Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What Should I eat? A few Paleo Basics

Life shouldn't be about deprivation. I know what you're thinking. She is going to list off a bunch of stuff I can't eat. Let's accentuate the positive. Here is a sample recipe to show you this lifestyle is very manageable!

Coconut Flour Pancakes

Adult/Lower Carbohydrate/Lower Gylcemic Version:
1/4 C coconut flour (2T= 2g fat; 8g carb; 2g protein; 60 calories)
4 eggs
1/4 C unsweetened almond milk (1C= 3.5g fat; 2g carb; 1g protein; 40 calories)
1/4tsp baking soda
1/4tsp cinnamon
1/4tsp almond extract or vanilla extract
Stevia to desired sweetness
(option#1 to increase carbohydrates by folding in berries, or try 1/4 C canned pumpkin with a dash of nutmeg)
(option#2 to increase protein add a scoop of vanilla protein powder. I like Jay Robb brand because his whey comes from grass-fed cows! How cool is that? carries this brand regularly with many free shipping options.

Kid-Friendly Coconut Flour Pancakes
1/4 C coconut flour
4 eggs
1/4 C maple syrup (real deal-not sugar infused)
1/4 tsp almond or vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
(Option to add chocolate chips- I like to buy the three Bs Sunspire brand Fair Trade Organic 65% cacao)

Krista,,,,,,,,,,, where can I find coconut flour? More on that in a moment! Let's focus on what we should and can eat!

The majority of your plate should consist of vegetables. Don't groan! In your heart you always knew it to be true! I'm not a licensed nutritionist, but I hope you trust me on this one. Once you start eliminating processed food from your diet vegetables will take on a whole new level of flavor. I actually ENJOY eating vegetables now! Every morning I start my day with a green smoothie (post and recipes to follow at a later date). Leafy greens are the most nutritionally dense and "calorically" sparse foods, so load up! I eat cucumber slices, raw red peppers, celery sticks, raw broccoli, etc. for lunch and cooked vegetables for dinner. If you're wanting to eliminate a little bodyfat watch your portions of sweet potatoes and other starchy veggies- squash, carrots, etc. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE sweet potatoes and think they are satiating and super nutritious, but I enjoy fitting into a certain size, so I only eat them a few times a week.

Get lean tip (I have tons of them) : a good time to consume starchy veggies is after a tough workout when your muscles are jonzin' for some carbs! Carbs aren't going to make you fat; you just need to know how to eat and use them wisely!

Corn is a starchy veggie? How often may I eat corn? Here is my first negative statement. NO CORN. My explanation is too lengthy for this post. We'll touch on it soon. Just think genetically modified and illegal in other countries.

Vegetables... are great...what else can I eat on this paleo/primal journey?

If you're a omnivore lean meats are a dietary staple. Pasture raised chicken, fish, turkey, grass-fed beef, compassionately raised pork, pasture raised eggs etc. (Krista,,,,,, where can I find these special meats you're talking about? I will post about them soon!) Higher fat meats and game meats, such as lamb or bison, are also a positive addition to your diet. How much should I be eating? Think the palm of your hand 3-6oz. How do I know how many ounces of meat I'm eating?

Get lean tip (told you I had a lot of them). Invest in an inexpensive food scale. Take your Bed Bath and Beyond 20% off coupon and buy you a little food scale! You will know exactly how many ounces or grams of anything your eating!

If you're a paleo-vegetarian (yes that demographic exists), vegetarian or vegan protein becomes a little more tricky. Vegetarians can somewhat rely on eggs and dairy products. Some paleo followers consume dairy and others do not. I personally do not (unless I'm indulging in a cheat meal), but Shane (my husband) and my three children use organic dairy products- preferably from grass-fed cows. There is something extremely unsavory at the thought of my children eating cheese or yogurt from an animal that is packed into a warehouse and pumped full of steroids and antibiotics, so I make organic dairy a priority despite the extra cost. Vegans have to be "good little vegans" and truly consume massive amounts of leafy green vegetables to get the necessary amounts of amino acids to build complete proteins. I'm not a vegan nor an expert on the science behind principles of building amino acid strands, but I have a very strong working knowledge of nutrition, and know that loading up on vegan junk food is going to starve your body and cause you to gain fat.

What about soy? I'm vegan. Can I eat soy? My second negative comment. NO SOY. Once again, this post would be far too long (too late) for me to touch on that now. Just think genetically modified with links to issues with estrogen levels which can negatively impact some cancers.

Eat a little fruit! Krista,,,, I heard that fruit is going to make me fat. Ummmmmmmm. Yes and no. Fruit has often been called the perfect antioxidant. When consumed on an empty stomach your body just seems to absorb all of those delectable nutrients! I eat fruit in my green smoothies in the morning pre workout.

Get lean tip (visit my Facebook page Cave Princess for even more tips and recipes): I'd also recommend eating a small portion of fruit (half a banana, half an apple) post workout to refuel muscles.

When I want to cut fat, I cut back on the fruit (not eliminate- why deprive yourself of such delicious nutrition). As for my children, they eat a ton of fruit! Dried fruit, or nature's candy, is something that tempts me. I use it in recipes but refrain from snacking on dried fruit. Have you seen how many grams of sugar are in a single serving of dried apricots? My son, Brenden, is MAJORLY skinny. Guess who is allowed to eat a healthy portion of dried fruit?

That takes us to nuts and other healthy fats. Yes! Eat them in moderation! Think outside the box as well. Little Bridget (Bridgey) can't get enough of coconut flakes. They are actually loaded with protein. Sprinkle some unsweetened coconut on your fruit; add a little to your curry dishes. Nuts are a great addition to your diet. What is the portion? Twenty two is a standard number I often hear. When I'm being strict and measuring my food I go for 1/4 of a cup; when I'm not looking to cut fat I eyeball it and say about a handful (not a NBA basketball player handful-my small palm portion). Go for RAW nuts. Roasted and salted are far more interesting...AT FIRST... but you will soon appreciate nuts raw. I literally think about raw walnuts and look forward to eating a few each day. No lie! Avocado? Absolutely- in moderation! I know mega lean bodybuilders that rely on this healthy fat. Olives? Sure- in moderation! What about cooking oils and dressings?

Get fit tip (plenty more at my Facebook page Cave Princess): When cooking rely on coconut oil (serving about the size of your thumb). There is some tricky science behind it (we can go into at a later time), but coconut oil (not the spray kind) in its solid form (it actually looks like Crisco but will melt when heated) is considered one of the healthier fats and should be your "go to oil" for higher heats. Virgin coconut oil tastes like coconut-not a bad thing for some dishes; while the non-virgin variety basically has little to no taste. What about olive oil? It is recommended that olive oil not be heated; the way the fat is broken down can effect the body negatively. Olive oil is great in salad dressings, etc. I also use macadamia nut oil in low to no heat recipes.

"OMG. She didn't mention pasta." You're right! Bread, pasta and rice. . . What do they actually do to fuel your body other than give you a carbo load before running a marathon? What do they provide your body with that good wholesome fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat dont offer in abundance?

Is your brain about to explode? Come visit me again for more information! Now back to where you can find coconut flour. Brielle found it at our local commissary!

I also HIGHLY recommend Tropical Traditions . TT sells a variety of coconut products to include coconut oil and coconut flour. They ALWAYS have deals; free shipping, buy one get one free; 50% off etc.!

Please note I'm not a licensed nutritionist. These are informed opionions that have worked for me and for countless others!


  1. I have a friend who just started Paleo. She lost 15 pounds the first week. I'll have to show her this post! Thanks for sharing - so much good information here. Cheers, Renee

    1. Welcome Renee! Thank you for taking the time to stop by my page. I feel really healthy eating this way. . . It is hard for me to commit to one philosophy (hence my love of vegetarian/vegan/raw recipes)... but going Paleo introduced me to a whole new world :) Looking forward to stopping by !