Paleo diet meal plan

Contents

7-Day Paleo Meal Plan

The paleo diet suggests the solution to modern-day health issues, such as obesity and other chronic diseases, is to revert back to the eating habits of our ancestors (during the Paleolithic time period), when neither processed food, nor chronic disease existed. What we like about the diet is that it encourages lots of fruits and veggies, wild-caught seafood and grass-fed meats, keeping added sugar and salt to a minimum and cutting out processed foods. These are all great ways to maintain a healthy diet but where the paleo diet falls flat is that it calls to eliminate beans and lentils, dairy, and whole grains-foods that deliver valuable nutrients like fiber, calcium and magnesium. Unless you have an allergy or intolerance, removing them from your diet can cause more harm than good.

Related: The Complete List of Paleo Diet Foods

While we don’t agree with all aspects of the paleo diet, we can get behind some of its healthy principles. In this paleo meal plan, we chose 7 days of dinners that meet the diet guidelines and are also flavorful and healthy options even if you’re not eating paleo. We also included healthy paleo recipe ideas as inspiration for breakfast and lunch to help balance out your day.

Don’t Miss: Healthy Paleo Recipes

Day 1: Garlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash

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Garlic Shrimp with Cilantro Spaghetti Squash: Garlicky shrimp are served on top of buttery, cilantro-flecked spaghetti squash in this quick, healthy dinner recipe inspired by shrimp scampi. Pair with a side of sautéed greens, such as kale, collards or spinach to round out this simple paleo meal.

Breakfast: “Egg in a Hole” Peppers with Avocado Salsa

Lunch: Greek Kale Salad with Quinoa & Chicken

Day 2: Guacamole-Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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Guacamole-Stuffed Poblano Peppers: Fresh poblano peppers are roasted and then filled with guacamole and shredded lettuce to create a delicious paleo dinner. Serve this healthy stuffed-pepper recipe with a mixed green salad dressed with Citrus Vinaigrette and topped with a handful of pumpkin seeds.

Breakfast: Berry-Almond Smoothie Bowl

Lunch: Chicken Curry Cup of Noodles

Day 3: Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Snap Peas

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Curried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Snap Peas: The slow cooker makes easy work of this colorful coconut-curry dinner. Made with coconut milk, curry powder, ginger and garlic, the mouthwatering sauce makes the meal. Reserve the bell peppers and snap peas and wait to add until the end to keep the vegetables crisp. A well-rounded and delicious paleo-friendly dinner, we guarantee you’ll end up making this recipe again soon.

Breakfast: Cauliflower Hash with Sausage & Eggs

Lunch: Guacamole Chopped Salad topped with 2 sliced cooked, crumbled bacon

Day 4: Zoodles with Tomato Sauce & Sausage

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Zoodles with Tomato Sauce & Sausage: Using spiralized zucchini noodles instead of pasta keeps this recipe paleo-friendly. A quick homemade tomato sauce and chicken sausage top the tender zoodles to finish the dish.

Breakfast: Tuna & Avocado Sweet-Potato Toast

Lunch: Slow-Cooker Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Day 5: Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce

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Salmon & Asparagus with Lemon-Garlic Butter Sauce: Not only is this dish healthy and delicious, this sheet-pan dinner is also easy to make and a breeze to clean up. Serve the salmon over Cauliflower Rice-a tasty paleo-friendly alternative to brown rice that doubles as an extra serving of veggies.

Breakfast: Jason Mraz’s Avocado Green Smoothie

Lunch: Chicken & Apple Kale Wraps

Day 6: Green Eggs & Ham Soup

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Green Eggs & Ham Soup: This paleo-friendly soup is super-flavorful thanks to pureed veggies topped with crispy ham and a perfectly poached egg.

Breakfast: Spinach & Eggs Sweet-Potato Toast

Lunch: Orange-Avocado Salad topped with cooked salmon

Day 7: Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts

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Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts: In this healthy chicken recipe, paprika-rubbed chicken thighs are nestled into Brussels sprouts and shallots and roasted on a sheet pan in the oven for an easy paleo dinner. As the chicken thighs roast, the garlicky drippings flavor the Brussels sprouts and shallots-yum!

Breakfast: Baby Kale Breakfast Salad with Smoked Trout & Avocado

Lunch: Simple Vegan Pesto Zoodles topped with cooked shrimp

Watch How to Make One-Pan Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts

Don’t Miss!

Your Complete Plan to Go Paleo for a Day

When making your weight-loss resolutions this New Year’s, rather than jump ahead to 2016, why not go back—a few million years—and try the Paleo Diet? This one-day plan from Eat This, Not That! makes trying it risk-free, and cheaper than buying a DeLorean.

The Paleo Diet is based not on what cavemen did, but on what they didn’t do (milk animals, grow crops, refine foods); the eating plan revolves around foods that are foraged, scavenged, hunted or caught. Proponents say we haven’t yet adapted to the agricultural revolution, and that’s why we’re fat.

Indeed, certain studies show that the diet leads to weight loss. A rare long-term paleo study—published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition last year—backed this idea up. In a group of obese postmenopausal women, Paleo had the a greater impact decreasing fat mass, abdominal obesity and triglyceride levels than diets recommended by many governments.

The USDA, for example, recommends that Americans eat 6 to 11 servings of bread, rice, cereals, grains or pasta daily—all foods that simply didn’t exist until our species had been anatomically “modern” for tens of thousands of years, and many of which, if consumed incorrectly, can lead to weight gain. These relatively new foods, along with dairy products, sugar, hydrogenated oils and artificial ingredients, are therefore avoided by people sticking to this way of eating.

So could going Paleo work for you? A great way to find out is to go caveman or cavewoman for a day and see if it’s sustainable. Here’s how to start. If you have second thoughts, be sure to look through the 50 Best Weight Loss Tips of the Year to find something that fits your lifestyle.

One-Day Shopping List

Luckily, going paleo doesn’t require you to get handy with a spear or but a guide to Knowing Your Poisonous Plants. It does, however, require you to be a little more judicious when you go to the store. All-dairy and flour-based products should not find their way into your cart—remember, no farming or pasteurization. Sugar, too, is a modern crop so give that a wide berth as well—and opt for a natural sweetener like honey: a product humanfolk have been stealing from bees for eons.

Instead thinking about what you can’t buy, focus on how trying paleo gives you the chance to forage for fresh ingredients like wild-caught fish and seafood (never farmed salmon!), hormone free poultry, grass-fed beef, organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, and paleo-friendly oils. If the ingredient list contains words you can’t pronounce, move on.

There’s a lot of debate in the paleo community about what is and isn’t paleo compliant but if you focus on the categories of food items above in their most entire form, you won’t get too far off track.

Here’s what you’ll need for one day, if you use the Paleo recipes below:

Produce

Half a head of cabbage
1 package of mushrooms
Walnuts for snacks
1 large heirloom tomato
5 large carrots
1 bulb garlic
1 cucumber
1 yellow or green pepper
1 avocado
2 onions
1 bulb of garlic
2 Large russet potatoes
Fresh rosemary
Lemon and limes (for juicing)

Proteins

1 can of unsalted albacore tuna
Nitrate and sugar-free bacon
A dozen free range, hormone-free eggs
Organic beef jerky
1 chicken (4 lb)

Oils

Macadamia nut oil
Olive oil (optional)
Avocado oil (optional)

Breakfast

Caveman Stir-Fry

When you think breakfast, you probably don’t think “cabbage”—but if you’re giving paleo a go, perhaps you should. Cabbage is a great source of belly-flattening fiber. A recent study found that people who added more of it to their diets — without changing anything else — lost almost as much weight as people who followed the heart-healthy, low-fat eating plan recommended by the American Heart Association. But that’s not all. Cabbage is an amazing diuretic, which means it helps you shift belly bloat from water retention.

What You’ll Need

1/4 head of cabbage
1 tbsp. avocado, coconut or olive oil
A few mushrooms
2-3 slices of bacon

How to Make It

  1. Shred cabbage thinly. Cut mushrooms and bacon into small, fork-friendly pieces.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of avocado, coconut or olive oil— three oils that the “no vegetable oil” paleo rule doesn’t apply to.
  3. Put mixture into pan and cook until it browns, and then transfer to a bowl and eat.

*For an extra bit of protein, add an over-easy egg or two and let the nutrient rich yolk coat this wholly satisfying breakfast.

Cabbage isn’t the only way to shrink your belly. Here’s how to stop belly bloat fast!

Mid-morning Snack

Walnuts

There are a ton of handy, paleo friendly snacks to choose from including veggie chips, trail mix, a hard boiled egg or even a chunk of leftover wild caught salmon or grass fed beef from last night’s dinner. There’s also the mighty walnut. A new scientific study suggests a handful of walnuts contains almost two times as many disease-fighting antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other nut! As one of the best dietary sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts have proven particularly good for the heart. One study showed a 2-ounce daily snack was enough to significantly improve blood-flow to and from the heart. And a second, five-year study found a 1-ounce portion of walnuts, three or more times per week could slash risk of heart disease by more than half! Find out more benefits from walnuts in 9 Reasons You Need to Eat Walnuts Right Now!

How to Enjoy Them

Put a small handful in a baggie and eat should you get snacky.

Lunch

Chopped Salad with Tuna

Many paleo meals are crazy simple and this nutrient packed salad—from PaleoDiet.com—is no exception. It’s brimming with nutrients including good fats contained in nature’s butter—the avocado. With its proven ability to lower cholesterol, quell hunger pangs and even spot-reduce belly fat, the avocado is arguably one of only a few perfect foods to lose weight. Think about that while your enjoy this zesty paleo lunch.

For the Salad
1 large heirloom tomato
1 carrot
1 cucumber
1 yellow or green pepper
1 avocado
1 can of unsalted albacore tuna

For the Vinaigrette
2 tsp fresh lime juice
3 tsp macadamia nut oil
Fresh ground pepper to taste

  1. In a small bowl emulsify the macadamia nut oil into the fresh lime juice. Add pepper to taste.
  2. Chop the vegetables into large, bite sized pieces.
  3. Break up the tuna with a fork.
  4. Toss the tuna with the chopped vegetables and the lime vinaigrette to enjoy.

Get more avocado inspiration from these 30 Best Avocado Recipes on Instagram!

Mid-Afternoon Snack

Beef Jerky

When you need a belly-blasting, metabolism-revving, hunger-sating protein, beef jerky is your go-to. Drying meat is one of the oldest methods of food preservation—the word jerky is derived from the Native South American Quechua term “ch’arki” which means “dried meat,” Likely discovered by accident, it’s thought that early humans found it lasted longer than fresh meat, and wasn’t subject to decay or insect infestation.

How to Enjoy It

Opt for a grass fed brand like Nick’s Sticks, which doesn’t include, sugar, nitrates, hormones or antibiotics.

Dinner

Herb Chicken with Roasted Vegetables

A 3 oz. cooked chicken breast contains only 142 calories and 3 grams of fat, but packs a whopping 26 grams of protein — more than half of the day’s recommended allowance. But unless you’re careful, the go-to protein can be a fail on the taste front. (Our casual poll on the taste of plain breast elicited answers ranging from “air you cut with a knife” to “wet sock.”) The good news: By taking on the bird in it’s whole form, you can make this healthy chicken recipe below a lip smacking post-gym dinner or an impressive date-night meal. (The fact that it’s paleo friendly needn’t even be mentioned.)

Serves 4

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 chicken (4 lb)
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 large russet potato, sliced into 1⁄8″ rounds
2 onions, quartered
4 large carrots, cut into large chunks

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Mix the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, and half of the olive oil.
  2. Working on the chicken, gently separate the skin from the flesh at the bottom of the breast and spoon in half of the rosemary mixture; use your hands to spread it around as thoroughly as possible. Spread the remaining half over the top of the chicken and then season with plenty of salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the potato, onions, carrots, remaining olive oil, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan and place the chicken on top, breast side up. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned.
  4. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and roast for another 30 minutes or so. The chicken is done when the juices between the breast and the leg run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted deep into the thigh reads 155°F.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.

Want to Learn More? Don’t Miss the 14 Best and Worst Paleo Foods for Weight Loss!

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Weekly Paleo Meal Plan

This Paleo Plan is for my friend Leslie Dietrich. Our children play baseball together and Leslie and I had the pleasure of thrift shopping our way through Waco, Texas last summer when their team was in the Regional Little League World Series Playoffs.

Like me, Leslie has a host of auto-immune disorders. Unlike me, she still eats gluten and grains. Leslie asked me for an eating plan that she could try for one week to see if the symptoms in her hands and other parts of her body would change. One week is probably not long enough (30 days is optimal) for seeing results from a change in diet. So if you want, just repeat this meal plan 4 times, or make your own, using the and Paleo sites such as Everyday Paleo or Paleo Parents.

Please note, this eating plan is not designed for someone who is trying to lose weight, this is not a diet plan. This is an anti-inflammatory eating plan that can be used by some people to improve overall health and wellness. If you do need to lose weight, feel free to refer to Loren Cordain’s book The Paleo Diet

or Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution, those 2 books have very specific weight loss plans that utilize the grain free diet as a base for weight reduction.

This post is for people that want to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into their diet by eliminating the grains that are toxic to a large percentage of us. So, eat your veggies. They’re far more nutrient dense than grains. Or as my dear Dad has been saying for the past 40 years, “Eat the rainbow!”

  1. Sunday

    Breakfast Silver Dollar Pancakes Turkey or Pork Bacon Fresh Berries Lunch Turkey Club Sandwich Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dinner Sesame Salmon Burgers Garlic Ginger Bok Choy or Steamed Broccoli

  2. Monday

    Breakfast 2 slices Paleo Bread 3 Scrambled Eggs 1 Grapefruit Lunch Turkey Club Sandwich Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dinner Cod Piccata Roasted Broccoli Cabbage Orange Salad

  3. Tuesday

    Breakfast Almond Butter Protein Shake Toasted Almonds Lunch Turkey Roll Ups Fresh Blueberries Dinner Cobb Salad Mushroom Soup

  4. Wednesday

    Breakfast 3 Fried Eggs Turkey or Pork Bacon ½ Avocado Lunch Leftover Mushroom Soup Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette Dinner Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes Roasted Butternut Squash Steamed Broccoli

  5. Thursday

    Breakfast Greena Colada (add 1 scoop protein powder) Handful of Dehydrated Almonds Lunch Turkey Club Sandwich Veggie Sticks Dinner Chicken Soup Green Salad Roasted Acorn Squash

  6. Friday

    Breakfast 3 Scrambled Eggs 2 slices Paleo Toast Fresh Raspberries Lunch Leftover Chicken Soup Green Salad Dinner Chili Chicken Cauliflower Rice Green Salad

  7. Saturday

    Breakfast Almond Butter Protein Shake Lunch Leftover Chili Chicken Leftover Cauliflower Rice Dinner Stuffed Peppers Grilled Broccoli

  8. Snacks

    Fruit Green Apples Blueberries Raspberries Strawberries Other Fruit Veggies Veggie Sticks Protein Turkey Jerky Bacon Protein/Carbs Dehydrated Nuts Crackers

Some of the recipes above might not be super strict Paleo, however if you make quick and easy substitutions they can be. All are grain free and primal; they are Paleo friendly as well.

For the snack section of this plan, I have listed the lower glycemic fruits that work best for me. If you like to eat sweeter fruits, feel free to add those in to your plan. However, if you have trouble with sugar, it may be best to stick with less fruit and low glycemic at that.

What is your favorite Paleo dish and what are your health goals for 2012?

20 Paleo Breakfast Recipes

The paleo diet focuses on unprocessed foods and avoids dairy products. That means your paleo breakfasts can be high in fiber, with seeds, nuts, and fresh fruits. They can also give you a morning dose of protein via meat and eggs. Turn to these paleo breakfast recipes when you want nutrition-packed paleo meals to start your day.

1. Chocolate Coconut Granola

Paleo dieters can enjoy this granola recipe in the morning with almond or hemp milk, or as a snack during the day. It’s packed with fiber thanks to the almonds, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. One cup of pumpkin seeds has nearly 8 grams of fiber. This recipe also calls for chia seeds, which are very nutritious. They’re rich in protein, fiber, calcium, iron, and phosphorous.

2. Broccoli, Mushroom & Egg Muffins

You don’t need traditional muffin ingredients to make something that both looks like a muffin, and hits the same spot. These breakfast muffins are egg- and vegetable-based, but are baked in a muffin tin just like their grainy brethren. They also pack quite the protein punch; one egg supplies about ten percent of your daily protein requirement.

3. Strawberry Doughnuts

With heavily processed wheat flour and sugary additives, the very last treat you’d expect to eat on a paleo diet is a doughnut. But doughnut lovers, rejoice! Here’s a paleo doughnut recipe for you. It uses coconut flour for the dough and freeze-dried strawberries made to resemble pink icing. Now this is a treat you can enjoy and feel good about.

4. Almond Zucchini Bread

Zucchini bread has always been a good way to sneak veggies onto the plates of picky eaters. In this recipe, the classic baked good goes completely paleo with ground almonds as a base. The almond flour holds the bread together, just as wheat flour does in traditional recipes. This paleo-friendly ingredient also provides a nutty flavor and a pleasant crunch.

5. Sweet Potato Hash

You might think of hash browns as a greasy diner staple. With this recipe you can enjoy this typically heavy breakfast food without the empty calories. The sweet potatoes here are shredded in a food processor and lightly sautéed in lard. Top off the meal with eggs to add a bit of protein.

Top tip: Not the type to cook with lard? Try coconut oil instead.

6. Almond & Blueberry Muffins

There’s a reason why blueberry muffins are a breakfast staple. These densely delicious muffins are easy to grab and nosh on the go, and perfect with hot java or tea. Fresh berries will hold their shape better than frozen ones, but feel free to use either.

7. Immune Booster Orange Smoothie

When you’re looking for immune-boosting vitamin A, look for foods that are bright orange, red, and yellow. This recipe includes sweet potato, one of the best sources of vitamin A around. Bonus points: this breakfast smoothie is also vegan friendly.

8. Classic Banana Pancakes

No breakfast menu is complete without pancakes, but the traditional non-Paleo variety don’t provide much in the way of nutrition. We found these banana pancakes to be both easy to make and packed with all the nutrients bananas provide, namely, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, and eggs, that provide a good amount of protein. Serve with a paleo-friendly fruit or maple syrup, which provides iron, magnesium, and calcium.

9. Sausage Frittata

Savory sausage combines with eggs and sweet potato in this paleo-friendly breakfast recipe. You won’t miss the cheese typically found in a traditional frittata. The shredded sweet potato provides a lightness cheese never could (not to mention plenty of fiber).

Top tip: Add a cup of chopped kale for color and texture.

10. Hawaiian Loco Moco

Here’s a paleo version of loco moco, the traditional Hawaiian comfort food of white rice and beef. This recipe relies heavily on cauliflower. When cooked, cauliflower provides phosphorous, vitamin C, and folate. It also has twice as much fiber as white rice.

Top tip: Use a cheese grater or a blender to grind cauliflower into grain-sized bits.

11. Hazelnut Chocolate Crepes

The French aren’t known for their paleo-friendly desserts. Fortunately, there is a recipe for a paleo version of a very French treat: crepes. This yummy, grain-free concoction relies on green plantains as a base.

Top tip: A cup of plantains provides over 700 milligrams of potassium, which helps your body build muscle and protein.

12. Pumpkin Spice Muffins

With the use of full-fat coconut milk in these muffins, you’ve got yourself a moist, delicious morning treat. Pumpkin pie spice is mostly cinnamon and nutmeg. Numerous studies suggest cinnamon works as an anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering agent. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A. All that and frosting too!

13. Sweet Potato Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

Sometimes you want to grab a bar for breakfast as you run out the door, and sometimes you want a complete, filling meal right at the start of the day. This recipe is for the latter craving. The slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes provides a delicious base for savory bacon and garlic mayo. Avocados, tomato, and lettuce make this a complete meal any time of day.

Top tip: Feel free to use yams as a substitute for sweet potatoes.

14. Oatmeal

Since the paleo diet doesn’t allow grains, getting rid of all oats is the only way to make a paleo version of oatmeal. But don’t worry, it’s not as impossible as it sounds. This recipe uses coconut flakes and coconut flour to replicate that grainy oatmeal texture.

Top tip: You can add an egg to boost protein or opt for a banana to make the recipe completely veganfriendly.

15. Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

If getting your kids to eat a healthy meal before they head out for the day is a challenge, here’s the recipe for you. These breakfast cookies are delicious sources of nutrition that are easy to bring when you’re on the go. The combined fiber from the nuts in this recipe amounts to nearly 20 grams.

16. Sausage Egg Muffins

These bright green “muffins” are anything but the sugary, fat-laden, white flour pastry you grab at the coffee shop. Relying on just a little almond and coconut flour to hold them together, these are protein-packed single-serving complete meals. The recipe makes 14 muffins in total.

Top tip: Two muffins are good for one person. Consider adding to the recipe when serving large groups.

17. Strawberry Pancakes

Here’s a fruity, paleo recipe all pancake lovers can enjoy. This recipe adds delicious pureed strawberries to its almond flour-based batter. A tablespoon of ground flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids and 2 grams of fiber.

18. Breakfast Casserole

Busy times call for quick recipes and busy lifestyles call for lots of protein. Here’s a one-dish meal that satisfies both needs. Eggs are one of nature’s best protein sources. They are also a significant source of folate and vitamin D. Sweet potatoes provide yummy bright color and offer more fiber and fewer calories than white potatoes.

19. Banana Bread

This recipe is a paleo- and gluten-free-friendly version of a classic comfort food: banana bread. Even the sweetener in this recipe does its part to create a high nutrition profile. One-quarter cup of maple syrup has about the same number of calories as white sugar, but it packs in important nutrients like calcium, iron, and potassium.

20. Cranberry Orange Muffins

You can never go wrong with a batch of warm, fresh muffins for breakfast. These may seem like your average muffins, but there’s a secret ingredient, a superfood, in this paleo recipe — avocados! They add a creamy, moist texture to these breakfast baked goods, without interfering with the tart flavors of orange and cranberry.

The 21-Day Paleo Meal Plan

You’ve probably heard the saying that 21 days makes a habit – because it’s true.

After you spend 21 days working your way through this meal plan, you’ll have an excellent grasp of what foods are (and are not) Paleo. You’ll discover a healthy diet that’s rich in flavor and satisfies every food craving.

The Paleo diet approaches nutrition in a revolutionary way, pairing the best of ancient principles with modern research and convenience. You don’t have to forage like a caveman to reap the benefits of Paleo, like reduced inflammation, improved energy levels, better sleep quality, and clearer skin! Weight loss is also a common side effect of Paleo – but just one of the many life-changing improvements you might find when you adopt this new way of eating.

Want to go Paleo? Not sure where to start?
Start with this FREE Paleo For Beginners Guide Today!

With this done-for-you meal plan and shopping list, your first 21 days are covered! No need to scour the internet or cookbooks for recipes. We’ve found the tastiest dishes to whet your appetite, and created a meal plan to save you time and money. With creative use of leftovers, this meal plan is doable for even the busiest person or anyone who has never cooked before.

A Paleo diet has many amazing health benefits: from anti-inflammatory wellness to digestive health to reducing or eliminating chronic conditions. The Paleo recipes selected here are a good introduction to the diet, and we’ve even thrown in a few desserts to show that Paleo eaters can satisfy a sweet tooth without sacrificing nutrients or food quality.

While most people will lose weight when they switch to a Paleo diet, it’s important to remember that food, while critical, is not the only thing that matters. Exercise, healthy sleep habits, staying hydrated, and finding ways to bring calm and joy into your daily routine are just as essential for a happy life.

When you pair a Paleo diet with these things, not only will food cravings go away and digestive symptoms calm down (say goodbye to bloating, gas, and reflux!), but you’re going to have energy that will make you feel 10 years younger.

“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” Tim Fargo

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Maple Pecan Granola with Bacon Sprinkles (1 serving): While oat-based granola lacks protein, this sweet and savory pecan granola is rich in protein.
  • Lunch: One Pan Lemon and Herb Chicken (2 servings): Lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the natural detox function of the liver, and when paired with chicken and herbs, provide an immune-boosting combo that is anti-inflammatory and digestion balancing.
  • Dinner: Chipotle Chicken Soup (4 servings): Chicken is an excellent Paleo protein that’s rich in amino acids, which have a wide range of benefits including heart health, blood sugar balance, and a protein that decreases risk of colorectal cancer. When thrown in a soup, it’s a budget-friendly way to get protein and other nutrients that won’t break the bank.

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Grain-Free Broccoli Toast (6 slices) with Avocado: Enjoy this grain-free toast topped with avocado and maybe a pinch of sea salt for a fiber-rich breakfast that will keep you full till lunch.
  • Lunch: Leftover Chipotle Chicken Soup
  • Dinner: Apple Cider Pork Roast (serves 6) with Honey Maple Glazed Carrots (serves 6): Apples and carrots are the nutrient stars of this meal, with benefits ranging from improved eyesight to blood sugar balance to even anti-aging nutrients, but they’re nothing without the sweet and savory pork that provides a hefty dose of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Keto Breakfast Burger with Avocado Buns (1 serving): Starting your day off with a high-fat, high-protein meal can set the tone for a day of boosted metabolism, satiety, and energy levels.
  • Lunch: Leftover Apple Cider Pork Roast with Honey Maple Glazed Carrots
  • Dinner: Creamy Chicken Alfredo (3 servings): Cauliflower is the “Paleo potato” because its flavor profile is versatile, allowing it to be a low-carb, fiber-rich component of just about any Paleo dish; here it provides the perfect base for a creamy comfort food that is completely dairy-free.

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Dipped in Soft Boiled Eggs (serves 2): One cup of asparagus provides a whopping 70 percent of your daily vitamin K needs, which is essential for bone health, heart health, and brain health, not to mention proper blood clotting, and when paired with the salty prosciutto and soft boiled egg, it will become a go-to breakfast you’ll be prepping for years to come.
  • Lunch: BLT Avocado Stack (1 stack): These avocado stacks are convenient (and double as amazing appetizers), proving that not every Paleo meal needs to be complex or loaded down with tons of ingredients. Plus, they’re seriously good.
  • Dinner: Ahi Tuna Salad (serves 4): Four ounces of tuna contain more than double the recommended daily amount of selenium, a trace mineral that is required for thyroid balance, healthy metabolism, and reduced inflammation.

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Zucchini Fritters (serves 2): Zucchini squash are rich in magnesium, a mineral that an astounding number of folks are deficient in, and which plays an important role in sleep quality, reduced muscle aches and pains, and balanced hormones.
  • Lunch: Paleo Spicy Orange Chicken (serves 2) with Steamed Broccoli: This orange chicken is bursting with flavor, and pairs well with any steamed veggie, but broccoli is an easy favorite.
  • Dinner: Crockpot Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup (serves 4): You’ve heard chicken soup is good for, well, everything, but when it also contains turmeric it’s an inflammation buster that supports proper digestion and cardiovascular health, too.

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Zucchini Pancakes with Bacon and Chives (serves 8): This savory twist on the classic pancake breakfast is low carb and significantly better for blood sugar balance.
  • Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup
  • Dinner: Rosemary Citrus Chicken (serves 3): This herbaceous chicken dish features rosemary, an herb that can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation, along with fresh lemon and orange that give a boost to digestive wellness and a nice influx of vitamin C.

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Leftover Zucchini Pancakes with Bacon and Chives
  • Lunch: Chorizo Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts (serves 2): Brussels sprouts are in the cruciferous family of vegetables, which have been proven to have cancer fighting properties by significant amounts of research. These “mini cabbages” are also rich in fiber and have more than twice the daily amount of vitamin K (making them bone and blood builders, too), and combined with the spicy flair of chorizo, even the pickiest veggie eaters will be asking for seconds.
  • Dinner: Guac-Stuffed Kali Burgers (serves 4): Avocados can help promote feelings of fullness longer after meals and can also help to support metabolism; plus, they are a match made in heaven for the classic burger.
  • Dessert: Brownies (serves 10): Desserts don’t have to be forbidden on a Paleo plan, but should still be eaten in moderation. These brownies use sweet potatoes as the secret ingredient behind the satisfying, chewy texture of this classic dessert.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn

Day 8

  • Breakfast: Coconut Flour Blueberry Lemon Bread (10 slices): Missing bread on a Paleo diet? This blueberry bread is infused with the wake-me-up zest of lemon; add a dollop of grass-fed butter or ghee and sip alongside your morning coffee for a vacation on a plate.
  • Lunch: Leftover Guac-Stuffed Kali Burgers
  • Dinner: Cozy Taco Soup (serves 2): Bell peppers contain more than 150 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, and this taco soup also provides some classic comfort food, too, which can often be missed when making dietary changes.

Day 9

  • Breakfast: Leftover Coconut Flour Blueberry Lemon Bread
  • Lunch: Turkey Cobb Salad (serves 6): Making your own dressing for this salad has never been simpler. Plus, the apple cider vinegar helps boost digestive function and reduces heartburn and reflux.
  • Dinner: Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice (serves 2): Missing takeout on a Paleo diet? This dish preps fast, cooks fast, and will satisfy that deliciously delivered-to-your-door feeling that is perfect for the end of a long day.

Day 10

  • Breakfast: Kale and Mushroom Sausage Patties (serves 5): While most people think of kale as a weight loss food, it’s also rich in beta-carotene, which nourishes hair, skin, and nails—part of why so many who eat Paleo report that their hair gets stronger and their skin looks brighter! Even picky eaters will find that the kale is subtle here, and these sausage patties can be customized with favorite spice profiles to kick them up a notch.
  • Lunch: Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
  • Dinner: Cauliflower and Beef Ragout (serves 2): Red meat is healthy! It’s an excellent source of B12, a nutrient needed for neurological and mental health as well as for healthy immunity and weight loss, and this dish is just one example of how Paleo can be simple and gourmet at the same time.

Day 11

  • Breakfast: Leftover Kale and Mushroom Sausage Patties
  • Lunch: Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
  • Dinner: Avocado Bacon Burger (serves 4) with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls (serves 12): While most people don’t associate beef and bacon with a healthy meal, this Paleo avocado burger does just that—low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and ultra-satisfying for the taste buds—and it’s paired with just enough starch from sweet potatoes to give you a boost of energy.

Day 12

  • Breakfast: Mango Bacon Butternut Squash Hash (serves 1): One cup of butternut squash contains more than 400 percent daily value of vitamin A, and it’s also a starch that is well-tolerated by most carb-sensitive people, making it a perfect way to get a few carbs into the first meal of the day.
  • Lunch: Leftover Avocado Bacon Burgers with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls
  • Dinner: Crockpot Cabbage Soup (serves 4): Cabbage is a low-carb vegetable that contains specific nutrients that benefit liver detox, digestive health, and hormone balance; this soup is a great way to consume cabbage for anyone who struggles to digest it when raw!

Day 13

  • Breakfast: Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Egg (serves 2): Prosciutto is another form of cured pork, and when paired with avocado and egg, it provides a salty balance to a dish that is rich in protein, folate, and vitamin B12.
  • Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Cabbage Soup with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls
  • Dinner: Creamy Chicken Marsala (serves 4): Missing creamy foods on a dairy-free diet? This dish proves you can enjoy a delicious, coconut-milk based sauce without sacrificing taste or digestion! Coconut milk is rich in healthy fats that can actually reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and promote weight loss.

Day 14

  • Breakfast: Matcha Smoothie Bowl (serves 2): Want to join the smoothie bowl craze? This one incorporates matcha, an antioxidant-rich green tea powder that is a great source of chlorophyll, a detoxifying nutrient that also purifies the blood.
  • Lunch: Leftover Creamy Chicken Marsala
  • Dinner: Taco Casserole (serves 4): You won’t have to skip taco Tuesday with this grain-free, dairy-free casserole that combines favorite taco elements with 100 percent Paleo goodness.
  • Dessert: Dark Chocolate Mousse (serves 4): Need a chocolate fix? This mousse is chock-full of healthy Paleo fats and antioxidants, and only uses a small amount of raw honey for the sweetener—making it a dessert you absolutely don’t have to feel guilty about.

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier

Day 15

  • Breakfast: Morning Glory Muffins (yields 9): These muffins are that perfect on-the-go breakfast that can also double as a snack or a clever way to get more fruits and veggies in when you’re super busy or a little picky.
  • Lunch: Leftover Taco Casserole
  • Dinner: Baked Salmon (serves 2) with Beet Noodle Arugula Salad (serves 1): Enjoy the bright pop of color from this baked salmon and beet dish—a one-two punch for brain health, since salmon reduces inflammation and beets can actually increase blood flow to our hard-working brains.

“People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy

Day 16

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Egg Sweet Potato Pancake Breakfast Sandwich (serves 1): Sweet potatoes are not only beneficial for eye health, but they’re also rich in fiber and contain beneficial nutrients for fertility, hormone balance, and weight loss, and they are the perfect partner for everyone’s favorite salty breakfast meat.
  • Lunch: Teriyaki Meatball Bowl (serves 2): It doesn’t get more convenient than a one-dish meal, and these teriyaki meatballs harness the power of fresh garlic (which is so potent that it can be used to prevent numerous forms of cancer), and it even functions as a natural type of antibiotic.
  • Dinner: Beef Tomato Soup (serves 6): Come home to dinner already prepared by slow-cooking this simple, savory dish that is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is anti-cancer and weight-loss friendly.

Day 17

  • Breakfast: Coconut Oatmeal (serves 1): If you need a quick, out-the-door breakfast, this easily replaces oatmeal and is richer in protein and healthy fats. Bonus: you can customize it with your favorite flavors!
  • Lunch: Leftover Beef Tomato Soup
  • Dinner: Tandoori Chicken (serves 4): Paprika, the primary spice in this zesty chicken dish, is rich in iron and promotes healthy blood and hemoglobin levels, and besides—who doesn’t love a marinated chicken?

Day 18

  • Breakfast: Eggs in Hash Brown Nests (serves 4): Bring the classic flavors of a hometown diner to your kitchen, and do it in a single dish! Eggs and hash browns are the perfect breakfast because you get fats, carbs, and proteins for a true balanced meal.
  • Lunch: Leftover Tandoori Chicken
  • Dinner: Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats (serves 4): While some may struggle to make Paleo a kid-friendly food plan, there are tons of options that appeal for family meals, including these fun and simple zucchini boats.

Day 19

  • Breakfast: Sausage Quiche (serves 6): Eggs slow the breakdown of body tissues and promote healthy muscle development, and the convenience of a one-dish breakfast is hard to beat!
  • Lunch: Leftover Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
  • Dinner: Garlic Chicken Drumsticks (serves 8) with Creamed Collard Greens (serves 3): Collard greens are an excellent Paleo source of calcium, and they are a perfect pairing with classic chicken drumsticks that are far from boring with a rich, garlicky flavor.

Day 20

  • Breakfast: Leftover Sausage Quiche
  • Lunch: Leftover Garlic Chicken Drumsticks with Mushroom Risotto (serves 4): Prepping a new side dish makes a leftover protein feel brand new again, and this mushroom risotto with cauliflower rice is so chic it could have stepped right out of a cooking show onto your table.
  • Dinner: Steak Wraps (serves 2): Balsamic vinegar is balancing for cholesterol and blood sugar, and it adds a perfect zest to this simple steak dish.
  • Dessert: Raspberry Cookies (10 cookies): Chocolate raspberry cookies that aren’t excessively high in sugar? We’ve got you covered.

Day 21

  • Breakfast: Leftover Sausage Quiche
  • Lunch: Leftover Garlic Chicken Drumsticks with Mushroom Risotto
  • Dinner: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds (serves 4): Almonds are a great source of fiber and protein. They have even been shown to reduce cholesterol and to have cancer-fighting properties, and they add the perfect amount of crunch to this veggie bacon dish.

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Tips to Keep Making Progress

Three weeks of Paleo eating may feel like a long time, but in reality, it is just enough time to get you started on a Paleo habit. The health benefits that you’ll see if you continue on a Paleo path are boundless, but the journey can feel long without the right resources and support.

  • Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest lifestyle, wellness, fitness, and food inspiration to keep you motivated and inspired.
  • Join a meal plan subscription (we recommend PaleoPlan, it makes being healthy easy!)
  • Sign up for CrossFit, a fitness program, or work with a personal trainer to keep you active.
  • Take a yoga class to help you relax and reflect on your progress.

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Paleo meal planning doesn’t have to be intimidating, and you’re going to learn the essentials of putting together a one week menu in this post. Cool, right?

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 1: The Weekly Cook-Up

When you eat Paleo, you tend to cook at home (a LOT) but one thing that can slow you down is cooking every single meal fresh, from scratch. By eating leftovers, you’ll be able to reach into the fridge, grab and reheat a meal without having to start the process from step one.

Instituting a weekly cook-up day is the an important part of meal planning. You’ll need to set aside one day a week to do a big shopping trip and a large amount of batch cooking. (Two or three hours usually does it.) Pick a day where you preferably don’t have to work. If you’re off on the weekend, pick Sunday as your big cook-up day.

With enough planning you’ll be able to create meals for Monday through Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, a small trip to the market and a little cook-up will get you through to the weekend. (Adjust according to your days off.)

My must-have tools for weekly cook-up day:

  • Programmable slow cooker
  • baking sheets for roasting off tons of veggies
  • A high-speed blender for sauces and soups
  • Lots of glass-lock containers to store all your tasty eats

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 2: Create a Template

This is probably the key to a successful meal plan: Create a template that you can pop recipes into by type. That way, you keep the template and vary the recipes week to week so that you’re taking some of the guesswork out.

Here’s what I mean:

Monday

Breakfast: Reheated frittata, blueberries, cherry tomatoes

Lunch: Slow cooker beef, roasted veggies, avocado

Dinner: Huge salad with grilled or pan-fried chicken, homemade dressing, nuts

Tuesday

Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, leftover slow cooker meat, roasted sweet potato

Lunch: One-skillet stir fry, raw veggies, olives or coconut flakes

Dinner: Soup or stew, roasted squash, avocado

Wednesday

Breakfast: Leftover pan-fried chicken, veggie hash, homemade ranch

Lunch: Mixed salad with shredded pork, berries and avocado

Dinner: Tacos or enchiladas, fresh salsa and all the fixings

Thursday

Breakfast: Egg muffins, fresh fruit, coconut flakes

Lunch: Leftover enchiladas from the previous day

Dinner: Out to eat

Friday

Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, smoked salmon, olives

Lunch: Big salad with slow cooker chicken, homemade dressing

Dinner: Oven-baked meatballs and sauce with spaghetti squash, sautéed greens

Saturday

Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, bacon and eggs

Lunch: Collard wraps, avocado and fruit

Dinner: Baked fish with homemade sauce, fresh slaw

Sunday

Breakfast: Forage for leftovers

Lunch: Lettuce-wrapped burgers and sweet potato fries

Dinner: Slow cooker curry with cauli rice

and so on…

Individual preferences and how many leftovers you have will vary.

Paleo Meal Planning, Step 3: Browse for Recipes but KISS

Now that your cook-up days are scheduled, it’s time to decide what you’ll make. For a majority of meals, KISS. Don’t try to get involved in fancy schmancy techniques and complicated recipes for everything.

Stick to recipes with ingredients that are easy to find in your local market. Running all over tarnation for random ingredients is not a great way to maximize your time.

If you need inspiration, check out sites like Pinterest. You can browse boards quickly and save pins to your own boards for later. Dig into your favorite cookbooks or visit your favorite blogs.

My favorite for simple recipe ideas are Nom Nom Paleo, The Clothes Make the Girl, Paleo Cupboard, Popular Paleo and Meatified. These five are my go-to sites besides my own. *wink*

I recommend doing this a day or two before your weekly big cook-up, plugging it into your template (see step 2) and making a list of ingredients.

Of course, there is no one right or wrong way to do this. Experiment and find out what works for you!

Other Paleo Meal Planning Tips

Get creative

You don’t have to slave over a soup pot for hours and hours to create every meal. By including a variety of techniques, you can actually minimize cooking time. Eating a mix of raw and cooked veggies will help.

Wanna plan a month of meals in FIVE minutes?

Every week I like to include:

Soups or stews

  • Jaimie’s Meatball Soup
  • Spiced Butternut Squash Soup
  • Thai Coconut Soup

Slow cooker meals

  • Crock Pot Mocha-Rubbed Pot Roast
  • Honey Mustard Crock Pot Spare Ribs
  • Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole

One-skillet meals

  • One Skillet Paleo Dinner
  • Easy Chicken Stir Fry
  • Tasty Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

Baked egg dishes

  • Breakfast Sausage Scotch Eggs
  • Paleo Carnitas Egg Muffins
  • Hearty Spinach Beef Frittata

Hardboiled eggs

  • Perfect Hardboiled Eggs

Vegetables hashes

  • Apple Cinnamon Maple Bacon Sweet Potato Hash
  • Simple Braised Root Veggies

Roasted vegetables

  • Rosemary Balsamic Butternut Squash
  • Apple Cranberry Sweet Potato Bake
  • Will’s Yam Fries

Sautéed vegetables

  • Ratatouille a la Claudette
  • Cumin Coconut Chard
  • Cabbage with Apple and Onion

Raw salads or slaws

  • Simple Rainbow Slaw
  • Jicama Carrot Slaw
  • Watermelon Mojito Salad

Grilled, pan-fried or baked meats / fish

  • Easy Pan-Fried Lemon Chicken
  • Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
  • The Perfect Burger

Easy sauces or dressings

  • Roasted Salsa Verde
  • Umami Mayo
  • Paleo Ranch Dressing

Meals that can be frozen for later

  • Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
  • Paleo Beef Stew
  • Easy Oven-Baked Meatballs

Be flexible

You can eat breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. The first meal of the day does NOT have to be a Paleo version of a traditionally carb-heavy dish. You can really eat anything for breakfast. In fact, mine is usually eggs with leftover meat and raw veggies or fruit. Simple.

Try a meal exchange

Rope a couple other Paleo friends into creating a meal exchange. Basically how it works is this: Cook and prepare a main dish, side dish and sauce for your friends and yourself. Swap meals and you’ll have instant variety!

Plan one meal out to eat

Fill a gap in your template by going out to eat. Many restaurants are paleo-friendly if you ask for substitutions.

Have fun with it

Learning to meal plan and balance your time with other demands in your life takes practice, but the more you do it, the more innate it’ll get it. Pretty soon, you’ll be planning meals like a pro!

Or…if all else fails, let someone do the planning for you!

Wanna plan a month of meals in FIVE minutes?

Paleo diet meal plan: A simple guide

People claim that the paleo diet offers many health benefits, which include promoting weight loss, reducing the risk of diabetes, and lowering blood pressure.

In this section, we look at the scientific evidence to see whether research supports any of these claims:

Weight loss

An older 2008 study found that 14 healthy volunteers achieved an average weight loss of 2.3 kilograms by following the paleo diet for 3 weeks.

In 2009, researchers compared the effects of the paleo diet with a diet for diabetes on 13 people with type 2 diabetes. The small study found that eating the paleo way reduced participants’ body weight and waist circumference.

A 2014 study of 70 postmenopausal women with obesity found that following a paleo diet helped participants lose weight after 6 months.

However, after 2 years, there was no difference in weight loss between participants following the paleo diet and those adhering to regular Nordic nutrition recommendations. These results suggest that other healthful diets may be just as successful at promoting weight loss.

The authors of a 2017 review noted that the paleo diet helped reduce weight in the short term but concluded that this result is due to caloric restriction, or consuming fewer calories.

Overall, the research suggests that the paleo diet may help people lose weight initially but that other diets that reduce calorie intake may be just as effective.

More research is necessary before doctors recommend the paleo diet for weight loss. Currently, doctors advise people to follow a calorie-controlled diet and exercise more to lose weight.

Reducing diabetes risk

Will following a paleo eating plan reduce a person’s risk of developing diabetes? The results of some initial studies are promising.

Insulin resistance is a risk factor for diabetes. Improving a person’s insulin sensitivity decreases the likelihood that they will develop diabetes and can help those who have diabetes reduce their symptoms.

A small study in 2015 compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association on people with type 2 diabetes.

While both diets improved the participants’ metabolic health, the paleo diet was better at improving insulin resistance and blood sugar control.

An older 2009 study of nine sedentary volunteers without obesity also found that the paleo diet improved insulin sensitivity.

There is a need for more recent research on the paleo diet and diabetes, but the evidence to date suggests that eating like a hunter-gatherer may improve insulin sensitivity.

Lowering blood pressure

Share on PinterestResearch into the impact of the paleo diet on blood pressure is ongoing.

High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. Some people think that the paleo diet can help keep blood pressure in check and promote heart health.

An older 2008 study of 14 healthy volunteers found that following the paleo diet for 3 weeks improved systolic blood pressure. It also decreased weight and body mass index (BMI). The study did not include a control group, however, so the results are not conclusive.

A 2014 study supported these early findings. Researchers compared the effects of the paleo diet with those of a diet that the Dutch Health Council recommend on 34 participants with characteristics of metabolic syndrome, a condition that increases the risk of heart disease.

Results showed that the paleo diet reduced blood pressure and blood lipid profile, both of which can improve heart health.

Although initial studies suggest that the paleo diet may reduce blood pressure and support heart health, more recent and extensive studies are necessary to make any conclusions.

When you think about time travel, diets are not something that spring to mind. But that’s exactly what the paleo diet does! It takes dieters back to the distant past to help them lose weight and lead a healthier lifestyle. But how does this epoch-spanning diet do this, and what should a paleo diet shopping list look like?

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The Diet That Time Almost Forgot

The paleo, or Paleolithic Diet to give it it’s full name, has been around for a while. But it is based on eating habits that are a lot older than you think. The idea of such a diet can actually be traced back to the 1880s where Dr. Emmet Densmore proclaimed that “bread is the staff of death” and said that a more primitive diet was healthier. However, the diet, as we know it today, was developed and popularized by Dr. Loren Cordain in 2002.

But what is the paleo diet?

The idea behind it is that we eat like our early ancestors. The food selected is supposed to mimic what was available to prehistoric humans who followed a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. For this reason, the diet is also sometimes referred to as the “Stone Age Diet” or even the “Caveman Diet”.

So, what are the benefits of going paleo eating like this?

Weight loss and healthier living.

If more than just your historical interest has been piqued, let us answer a few questions you may have about the diet. Then we’ll provide you with a paleo shopping list template for you to use in your very modern grocery store. However, you can time-warp forward straight to list if you want.

Paleo Diet FAQs

Do people lose weight on the diet?

They certainly seem to.

There have been many short-term studies into the diet and they all tend to conclude that it does aid weight loss.

However, one study concluded that this is because of a general calorie deficit created by the diet rather than the specific properties of any of the food or food combination eaten.

Therefore, to be sure to lose weight, you should look into making sure you’re maintaining a calorie deficit whilst you are on the diet, despite the fact that this may well happen naturally.

Is the diet healthy?

Quite possibly.

Because there’s still an emphasis on eating a good amount of fruit and vegetables, it’s not unhealthy. But there are concerns some dieticians have.

Cutting out dairy, legumes, and grains means that there are nutrients specific to those groups that you won’t be getting. Some also have concerns about reduced fiber intake, which could cause bowel-cancer. But as you’re still eating a good range of vegetables this isn’t as risky as on the keto or carnivore diets.

There are concerns about people unwittingly raising their saturated fat intake whilst on the diet. The diet very clearly promotes the eating of lean meat with low saturated fat content. But, if you’re not being meticulous about this point, you could see your saturated fat intake increase dramatically, leading to an increased risk of heart disease.

However, if you do stick to lean meat, especially grass-fed meat, and fish, you’ll find you will increase your “healthy fat” intake, such as monounsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Don’t buy what you don’t need. Stick to the essentials with a shopping list.

The diet is very good for those looking for a diet that helps with type-2 diabetes prevention and control. This is because of the very low starch and sugar intake inherent in the food allowed on the diet. It’s also great for those who are gluten intolerant because the complete eradication of grains makes the diet gluten-free.

But, there hasn’t been any study yet into the long-term effects of the diet. Because of this, the diet actually ranks a low #33 out of 41 on US New’s definitive list of 2019’s best diets.

Is it expensive?

Unfortunately, yes.

Remember, you’re supposed to be buying lean meat and fish. Fish is generally quite an expensive food item, and lean meat, particularly the grass-fed varieties that the diet champions, even more so. Even something as humdrum as ground beef can suddenly become quite pricey. Even things like healthier free range eggs add extra pennies to your bill.

When you consider that you’ll be eating more of these that you usually would, you can see how the costs ramp up. Add to that some health food products that you might have to buy, and your groceries become quite costly.

Fresh fruit and veg can also be quite pricey. But savings can be made here by buying frozen and canned varieties, especially as research shows that they can be just as nutritious as those bought fresh.

Is the diet easy to follow?

It’s not too difficult.

There are plenty of websites with comprehensive beginner’s guides, definite paleo foods lists, paleo recipes, and paleo diet meal plans that can help you transition into leading a paleo lifestyle without having to think too much about what you should and shouldn’t be eating.

However, cutting major food groups such as dairy, grains, refined sugar, and legumes out of your diet can be a bit shocking at first. This can make the diet difficult to stick to if you start craving food from these categories.

But there’s plenty of support and information out there on the internet, due to the diets huge popularity, that can really assist.

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What does a day on the diet look like?

A paleo meal plan might look a little like the following:

Breakfast: eggs with vegetables, fried in coconut oil

Lunch: chicken salad with nuts, dressed with olive oil

Dinner: steak and mixed vegetables with sweet potato

What should I drink?

A lot of water.

However, many versions of the diet allow tea and coffee. Green tea is certainly a good option due to its high amount of antioxidants. But you should definitely not be using any refined sugar, sweeteners, or milk with these.

You should also completely avoid soft drinks/soda and fruit juice because of their high sugar content.

What and What Not to Eat

So what does a prehistoric hunter-gather diet involve?

The main thing about the diet is that you will be eating a lot of meat. Founder Dr. Cordain states that a paleo diet meal should consist of up to 35% protein. Then, up to another 45% should be made up of fresh vegetables allowed on the diet. Given that the average modern-day person’s diet consists of only 15% protein, it’s actually quite a leap.

But because the diet does stress eating a lot of fresh vegetables, it’s not a total meat-fest. But these can’t be any old veg. The idea is that they’re specifically things that could be easily picked and eaten back in prehistoric times, and do not require farming or processing techniques.

Food to Eat Food to Avoid
  • Above-ground vegetables
  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Fruit
  • Healthy oil
  • Lean meat and fish
  • Leafy greens
  • Non-starchy tubers (root vegetables)
  • Nuts (excluding peanuts)
  • Dairy
  • Fatty meat
  • Fruit juice
  • Grains
  • Legumes (excluding nuts)
  • Processed food
  • Processed meat (eg bacon and sausages)
  • Refined sugar
  • Starchy vegetables

Paleo Diet Shopping List

Now that we’ve covered an entire era of information, you can now uncover our free downloadable paleo food shopping list to use as you wish. Add and delete items on this list to make it as unique as you are.

Paleo Food List

Copy to clipboard

Lean Meat, Fish, & Eggs

  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Turkey

Healthy Oil

  • Coconut oil
  • Linseed/flaxseed oil
  • Olive oil
  • Rapeseed oil

Drinks

  • Almond milk
  • Coffee
  • Green tea
  • Tea
  • Water

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Chia seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Linseed/flaxseed
  • Pistachios
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Walnuts

Miscellaneous

  • Almond butter
  • Almond milk
  • Dark chocolate
  • Honey
  • Herbs & spices

Vegetables

  • Asparagus
  • Aubergines/eggplants
  • Avocados
  • Beetroot
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel’s sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Courgettes/zucchini
  • Cucumbers
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Rocket/arugula
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potatoes

Fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Do you think this is a good diet? Do you think this is what prehistoric humans ate like? What paleo-friendly sweet-treat recipes do you have to share? Let us know in the comments.

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10 Best Paleo Diet Books in 2019

Updated 12/21/2019

The Paleo diet is getting more and more popular not only among ordinary people but also among medical professionals who now start recognizing the importance of the proper nutrition.

The Paleo diet does not only help you lose weight but it also helps control certain health conditions and improve health overall.

If you were recommended to start the Paleo diet or decided yourself to go for it, you might feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that can be found online or even on the bookstore shelves.

A lot of books have been written about the paleo diet and its principles.

Though with all that variety it is hard to pick the one that will be a one-stop solution and help you get things rolling.

Here we picked for you 10 best Paleo diet books currently available on the market.

What Is the Paleo Diet?

The whole idea of the Paleo diet is to follow the foods that our ancestors used to eat thousands of years ago.

Therefore, it is based on two main principles:

  • eat whole foods and
  • exclude all processed and refined foods.

As you noticed these principles are general core principles of any healthy diet.

The Paleo diet main goal is to provide a healing environment to our gut by eliminating all foods that could possibly cause inflammation in our body.

And as we all know the health starts with the guts.

In order to achieve this goal the Paleo diet eliminates the following food groups:

  • sugar
  • grains (including wheat and corn)
  • dairy
  • legumes.

Who are the Founders of the Paleo Diet?

The Paleo diet refers us to the ancestors who ate whole foods like meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

The Paleo diet started to gain more and more popularity with the support of Dr. Loren Cardain who published his book “The Paleo Diet” in 2002. The book was revised in 2011.

Since then the Paleo diet gained a lot of popularity and the shelves in the bookstores were filled in with the Paleo diet books.

One of the interesting facts I noticed is that most of the Paleo diet books were written by authors holding medical degrees.

And the majority of the authors explains in details the reasons behind this way of eating and its multiple benefits.

Which means you do not just follow the instructions and hope for the best, you are actually becoming more educated about your food choices.

Another Paleo diet authority authors to be mentioned is Robb Wolf.

A lot of Paleo Diet authors would actually quote his work ‘The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet” that became a bestseller.

Keep reading to find more about the best paleo diet books…

What to look for in Paleo Diet Books?

If you are in search of a Paleo diet book, you probably noticed a variety of options.

Which book to choose?

What should you look for when making your choice?

There are a couple of criteria to look for such as:

1. Well-Explained the Paleo Diet Principles

This is one of the most important parts of the book that you would want to be as much explanatory as possible.

The more clear the description, the easier is it for you to follow the diet.

2. Educational Content on Foods Excluded from the Paleo Diet

When it comes to certain food limitations it is easier to follow the diet when you understand why certain foods are excluded from the diet.

You also do not want to rub your head around the medical terms that you would have a hard time to understand anyway.

So the best is to find a book where you will find the answers on why certain foods are not allowed on the Paleo diet explained in simple terms.

3. Meal plan

The majority of the Paleo diet authors offer the meal plan as a sample in their books.

The meal plan will provide you with the idea of how your meals should look like.

4. Recipes to the meal plan

This is a huge bonus that some authors offer in their books.

So really you would get not only the idea of how your plate would look like but also some recipes to get you started.

10 Best Paleo Diet Books

The Paleo diet is getting more and more popular and so does the books devoted to it.

Here we carefully picked for you 10 best Paleo Diet books that meet most of the criteria outlined above.

Here is the list…

1. The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat by Loren Cordain

Dr. Loren Cordain is basically the founder of the modern Paleo diet. This book was originally published in 2002 and revised in 2011.

It is a well-written book that will not overload you with special medical terms and definitions.

The main accent of this book is weight loss and treatment of metabolic syndrome.

It offers meal plan and recipes to the meal plan.

The recipes are easy to follow and do not contain a massive amount of ingredients.

Overall if you are looking for true principles of the Paleo diet, this book will definitely cover it all.

We wish though that the author devoted a little more pages in the book to describe all the health benefits that the Paleo diet could offer.

2. Practical Paleo, 2nd Edition (Updated and Expanded): A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle by Diane Sanfilippo

This is our favorite book for a couple of reasons.

Diane does not only describe in details the Paleo diet principles, but she also provides with a great explanation on why certain foods should be excluded from the diet.

She also explains how our bodies work and certain inflammatory conditions that a lot of people can cure by following the Paleo diet principles.

She offers several meal plans!

Yes, that is right!

She does not only concentrate on the weight loss, but she also offers meal plans that cover certain health conditions such as:

  • autoimmune condition
  • high blood sugar
  • cancer recovery
  • digestive issues
  • hormones imbalance
  • heart diseases
  • liver diseases
  • multiple sclerosis
  • thyroid dysfunction

She also offers an amazing variety of recipes that we personally tried and loved them all!

This is an amazing book that will get you started and will answer all your questions related to the proper nutrition and health.

3. The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf

Robb Wolf is a legend of the Paleo diet. He was and is an inspiration to a lot of Paleo diet authors including Diane Sanfilippo.

Robb Wolf is a research biochemist who traded his profession for the opportunity to help and educate people about their nutrition.

The book itself is very easy to read and contains an amazing sense of humor.

Robb provides with an easy explanation of the Paleo diet principles.

Similar to Diane Sanfilippo’s book he explains how certain foods affect our body and what health issues improper nutrition may cause.

He also offers a 30-day meal plan with the recipes to it.

If you are looking for an inspirational Paleo diet author, this book will not leave you disappointed.

4. Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso

This is another fantastic and unique in its way book.

The main idea of this book is to help you get started by providing with all necessary tools.

The book itself contains a short description of the paleo diet principles.

However, it is filled with amazing recipes that you have to try.

What is also unique about this book is that Sarah actually covers the transition of your whole family to the Paleo diet. And believe me that might be a challenge.

She also offers amazing kids-friendly recipes and will share with you some tips on how to make the transition for kids easier and enjoyable.

Being an athlete she also offers a serious of workouts to complement the new healthy lifestyle for your whole family,

If you are looking for meal ideas and workouts for your whole family this is the book you must have in your library.

5. The Paleo Cure: Eat Right for Your Genes, Body Type, and Personal Health Needs by Chris Kresser

Chris Kresser is a licensed clinician who helps thousands of people to reach their health goals and get off the prescribed medicine.

He offers a three-step plan which will help you improve your health, namely :

  • Step 1. Reset – a 30 -day meal plan based on the Paleo diet principles that will help your body to heal and reset.
  • Step 2. Rebuild – a period where vegetables such as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and nightshade vegetables will be reintroduced.
  • Step 3. Revive – a step where you will be building your own customized meal plan to find your own balanced diet.

The author also covers the impact of macronutrients such as protein, fats, and carbohydrates on your body.

The book offers a 7-day meal plan with recipes to it.

It is a great book where you will find a unique approach to improve your health based on the Paleo diet principles.

6. The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease, Heal Your Body by Sarah Ballantyne

This book is a great book targeted to people suffering from the autoimmune diseases.

It is a fantastic book that will accompany your journey to the healthier and better lifestyle if you are diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.

It has all you need to know about how the Paleo diet will help you in your journey.

The book will provide you with valuable information about the causes of autoimmune diseases and what could be done to fix it on the nutritional level.

It also provides you with certain recommendations on how to be in control of the autoimmune condition.

Unfortunately, this book does not offer any meal plan or recipes.

7. Going Paleo: A Quick Start Guide for a Gluten-Free Diet by Amelia Simons

This is a quick start small book, that will help you get the things rolling.

It is very well-written and easy to read.

It provides you with all necessary information regarding the Paleo diet principles.

It also offers some advice regarding grocery shopping and your kitchen accessories.

The book also explains what to expect once you start your Paleo diet journey.

So if you do not have time to read a big book devoted to the problem, this quick start Paleo diet book has all you need to get you started immediately.

It does not offer any meal plan or recipes.

8. Paleo Principles: The Science Behind the Paleo Template, Step-by-Step Guides, Meal Plans, and 200+ Healthy & Delicious Recipes for Real Life by Sarah Ballantine

This is another great book written by Dr. Sarah Ballantine.

It is an amazing book that provides you with a lot of valuable scientific information behind the Paleo diet principles.

It explains in great detail each principle and how it will benefit you and your body.

It also covers one of the important things that is getting overlooked by a lot of authors such as the paleo lifestyle.

The Paleo lifestyle includes not only food we eat but also the quality of our sleep, the ability to manage stress, exercises and our social activity.

The book also offers a 30-day challenge.

This is an amazing book to have, simply because it offers 200+ recipes!

The book has a lot of valuable information and truly can be a one-stop solution if you just starting the Paleo diet.

9. The Paleo Coach: Expert Advice for Extraordinary Health, Sustainable Fat Loss, and an incredible body by Jason Seib

This is a wonderful book written by the personal trainer Jason Seib.

The book is written in a very engaging and explanatory tone that will make you see the Paleo diet from a different perspective.

It explains in great details on how the Paleo diet may physically change your body.

The author also offers a 21-day meal plan with recipes to it.

It is a great book to have if you are looking to lose weight and want to reach the best results combining the Paleo diet principles with workouts.

10. A Simple Guide to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol by Eileen Laird

This is an amazing book written by an author who actually suffered from rheumatoid arthritis.

As per author she was able to decrease the symptoms and be happy with her current physical condition.

It is a great motivational book, which offers a lot of wonderful tips for people with autoimmune diseases.

It offers a supportive and encouraging environment to keep you motivated for a change.

It contains a lot of great tips on how to eat out, travel or being on holidays while you are on the Paleo diet.

It does not offer any meal plan or recipes.

It Starts With Food

Dallas and Melissa Hartwig nailed it with this healthy living manifesto and their rules for living a Whole9 life.The Paleo power couple outline how they can change your life in 30 days with a no-nonsense dairy-, legume-, sugar-, grain- and alcohol-free diet. No cheats. No slip ups. Think it sounds tough? They provide convincing evidence why staying strict for 30 days will not only revolutionize your diet, but will change your mind, your gut and your perspective on healthy eating for life. This tough loving book is a must for anyone who wants to go Paleo, get healthy, stay within very strict rules, and follow an incredibly supporting online community.

Quote From It Starts With Food:

It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.

Check out the book

Practical Paleo

One of the most comprehensive books in the Paleo realm, Practical Paleo is a sure to help you find your stride when it comes to nailing your Paleo diet. Dianne Sanfillipo authored this Paleo tome,which is the perfect book for beginners and Paleo veterans alike. It gives in depth explanations for almost all of your questions about starting a paleo diet and provides detailed meal plans for various iterations of Paleo, like blood sugar regulation, autoimmune conditions, athletic performance and more.

Don’t-Miss Recipe From Practical Paleo

Lamb lettuce boats with avo-ziki sauce.

Check out the recipes

The Primal Blueprint

This book by Paleo legend Mark Sisson breaks down his ideal lifestyle, Mark’s 10 Primal Blueprint Laws and a road map for primal fitness. Mark dives into the four fuels: carbohydrate, protein, fat and ketones with an emphasis on fat burning ketosis. He provides a strong case for low carb living and how to live on ketones: the “fourth fuel”. But, even if ketosis isn’t for you, The Primal Blueprint is a don’t-miss book for any Paleo goer. Mark gives actionable workout plans to help you stay fit for life not to mention the part of the book where he talks about how red wine and dark chocolate fit into a Paleo diet!

Quote From Primal Blueprint: (probably one of the most underrated aspects of healthy living)

BluePrint Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight Getting adequate sunlight implies you are spending time outdoors, appreciating open space and breathing fresh air.

Check out the book

In Defense Of Food by Michael Pollan

In Defense of Food is a must-read book. Period. And I don’t just mean for people interested in a Paleo diet, but for anyone interested in our current food culture and how the Western diet is changing the health of our society. Michael Pollan, New York Times best selling author, provides a deep and fascinating look into our food culture. His famous quote “Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants” came from this best seller. Pollan challenges the ‘Fat Hypothesis’ that was pervasive in our culture in the 1990’s and shares the stark correlation between the “low-fat” trend and increasing waistlines of Americans.

Factoid to Ponder From In Defense of Food

Corn, Soy, Wheat, and Rice account for two-thirds of the calories Americans eat. These four crops are also highly genetically modified and stripped down to a form that would be unrecognizable by our ancestors, let alone our bodies.

Check out the book

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan

Paleo maven Melissa Joulwan shares her tried and true tips for keeping her Paleo diet on track (and mostly Whole30 compliant too). There is a reason the subtitle is “Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat”. In her book, Melissa offers recipes that are simple to make yet incredibly delicious with fresh spice blends and a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern flare. She shares great ideas for weeknight meals that she calls “hot plates” and gives so many innovative variations to common paleo ingredients (Cumin Roasted Carrots? Jicima Homefries?), you will never get sick of your Paleo diet with Well Fed.

Don’t Miss Recipes from Well Fed

Melissa’s Meat and Spinach Muffins Chocolate Chili

Check out the recipe

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