What the Paleo World Eats – Our Food In Pictures

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What better way to kick off the New Year than with a look at what other paleo households and families are eating. Back in September we announced Round 2 of our “What the Paleo World Eats” feature.  The submissions from the first round received so much great feedback and many of you requested that we open it up again. Because we aim to please, (contrary to what some of you may think…), we gave you all the opportunity to play again. We weren’t exactly ‘blown away’ with hundreds of submissions (like we were hoping) but the ones we did get are really great.  So sit back, relax, grab a NorCal Margarita,  (if that floats your boat), and enjoy round 2 of “What the Paleo World Eats”:

#1. Alice (cooks for herself during the week) and her fiance (on weekends)

Location: Cardiff, United Kingdom

Amount Spent per Week:   £20/$32.5 per week (Alice alone),  £35/$57 (Alice and her fiance)

Thoughts from Alice: “I  make a point of eating a healthy, cheap lacto-paleo diet. You don’t have to eat a perfect, organic, free-range paleo diet to start seeing benefits and if these things are too expensive for you, there’s no reason to give up! You can still eat paleo! My diet is not the healthiest version, but it’s far better than the SAD and very good for those on a tight budget.”

Other Info: Alice has a blog titled – “Meals for £1 and Less!”. Check it out for some inspiration!

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#2. Beth, her husband and 2 teenage boys (that eat A LOT!)

Location: Westbrook, Maine

Amount Spent per Week:   Average of $175 a week; $156 on the low end and $225 on the high end

Thoughts from Beth: “My husband and youngest son are Celiac. Even after my youngest went gluten free, he still had stomach aches – until we went paleo. He is 100% now, and my husbands arthritis – that he has had for over 30 years, seems to be gone. We had to get him a new wedding band as his knuckles went down THREE sizes! My cholesterol is now normal. It dropped 37 points in 6 months of paleo eating.”

Other Info: Beth has a blog titled - Paleo Musings that reports on her family’s adventures in paleo.

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Double Bacon Breakfast Meatza

Sesame Noodles made from Cucumber

#3. Andrew (lives at home with his parents)

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Amount Spent per Week: Unsure

Thoughts from Andrew: “I usually make enough for 4-6 people. I’m not sure of the grocery bill I didn’t keep track. This is more of a family and hobby thing for me.”

Other Info: Andrew sent me over 50 pictures so I asked him to choose his favorites and here they are!

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Indian Curry Almond-Crust Pizza

Pumpkin Spice Scramble with fruit and nuts (Andrew’s favorite post-workout meal)

#4. Jennifer and her husband John

Location: Canton, Georgia

Amount Spent per Week: Budget of $180/week

Thoughts from Jennifer: “We’re in our early 30′s and we are Crossfitters.  We shop, cook and prepare for an entire week at one time- on Sundays.  I work up a menu that that will last the week, made up of at least 2-3 entrees and a few side dishes.  We eat on that all week long.”

Other Info: Jennifer and John do most of their shopping at Whole Foods and supplement with a trip to the farmer’s market, Publix or Trader Joe’s for the rest.

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#5. Patty and her husband Ron

Location: Dallas, Georgia

Amount Spent per Week:  $90-$100 per week

Thoughts from Patty: “Most of our food comes from local farmers, online suppliers and our garden.  When we get the opportunity, we’ll pay the processing fee for a hunter in return for venison.  We buy grass-fed beef and pastured pork in bulk and embrace head-to-tail eating so we include all parts of the animal in our diet.   We make most things from scratch including bone broths, sausage, fermented foods, salad dressings, sauces, etc.   We work hard not to waste food – any scraps are saved in the freezer for broth or added to our compost pile.  The few items we purchase from the regular grocery store include coffee, dark chocolate, sardines, seaweed, avocados and the occasional non-paleo treats like popcorn kernels or a bottle of wine.

Over time, many of our meals have become very simple and consist of eggs and/or meat along with in-season produce.  This means lots of salads with protein in the warmer months and soups and stews in the cooler months.  Almost all of our meals are at home, and we love eating this way.  When we are away from home or dining with family, we don’t stress over it and just make the choices that feel right in that moment!”

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#6. Rhiannon and her Husband

Location: Scotland

Amount Spent per Week:  £55.28/$89.29

Thoughts from Rhiannon: “We’re a couple in our 30′s living in Scotland, both lacto-paleo. We try to keep our food spending down but still eat tasty and nutritious food.  We try and make sure our animal products come from happy animals. This is fairly easy in Scotland, as there’s pretty much no intensive animal farming here.  There’s a farmers’ market once a month which we usually patronize -  I wish it were every week!”

Other Info: Some of Rhiannon and her husband’s food comes from the garden. While the rest is purchased during several shopping trips. Most of their shopping is done on foot and they make several trips to different shops.

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The Garden

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Venison

#7. Emily, her husband Jared and there 2 children ages 5 and 3

Location: United States – Midwest Region

Amount Spent per Week:  $150-160 per week (budget of $600 per month)

Thoughts from Emily: “We eat a primarily paleo diet and our groceries feed 4 larger than ordinary appetites. I plan our meals for the week using both the foods I purchase and those that are already in my pantry and refrigerator.

Other Info: Emily has a blog called Practical Paleo - visit and see all of the great food her family eats!

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Well folks, that concludes the second installment of “What the Paleo World Eats”. A great BIG  THANK YOU to all of our contributors for sharing their food stories and letting us see how some of the paleo world eats.

What’s on your weekly food table?

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  1. NJ Paleo
    January 17, 2013 at 7:44 am

    This was great, and thanks to everyone for sharing! I learned 2 things:
    (1) My weekly food expenditures are not out of line based on what I see here
    (2) I’d like to visit everyone who submitted because they’re making some yummy-looking meals!

  2. Amy B.
    January 18, 2013 at 5:40 am

    Oh man, I would LOVE for all the naysayers, trash-talkers, and just plain skeptics who think Paleo is nothing but bacon and steak to take a look at the mountains of fresh vegetables in these pictures!

    I swear, most Paleo folks I know eat more vegetables and fruit than some vegetarians! (Breadatarians? Quinoatarians? Buckwheatarians? Couscoustarians?) =)

    I challenge any conventional dietician or nutritionist to say these are not nutritious foods. (“But what about calcium??!” Oy…)

    • Sara
      January 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

      I’m taking a course next weekend that will “certify” me as a “nutrition and wellness specialist” so I can give a community nutrition presentation, and this course has a special student manual, complete with bread, tofu, milk, yogurt, and chickpeas on the front cover. It’s like they picked every bland-looking food that could be considered “healthy”, completely ignoring all of the colourful fruits and veggies (except for spinach and kale…). No red/orange/blue/purple. It makes me want to tear my hair out, especially after seeing the all of the colourful foods here on this “dangerous” eating plan.

      Looking forward to the next installment–maybe I’ll even make an effort at tracking my grocery expenditures so I can participate!

      • Malin
        January 23, 2013 at 4:02 am

        I’ve thought about tracking what I spend but I have a tendency to buy for the freezer some weeks and buy less other weeks, making it difficult to photograph and track (plus some of my dog’s food is bought at the same time because he eats raw). I know that generally I spend about £50-60 per week for us two guys, but sometimes my housemate buys stuff outside of my budget. We haven’t yet succeeded in growing any veg (slugs ate everything last summer) but we do have hens who produce most of the eggs we eat). I could get the amount lower but I like buying stuff from the farmer’s market rather than the supermarket when I get the chance. And I get bored of using mince (ground meat).

  3. Karen
    January 21, 2013 at 2:44 am

    I am very impressed how little Alice from Cardiff manages to spend each week. It just goes to show that paleo doesn’t have to be expensive. It has certainly inspired me to try some new dishes. It is easy to get into the habbit of eating the same food each week and variety is important.

  4. Thomas
    January 22, 2013 at 6:43 am

    The funny thing to me is while a $600/month food budget may seem high, it is cheaper than having to eat out all the time + supplementing with lattes, snacks, and lunches. It seems people often have trouble comprehending a high grocery bill without actually realizing the amount of money that can be spent at restaurants. My wife and I currently have a grocery budget of about $475 a month, but that allows us to have a decent breakfast, pack lunches for work, and cook a nice meal every night. So far for the month we haven’t spent a single dime eating out.

  5. Valerie
    January 24, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Preparing your meals at home is a good way of saving money. Plus, you know exactly what goes into your food. You have the power to make sure you’re using healthy, natural, organic and clean ingredients.

  6. Amy
    January 30, 2013 at 6:50 am

    We’ve been doing paleo for a little over a year in our house. We were vegans before – healthy ones who grew most of our own produce and ate lots of veggies. But, as the story goes, we are healthier now, though I think our stint as vegans allowed us to get accustomed to eating lots of veggies and foregoing dairy. Still, I aspire to be more like Patty and Ron above, who have embraced the nose-to-tail eating and processing of all the food. It certainly takes a lot of time to do that, especially if you’re also growing most of your own produce like we do. But, our next big investment is a deep freeze, so we can buy more meat from local farmers in bulk that came from happy, pastured animals. It will save us more money than what we currently spend at Whole Paycheck for meat from only marginally-happy animals.

  7. Shannon
    February 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Um, most of those seem more like low-carb grocery budgets–not Paleo. I’m not saying that you should spend $5 (which is the cheapest we’ve found them) on pastured eggs if you can’t afford it, but Eggland’s Best is not a paleo choice. Getting grassfed meat (if you don’t have a meat freezer) is expensive. That’s not being critical, it’s just that our Paleo grocery bill for 2 people is $1200-$1400 a month. And we don’t eat out. We only ever buy ground beef and stew beef because we can’t afford the nicer cuts. Then we try to eat fish once a week and we buy canned tuna and sardines (Wild Planet via Amazon subscription) to supplement.

    Just–looking at these budgets–are we missing something? I feel like a lot of these aren’t emphasizing omega-3′s. Am I wrong?

    And just so you know, I’d be happy to be wrong and have a lower grocery bill…

  8. Kim
    February 17, 2013 at 9:28 am

    When I ate grains and followed low-fat, I ate pretty boring–toast, cereal, sandwiches, Starbucks mochas.

    Yeah, I still haven’t changed. Cooked egg and avocado, cooked burger patty w/ tomato, chicken salad (from the store), Starbucks black coffee w/ cream.

    I reserve the right to be grain-free and equally lazy and boring.

  9. Nancy Harden
    April 7, 2013 at 5:25 am

    Eating homemade food is definitely a better option than having food outside. Moreover, it’s more nutritious and healthy which helps us to stay fit. Thanks for sharing this great post. One more point that I came to know while reading this post is that I came definitely keep my budget under control by having the home made food.

  10. Martha
    June 29, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Can you add a recipe sharing page? If anyone is willing to share that is. I will be starting the Paleo lifestyle with my 15 yr old tomorrow (she just got her first job at a burger joint, hope she doesn’t cheat!). It’s easy to buy healthy but I am originally from New Orleans and it is hard to come up with healthy, great tasting recipe ideas.

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