If you're interested in the paleo plan but don't think you want to be so strict, you don't have to be all-or-nothing with your approach. Consider adopting some eating patterns from paleo and skipping the ones that don't work for you. For example, try just eating more fruits and vegetables and cutting down on added sugars. If you feel unsure about grains or dairy, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian to determine what's best for your body.


This means that embracing the Paleo diet means upping the meat ante, but with one major addendum: that meat must be from high quality sources! Quality, in this instance, is synonymous with grass-fed/pasture-raised, organic, free-range, and (ideally) humanely-raised. (Avoid the additives and nitrates of cured meats.) If your budget won’t allow for meats carrying these labels all the time, go for organic and pastured when you can, prioritizing it for fattier cuts and going budget-friendly on leaner varieties.
These dogs are not actually hot dogs, but are Cajun spiced sausages. You wouldn’t want to eat hot dogs on Paleo because it’s not in line with the Paleo philosophy, even though it does seem to be a meat item. Paleo is about getting back to natural foods, which is why you want to make sure you choose high quality ingredients at all times. These mini dogs have plenty of cauliflower to make them a complete meal, but because of their smaller size they are best used as a snack. They provide a few different dipping options, which it’s always nice to have a choice.

Bouts of high intensity training as your schedule and recovery allows. This is what people typically think of as fitness – strength training, sprinting, running, CrossFit, any type of structured fitness program falls here. Pay attention to your recovery – make sure you’re not exercising more than you can recover from. Some people can train two times a day six days per week, some manage twice a week before burning out. Respect your level and do what you can manage.
This is like a traditional smoky, garlicky, and salty snack mix but it’s made with only real clean ingredients. It can be somewhat addicting. It’s just a nice pure nutty goodness with smoked spices and garlic infused olive oil. You can make it with any kind of nuts you’d like. Walnuts and pecans were used because they are lots of nooks and crannies for the spices to grab onto and stay. The almonds were used to add some extra crunchiness. There are cashews in the picture. 

Natural sweeteners like stevia and xylitol have been extensively studied and don’t impose health risks. Allulose and yacon syrup also appear to be safe according to research studies. Primal (and some paleo adherents’) cooking and baking incorporate them as well as small doses of monk fruit, coconut sugar, maple syrup and wild honey. That said, it’s best to let your taste buds adapt to the natural sweetness and flavor of whole foods. Use these more Primal or paleo friendly very sparingly.
Legumes are members of a large family of plants that have a seed or pod. This category includes all beans, peas, lentils, tofu and other soyfoods, and peanuts. Legumes are not allowed on paleo because of their high content of lectins and phytic acid. Similar to grains, this is a point of controversy in the scientific community. In fact, lots of research supports eating legumes as part of a healthy diet because they are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and iron.
While they’re technically a fruit, avocados contain monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fats which provide a good source of energy while lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol and creating healthy skin, hair and nails. However, they’re also full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants including vitamin B’s, C, K, E, copper and potassium to nourish your body and protect it from disease-causing and inflammatory free radicals. Add to all of this goodness with the high level of fiber for a healthy digestive system and you’ve got an incredibly nutritious paleo-approved ingredient to add to almost any meal.
These could possibly be my favorite cookie, ever. I love chocolate and peppermint together. They are so easy to make that my daughter makes them all the time. They have to be baked or cooked at all. The hardest part is waiting for them to cool and set in the frig for an hour. The candy canes are just for show because they aren’t Paleo. You can get all the peppermint flavor you need with the peppermint essential oil. If you aren’t 100% strict Paleo, go ahead and add a little bit of peppermint candy; I won’t tell anyone.

Kale chips are one of the healthiest snacks on the planet, and you don’t have to be a gourmet chef in order to get them right. The beauty of eating kale chips is that there’s no debate over whether they are Paleo or not. The ingredients are as simple as it gets: as much kale as you want with enough olive oil to coat them, and then some salt and pepper until you’re happy with the way they taste. Making them is super easy, and doesn’t take long from start to finish, maybe 20 minutes total. Eat these for a protein and fiber packed snack with lots of vitamins and minerals.
2017 Update: these Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies are the BOMB, and one of my favorite/your favorite recipes on the site. You guys seriously LOVE this one, and I don’t blame you. They’re so good. But…they also needed a photo update, so I’m republishing the post with the new photos! Unfortunately, I’m long out of college, but leaving the original post written below for nostalgia’s sake. Enjoy!!
Before starting on your journey to Paleo, perhaps it was common for you to run to the store and grab a box of highly processed, expensive gluten-free crackers thinking gluten-free must equal health.  Now that you know that gluten-free does not always equal healthy, you may feel a bit stumped as to how to incorporate crackers into your diet.  The good news is that making your own gluten-free, grain-free crackers can be a rather easy process.  Most Paleo cracker recipes have very few ingredients and require very little time to prepare.  If you have never been much of a cracker fan, however, replace the cracker recipe ideas listed with some of your favorite finger veggies and enjoy them with some of the Paleo-friendly dips suggested below:
Dairy is something of a contentious food group, even within the paleo community. While Primal folks have long recognized that grass-fed, full-fat organic dairy can provide far more benefits than drawbacks, advocates for the paleo diet are mixed on the subject. Certainly, modern-day dairy production on the mass scale has a lot to answer for, subjecting cows to appalling living conditions and thereby degrading the quality of the milk and dairy products they produce.
These chips are made from parsnips, and most new Paleo followers will probably have a very limited experience with the parsnip. It does find its way into a lot of Paleo cooking because it can be used in many different ways. Don’t knock it till you try it, because they tend to take on the surrounding flavors, in this case yummy maple syrup and coconut oil. So while you may have ignored parsnips a thousand times before, maybe it’s time to give them a chance. You may end up liking them, especially since you can’t go wrong when they’re baked in fat and sugar.
This could be the perfect trail mix. It’s full of crunch from a variety of nuts, sweetness from coconut flakes and banana chips and just the right amount of chocolate to curb those cravings. It comes together right in the slow cooker, so your kitchen will smell amazing! Be sure to use coconut oil or ghee instead of butter here to keep it strictly Paleo.
Fruits are nature’s nutrient-rich sweet treats and unprocessed, they have a whole host of health benefits to offer including detoxifying, disease-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Because of this and how well they’re generally tolerated by the body, all types of fruits are considered a great part of a healthy and balanced paleo diet. However, because most do contain high levels of fructose (a fast-digesting carbohydrate), many paleo enthusiasts recommend watching your fruit consumption, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
You’ve probably seen plantains at the grocery store; they look like funny bananas. But if you haven’t cooked them yet, you’re in for a treat. My favorite way is this one: slice ’em, fry ’em in coconut oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. They make a sweet alternative to potato chips, but also go really well with main dishes if you need them to do double duty.
Low in carbs and high in phytochemicals, anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber, vitamins and minerals, cauliflower is often a staple of many paleo diets. Steam it, bake it, fry it in paleo-friendly fats or turn it into a pizza base, cauliflower rice, taco wraps or a low-carb version of mashed potatoes. In addition to preventing cancer, heart disease and weight gain, is there anything cauliflower can’t do?
Low-Carb/Keto adaptation: Use granulated erythritol or xylitol sweetener in place of the coconut sugar and use low-carb chocolate chips or chunks. I chopped an entire Lily’s 70% chocolate bar, and it was a perfect amount. Nutritional info for low-carb option using erythritol + Lily’s 2.8oz 70% bar: (1 cookie) 3.1g net carbs | 119 calories | 2.8g protein | 10.9g fat

One way to avoid eating potatoes as a snack is to replace a popular snack like potato chips with a healthier version. Using zucchini in place of the potatoes is a great idea, and gives you added nutrition. Zucchini makes a great choice to make into a chip because all it requires is some slicing and you have nice round pieces ready to be made into chips. They are easy to make, and the recipe is versatile in how it lets you dust them with whatever seasonings you like. This means you could make them BBQ Zucchini chips, or Ranch Zucchini chips, just by adding different seasonings. Just be sure to check the label on the seasoning packet to see if it’s Paleo.


Almond flour: Almond flour can often usually be replaced successfully with raw cashew flour. If you need to make these almond flour chocolate chip cookies nut-free, you can try replacing the almond flour with sunflower seed flour. They may take on a greenish tint, though, as the baking soda will activate the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds, but it’s harmless.
It stuck because I really think of these as the world’s easiest cookies. To make a batch, all you do is combine almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and stir. That’s it! No butter, no eggs, no chilling the dough (or rolling it out). You just need four ingredients and a little elbow grease. After about 10 minutes of baking, you’re rewarded with macaron-flavored cookies that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center.
Nuts and seeds are rather popular snacks for both  Paleo and non-Paleo eaters.  If you aren’t careful, you can end up consuming quite a few of them because of their ease and convenience.  There’s also a whole host of health benefits you can get from nuts and seeds as most are loaded with nutrients.With high levels of antioxidants, nuts are cardio-protective and seeds on are packed with dietary fiber.   There are quite a few flavorful alternatives, sweet or savory, to consider as an alternative to your spoonful of nut butter or your handful of almonds.  Here’s a list of sweet and salty recipes to keep your tastebuds guessing and prevent boredom:
I’m vegan, and my boyfriend is (mostly) paleo. As soon as November hit I got a serious craving for chocolate chip cookies! I wanted to make something we could both enjoy, and after much research, I landed here. My guy is a chef, so he’s quite the critic. Until NOW, I haven’t been able to impress him with vegan/grain free cookies. This recipe is perfect! I made my own almond butter (wouldn’t have if I hadn’t run out…a blessing in disguise!), and used the coconut sugar, chilling it like you said. Luckily I didn’t bake them all at once, or they’d be gone! Thank you for this! :)
Ugh, I tried this recipe, but it was not good. I’d rate it a one star, just a bit above cardboard. Granted, I did not use Honeyville or nuts.com brand of almond flours suggested, but I did use a premium brand (Blue Diamond finely sifted flour) and even weighed out the ingredients to be certain I followed the recipe precisely. I don’t need paleo, but do need gluten-free. I have other cookie recipes that are great, and if a recipe is not great, I don’t want to waste my time or money on it. Sadly, I will not be making this again.
Yes, I’ve used half coconut flour. Still in the oven but they tasted good before I put them in! I also found them too crumbly the first time I made them, so I added a flax egg and half a cup of almond milk and then squeezed them into balls and flattened them. Much better consistency. And I find they need to bake 2-3 minutes longer, maybe even a bit more.
Stop putting pressure on yourself that’s not warranted. You are in a different place emotionally, physically and overall life then when training for Philly. Give yourself and your MIND a break and relish in your being chosen and ability to run this race. You have two great races in your future–NYC and Boston–what an honor!!!! Cookies look awesome. It was just a major bday for my daughter and son so celebrating this weekend. I will be making these! Btw, been meaning to tell you my whole family loves your recipes so they definitely are majorly enjoyed and appreciated by grown up children. Never was able to throw things together so fast and easy and have them taste and look so good. The taco salad is a fav as well as the chicken salad! Your photography has become really pleasing and extremely photogenic. Have a great weekend and rest your mind.

The real key to these, as I say in just about every recipe where I call for chocolate, is that chopped is always better than chips. It melts better because the wax in chocolate chips prevents them from saying melted and gooey, and chocolate chip cookies need to be melty and gooey. You can also control the percentage of cocoa in your chocolate by buying it in bars!
When people hear the word diet, they often think of all the yummy foods they undoubtedly have to give up. But Go Raw is the exception. Founded on the principle of a raw-based diet, Go Raw offers organic and vegan snacks that taste good, like their Paleo cookies that come in unique flavors, including ginger snap and lemon pie. While these may not be your warm, gooey homemade chocolate chip cookies, they definitely satisfy a sweet tooth.

This recipe does its best to replicate the chocolate Hostess brand donuts, but in a way that gets rid of the lousy ingredients and replaces them with wholesome ones. They contain wonderful things like medjool dates, eggs, and coconut flour, rather than what you’ll find in a package of Hostess donettes. The main ingredient in those is sugar, followed by partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which provides trans fat, and wheat flour. Not a good snack to get into the habit of eating, but these replicas won’t set you back.
Pork rinds usually get the reputation of being the ultimate form of junk food, but you have to remember that most junk food is junk because it is deep fried in unhealthy oils, and made up of ingredients that act as filler rather than anything that is natural. Here they’re using real pork and frying it up in coconut oil so you’re getting a healthy version of this notorious snack. They even show you how to throw together your own Cajun seasoning so you can make that whenever you’re in the mood of Cajun spiciness.
Although not all of these are strict paleo (some contain coconut sugar and other paleo-friendly sweeteners), they are free from refined sugars, dairy, and grains. Stash them in your desk at work, hide them in your glove compartment, or place them in your purse. That way, you have a paleo-friendly snack always within reach and won’t be tempted to go off plan. And while you stock up on these favorite finds, be sure to check out our list of The 14 Best & Worst Weight-Loss Paleo Foods.
This step is actually optional if you do not mind having flecks of zucchini visible in your zucchini cookies! However, in my house, my kids would not approve of anything green in their cookies, so I always blend the zucchini with the other wet ingredients! I also really enjoy the texture of these paleo breakfast cookies when the zucchini is fully blended.
These are delicious! I am an avid baker and try to use more healthier options when baking for myself and my family. Especially when it comes to treats for my toddler. I feel no guilt eating a whole batch and my two yr old LOVES them. She will not even give me a bite! I follow your insta and have made a few of your recipes! Never a disappointment. Thanks for another great recipe! 🙂
The fact that vegetable oils are still so prevalent in today’s world is a testament to just how aggressively they’ve been marketed, lobbied, and subsidized. But just because everyone else is using them doesn’t mean you should, and you most definitely shouldn’t if you’re planning on going full paleo (or Primal). The following oils are typically ultra-processed and pro-inflammatory on account of their high levels of omega-6 fatty acids.
These chips aren’t actually made from anything except the cheese. It’s asiago cheese, a hard cheese that doesn’t contain much lactose and is therefore looked upon as OK by some Paleo followers. If you know that you don’t process any cheese well you’ll want to take a pass on this one, but if you can handle it in occasional doses it’s worth it. The two ingredients are asiago cheese and rosemary, so it doesn’t get much simpler.
Note that any products made with any one or a combination of these grains are also off the cards. That means most breads, pastas, flours, baked goods and the majority of processed dry goods. Even if a product claims to be gluten free, it can still contain other grains (or pseudo-grains like quinoa or buckwheat) that subject the body to anti-nutrients like lectins.
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