Cooking becomes an overwhelming chore when we get too wrapped up in complicated, time-consuming recipes. To be practical and sustainable, ancestral nutrition has to be easy. As a working mom, I’m always on the lookout for shortcuts in the kitchen, and often rely on modern conveniences that cavemen never enjoyed, like pressure cookers, slow cookers, and food processors. (I also appreciate indoor plumbing, for what it’s worth.)
We’re in a position to understand more of the benefits of the Paleo diet now that we have a basic understanding of which food sources are emphasized. One major benefit of the Paleo diet is an increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass-produced or free-ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not absorbed efficiently by the body. The Paleo diet cuts out whole grains and replaces them with unprocessed, fresh foods.
Craving chicken tenders? This healthier version of the crave-worthy crispy dish makes for a great paleo snack. By using almond flour, coconut flour, and almond milk for the batter—these protein-packed strips are way healthier than the original. But they’re still packed with flavor thanks to a tasty array of spices and the honey mustard sauce that pairs perfectly.
Too many folks think the Paleo approach to eating is about deprivation, and that all we eat is ground beef with a side of steamed broccoli. “I can’t go Paleo – there’ll be nothing I can eat,” skeptics say. But what they mean is that they can’t conceive of Paleo food being anywhere near as scrumptious as their weekly meals at the local greasy spoon, or as satisfying as the crinkly bag of half-eaten fluorescent cheese poofs on the floor of their car. To get people to maintain a Paleo lifestyle, it’s important to show how the food that fuels them can be healthy and insanely good.
These red pepper poppers are great for game day snacking, or anytime you get the notion. They do take a bit of time to make, so maybe not the best choice if you are looking for something fast to make to lessen your hunger pangs. These have meat and vegetables in pretty equal amounts, with bacon wrapped around the peppers and chicken breast acting as the stuffing. They kick it up a notch with some red pepper flakes so these will be spicy, bacony, and loaded with flavor. You might need something to dip them in, might we suggest this Paleo friendly Ranch dressing?
Avocados make a great snack all by themselves, but they can be a little bland sometimes, and this is a great way to doll them up so they’re even tastier. This uses Greek yogurt, which is a fermented form of dairy and considered acceptable by some following the Paleo plan. Others see it as dairy is dairy and don’t eat it, so it’s up to you to decide if you want to incorporate a bit of fermented dairy like Greek yogurt into your diet or not. The rest of the recipe is just a bit of seasoning to help the avocado out in the flavor department.
The number of things that modern day cooks can do to vegetables is growing, and they’re coming up with new ways to make eating vegetables fun and desirable. This time they’ve managed to make a jerky out of eggplant, which makes it great to include when you’re having some beef jerky. Paleo is all about balancing out your meat intake with veggies, which would make a snack of beef jerky and eggplant jerky a pretty balanced way to go. They provide two different ways to make these, one for those that own a dehydrator and one for those that don’t.
As our dietary recommendations tend to eliminate many of the staples typically consumed on a Vegan or Vegetarian diet (such as grains, legumes, soy, most vegetable oils and/or conventional dairy) your protein choices may be significantly limited to strictly pastured sources of dairy products and eggs and you may likely require more supplementation to compensate for those food sources (including meat) which we eliminate in the program. Also, since a vegetarian diet is typically very rich in antigenic foods (endemic to a post-agricultural diet), sensitivities to some foods may unfortunately be more common. We strongly encourage openness to incorporating high quality, healthfully, humanely and sustainably raised animal source foods and seafood over time.
The Paleo diet provides the foundation for a healthy digestive system. It supports healthy growth of a diversity of probiotic bacteria in the gut through its focus on prebiotic and probiotic foods and through its avoidance of foods that contribute to gut dysbiosis (where the bacteria in your gut are the wrong kinds, wrong diversity, wrong numbers, and/or in the wrong part of the gastrointestinal tract). It supports the health of the tissues that form the gut barrier by supplying essential nutrients required for gut barrier integrity and by avoiding foods that are inherently difficult to digest, are known to irritate or damage the tissues that form the gut barrier, or that are known to stimulate the immune system.
My blog, cookbooks, cooking app, and podcast, are intended to help you translate the “rules of the road” into delicious, easy-to-prepare meals for you and your family. Here, you’ll see the way I eat on an everyday basis, and my recipes, too. In case you’re wondering, I cook entirely gluten- and soy-free, and steer clear of legumes and refined vegetable and seed oils.