Almost the first question I get after I explain Paleo to someone is, “Well, what DO you eat?” There’s really quite a long list:
- Meat, poultry, and seafood
- Vegetables (excluding potatoes, corn, beans, peas, etc.)
- Nuts (excluding peanuts, a legume)
- Fats from above sources (coconut, olive, and avocado oils, primarily)
A typical day’s menu for me would be:
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs scrambled in the bacon fat, fresh fruit
- Lunch: Burger patty on salad greens topped with guacamole
- Dinner: Jambalaya (pretty standard recipe except for cauliflower instead of rice)
I get delicious curries, chili, and stews; yummy salads, fruit and nut snacks. I get “pasta” as spaghetti squash or sweet potato noodles.
What do I miss? Oatmeal, for one. It’s hard to simulate that gloppy sweetened goodness. But for most everything else, if I get a craving, someone out there has come up with a Paleo substitute. For birthdays and holidays I will do a Paleo almond cake or stuffing-seasoned vegetable-almond meal mix. I make Paleo pancakes as an occasional breakfast treat and to use to make sandwiches. If I want cocoa, well, there’s coconut milk, honey, and, yes, cocoa.
I do NOT miss bread, nor white potatoes. Honestly, I now find them bland and unappetizing. Nor are beans/peas/lentils/soy a big loss. While I don’t really miss the stuff, milk products are the hardest to avoid, especially when eating out. Restaurants can get the no grains thing (think gluten-free), and beans etc. can be left off most stuff, but dang if cheese and milk aren’t integral to almost everything, it seems. Sauces, salads, salad dressings, soups… The list is almost infinite. [sighs]
In fact, the biggest problem with eating Paleo is eating out. There are no ingredient lists to inspect, and menu descriptions are often incomplete. I welcome any tips.