If you are new to Paleo and a little overwhelmed by what appears to be a set of rules that stipulate cutting out this and that, or people say to you “don’t eat that the ‘Paleo Police’ won’t be happy!”
What a person eats depends on a number of elements. What one person thrives on and can tolerate can be very different to another person.
What I would say to you is let us focus on the good foods that nourish your body and make you feel great. What a person eats depends on a number of elements. What one person thrives on and can tolerate can be very different to another person. That being said there are a number of basics we can all start with such as choosing some great cooking oils. Coconut oil, butter and ghee (if tolerated) are some great heat stable fats to work with. Olive oil and avocado oil are amazing in salads, and are great bases for a dressing. Stock your cupboards with whole foods and gradually stop buying anything processed, if it isn’t in the house it isn’t there as a temptation and the urge soon dissipates.
Once you have all of this dialed in the next step I would suggest is giving up the grains slowly but surely. For example if your daily meals look something like toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and a pasta dinner perhaps pulling back some of those grain based carbs gradually is a place to start. How about swapping your toast for some scrambled eggs and avocado, and maybe a slice of bacon. Maybe lunch can be an amazing salad with some left over meat from the night before along with some healthy fats in the form of nuts, avocado, olives or olive oil. Then if your dinner includes some grains that’s ok, as I said it could be a gradual process. The most important aspect here is that you mustn’t feel like you are depriving yourself, because if you do you’ll soon go off the rails and revert back to eating the same way as you always have. When you start to feel the benefits of eating whole nutrient dense foods, the changes will become easier and you’ll naturally want to tweak what you eat to continue feeling great.
When I create a meal plan for a person I will ask what their goals are and if they have any current irritating symptoms, such as bloating or skin problems. There most certainly isn’t one meal plan to suit all, how boring would that be? This is something very important to drive home. Of course there is a standard clean-up starting point, but then we have to work out what suits depending on goals. Specifics such as activity levels, current injuries and capabilities need to be considered. We will need to look at carbohydrate consumption, and whether or not we want to include diary.
I believe there are certain personality types that like to go for the all or nothing approach so if a person feels they can go strict paleo right away I commend them. Below is an example of a weekly meal plan I would provide someone who has no real intolerances or allergies and just wanted to eat clean and feel some great benefits. Our bodies are amazing pieces of machinery; they are extremely smart and will soon let us know from the inside and out whether it is thriving or feeling deprived.
Example Weekly Meal Plan
- Breakfast: 2/3 scrambled eggs with spinach, 2/3 slices of bacon, and 1/4 avocado.
- Lunch: Tuna salad.
- Dinner: Beef mince with creamed herb mashed cauliflower.
- Breakfast: 3 egg omelette with veg, such as peppers, onion, and mushroom.
- Lunch: Leftover beef mince in lettuce boats with avocado on top.
- Dinner: Roast chicken, with roasted veg and broccoli.
- Breakfast: Grain Free Banola with almond milk.
- Lunch: Chicken soup.
- Dinner: Crispy salmon with roasted cauliflower and kale.
- Breakfast: 2/3 scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and a few slices of avocado.
- Lunch: Fish cakes, tinned wild salmon, or tuna.
- Dinner: Lamb meatballs with courgette strips.
- Breakfast: Spinach with bacon, shallots, and mushroom, with poached egg on top.
- Lunch: Chicken salad, using good meat from your roast chicken and some avocado.
- Dinner: Mexican turkey burgers with avocado and sweet potato fries.
- Breakfast: 2 green apples, breakfast sausage, carrot sticks & a small handful of almonds.
- Lunch: Chopped Brussels sprouts with capers and bacon pieces.
- Dinner: Beef strip stir fry with cauliflower rice.
- Breakfast: Cinnamon spice pancakes with a few slices of bacon.
- Lunch: 3 egg omelette with veg, such as peppers, onion, and mushroom.
- Dinner: Thai red curry prawn stir fry with coconut milk.