The Basic Paleo Plan
Effective, lifelong fat loss is easy with Paleo foods. We recommend the majority of your meals look something like this:
- 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.
- Then add several servings of multicolored vegetables, either raw, steamed or lightly cooked.
- Finally, round out the meal with good fats from Avocado, olive oil or a handful of un-salted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts.
Make sure to have 3-4 meals like this each day. Give it 30 days and then let us know how quickly and easily it is to lose unwanted body fat, all without hunger and cravings. Until you reach your desired level of leanness we recommend you keep your fruit intake to 1-2 servings per day and make these choices mainly from berries and melons. Keep in mind, you will be eating plenty of nutritious fresh vegetables, we just want you to see the fastest, most effective results you can. This is why we limit your fruit in the beginning to help you change your metabolic engines to a mode of “fat burning”.
Paleo For Athletes
The needs of athletes vary greatly depending upon one’s sport and level of activity. The needs of a marathon runner are quite different from those of boxer or Olympic Weightlifter. Despite these different needs all athletes share a few things:
- Means of optimizing performance
- Methods for improving recovery
The Paleo diet is the perfect solution for both performance and recovery. Lean protein sources such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin and sea food are ergogenic (performance enhancing) because of the large amount of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) which have been proven to be crucial in rapid recovery after hard training, both for strength and endurance athletes. So all of your meals will start with 4-8 oz of lean proteins.
The next piece of customization is dependent upon the nature of your sport. High-intensity aerobic or anaerobic sports such as soccer, boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts or sprint interval training (running, biking, swimming, rowing) should take advantage of a period of time post workout when the body is primed for recovery. A meal of 4-8 oz of lean protein PLUS 50-100g of nutritious, Paleo friendly carbohydrate such as yams, sweet potatoes, squash or fruit should be consumed within 30 min post workout to optimize repair of muscle tissue and to ensure muscle glycogen is optimally replenished. The amount of carbohydrate will vary based on how large you are and the volume and intensity of your training. The larger you are or the harder/longer the training, the more carbohydrate you will GENERALLY need to optimize recovery. Some athletes may find they require 2 protein+carbohydrate meals to optimize recovery from particularly grueling work or multi-session training days. Subsequent meals should be built around lean protein, multi-colored, low carbohydrate density vegetables and good fats. Please read the book The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Prof. Loren Cordain and world renowned triathlon coach Joe Friel for more information on endurance specific Paleo Nutrition.
For sprinters, and other power athletes most meals should be built around lean proteins, a variety of low carbohydrate density vegetables and liberal use of good fats. Power athletes may find benefit from a higher intake from Paleo friendly carbs such as yams, sweet potatoes and fruit once or twice per week. This is called a “cyclical-low carbohydrate” diet and has been enormously popular with track and field athletes, football players, Olympic weightlifters and other athletes who place a premium on strength, power and exceptionally low body fat levels. Doctor Mauro Di-Pasquale is the world authority on this way of eating and we highly recommend you read his work for further information. To see the best possible performance and body composition, the power athlete should eat at least 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight per day.
Paleo For Autoimmunity
Emerging research has made clear the link between Neolithic foods (grains, legumes and dairy) and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and a host of other less well know conditions. Many people have found significant improvements in autoimmune disease by eliminating the Neolithic foods and building a diet around nutritious Paleo options. If you suffer from an autoimmune disease we highly recommend you start a Paleo diet and let us know what your results are. To give your body its best chance to heal we recommend that you initially limit the following foods:
- Tomatoes & eggplants
- Peppers including bell peppers and hot peppers
- Spices such as curries, paprika, and chili powder.
- Nuts and seeds
Some of these otherwise Paleo-friendly foods have been shown to be problematic in individuals with autoimmune issues. We recommend you fully remove not only these foods but also all Neolithic foods (grains, breads, potatoes, beans and dairy) for at least a month to see if they pose a problem for you.
Sample Meal Plan: Weight Loss
Breakfast: Shrimp scramble with basil and steamed spinach. ¼ cup blueberries. Espresso.
Lunch: Chicken salad with red onions, romaine lettuce, artichoke hearts and mixed bell peppers. Dressing: Lemon/Olive Oil with a hint of garlic. Green tea with lemon.
Snack: Grilled shrimp & veggies with a hand full of macadamias.
Dinner: Baked pork loin with ginger cabbage and olive oil. Dessert: shaved almonds over 1/4 cup mixed berries.
Sample Meal Plan: The Endurance Athlete
Let’s assume an early run, bike or swim interval session. Depending upon your preferences you may opt to train on an empty stomach. If you prefer a small snack before training here is a good way to start your day:
2 oz chicken OR 2 scrambled eggs
1/2 to 1/4 honey dew melon OR 1 cup of blueberries.
Post Training Breakfast: (best if consumed within 30 min of training)
Salmon scramble, 1/2 honey dew or rock melon+1 cup of blueberries. OR
Grilled salmon, sweet potato hash browns with olive oil and cinnamon.
Lunch: Grass fed ground beef marinara over baked spaghetti squash.
Snack: Can of sardines, medium orange, hand full of almonds.
Dinner: Baked Halibut, large Artichoke. Garlic-pistachio “pesto” for the halibut and as a dipping sauce for the artichoke.
Sample Meal Plan: The Power Athlete
Breakfast: 4-6 egg omelet with 1 whole avocado. 1/2 cup blue berries.
Pre-workout snack: 2-4 oz grilled chicken, handful of almonds or macadamias.
Post-workout meal: 6-8 oz grilled salmon, asparagus, mushroom, bamboo shoot, coconut milk curry.
Snack: Canned salmon salad with olive oil, avocado, tomatoes and red onion.
Dinner: Grilled grass fed Rib eye with grilled shrimp. Large mixed salad with greens, red onions and ginger sesame dressing.
Running out of meal ideas?
I created the Food Matrix to show how endless the possibilities are for creating Paleo meals. Download your free copy with a blank Food Matrix chart that you can print out and fill in with proteins, vegetables, fats, herbs and spices that you and your family enjoy. This will help you customize thousands of meals!