To be successful on the Paleo Diet, one needs to eat a lot of protein, fats, and some carbs from vegetables and fruits. As far as meat is concerned, grass-fed and antibiotic/hormone free meats are the best choice. Our local Kroger stores carry a lot of different types of these Paleo friendly meats. Also, there is a newer health store in Huntington, The Wild Ramp, which is located in Heritage Station. They have some grass-fed and antibiotic/hormone free meats, and organic veggies from local farms. Vegetables are very important in this diet as well. Nutrient dense organic veggies should be the main source, but I personally love my sweet potatoes. They are more starchy, so one may not want to eat as much of them. I still usually have a sweet potato in some form every workout day. Avocados, olives, coconut, and nuts are great sources of healthy fats. As far as fruits go, I eat them especially when I have a sweet craving. These fats and fruits are both good in moderation. Beverages are more limited; water, organic black coffee, and some organic teas.
Foods to avoid on the Paleo Diet include: grains, legumes, sugar, processed foods, dairy products, corn, and all oils besides coconut or olive. While this list may seem small, these ingredients find their way into many foods that Americans eat every day. Premade dressings are almost always not Paleo, but you just need to check the ingredients to be sure. I have found a few organic sauces from stores online.
I am not suggesting that every one follow a completely "strict" Paleo Diet. You need to do what is best for you and your body. It can be kind of pricey and difficult to find, and purchase, only organic meats and vegetables. It is also hard to discover how your food is made at restaurants and where it is from. My suggestion is that you figure out what foods you will and will not allow for yourself then try your best to stick to it. For example, many people still include dairy products and some whole, gluten free, grains. I recently have begun a completely strict Paleo challenge, because I want to see if there will be differences in how I look and feel. Listen to your body.
Now, on to the first recipe of the blog! This was one of the first true "Paleo" recipes that my boyfriend, Tom, and I tried.
- 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
- 1/2 white onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 4 cups tomatoes, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- A pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- 5 or 6 large eggs
- 1 package of meat of your choice
- Place a large skillet over a medium heat and use a little olive (coconut) oil to grease the surface of the pan. Chop the onions and bell peppers then add. Sauté for five minutes. Mix in the garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables become tender.
- Next, add whatever meat you have chosen. Allow to cook until brown.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste to the skillet, followed by the chili powder, paprika and cayenne pepper. Give the mixture a taste and add any additional spices, as well as the salt and pepper to your liking. Allow the mixture to simmer for around 5 minutes. You may want to lower the heat to prevent the mixture from boiling.
- Now crack the eggs into the skillet on top of the tomato mixture. Make sure they are spaced evenly. Cover the skillet and cook for anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes. You will know when the dish is ready as the eggs will be white and no clear liquids will run.
- Once the eggs have cooked through, allow the mixture to set for a few minutes to set up. It should then be ready to eat!
This is one of our absolute favorites to make, and we have tweaked it as we go. I would say this is a universal meal. It makes a good breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is just as great heated up. I know many people may not have time to make extravagant breakfasts, so Shakshuka can be a delicious breakfast to heat up in the morning.