The Paleo List
When starting out, establishing the do’s and don’ts of paleo is extremely important.
I found it incredibly difficult to source information that was consistent; some sites said honey was ok, some said no; sweet potatoes are they actually paleo? How come peanuts aren’t allowed?! I had cod for lunch today was that wrong?? So I’ve decided to put together a list of what I consider to be paleo.
One of the most common problems associated with paleo is establishing the right amount of vegetables and protein to consume, and when to do so. Some people prefer to have 5-6 smaller meals in a day but I feel that puts too much pressure on your body, having your metabolism constantly working to digest food can’t be good for it. I opt for 1 small meal in the morning – I’m not big on breakfast, a substantial lunch usually a salmon fillet and a salad and then a main meal in the evenings. Some days I’ll snack between meals, some days I won’t it is all about listening to what your body wants and most important of all – not depriving it of any key nutrients.
If you’re committed to counting calories you will be looking to have a little more than half of your daily intake taken up by lean meat, poultry, seafood and fish. The remainder of your intake should come from plant foods – fruit, vegetables, nuts. Personally I no longer really count calories, however, I am conscious of eating too many nuts and fruits with a high sugar content.
A lot people have this idea that those who follow the paleo lifestyle only eat chicken breasts with boiled broccoli or big massive steaks, this is definitely not the case!! Eating paleo could not be any further from boring! In recent years many members of modern society seem to have conformed to this ideal that food has to be processed in order to look, smell and taste delicious – this could not be further from the truth! Having said that being 100% paleo is not for everyone and in actual fact is quite difficult to stick to when on a busy schedule. I’ve put together this list as an easy reference for both those starting out and others looking to improve their knowledge.
What can you eat?
Lean Lamb – chops, roasts
Lean Pork – loin, chops
Uncured and unsmoked bacon – in moderation
Lean poultry – chicken breast, turkey breast
Rabbit meat – any cut (if you can live with yourself !!)
Goat meat – any cut
Organs – beef, lamb pork; liver, tongue, marrow and sweetbreads
Fish, seafood and shellfish:
Pretty much any fish commercially available although there are debates over cod.
Fruits and Vegetables:
The general rule is eat as much as you like – provided you do not go near potatoes and corn. (Corn believe it or not is not actually a vegetable it’s classified as a grain!)
Aubergine (egg plant)
Seaweed (I’m a huge fan of dilisk!)
(*in moderation due to their high starch content.)
There are no banned fruits, however, apples, pineapple and purple passion fruit have high sugar content so should be eaten in moderation.
Basil fresh and dried
Chilli fresh and powder
Garlic fresh and powder
Ginger fresh and powder
Parsley fresh and dried
Fresh black peppercorns
Foods to avoid:
All dairy – with the exception of grassfed butter – eg: KerryGold
All grains and cereals including; buckwheat and quiona
Legumes – all beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils, miso, peanuts, soybeans – and all soya products including tofu
Potatoes and all potato products
Processed meats – sausages, pudding, salami, frankfurters, ham and any other fatty cuts of meat
Soft drinks and fruit juices
Chocolate, sweets, biscuits etc
Tasty things that are allowed in moderation:
85% and above dark chocolate
As with anything this list is by no means exhaustive, like any diet/lifestyle there are many different takes on what it means to be paleo and it is up to you to decide how into it your’re willing to get.