Paleo Favorites

Anyone who has looked into the Paleo Diet is immediately put off by the high cost of doing business. There is a reason why most of the world eats grain/carbs with almost every meal, they are cheap. Pre-paleo (neolithic? just kidding), a high percentage of my grocery bill and food spending in general would be on carbs. I am not rich, and this class of foods gives you the best caloric bang for your buck. Although in the long run, it is much more costly, but that's a matter for another post.

Another cost of paleo dieting is that items are recommended to be organic, high quality, grass-fed, pastured, and all natural. All of these adjectives are synonyms with expensive. For those of us who can't afford 9$ bags of macademia nuts every grocery trip, we must learn to make do with cheaper alternatives.

Obviously, a Big Ass Salad , as Mark Sisson puts it, is always a good fall back option, especially with a well-stocked paleo kitchen. I buy steak whenever its on sale, as its my favorite meat, but I simply can't afford the high cost of quality steak on a regular basis. Although I try to eat diversely, I have a number of staples that make up >50% of my diet.

1) Whole Foods Organic California Frozen Veggies: this is a mix of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots, all organic, and flash frozen. I have had other versions of this mix Big Y (local market) calls it the Florentine Mix ($1.50) and Stop and Shop has it too ($1.50) but both of these versions are conventional. Another thing I like about the WFM version compared to others is that its almost all crowns, unlike the Big Y version which had a lot of random pieces of the broc thrown in. A bargain at $2.29 a bag. I throw this in my lunch with a pad of grassfed butter or just use the sauce of whatever protein source I have in there.

2) Trader Joes Sausage/Bacon: Trader Joes is a great stop for cheaper all-natural items that still maintain the high quality we all love. They offer a ton of different chicken sausages at 3.99/5 pack Hofbrau Brats for 3.99/lb and Bacon for 3.99 lb. Thats a lot of bargains for pork/chicken products. They also have ground beef for 2.49/lb but it is unfortunately not grass-fed, but my wife uses it for various things!

3) WFM Eggs: 18 pack/$3.19 cage/antibiotic free, tasty, large, brown - when I can't get eggs from a local source, this is my fall back


4) conventional Boneless/Skinless Breast from wherever is on sale. I like to get this for 2.99/lb or less and then I buy it in bulk! Obviously, I would prefer all natural/free range etc but for chicken breast, which has very little fat, this is less important. This is my most common form of protein and I sometimes dress it up with sriracha or tamari sauce for stirfrys or just grill it and throw it on top of my big ass salad.

5) Big Ass Salad: This comes in many different forms for me, but the basis of it is always lettuce, tomato, bell peppers and some form of protein, plus whatever other vegetables I have on hand. My wife loves blanched almonds, so they are always stocked in the pantry, and frequently get added on. I will make a dressing if I have time, or use Newman's Own Organic Dressing if I am feeling extra lazy.

Snacks: Beef/Bison Jerky is $5/bag at TJs and I usually have a selection of nuts, primarily almonds and pecans. Occasionally fresh fruit, especially if it is on sale or in season.


Treats: Red wine from Trader Joes, usually buy for under $6/bottle because I am poor, remember, Craft Beer: Usually buy a 22oz bomber of something very nice, I just love beer too much to give it up although it is full of grains (carbs/gluten).

Shrimp is often in the rotation as well as tilapia or another type of seafood, but not often enough to be considered a staple!

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