How To Make A Paleo Meal Plan And Actually Follow It
In Paleolithic times, hunters and gatherers consumed nature’s bounty in its most natural and wholesome form. Technology being absent in those times meant food could not be processed and preservatives didn’t prolong the shelf life of their food. Paleo is inspired by this concept that natural food is most nourishing for you.
A Paleo diet is a throwback to the Paleolithic days when humans ate what they hunted and gathered. Following a Paleo meal plan has its benefits. The focus is on increasing the intake of healthful foods and limiting the intake of refined sugar, salt and processed foods.
A Paleo diet comprises of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, seafood and fish, seeds and nuts, and healthy oils. There are foods that are not allowed that include dairy products, cereal grains, refined oils and legumes.
Benefits Of Following This Diet
Your diet nourishes you and the nutrients in your diet enable your body to function optimally. Diet can also be a contributing factor or the root cause in the high prevalence of chronic diseases today. Heart disease, obesity and diabetes can result from certain dietary choices. Switching to this diet can help you in these ways:
- To lose weight
- For higher energy levels
- For weight maintenance
- Cut the risk of some chronic ailments
What goes into a Paleo Meal Plan?
Paleo plans can be based on different guidelines. Some guidelines are strict and limit certain foods. Other plans are more inclusive and flexible. You can adapt a diet plan to suit your needs best, this makes the plan that much easier for you to stick to and follow.
Foods You Can Eat
Fish and seafood
You can feast on fish and relish seafood while following this diet plan. The focus is on getting the Omega-3 fatty acids that mackerel and salmon have.
Meat is a rich source of lean protein. On a Paleo diet, meat sourced from grass fed livestock is recommended. This is because grain fed meat is not as lean as grass fed meat is. The difference in calorie count helps with weight loss. Grass fed also contains more of the healthful Omega-3 fatty acids. Diets high in Trans and saturated fats can contribute to obesity and heart disease. The lean meats are heart friendly, nutrient rich and low calorie.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fresh fruits and vegetable are a nutritious source of natural vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. These beneficial elements are good for health. Some fruits like bananas are sugar rich. Potatoes are high-calorie and can interfere with weight loss. Some versions of Paleo diets do not permit potatoes for this reason.
Eggs contain protein, antioxidants, the B vitamins, essential minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also something you probably already have at home, making them easy to include in your breakfast or any other meal.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain fiber, protein and healthy fats.
Olive, flaxseed, walnut and coconut oils are allowed in these plans.
Foods Limited In Paleo
- Dairy products
- Refined sugars
- Processed foods
- Grains such as oats and wheat
- Peanuts, beans and lentils
A Paleo Meal Plan
Your every meal can continue to be yummy and nutritious when you follow this diet. Here are a few meal ideas that are nutrition-packed:
Smoothie (peach, apple, kale, avocado), boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, omelet, Paleo bread made of coconut flour base.
Salmon or tuna salad, chicken soup, stuffed tomatoes or other veggies, salad with lean meat or Paleo fish of your choice.
Fruits, veggie stir fry.
Baked or roast chicken, baked fish, veggie salad.
Dark chocolate fudge, Paleo muffins, dark chocolate mousse.
Paleo Smoothie example
- Coconut milk base instead of dairy milk
- Fruits of your choice (pears, apples, avocado)
- Egg yolks (raw, optional)
- Couple of tablespoons of nut butter (for rich texture)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend to perfection.
Paleo salad example
- Chopped tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, broccoli and other favorite veggies.
- Finely chopped boiled eggs, tuna, salmon or chicken.
- Honey and sea salt (for flavor)
- Olive oil
Place all the chopped ingredients in a large salad bowl. Add honey and sea salt. Top with olive oil dressing.
Paleo Pros And Cons
A Paleo diet focuses on ingredients that are rich in natural nutrients. These components are essential for a healthful and wholesome diet. Following this diet can help you lose weight and feel more energetic. The main difference between other plans and this one is that while Paleo focuses on natural nutrition, it also limits the intake of legumes and dairy.
Dairy products are a source of calcium and protein. Calcium is essential for bone health. One of the main challenges of going the Paleo way is to find other food substitutes for those not allowed, so that your daily diet is well-balanced. Substituting coffee with green tea, processed sugar with honey, dairy milk with coconut milk, processed salt with rock or sea salt bring more health and flavors to your Paleo meal choices.