What I have been eating over the last 6 months has helped transform me, here are 11 of my favourite paleo meals. Well, paleo-ish, anyway.
Paleo has been a whole lifestyle transformation that has given me more energy, shifted unwanted body fat, and built lean muscle. Since getting into it over the last 6 months I have been wowed and inspired by the creativity of people out there and feel it fair to share.
Previously I had never found a diet that worked because that was what they were diets. A diet, you have to stick to. A diet isn’t how you normally eat, a diet is finite.
I wanted to change how my body worked and recovered.
I am not the best at sticking to things 100%. When I try, I fall of the wagon so dramatically to undo all the hard work I have put in. I knew I had to incorporate the changes into my life naturally, substituting what I must but still keeping other meals, or drinks, included but in moderation. I have loved experimenting with new ingredients and over the months eaten some meals more than others. They might not be fully paleo but they are what work for me and what keeps me committed. Plus there might be a few cheat things in there..
My Favourite Paleo-ish Breakfasts
You have to start the day properly and eating a decent breakfast will only help the rest of the day go well. Decent doesn’t mean big, necessarily. In fact, my portion sizes are often quite modest at breakfast but it doesn’t mean you have to skimp on the content.
1) The Perfect Start to the Day – Egg, Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Avocado
This is one of Sophie and my favourites and I eat it at least twice a week. You can prepare it in minutes and it is full of all the nutrients you need to kick your day off with a bang. My current regime is a high fat/high protein and so I also get to add a chunk of salty Normandy butter to the eggs after cooking. Delicious.
2) My weekend breakfast treat – Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes with Maple Syrup
Something for the weekend and often used as part of a carb re-feed, this meal is just divine. Simply blend bananas, smooth peanut butter, eggs, and ground cinnamon together and you end up with a thick, american pancake style batter. Fry for a few minutes, build a tower and dowse in glorious Canadian maple syrup. More please.
3) A Jealousy Maker – Steak with Macadamia Nuts and Steamed Broccoli
Maybe not a traditional breakfast meal but a great one if you’re training and need to keep the protein intake up. The look I got when I opened this up at work was priceless – everyone was jealous I was having steak for breakfast, and rightly so. Pan fry the steak with macadamia nuts while steaming broccoli on the side for some healthy, fibrous carbs.
Some Favourite Paleo Snacks
I don’t like to let myself get hungry and so always try and keep some snacks to hand. Grabbing something from a supermarket or cafe is often quite difficult if you’re trying to make sure you’re eating paleo as none of the major names have cottoned onto it just yet. As such, I make these at home and try and remember to chuck some in my bag before heading out.
4) An Unexpected Delight – Chicken Liver Pâté and Crudites
When I was first introduced to chicken liver Pâté, I was a little sceptical. Although a fan of pâté, the idea of making it myself seemed too much and went into this one with a cautious step. I am now a complete convert and make this every week, and make enough for at least 8 snack portions. Just fry up chicken livers, smoked streaky bacon, and onions, then blend with egg yolks and chopped rosemary.
5) Something Vegetarian – Courgette Fritters with Mint Yoghurt
You might have detected a trend, pretty much everything I have been eating includes meat. I don’t only eat meat though and am a big fan of purely vegetarian meals. This is a great snack complemented with the freshness of the mint yoghurt. We like to add cumin, paprika, and sometimes even chilli to the fritters to give them a zing.
6) My Pièce de Résistance – Scotch Eggs
Everyone should make their own scotch eggs and they might be intimidating, they require a few goes to get them right, but just do it. Once you’ve got the knack the experimentation fun you can have is just amazing and they never fail to impress friends and family. We’ve made plain pork, chorizo, chilli beef, and even thai pork. Do it, you won’t regret learning the art.
A Few Paleo Dinners
We like to keep dinners varied and don’t often have the same meals for dinner though there are certainly a few core parts to meals we eat. Both the following include the greatest discovery I’ve made in the last year – Courgette Spaghetti. Well, it’s not spaghetti, it’s just julienned courgette but it looks a bit like spaghetti, tastes incredible, and works perfectly as a replacement.
7) Fond Spanish Memories – Scallops and Lardons on Courgette Spaghetti
I’m not sure why I think this is Spanish, it just reminds me of when I lived in San Sebastián, up in the north of Spain in the heart of the Basque Country. They have a fierce pride over their food and, though I never tried courgette spaghetti out there, I hope they would approve of my take on this dish. Pan fried with more garlic than you think is wise. Trust me, add one more clove.
8) A Little Comfort Food – Meatballs, Tomato Sauce, and Courgette Spaghett
Sometimes you just want to curl up on the sofa with a big plate of warm food that makes you great. This is one of those meals for me. Nothing beats creating a rich tomato sauce from scratch, then smothering it over home-made meatballs. Much like the scotch eggs, you can get really creative with the meatball seasoning and herbs. A little cheese on top completes the dish.
My Paleo Cheat Meals
We all need a little treat now and again and we all deserve it too. I do my best to stick to the principles I’ve been developing and get there most of the time.. But not all the time.
9) A Little Bit of Heaven – Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate
Until this Easter, I thought I could eat Green and Black’s all day every day. I put that to the test (as part of my pre-run nutritional plan for my London to Brighton run) and realised it is not in fact true. You can have too much of a good thing but a good thing in moderation becomes a great thing. A little square here and there really can make me so happy. And all the combinations: Ginger, Almonds, Raisins, or even just plain Plain. Mmmm… Chocolate.
10) For Special Occasions – Chocolate Almond Cake with Yoghurt and Fresh Berries
If we’re meeting friends for dinner, we generally try and invite them round to ours as it is often easier when trying to stick to eating paleo. We then get to make whatever we like with our friends rarely even realising they’re not eating normal food. This desert always goes down well. Sadly, too well as there is never any leftovers.
Sometimes You Just Need something naughty.
For me, I have a few weaknesses. They can be summed up in the following two items:
11) My Achilles Heal – Mini Eggs and Whisky
Together. Seprately. One after another. However they come, I’m happy. Very happy. I think I’m saved by Mini Eggs only being available a few months of the year!
What am I missing out on?
What should I try?
Please end me your suggestions!