March 12, 2011

A Weekly Paleo/Primal Menu from the Great Minds of Paleo

I have a quite a collection of paleo/primal books now.  Each author has his/her own take on the subject. Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint) promotes a sensible primal lifestyle with occasional uses of the 80/20 rule - have an infrequent non-primal moment, but then get back to primal eating - plenty of well-sourced, good fats and proteins, plenty of low starch vegetables, less than 100 carbs for weight-loss.  Loren Cordain (The Paleo Diet) is a bit fat-phobic, but still promotes a higher protein, low carb route.  Robb Wolf (The Paleo Solution) runs down the middle of the road, with high protein, low carb, moderate fats.  Nora Gedgaudas (Primal Body-Primal Mind) addresses the effects of carbs on the brain, and promotes a lower protein, higher fat, low carb diet.  Gary Taubes (Why We Get Fat and Good Calories, Bad Calories) says our bodies work better on a low carb diet based on real food proteins and fats.  Art DeVany (The New Evolution Diet) includes more fruit, very lean protein, and, of course, lower carbs.  (All interpretations are my own.)

All of these authors have done their homework and are experts in the science behind their claims.  The proportions of the fat and protein set aside, all agree that excessive carbohydrates are the culprit behind all of today's "lifestyle" diseases - diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even Alzheimer's disease.  Our bodies are meant to operate efficiently on proteins and fats from animals that have also eaten what their bodies are meant to operate on.  Our bodies are not evolutionarily designed to eat excessive amounts of carbohydrates based on grains, sugar, and fructose.

I decided to make a weekly menu from each of the sources listed above.  As you can see, they are very similar in their recommendations.  I thought this might help me plan more for the week, since deviation from primal/paleo eating for me tends to occur when I have to grab something quick or I forget to defrost the meat for dinner.  This is not a menu written in stone.  Life happens and substitutions can certainly be made.  I didn't include chocolate or paleo substitutions in this menu.  I might in later versions, but I decided I wanted a bit of a pure version this time around.  I'll post a pdf version on the Menu page, but here is Week One:

Monday: (Sisson) Omelet - eggs, cream, 1 slice swiss, 1/2 avocado, salsa.  Coffee or tea.
Tuesday: (Wolf) Poached eggs, almonds, small piece fruit or berries.
Wednesday: (Gedgaudas) Sausage, stirfry with vegetables.
Thursday: (DeVany) Omelet, bacon, fruit, coffee or tea.
Friday: (Cordain) Poached eggs, diced apples, shredded carrots, raisins, coffee or tea.
Saturday: (Taubes) Bacon or sausage, eggs, low carb veg.
Sunday:  Any breakfast paleo/primal recipe.
Monday: (Sisson) Tuna lettuce wrap:  3 lettuce leaves, 1 can tuna, sliced red pepper, tomato, 1/2 avocado, mayo., clementine.
Tuesday: (Wolf) Chicken fajita salad: olive oil, 1/8 cup onions, chicken, cumin, oregano, peppers, lettuce, 1 tomato, 1/2 avocado.
Wednesday: (Gedgaudas) Tuna salad, lettuce, small amount of sliced fruit.
Thursday: (DeVany) Salad of broccoli or cabbage, onions, artichoke hearts, shrimp, 1/2 avocado, olive oil and vinegar.
Friday: (Cordain) Almond chicken salad: chicken, lettuce, red cabbage, almond, dates, olive oil,  1 tbsp. orange juice.
Saturday: (Taubes) Chicken or tuna with salad, bacon, chopped eggs, dressing.
Sunday:  Any lunch paleo/primal recipe.
Monday: (Sisson) Beef stir fry:  4 oz beef, 2 tbsps olive oil, zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, bamboo shoots, sesame seeds.
Tuesday: (Wolf) Grilled salmon, roasted green beans, side salad.
Wednesday: (Gedgaudas) Burgers, any green vegetable sauteed with butter and sprinkled with nuts.
Thursday: (DeVany) Pork ribs, asparagus, salad, handful of nuts.
Friday: (Cordain) Tomato and avocado, turkey breast, steamed broccoli, blueberries, raisins, almonds.
Saturday: (Taubes) Any meat with 1 cup salad or cooked greens, 1/2 cup of other vegetables.
Sunday:  Any dinner paleo/primal recipe.


  1. This was awesome. For the way my brain works, this was what I needed to at a glance see what each of the various plans entails in a real-world, easy for this foodie to understand way. My personal menu, of course, leans to the bacon side of things. ;)

  2. A lot of great Paleo/Primal books have come out in the past few months! I'm reading The Paleo Solution right now and will be reading Art De Vany's book next. Cordain and Sisson's cookbooks look great, too.

  3. I have Mark Sisson's new Quick and Easy Cookbook on order. Can't wait to get it!

  4. Well done! This is a great overview. Everyone owes themselves a bit of personal experimentation to see which version allows them to look, feel, and perform better!
    Thank you for a great post!