Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Primal/Paleo Pantry: A Shopping List

I've not gone into the deep end with the Paleo/Primal thing yet, but I am easing in that direction. So far, I've cut our ALL grains, legumes, and sugar. I am focusing my meals on protein, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats. I also have been looking over various websites and figuring out what is considered Paleo and what is not. So let me ask you this:

What is up with all the coconut??

Every site I see is going on about coconut milk, coconut water, coconut this, coconut that. Want some fat? Have coconut oil (which I understand, I've been using it for a long time). Want a snack? Unsweetened coconut flakes! Baking a treat? Use coconut flour! No dairy if you're Paleo, but have some coconut milk from a can instead!

Pardon me, but did cavemen have coconuts? I didn't think so.

Anyway, I have a little grocery list going for when I go out today, in an effort to at least go gluten-free, grain-free, legume-free, and eat more nutritious foods. My list so far is:

Farmer's Market: berries, greens, carrots, celery, grass fed beef, local honey, cauliflower, grass fed milk, free range eggs

Grocery store: mushrooms, peppers, sweet potatoes, natural beef jerky, canned pumpkin, very dark chocolate, medjool dates, unsweetened applesauce, unsweetened almond milk, coconut flour, almond flour, almond butter, coconut milk, and some peanutless Larabars.

I already have staples like healthy oils, avocados, frozen veggies, meats and fish, nuts and seeds. Am I missing anything important? Obviously I am not 100% Paleo here and that is not my intent. Primal allows dairy and I am still incorporating that into my diet right now, although I might try cutting it out later.

My plan is to eat this way AND count calories, staying at 1600 or less this week and maybe cutting back to 1400 if my weight is not going down. I also plan to bake one Paleo recipe per week (something like pumpkin muffins or banana bread that my kids might like) and post it on my blog. I have always loved to bake, and finding ways to make things we like with no sugar, no grains, and all healthy ingredients is an exciting prospect. But note, I am keeping it to ONCE A WEEK. I could see how easy it would be to get carried away with the Paleo baked goods. That is not my intent. But I think it will be much easier and more joyful to eat meat/veggies all week if I know I get to bake something special on the weekend. And I think it will make my kids healthier, too.

IF this way of eating works well for me, I will stick with it. IF at some point in the future I think it would be beneficial, I will try cutting out dairy and perhaps other foods. I will probably do a Whole 30 at some point when I am confident I want to do it and can stick with it. In the fall I may try adding some legumes back in. We'll see.

Last night my evening snack was "banana ice cream" which is just a sliced, frozen banana in the food processor with a bit of liquid (I used water) processed until it is creamy. I added some unsweetened cocoa and it was excellent.

Breakfast this morning was
black coffee
2 free range eggs, scrambled
1 slice of bacon
5 fresh raw sugar snap pea pods
1/4 cup local fresh blueberries

Enjoy your weekend!


Anonymous said...

How much reading have you done about the importance of fat in the paleo/primal diet? It's a HUGE portion of calories, which is one of the reasons you see coconut everywhere (coconut us a tree nut, therefore fitting into the diet). the emphasis on eating fat is one of the most difficult parts for people coming off of more traditional diets, but it is one of the reasons it works, as fat is highly satiating. Good luck!

kara said...

Um .. why would you say that cavemen didn't have coconut? Coconuts didn't magically appear in grocery stores 50 years ago. Fossils of coconuts have been found from over 50 million years ago.

Jac said...

In regards to coconuts, while the Paleo/Primal thing might be *based* on an ancestral diet, it's obviously not strict. Our "ancestors" would have eaten very differently depending on where they're from. Heck, the Inuit people eat very little produce at all! Doesn't mean I should give up all fruits and veggies just because MY ancestors came from that area. So... as they say at Whole30, it's more about HEALTH than HISTORY. And coconut products just happen to have a ton of benefits going for them. Coconut flour is great for baking with - it's low carb and high protein. BUT it uses a ton of eggs, and is notorious for making some people gassy.
Since you already have the coconut flour, here's a recipe my whole family loves: When we're Whole30-ing, we just leave out the honey. (Hard to tell the difference with vs. without anyway.)

Anonymous said...


go to the primal blueprint website ie marks daily apple; sign up w/ email and get free downloads of his 3 books.
btw on his site 'search' coconut and that info will come up

good luck i start primal on relieved

Vb said...

1) coconuts are delicious, and 2) the point is NOT to replicate the life if a caveman since cavemen didn't have stoves, grocery stores, cars, not did they blog. The point is to eat foods that are nutrient rich, and occurring in nature.

I hope you read "it starts with food" if you do nothing else towards the Whole30, at least read the book. There is some information contained in the first 40 pages that I think would resonate with you tremendously.

Lyn said...

I guess I just never heard of cavemen out harvesting coconuts as a big part of their diet! I thought it was mostly meat and veggies with some fruit.

I do understand the higher fat intake of Paleo but I get 45-50% fat from calories with things like avocado, olive oil, meat, eggs, nuts, (some dairy). Not shunning coconut, just surprised how big a part it is on most of the Paleo diet blogs I have been reading.

kara said...

To say that there is a single "caveman" diet is as silly as saying that all Americans eat the same thing.

"Cavemen" is a meaningless word because prehistoric humans lived everywhere - on beaches, in caves, along riverbanks, in mountains, in the frozen tundra, and in the desert. So what "cavemen" ate would depend highly on what was available for them to hunt and forage.

Also when people talk about "cavemen" are you talking about homo erectus, homo habilus, homo neanderthalensis, or one of the other pre-homo-sapien-sapien varieties? Which flavor of "cavemen" are you talking about? Because they all lived in very different times and in different regions of the world.

And yes, grains like wheat and corn were available for of many them to forage and consume - it just wasn't in the quantity that we consume them today, nor were they (obviously) as processed.

In fact if you want to get technical about things, vegetables that are "permitted" on the paleo diet like brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. actually did not exist 50 million years ago. It's also probable that wild carrots were not palatable during that time period. Also ... olive oil? Do you really think Neolithic man was pressing olives to get to the oil?

This is why I have such a HUGE problem with the whole Paleo Diet BS. There is no such thing as a single "Paleo Diet" and what these so called experts say is the "Paleo Diet" bears absolutely no relation to what Paleo humans could eat because much of what they ate no longer exists and much of what we eat (in the nature of fruits and vegetables) never existed at their time.

So claiming that olive oil is ok, or coconut oil is ok, but grains aren't ok ... to me that's completely hypocritical.

If you want to limit yourself to fruit, veg, and meat because you believe it's more healthy, or because you personally have health issues with grain and dairy, or because you're trying a "reset" to eliminate potential inflammatory agents from your diet ... I say go for it. Absolutely. I myself am doing the Whole30 starting July 5 - and I have a large variety of personal reasons for doing it.

But those reasons aren't that this is what our ancestors ate (because it's not), nor are they because certain foods weren't available to "cavemen". Those are lies that the diet industry is trying to sell you.

Mary Ellen Quigley said...

LOL! I would die on this diet because I can't stand coconut. I recommend researching a little and seeing what all you can have to switch up what you eat. All that coconut would get boring after a while.

Lyn said...


my cavemen/coconut comment was poking fun a little... I am not militant about any particular eating plan, as I said, just taking from Paleo and Primal what I feel may work for me, namely, cutting out grains, legumes, and sugar for now and focusing on plants, meat, eggs, and healthy fats.

Taryl said...

I'd just caution you not limit your calories too much the first few days while transitioning - you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot with hunger when you could otherwise stick to the diet if you only ate a bit more, you know? Just a thought :)

timothy said...

i just have to point out this paleo/whole30 thing is EXACTLY what dr atkins said about our modern diet! too bad people simply remember the 2 week induction which IS restrictive to reset the body and not the actual plan which incorporates most healthy whole foods. ok ok end of rant! lol just stick to your plan and you know you'll be successful, you a very smart capable woman and you can do this! xoxoxoxo

Diandra said...

Whether cavemen had coconut or not strongly depends on where they were living, I'd guess.

(There is also archaeological evidence that cavemen indeed used dairy products, but I think historical accuracy is not the point with this lifestyle.)

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea that you are still measuring your portions and counting calories.

I am doing the WWs Flex plan myself.
Whole grains and no sugar. Sugar is very addictive.

Still got the booklets from 2004 when they had that plan.

Good luck! I am reading your blog daily.


TJ said...

I have been following a paleo/primal lifestyle for almost 14 months now. I have NEVER counted calories and have lost and kept off 90 lbs. I have not once been hungry. I don't think you need to watch how much you eat - just what you eat - good luck and keep at it!

Vickie said...

Read labels carefully if you are eating coconut products. It is like cranberries, real foolers that are touted as healthy but usually sweetened. The (seemingly plain) coconut in the bake aisle is all sweetened at my store.

amanda said...

They didn't have chocolate either! lol

LaDieu said...

coconut fruit is a drupe, not a true nut. People allergic to tree nuts are generally not allergic to coconuts. Just a correct to a comment made about that.