepared a day in advance to make it easier. Some, like roasts, soups and stews, take time to cook, but not much active preparation time.

WHAT TO EAT

People often think of Paleo diet as being so restrictive, but as you can see, there are a ton of health benefiting foods to choose from when eating Paleo! We’ve listed what we consider to be the best choices within each paleo food category.

PROTEIN 

Red Meat and Game: Beef, buffalo, deer, lamb, goat, etc. Choose grass-fed, grass-finished local meats whenever possible.

Poultry: Chicken, turkey, duck, etc. Choose pastured, free-range local poultry, if possible. As an aside, chicken labeled “vegetarian” is not really a good thing (kind of like cows being corn-fed is not a good thing). Contrary to popular belief, chickens are not vegetarians!

Pork: Choose pastured, antibiotic-free local pork when possible.

Fish and Seafood: Salmon, albacore tuna, yellowfin tuna, cod, Pacific halibut, striped bass, clams, mahimahi, etc. Wild-caught is typically best, and you also should be conscious of sustainability and environmental contaminants. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch (www.montereybayaquarium.org) for helpful information on the most sustainable and safest choices.

Eggs: Ideally, eat eggs from pastured, free-range, antibiotic-free hens. Many people are now raising their own chickens for eggs, which is a great way to ensure your eggs aren’t from chickens eating a bunch of soy or other things that aren’t part of their natural diet!

FRUITS AND VEGGIES (AKA CARBOHYDRATES)

When some people hear about a Paleo diet, they often ask, “But where do you get your carbohydrates?” While yes, bread and cereals are very high in carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are also carb sources—some with a higher carb content than others. A Paleo diet by design is not super low carb, but if very few fruits and vegetables are eaten, it can be low carb.

In terms of selecting fruits and vegetables, we highly suggest eating what’s in season, when it’s available, and buying from your local farms. When that’s not possible, just do the best you can! This list does not include absolutely every fruit and vegetable out there—just some of the more commonly found ones. If you chose a different vegetable from this list each day, you’d still have great variety in your meals!

THE DIRTY DOZEN AND THE CLEAN 15

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has classified twelve produce items as the “Dirty Dozen,” because they are commonly contaminated with pesticides. We’ve marked the fruits and vegetables that belong to the Dirty Dozen with an *. We suggest you buy organic versions of these if at all possible! We have also marked produce that belongs to the EWG’s “Clean 15” list with a +. These are the fruits and veggies deemed lowest in pesticides. If budgeting is a concern, you’re likely safe choosing nonorganic versions of the Clean 15. 


  • Apples* (all varieties)
  • Apricots
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus+
  • Avocados+ (Avocados are more fat than carbohydrate, so you’ll see them listed in the fats section, too!)
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers*
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage (red, green, Chinese)+
  • Cantaloupe (domestic)+
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery* 
  • Cherries*
  • Collards
  • Cucumbers
  • Daikon
  • Eggplant+
  • Fennel
  • Figs
  • Garlic
  • Grapefruit+
  • Grapes (imported)*
  • Jicama
  • Kale
  • Kiwi+
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce*
  • Limes
  • Mangoes+
  • Mushrooms+
  • Nectarines*
  • Okra
  • Onions+
  • Peaches*
  • Pears*
  • Pineapple+
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rhubarb
  • Spinach*
  • Squash (summer and winter: yellow, zucchini, spaghetti, butternut, acorn, delicata, etc.)
  • Strawberries*
  • Sweet potatoes+
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon+

FATS 

Quality does matter here, so when you can be choosy about your fat sources, we always suggest going with the grass-fed, organic kinds.


  • Almonds, almond flour and almond butter (We prefer Honeyville blanched almond flour to other brands.) 
  • Avocado oil
  • Avocados 
  • Brazil nuts
  • Coconut, coconut milk and coconut oil (For coconut milk, we’re talking the canned, full-fat unsweetened kind. Some of the brands in the boxes in your store’s refrigerator section are full of all kinds of junk. However, Aroy-D does package coconut milk in a carton that has no additives, and it is a decent choice.) 
  • Ghee (clarified butter) or regular butter (For those who can tolerate the milk solids in butter, regular butter from grass-fed cows is a fine choice.)
  • Hazelnuts (filberts) and hazelnut butter
  • Lard
  • Macadamia nuts, macadamia nut butter and macadamia nut oil
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Pecans and pecan butter
  • Sunflower seeds and sunflower seed butter
  • Tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Tallow
  • Walnuts

What you won’t see on a Paleo diet menu is gluten, grains, legumes, dairy (except butter, in some cases, for those who don’t have adverse reactions to it), processed foods and sugars, and alcohol. (Oh, and you’ll notice peanuts aren’t on the list of fats. That’s because they’re actually legumes, not tree nuts. We just wanted to point that one out!) There are countless resources out there that explain the nos, and we’ll get to those expert resources in a minute. Essentially, much of it comes down to inflammation, and a diet rich in the foods listed above is great at keeping you healthy and keeping inflammation at a minimum.

The 14-day paleo diet menu plan

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Snack
1
Bowl of berries /w coconut milk
Salad /w roasted hen, cherry tomatoes & olive oil / lemon juice French dressing
Paleo Spaghetti
Macadamia nuts
2
Leftover paleo spaghetti
Chicken & veggie soup /w liver pâté
Beef goulash
Beef jerky
3
Onion and spinach omelet /w leftover liver pâté
Tuna salad wrapped in lettuce /w almonds
Beef bourguignon Dessert:Coconut ice cream
Hard boiled eggs
4
Bacon & eggs /w piece of fruit
Zucchini and sweet potato frittata
Grilled trout /wbutternut squash soup
Pork Rinds
5
Coconut milk smoothie
Citrus beef salad stir-fry
Citrus roast chicken/w sweet potato fries
Bowl of berries /w almonds
6
Cold Leftover roast chicken /w mayo
Lemon & garlic scallops Dessert:Coconut ice cream
Bone marrow /w Waldorf salad Dessert:Baked apples
Dark chocolate covered bacon
7
Tomato and egg stir-fry
Bacon, grape & broccoli salad
Butter chicken
Raw veggies /wguacamole

Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Snack
8
Paleo cereal: Mixed nuts & berries /w coconut milk
Egg salad rolled in lettuce
Roast beef /w roasted veggies
Plantain chips /w Baba Ghanoush
9
Cold leftover roast beef slices /w pesto
Beef & cabbage stew
Dijon mustard pork tenderloin /w coleslaw
Coconut ice cream
10
Pork sausages /w grapefruit
Ground beef stuffed bell peppers
Duck confit /w carrot confit
Can of salmon /w olive oil & lemon juice
11
Sunny side up eggs /w salsa
Coconut curry stir-fry
Paleo Shepperd’s pie (mashed parsnip or cauliflower instead of potatoes)
Smoked salmon
12
Fried ground beef & carrots /w salsa
Bacon, hard boiled eggs and tomato salad /w mayo
Polish stew
Spicy pumpkin seeds
13
Ham and asparagus omelet
Mussels in white wine & garlic sauce
Olive, garlic & lemon chicken                   Dessert: Pears poached in red wine
Celery sticks /w liver pâté
14
Beef liver /w  steamed broccoli and salsa verde
Fried pork chops /w               sautéed spinach
Pumpkin Chili
Olives & sauerkraut

The Paleo Diet Menu plan food pie

paleo diet menu plan

For general day after day meal development, here's a pie chart representing ratios (by volume of meals) it is best to attempt for. In fact, this may be tweaked to your explicit needs and preferences, but it can provide you an concept of the place you stand, especially if you happen to don’t really feel as good as to start with and surprise why. Often it’s just a matter of a food group like nuts and seeds or fruits slowly creeping up and changing healthier meat, fish or vegetable choices. There may be about as some ways to eat a paleo eating regimen that there is individuals though so be at liberty to more or less of everything, especially when you’re experienced enough to know your wants are (i.e. losing weight, gaining weight, body cleansing) and to take heed to your body.

NOTE: While the aforementioned protein, carbohydrate and fat sources are commonly referred to as good Paleo diet menu choices, that does not mean that all choices listed will work for everyone. We are all unique, our bodies are unique and we may react to certain foods in unique ways. Despite adopting a Paleo diet menu, some individuals still struggle with allergies to certain foods. Some have a significant autoimmune condition that is aggravated by certain foods like eggs or nightshades (for instance, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.). Some may find that the denser carbohydrate sources aren’t healthy or safe for their blood sugar levels. Just because a food is Paleo friendly doesn’t mean that it agrees with everyone. This is why it is so important to tinker with your diet to discover what works for you in your life. Be aware of those foods that you react poorly to or those you don’t care for, and keep them off your list. Make your own food matrix of the protein, carbs and fats that you like, and use those frequently!