Fitness, is the epitome of the saying “you get out what you put in.”
Your body does what it can with what it has available, but you can’t run off a bad diet. It doesn’t work like that.
If anyone ever tries to tell you you can electro-shock yourself into a six pack or sprinkle fairy dust on your food and lose weight without ever changing your diet, punch them in the nose and then run far, far away. Magical dust and contraptions you bought late one night on QVC aren’t the answer. If you really want to know how to get a six pack, you’ll have to head to the kitchen and change the foods you’re eating.
If you’re not willing to change the way you cook, you’ll never change the way you look.
My preferred framework to make changes to your diet en masse is the paleo diet. Fortunately, eating healthy, doesn’t mean you have to deprive your tastebuds. Real, healthy, paleo food can be delicious .
Here are my 7 absolute favorite paleo foods (plus a few bonuses). Enjoy
Table of Contents
Avocados have a reputation as a “super food.” I’m not sure who categorized it like that, but all i know is that they’re absolutely delicious. While high in calories (so don’t eat 5 of them at once), they’re also packed with healthy fats, which makes them great for those times where you just need an energy boost. In fact, my new favorite breakfast meal is avocado cooked with the next paleo food on the list – eggs
Eggs are packed with protein and you can eat them anywhere, anytime and anyway you want to.
Hard boil them and take them on the go, cook them over-easy, scrambled, or throw them in a skillet with a bunch of vegetables and meat and make an omelet. You can even microwave them (seriously!). Eggs all the way.
Raspberries are absolutely delicious and unlike a lot of fruit, actually quite low in sugar. Combine that with their sweet and tangy flavoring, they’re one of the best fruit choices you can make and they’re practically addictive. Try and eat just one – I dare you.
Almonds Almonds Almonds
Almonds are an incredible nut and my favorite portable snack around. Forget chips, candy or anything else. Almonds are where it’s at. Get a bag of them and carry them with you wherever you go. They’ll give you something to knaw on, fill you up and won’t go bad. These are a great road trip food.
Coconut is such a versatile food. A pseudo-fruit/nut/seed coconuts are high in fat (the good, rare kind with intriguing weight loss benefits) and super-satiating. Coconut meat is great by itself, but the coconut products derived from the fruit also offers a solid paleo alternative to dairy choices.
While coconut water itself is a little sugary, it’s also an incredible recovery and rehydrating drink. In addition to coconut water, there are a ton of other coconut products derived from the fruit, although my favorite to use throughout cooking is coconut oil.
I used to hate brocolli. Hard, crunchy and tasteless with an aftertaste of blah.
Then I learned how to cook it
Simmering brocolli in coconut oil with garlic on top is not only the most delicious way to eat broccoli that you’ll ever experience, but it has the added side effect of making your kitchen smell absolutely amazing. Try it, it might just turn you into a believer in broccoli.
Between the amount of chicken and eggs I ate during my six pack challenge, I’m convinced I wiped out the chicken population within 5 miles of my house. Chicken is cheap, delicious and some of the best lean meat you can find. No to mention – it’s incredibly easy to prepare. Simply cut it up, let it marinade and throw it on the grill until it’s got the nice char lines on it.
Grilled chicken is some of the best lean meat you can find. Healthy, delicious and versatile, chicken’s flexibility and adaptablity lends itself to a variety of marinades, running the gamut from sweet to tangy, you can eat it over and over without getting bored.
Bonus #1: Paleo Pancakes
Andy Drish made these for me in Portland and I fell in love – with the pancakes that is. The recipes differ based on who you talk to, but my favorite recipe I’ve tried is paleo pancakes by Mark Sisson. Make them. They’re delciious.
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- 1 HUGE tbsp of almond butter
Mix them up, throw them on a skillet and you’re good to go.
Be careful on the amount of these that you eat (it’s easy to go overboard), but they’re absolutely delicious, and get you that pancake fix (of course if you drown them in syrup, you defeat the point, so either eat them plain or add a little honey if you need to sweeten it a bit)
Bonus #2: Bacon
Need I say more? Eat your heart out.
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photo credit: Rodrigo_Soldon, threelayercake, shawnzam, Sappymoosetree, loco’s photos, Skley
Jamie Alexander says
My favorite paleo meal, which is great for intermittent fasting because it’s so filling, is a Thai curry.
Just Chicken, Curry paste, Coconut Cream, Veg, salt/pepper, fish sauce… BOOM! Keeps you full all day.
Emmet Buchanan says
What about all the sugar and nitrates in bacon?!? doesn’t that have an impact when on the paleo plan? I have had a really hard time finding bacon that doesn’t have either or even just one for that matter… is it that the amount of sugar is miniscule and doesn’t matter in the grad scheme of things?
Joel Runyon says
That’s actually a good point.
I used bacon as one of my ‘alternate cheat’ foods, meaning that when I wanted something to indulge in but didn’t want to go off the deep end, I’d pick bacon. It’s sort of the “best of the worst” category I would say (especially if you’re really focused on losing weight), but man is it delicious.
Marla Sarris says
Great question Emmet! I would not recommend eating the bacon you find in the regular grocery store, way too many additives and not properly sourced. We buy all of our bacon online. US Wellness Meats makes a nitrite, nitrate, and sugar free bacon that is outstanding! We eat bacon on a regular basis in our house and use it for a good source of protein and healthy fat. Also, side note, I’ve continued to eat it while losing weight without issue. 🙂
Justin Miller says
Try US Wellness meats. You can usually get one of the hire quality bacons there. No sugar, nitrate free, and grass fed I believe. I’m wi Joel on this too. It’s sort of the best of the worst. But sure beats a burger from a fast food joint or a candy bar from a vending machine.
Here’s a food rule of thumb.
1 ingredient beast
2 ingredients not bad
3 ingredients ok
4 ingredient Donnie Brasco and forgetta bout it.
Provided you can pronounce those ingredients as well
Any vegetarian options/ substitutes?
Joel Runyon says
Salmon is amazing (if you do the pescatarian thing).
Honestly, I write about what I know and I’ve never stepped into the vegetarian realm much so I haven’t had a reason to really dive into vegetarian options although I can look into it as far as protein intake goes. The fruits/vegetable options should all stand stil
I’ve considered the vegetarian version of Paleo but there isn’t one. It’s a great eating plan for meat eaters. Not so much us veggies.
And what is the deal with all the bacon?
Asks the vegetarian.
Joel Runyon says
Just give it a try…you’ll see what I mean 🙂
Well, if I can’t do the Paleo diet then I’m just going to have to move on to the next thing on my impossible list…which is to live in a house made out of cheese. You know, with a chocolate margarita fountain.
Marla Sarris says
haha love it Rita (the comment & the bacon) 😉 It’s just salty goodness, I think you just have to try the non-additive-no-sugar-kind to find out. 🙂
I’ve got some vegetarian ideas for ya tho: carrot and other soups and ratatouille. If you do eggs a quiche is always good. I do an eggplant based pizza crust, that’s on my site along with some of those recipes I just mentioned and some will be making an appearance in my cookbook.
We eat lots of salads in an effort to eat lots of veggies. The whole Paleo/Primal eating plan is based on Plants (being the largest in the hierarchy) then Animals, Nuts & Seeds so there are plenty of vegetarian and raw options it’s just the meat & bacon recipes seem to overpower them and get the most attention. 🙂
Janet Ouchterlony says
Another great paleo food is chia. The whole raw ancient super food of the aztecs. I have eaten many different kinds and my personal favourite is Mila. It’s easy to incorporate into your diet and for me, leaves me feeling full and full of energy.
Jason Martin says
Macadamia nuts are one of my favorite paleo snacks…satiating, and packed full of nutrients.
Also, can’t forget beef jerky for traveling or hiking!
Don’t forget seeds, nuts (raw, but not cashews or peanuts), dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cherries, dates, etc.) and my favorite…honey (optional, raw unfiltered only).
Honey from bees, not your boyfriend/girlfriend/wife/husband ;D
Gary Conway says
Great list! Eggs are a winner. Love making frittatas packed with loads of ingredients.
“Between the amount of chicken and eggs I ate during my six pack challenge, I’m convinced I wiped out the chicken population within 5 miles of my house.”
All right already! Let’s have the plan 😉
Eggs are awesome and if you think about it, when you eat them you are consuming all the ingredients needed to grow life. When I go on low carb/Keto diets, eggs become the focus point of my day.
I absolutely love Chicken and Broccoli too. In my opinion the best meat and the best overall vegetable you can buy.
Gave the broc a try and thumbs up!
On the pancakes substitute apple sauce for the banana. Think you’ll find that to be a good variation
Laurie Higgins says
Love them all! Raspberries are my favorites, but I love all berries! Eggs! I have my own chickens so I get my own pastured poultry farm fresh eggs. Love avocados, but haven’t had any in awhile. I’ll have to get some. Broccoli – just planted some in the garden. Coconut and almonds are my faves, too. I often have almonds to hand. Yes, and chicken. Farmers market chicken. The best! 🙂
Mr Runyon, nice work on this one! I’m liking the almonds, I’ve begun eating them as a snack. And I’ve been meaning to eat more avocado for a while, so this has confirmed it for me 🙂
Not quite sure i get the bacon part though? We’re allowed to eat it!?
Here is my favorite twist.
Dice 1 Avocado, 1 tomato, 1/4 sweet onion, 2 tbsp cilantro then toss with fresh lime juice and sea salt.
3 egg Omelette cooked in a bit of coconut oil then smothered with the Avocado Salad. Add side of fresh berries with some crushed almond.
Whatever you decide to eat, be it bacon or veggies, please do your best to buy local. Support your local farmer, eat healthier, and support your local farms!
my favourite paleo meal is my breakfast – two eggs (I got nearly 3 dozen organic free range eggs for 20 bucks this weekend at the farmers market, you can taste the difference!), a slice of free range bacon, and mushrooms and spinach with garlic and chilli, all fried up with coconut oil. Makes me happy and full for hours!
Joel Runyon says
Coconut oil is FANTASTIC.
Matt Cartagena says
About 2 months ago I started eating 3-4 avocados a day….let’s just say it had the most insane effect on my testosterone and libido (anecdotal). Crazy sex drive, agression, skin breakouts, and shift (good) in well-being. Maybe a combo between the zinc and healthy fats…not sure…but I stopped and I’m getting back into that diet now and will let you know if I replicate the results. Good post.