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Sample Paleo Breakfast Recipe

Most paleo dieters begin breakfast with a protein, some healthy fat, fruits, vegetables and seasonings.  Scott Hagnas, founder of CrossFit Portland, suggests that paleo dieters begin to get used to eating foods that are not considered traditional breakfast foods.  Throw out your pancake mix, bacon, muffins, waffles, and granola and get used to eating steak, pork, salmon, eggs, fruit, and vegetables at breakfast time.

While eggs are often recommended by paleo enthusiasts to be limited to only 6 each week, they are an excellent source of protein and healthy nutrients.  Eggs can provide the choline needed to reduce inflammation in the body and promote weight-loss.  Furthermore, it has been found that a moderate intake of eggs can actually reduce bad cholesterol, protect eyesight, and prevent blood clots.

The olive oil, almonds, and lean steak provide plenty of healthy fats to get you through your morning and the rest of your day.  Olive oil also lowers cholesterol and decreases risk for various heart-related illnesses, according to Dr. Michael Murray, author of The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.  Almonds, Murray argues, are incredibly nutrient-rich.  Almonds provide monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamin E.  Indeed, almonds are also considered to have anti-cancer properties and fight against heart disease.

This recipe is full of cancer fighting, energizing vegetables.  Spinach is loaded with iron and can give you energy while preventing eye problems.  Bell peppers also fight cataracts and other eye problems, according to Murray.  These vegetables are high in vitamin C and beta-carotene.  And, with mushrooms, your body receives necessary minerals, such as selenium, copper, potassium, and zinc.  Depending on the type of mushroom you choose, you may decrease your cholesterol, increase vitality, fight infection, and increase your white blood cell count.

With oranges, bananas, grapes, and kiwis in your fruit bowl, you can expect to get even more cancer-fighting agents and vitamins.  With an orange, white, red, and green fruit, the nutrients you get from this single breakfast will be varied and beneficial to your overall health.  With the fruit cup in this recipe, you will gain a nice head start on your daily needs for potassium, vitamins B6, C, flavonoids, and fiber.

As with any recipe, feel free to make substitutions.  Instead of steak, use pork loin. Instead of spinach, use onions.  The best way to begin with a recipe like this is to use what is already in your pantry and refrigerator.

Steak and Veggie Scramble with Fruit and Almonds

Ingredients

  • 3 Free-Range, Grain-Fed, Local Eggs
  • A Slice of Leftover or Pre-Cooked Steak
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • A few Spinach Leaves
  • 2 Mushrooms
  • ¼ cup Bell Peppers (any variety)
  • 1 Naval Orange
  • 1 Medium Banana
  • ¼ cup Red Grapes
  • 1 Kiwi
  • ½ cup Toasted Almonds
  • Pepper, Basil, Oregano to taste

Directions

Chop steak, spinach, mushrooms, and peppers into small pieces and set aside.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium heat until warmed.  Add steak and vegetable mix to pan and sauté until heated.  Set aside.

Crack eggs into a bowl.  Mix with a fork until egg yolk and white are combined.  Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Pour egg mixture into the pan and use a spatula or wisk to scramble the eggs.  When eggs are solid and fluffy, add the steak and spinach mixture back to the pan.  Season with pepper, basic, and/or oregano to taste.

On the side, peel and chop orange, banana, red grapes, and kiwi and serve in a bowl.  Top with almonds.

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Sample Paleo Lunch Recipe

This spicy salmon salad recipe is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, a compound often lacking in the average American diet.  A few ounces of salmon will give more omega-3 fatty acids than an average diet can provide over multiple days, according to The World’s Healthiest Foods foundation.  The salmon also contains bioactive protein molecules that can work to support joint cartilage and help your insulin regulate blood sugar.  Alaskan salmon, if you can get it, has the least amount of risk for environmental pollutants and mercury content.

Leafy greens in the form of lettuce and a rich spring mix or arugula are the foundation of this recipe.  The darker the leaf you choose, the more nutrient-rich your dish.  Lettuce provides plenty of vitamin K and chlorophyll and is a notable source of vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin C.  Lettuce provides few calories but plenty of nutrition.

Pine nuts contain more protein than any other type of nut or seed and are rich in flavor.  Dr. Michael Murray states that eating the nut at lunch provides monounsaturated fats, which will help fuel you through the rest of your workday and into the evening.  The magnesium and potassium combine to lower blood pressure and stabilize the heartbeat.

Avocado and olive oil also provide monounsaturated fat, and on the paleo diet, this fat will be the fuel for your body’s function and movement.  While fats are often given a bad reputation, the fats provided by avocado and olive oil could help reduce your overall bad cholesterol.  The avocado also provides plenty of nutrition, as it is packed with potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and fiber.  If you are watching your calories, however, consider leaving the avocado off and allow your healthy fat to come from the salmon and olive oil.  Half an avocado is about 160 calories.

Finally, your apple will increase your stores of vitamin C, pectin, and fiber.  Make sure not to peel your apple, because apple peels contain most of the nutrients.  Low in calories, an apple is an excellent source of fiber to keep you full and it also reduces your risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes.

Spicy Salmon Salad and Apple

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. Flaked, Cooked, Wild-Caught Salmon
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 1 Tomato
  • ¼ cup Pine Nuts
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Lettuce of Any Darker Variety
  • 1 Cup Spring Mix or Arugula
  • ½ Avocado (Optional)
  • Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder, Black Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Large Apple

Directions

Sprinkle salmon with cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper for a spicy, Cajun taste.  In a pinch, use leftover salmon.  Cook salmon on a grill or broil it in the oven.  Flake it.  Set the salmon aside.

Finely chop your lettuce, spring mix or arugula, tomato, and cucumber.  Add to bowl. Top with pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil.  Add salmon to salad mixture.  If desired, add chopped avocado on top.

On the side, slice and core an apple to be served alongside the salad.

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Sample Paleo Dinner Recipe

Transitioning to the paleo diet may seem complicated, but with tools like a slow cooker, meat, vegetables, and seasonings, you can create a dinner masterpiece in no time.  This recipe is also good for a leftover lunch.  Pair this recipe with a side salad instead of bread for extra fiber and nutrition.

This recipe provides healthy fat and protein from the stew beef and olive oil.  This meat and oil will give you the monounsaturated fats you need to complete your night with energy and vitality, rather than crashing right after dinner.  This fat will also prepare your body for the next day and a healthy night of sleep that will help you feel great in the morning.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of carotenes, vitamin C and vitamin B6.  Sweet potatoes stabalize blood sugar and improve the body’s response to insulin, according to Dr. Michael Murray, author of The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. Because sweet potatoes are root vegetables, they contain significant amounts of antioxidants.  Sweet potatoes are also an exceptional source of carbohydrates and are therefore good to eat if you are training for a race or other athletic event or if you engage in regular moderate-to-vigorous-intensity exercise.

With garlic, your body is protected against heart disease due to garlic’s ability to increase good cholesterol while decreasing the bad.  Garlic also has a long history of protecting against infection, including the common cold and even tuberculosis and botulism.  If that wasn’t enough, the garlic found in this recipe has cancer-fighting properties.

Onions are known for their ability to fight blood clots, decrease blood lipid levels, and lower blood pressure.  Though not as widely used as garlic, onions have medicinal qualities, and may even be beneficial for treating asthma and to destroy tumor cells. Many people on a paleo diet use onions liberally, though others find that they cause gas or are otherwise hard to digest.  Use your own discretion as to whether you would like to try using onion in this recipe.

Finally, the slow cooker beef and vegetable stew is full of cancer-fighting, nutrient-dense vegetables.  Mushrooms, carrots, celery, and tomatoes are vegetables of various colors, adding to the nutrition of the dish.  Carrots are rich in vitamin A, celery provides cancer-preventing coumarins, tomatoes are rich in lycopene and mushrooms provide the body with B-vitamins and minerals such as copper, potassium, and zinc.

The Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew and Vegetables is an excellent recipe to make on nights when you will be entertaining non-paleo friends and family.  A side salad or mashed jicama on the side would be an excellent pairing for this dish.

Paleo Slow Cooker Beef Stew and Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 1-Pound Stew Beef
  • 3 Sweet Potatoes, Cubed
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Large Onion, Sliced (Optional)
  • 3 Tomatoes, Diced
  • 5 Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 3-4 Carrots, Sliced
  • 2-3 Celery Stalks, Sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil
  • Sea Salt, Ground Black Pepper, Summer Savory, Allspice to Taste

Directions

Warm your cooking oil in a pan on high.  Add beef cubes and brown on all sides.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Place all ingredients in your slow cooker, except the seasonings.  Pour in enough water to only slightly cover the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours.  Remove the bay leaf and add seasonings.  Serve warm with a side salad.

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Healthly Paleo Diet Snacks

 

Eating a variety of snacks throughout the day may be part of any paleo dieter’s routine, though snacking on a paleo diet is completely at the discretion of the dieter. Sometimes, you may simply find yourself feeling hungry unexpectedly or with a particular craving. While processed, unhealthy foods such as pretzels and crackers are quick, easy, and often convenient, the choice to eat those foods is often disappointing for those trying to maintain a paleo diet. With a little planning, choosing a paleo-approved snack can be just as quick and convenient as prepackaged, unhealthy options.

Snacking on fruit is often a quick choice for paleo dieters. Though you may be limiting your fruit intake, bananas and apples are easily transportable, as they do not need any extra packaging or preparation and can provide the body with essential nutrients and fiber. Sometimes, you may decide to snack on a fruit salad or simply dive into an avocado for a dose of healthy fats. Of course, precut vegetables are always a convenient snack, too. Carrot sticks, raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, celery, cucumber, or olives are easy to grab on the go.

If you are simply raiding the fridge for something savory, last night’s leftover ground beef or pork loin may be the perfect snack food for midday cravings. In a similar vein, a hardboiled egg can provide plenty of protein to keep you full and prevent gorging on non-paleo foods when you are at the office. Pork rinds or beef jerky are other options, as is a can of tuna, salmon, or anchovies. While nuts, in addition to fruit, may be limited, a healthy paleo-friendly trail mix, granola, or handful of nuts may be just the snack you need. These foods are easy, quick, convenient, and taste delicious.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous or have more time, you can whip up some more complex recipes. Try a dip for raw veggies or plantain chips or a fresh salsa or guacamole paired with kale chips. Baba ghanoush or a tapenade will satisfy your hunger cravings. Or, start your afternoon off with a paleo-friendly smoothie. A green smoothie of spinach or kale, pomegranate seeds, blackberries, and bananas is a sweet treat that is also highly nutritious.

If you are interested in prepackaged foods, there are companies that make and sell Paleolithic snack foods, such as cookies and nut bars. Paleo Snax, a company that sells prepackaged paleo-friendly foods, sells high-protein foods made of high quality beef jerky, blueberries, goji berries, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, cherries, etc. Purchasing this type of food can make snacking extremely quick and easy, though it may cost slightly more than making your own snacks at home.

Whether you plan to precut fruits and vegetables for when a need to snack arrives, plan to whip up some dip and pull out some fresh veggies or whether you order some prepackaged paleo foods, snack time should be a time to enjoy the variety of flavors available on the paleo diet, rather than a time to feel deprived of the foods you love. With so many options available, you should never feel hungry midday.

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The CrossFit and Paleo Diet Link

CrossFit is an intense strength and conditioning program that is used to train elite military units, athletes, martial artists, and homemakers alike.  Using the same program, regardless of experience or build, CrossFitters train their bodies simply by changing intensity and weight-bearing loads.  Mixing many different workout genres, including gymnastics, weightlifting, running, etc. into one full-body workout, the CrossFit regime has developed a large fan base.  The program has gained popularity in recent years and over time, has adopted the Paleolithic diet as its official diet in the hopes of promoting optimal health and physical fitness.

CrossFit was designed specifically to “enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks,” according to the CrossFit Foundations, a document that lays out the basis of CrossFit.  The program is centered on the Workout of the Day, a daily workout uploaded onto the CrossFit website as a challenge to CrossFitters that are working out at home or enrolled in a CrossFit gym.  Workouts are short and intense and mix together cardiovascular elements such as sprinting, swimming, and biking with major lifts, like squats, presses, and dead lifts with gymnastics movements such as pull ups and handstands.  Workouts, according to Greg Glassman, founder of crossfit, should be creative and not routine.

The Foundations document articulates the optimal diet to eat while engaging in these rigorous fitness regimens.  To put it simply, the document encourages CrossFitters to eat mostly greens, lean meats, nuts, and seeds, while limiting fruit.  Included in the Foundations is a short description of the Paleolithic model of nutrition, in which Glassman encourages participants to research the paleo diet and adopt it.

Because the CrossFit program is designed to help participants gain maximum physical prowess and the ability to perform well at any given physical task, a diet that combines energy and glucose stability is essential.  The paleo diet, made up of about 30 percent lean protein, 40 percent low-glycemic carbohydrates, and 30 percent healthy fats, give the power and endurance needed to make it through the intense physical workouts of CrossFit.  Many paleo dieters who are involved in CrossFit find that the workouts are so demanding, their diets must be controlled for optimal physical strength.

According to Travis Schefcik, a CrossFit trainer, the paleo diet allows your body to recover from intense workouts more quickly while delivering sustained energy throughout the day. With increased energy comes increased physical performance, according to Schefcik, and the paleo diet has been chosen by CrossFit founder Greg Glassman and other CrossFit trainers specifically for its ability to enhance physical fitness.

Dieters may begin to notice the effects of the diet immediately, which in turn gives CrossFitters the most important tool needed to get through the day; increased self esteem.  When participants first get the first taste of success during a physically demanding workout, their self-esteem flies through the roof.  Ultimately, it is this emotional motivation that helps the CrossFitter perform the daily workouts and challenges posed by their trainers.  Confidence will also come as the paleo diet, combined with the CrossFit fitness routine, helps drop surplus body fat and sculpt lean muscle.

With the advent of a challenge known as the Crossfit Games and droves of celebrity and average Joe participants, Crossfit is gaining recognition in the fitness world as a top tier workout program.  That fact speaks volumes to the legitimacy of the paleo diet; the unofficial diet of Crossfitters around the world.