A couple of weeks ago I purchased Practical Paleo Nutrition Guide Book. I am just now starting to read it as I embark on my 30 day paleo challenge. One of my favorite parts of the guidebook is the Paleo Matrix that Diane added. This was originally created by Robb Wolf.
When you all of a sudden eliminate grains, legumes, dairy and all other processed foods it may be a challenge to come up with a meal. Robb Wolf claims he makes 90% of his meals the same way.
I personally eat a big ass salad every day for lunch but enjoy making several of my meals that follow the paleo matrix guidelines. In short, it says to throw in meat, veggies, fat and some herbs and/or spices in a pan and let it cook away! Simple. View the paleo matrix for a more detailed explanation of cooking simple, healthy, tasty paleo meals!
Some of you will think there is nothing left to eat since you can’t eat cereal for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and pasta or pizza for dinner. I am going to share with you my paleo food matrix to give you more ideas on what foods to add to your paleo diet. Remember that this is NOT a diet but instead a life long endeavor.
- Ground Beef
- Beef Steak (Porterhouse, Ribeye, Round, T-Bone, Sirloin, etc.)
- Beef Roast (Chuck, Rump, Arm, etc.)
- Chicken Breast
- Chicken Thigh
- Other parts of a whole Chicken that I sometimes buy
- Ground Turkey
- Turkey Breast
- Pork Steak
- White Fish (Tilapia, Halibut, Mahi Mahi, etc.)
- Beef Liver (I need a recipe for this to work!)
- Grass-Fed Hot Dogs from Applegate Farms
Most is Grass-Fed, Pastured – I visit my local farmers market every Saturday to buy eggs and meat. Everything is high quality, the farms I buy from allow their animals to live a fulfilling life and they eat a naturally healthy diet. The beef I buy is 100% grass-fed.
Apple Gate Farms Hot Dogs – These hot dogs are organic and 100% grass-fed. The only ingredients are beef and spices. I personally buy them from Meijer, a supermarket located in 5 states within the midwest. The cost is $6 per lb. for me which is almost double what I pay for my other beef. But, it is incredibly convenient. They are fully cooked and so I simply cut them up and add to my salad or to my egg scramble. They are great as a snack too, and just as great for when you are traveling!
It is processed meat but in my personal opinion they are paleo. Anyone care to debate with me?
Go to the Applegate Farms website to find out if their products are sold at a grocer near you. They also carry hot dogs that are pure beef and spices but not grass-fed for $5 which is $1 less per lb.
Some is cheap meat - I am not perfect and so some of the chicken I buy from Costco is not pastured or organic. When you are on a tight budget then it’s easy to buy cheap chicken breast. It is almost pure protein and so there is no worry about toxins. I do hate how the animals are treated on factory farms… but we all have to do the best we can with what we got from where we are!
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sugar Snap Peas (a legume but more pod than bean)
- Snow Peas (a legume but more pod than bean)
- Green Beans (a legume but more pod than bean)
- Green Spring Mix (used for my salad base)
- Collared Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Mustard Greens
- Mixed Country Greens
- Sweet Potato
Fruits, But Veggies
- Bell Pepper
- Squash (all kinds)
This is a list of what are technically fruits, but what we refer to as vegetables for the most part. This is for good reason as all of the following are not as sweet as common fruits, (even berries) and contain a lot more fiber except for squash and olives which are pure fat.
Avocados have 12 grams of carbs – 0 sugar and 9 fiber.
- Berries (mostly blue, rasp, black, straw)
- Lemon (juice)
- Lime (juice)
- Banana (I might eat a couple but am not sure why…)
- Clementine (very teeny tiny orange)
- Pineapple (maybe a few bites)
We have tons of frozen blueberries that we picked last summer. Costco carries large bags of mixed berries. I love lemon and lime on salads and other foods and we always have clementies, pineapples and bananas around the house so I occassionally eat some. I am not trying to really lose weight but instead maintain while gaining muscle. A little fruit will help replenish my muscles faster. Coconut water does the trick too.
Grapefruit is awesome…
- Macadamia nuts
- Coconut oil
- Shredded coconut
- Olive oil
- Coconut milk
If I ever need some added fat to a meal I will add one of the following 6. My go to fat is shredded coconut since I buy it on Amazon for a dime per serving. One serving has 110 calories which means I could eat a whole meal for 60 cents! I am sure our hunter-gatherers ate a whole coconut and called it a meal many times… right?
Herbs & Spices
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Italian Seasoning
- Chili Powder
- So many more….!
I am not going to list all of the spices and herbs I use… as there are way too many of them. I literally go to my cupboard and grab a random spice and throw it on my food. For me, everything goes with anything and it truly tastes great!
Cinnamon and nutmeg on eggs… why not?!
Sauces, Stuff to Flavor Food
- Horseradish (technically a vegetable!)
- Mustard (is paleo, anyone care to disagree?)
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Lemon and lime juice
- Tomato paste
I am sure I am missing a few things but this is a solid list. All of these are great additions to food and are great as part of a marinade or salad dressing. As you can see… the food items are endless!
- Fish oil
- Vitamin D (only till the Sun starts to shine in Michigan!)
- Apple Cider Vinegar shot
I used to take a probiotic but decided to skip it during this 30 day challenge and see how my bowel movements perform without it. I do take a “shot” of apple cider vinegar to help. My brother said he did this and I decided to give it a try. Time will tell to see if it makes a difference.
The fish oil and Vitamin D I currently take are part of Mark Sissons Supplement Kit, which includes the probiotic that I am currently putting on hold. If you don’t see sun often during the winter and don’t eat a lot of fish then these 2 supplements are almost essential!
When I run out of Mark Sissons brand of Vitamin D I will be finishing off my bottle of Carlson’s brand. They also have great liquid fish oil… yes I used to take shots of fish oil too!
Keep It Simple and Enjoy Your Meals
Throw coconut oil in a pan, add meat, veggies, spices, etc. and let it cook. I hope most of you know the basics of cooking and can make fantastic meals out of this. Many of you have no idea what to cook which is why I hope to create some videos to help you out. Last time I tried to upload a video it failed so I need to find time to fix that.
Your meals don’t have to be fancy. I have been enjoying a salad for lunch every single day since I went primal 10 months ago. Mixed greens, pre-cooked meat, veggies, fat, spices and maybe a dressing and I am set! It’s different everyday. I will do a post on my salads soon.
Learn to enjoy your meals too. Don’t rush through them. When you are eating be sure you are doing NOTHING else except for maybe socializing, reading or whatever will prevent you from eating too fast. I personally read while eating lunch at work which helps me slow down a little bit if what I am reading is interesting (Outside Magazine always is).
What vegetables am I missing that I could add to my list? Are you going to print out the paleo matrix and fill it out based on what you buy and have in your kitchen? Do you think cooking a lot of meals this way would get boring? Thanks for reading!