How Paleo Am I?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 05, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Hi all!!!! I'm a newbie at Paleo and was wondering if you guys can look over my "grocery list" and see what I've been eating and tell me if I'm on the right track or what I am missing or if I'm doing it completely wrong. Note: I want to go into Ketosis..

My Grocery List:

Meats: Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Beef (All either grass-fed or vegetarian-fed)

Seafood: Shrimp, Salmon (I like to buy them fresh, so I don't really know how to make sure these "Paleo-friendly"

Vegetables: Lettuce, Peppers (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green), Cucumbers, Carrots, Broccoli, Scallions, Corn, Green Beans, Garlic, Onions

Fruit: Limes/Lemons (I only use the juice, to either cook my salmon, as a "Salad dressing," sometimes in my water. Rarely a banana.

Nuts: Almonds (Eaten sparingly)

Drink: Water, lots and lots of water. (Is there a "Paleo-friendly" water? Or is Tap ok? Pure White Tea, Black caffeinated coffee (Any Paleo friendly sweeteners I can use? I miss my sugary coffee!)

Other: Eggs, I cook with pure organic olive oil and run-of-the mill butter, salt, and other seasonings.

I have eliminated the following foods from my diet: Carb-heavy foods: i.e Grains like bread and rice, as well as starchy veggies such as potatoes. Diary products such as milk, except for butter to cook. Lastly, fruit; except for lime juice and a banana on occasion.

How "Paleo" is my grocery?

Also I have a few other questions:

Are meats marked "VEGETARIAN DIET," as opposed to "GRASS FED," Paleo?

How are you guys able to measure how many grams of protein you are eating? I have heard you must eat 1 gram per desirable weight. I want to be 130lbs, so 130 grams? Is this right?

Are fried green plantains paleo?

Thanks Hackers!!!!!



on June 06, 2012
at 01:16 AM

Make sure your seafood is wild caught! Plantains are so delicious!



on June 05, 2012
at 09:07 PM

Plantains (green, yellow or black) are certainly a fine paleo starchy food. I prefer them at least yellow, brown/black splotches are even better.

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7 Answers



on June 05, 2012
at 07:43 PM

Poultry is often marketed as vegetarian fed. This is a pet peeve of mine. Chickens and turkeys are not vegetarians. They are supposed to be out eating bugs and such (among other things). When they market vegetarian fed, they mean that the farmer is only giving the animal vegetarian feed. This is to show that they aren't feeding the animals bits of other ground up animals which is a good way for disease to spread. My understanding is that a free range chicken can still be marketed vegetarian fed even though it is likely out getting bugs in its diet. Long story short, I don't think vegetarian fed means that much anymore and it certainly isn't something to aspire to (unless you have concerns that it is a very cheap/dangerous operation, but I doubt you'd be buying from somewhere like that anyway).

Beef should be grass fed. Vegetarian fed is very likely grain which is not good for the cow or the person eating the cow.

Fried green plantains are paleo as long as you're frying in the right oil (e.g., coconut oil), but they are carbs so won't help you get into ketosis.



on June 05, 2012
at 11:10 PM

Add in some coconut oil and coconut products to your list and maybe some avocados if you can find them at a good price. Also your list looks a bit deficient in fruits - try to get some berry's into your diet, possible 1 cup every other day. You can still reach Ketosis doing this as your body will move towards homeostasis and balance out your higher carb days (which will likely still be below 80 carbs even with 1 full cup of fruit per day) with your lower carb days.

Try to stay away from banana as your fruit choice, as they pack the most carb of the fruits without the antioxidant content you will get from berrys like blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, and cherry.

Mark Sisson over at Marksdailyapple.com approves of Stevia as a natural sweetener substitute, but you can always use raw coconut palm sugar in small amounts.

And as far as nuts, the best are macadamias b/c of their low Omega 6 content. Walnuts are also OK they have some O3 in them but are also really high in O6...

Finally, dont necesarily rush into ketosis. If you are just starting getting into paleo, it will take your body some time to become fat adapted and get used to using fat as fuel. Rushing into ketosis and eliminating some of the tastiest primal foods (fruits!) can lead to a sweet tooth and some binging :P.

Your list looks really great tho - the above are just some tasty tweaks I'd recommend for the purposes of sustainability. Plus Coconut is just damn delicious. especially the oil when used to cook.



on June 05, 2012
at 09:09 PM

You've got a very functional paleo diet there. You could continue to optimize for some Paleo Purity Points???, or just enjoy what you've got already.



on June 05, 2012
at 07:45 PM

Everyone's definition of Paleo is different, so go for whole foods, avoiding vegetable oils, gluten grains, and high fructose corn syrup; basically all highly processed foods.

Add some organ meats like liver & gelatin & get your Vitamin D level tested (sun/supplement to 50-60 ng/ml) and you are golden!

Go for 100% grass-fed/free-range over vegetarian diet, but don't sweat the small stuff. Wild-caught fish are better than farmed, for the most part.

If you feel like you need more carbs potatoes & sweet potatoes are fine, if tolerated.



on June 05, 2012
at 07:45 PM


Welcome to Paleohacks!

You're doing great. Some people will remind you that coffee isn't Paleo and that you should eat as much grass-fed meat as possible. Sure, grass-fed is better but if you can't find or can't afford it, the grain-fed meat won't kill you.

Fresh shrimp and salmon is very paleo-friendly.

Regarding how much protein to eat, everyone has a different experience and your mileage will depend on many variables. Not an easy question to answer.

Getting rid of the grains is a great move.

Many of us prefer to not use olive oil for cooking but even with that point there's no consensus.

Some people do fine with milk. My preference is raw dairy but that's not always easy to find and not everyone will agree that dairy should be raw.

The most important question to ask yourself is how does your health improve over time? That's all that matters. Don't get lost in people's opinions of what a perfect diet is.


on June 06, 2012
at 02:29 AM

Look for:

Grass-fed beef and lamb,

Pastured chicken, pork and turkey (they are omnivores and should be outside running around eating bugs instead of squished into little barns and fed grains and soy),

Sustainable (ocean-wise) wild-caught salmon and shrimp (most shrimp are from south east Asia and are harvested by scraping the ocean floor), and

Any and all vegetables and fruits, especially locally-grown organic ones.

Everything else is up for debate... But my thought is that if it is a whole food and your body tolerates it well, then go for it!



on June 05, 2012
at 07:46 PM

+1 for a thorough, readable presentation.

A few answers offhand:

Salmon should be wild-caught, which will be a deeper red/pink color, as opposed to the orange-ish of farmed, soy-fed salmon.

I like stevia to sweeten my coffee.

"Vegetarian diet" meats usually indicate corn/soy fed; it's a euphemism for CAFO meat, more or less.

And 130g of protein may be a little high, I'm more fond of 1.5g / kg, which would be roughly 90g for 130lb (~59kg). That's a pound of meat, give or take a little.

I'd say add a few more fats, if you're insistent on low-carb/pursuing keto; do you have a specific reason for doing so?

Avocados are great, and having a ridiculous arsenal of cooking oils is part of the fun of the low-carb side of paleo - coconut, avocado, ghee, palm, tallow, bacon grease, and EVOO stock my shelf. Try to find some pastured butter to replace the conventional if you can; Kerrygold is pretty widely available.

In regards to the plantains, frying things isn't paleo per se, but some starch may be good for you (depending on your goals and individual reactions - a lot of transition is experimenting and getting to know your body) - they're quite tasty in some coconut oil, well salted! I'd consider that more of a treat than a staple, but with how clean your diet looks otherwise, should be fine on occasion!

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