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The Paleo Diet

A Beginner's Guide Plus Meal Plan

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A paleo diet typically includes lean meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds — foods that in the past could be obtained by hunting and gathering. A paleo diet limits foods that became common when farming emerged about 10,000 years ago. These foods include dairy products, legumes and grains.

Foods to Eat

Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.

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Foods to Avoid

Soft drinks, fruit juices, table sugar, candy, pastries, ice cream and many others.

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A Sample Weekly Meal Plan

This sample menu contains a balanced amount of paleo-friendly foods.By all means, adjust this menu based on your own preferences.

Sunday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Monday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Tuesday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Wednesday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Thursday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Friday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.
Saturday
Breakfast
Avocado, kale, banana, and apple smoothie with almond milk.
lunch
Mixed salad leaves with fried seabass, pumpkin seeds, and an olive oil dressing.
dinner
Roast chicken with a stuffing of onions, carrots, and rosemary.

Paleo Diet Recipes

Paleo Diet Recipes

Mushroom Frittata with Fresh Thyme

Start your mornings with a slice of this protein-packed mushroom and turkey frittata. It’s sure to keep you full and energized all morning!

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 10 eggs
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and move the oven rack to the center.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, using a spatula to break up the meat into crumbles.
  3. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes longer, until mushrooms begin to soften. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and black pepper. Pour over the turkey and mushrooms and rotate the skillet to evenly cover. Cook for 8 minutes longer, until edges are set.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are set, 8-10 minutes. Let the frittata cool for 5 minutes before slicing.


Paleo Diet Recipes

Roasted Cauliflower and Arugula Salad

Toss spicy golden cauliflower with peppery arugula, sweet dates, zesty onions, and toasted almonds for a tasty anti-inflammatory salad!

Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large cauliflower head
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 4 Medjool dates, chopped
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Whisk 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with the spices in a bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the spice mixture over the top and toss again to evenly coat. Spread the cauliflower florets in a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until get golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
  4. While the cauliflower cools, put the sliced almonds in a dry skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Put the roasted cauliflower in a large bowl and add the arugula, dates, red onions and toasted almonds. Pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top, toss, and season with more black pepper to taste.
Paleo Diet Recipes

Mushroom Frittata with Fresh Thyme Copy

Start your mornings with a slice of this protein-packed mushroom and turkey frittata. It’s sure to keep you full and energized all morning!

Ingredients:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 10 eggs
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF and move the oven rack to the center.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook for 5 minutes, using a spatula to break up the meat into crumbles.
  3. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and thyme. Continue to cook for 3-4 minutes longer, until mushrooms begin to soften. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, and black pepper. Pour over the turkey and mushrooms and rotate the skillet to evenly cover. Cook for 8 minutes longer, until edges are set.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until eggs are set, 8-10 minutes. Let the frittata cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Benefits of Paleo Diet

  • Eliminates reliance on white refined carbohydrates
  • Encourages plenty of vegetables
  • No more processed snack foods, which are high in calories and low in nutrients
  • Paleo diets are naturally low in sugar
  • Encourages careful selection of meats, poultry, eggs and fish that have been humanely raised or pasture-fed
  • Weight loss is common, since fewer calories are being consumed, “empty calories” have been greatly reduced, and processed foods have been eliminated


Negative Effects of Paleo Diet

  • Whole grains and legumes, which are not permitted on primal diets, are an important source of fiber and nutrients, as well as an eco-friendly source of plant-based protein
  • No large studies assessing Paleo diet for long-term weight loss and maintenance
  • Ultra-restrictive diets like Paleo almost never last
  • Too hard for many people to maintain over a long period of time, which can lead to yo-yo dieting and poor overall health
  • Large reliance on meat, which has repeatedly been linked to an increased risk of disease and is also very taxing on the environment
  • Weight loss from restrictive diets is very hard to maintain over time; weight will be re-gained if any “forbidden” foods are re-introduced into the diet
  • Very little science backing up some of the Paleo diet claims
  • Heavy use of coconut oil & other coconut products, which are imported from across the globe and carry a huge carbon footprint
  • Time-consuming & expensive (which could also be considered a pro rather than a con)

The Bottom Line

A paleo diet may help you lose weight or maintain your weight. It may also have other beneficial health effects. However, there are no long-term clinical studies about the benefits and potential risks of the diet.

You might be able to achieve the same health benefits by getting enough exercise and eating a balanced, healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables.

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