You’d think vegan and paleo sort of cancel each other out, with paleo diet recipes emphasizing grass-fed meats and free-range eggs and vegans avoiding all animal products. But when you think about what our “ancestors” probably really ate, it must have been a very plant-based diet. So, what does an ancestral vegan diet look like? Abundant fruits and veggies are something both eating philosophies have in common. Grains and legumes — go-tos for many vegans — are out, but paleo-friendly starches like sweet potatoes, yams, cassava and plantains are in, and they’re both tasty and filling. So are all the good fats, like nuts, avocados and olive oil. And we can sweeten things up when we need to with fruit juices, honey, molasses, pure maple syrup and dried fruits. This is starting to sound not only healthy, but also deliciously doable. Here are 18 tempting recipes that’ll have you saying: “Let’s do this!”

Cordain argues that chimpanzees and horses avoid meat, and they have big bellies that we would have if we didn’t ditch plants for meat. He also says meat increased human brain size, and decreased stomach size so we can have the six-pack abs that chimps can’t. But I looked at his endnotes with citations to research and couldn’t find the source for these theories. I also couldn’t find research showing that legumes and grains were invented by humans.
If you have more questions on specific foods, we’ve included a comprehensive list of paleo diet foods below. We’ve provided a list of the foods that are allowed on the paleo diet. We’ve also broken this list down into the specific food groups, so you can see which meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fats are on the paleo diet. In addition to all of that, we’ve also included a comprehensive list of foods not allowed on the paleo diet.
We also believe there are benefits in putting an extra emphasis on organ meats, bone broths, Antarctic krill oil supplementation (due to very high EPA and DHA demands on fetal brain development —potentially draining mom’s stores) and 100% organic/fully pastured/wild caught sources of meats, seafood, eggs vegetables and greens. As mother’s milk is an extremely critical source of medium chain triglycerides meant for the rapid growth of the baby’s brain and nervous system, we believe using a little more coconut oil in the diet could be helpful, too. Quality has never mattered as much as it does during this time. Also, in our opinion there has never been a more important and utterly critical time to avoid highly antigenic foods such as gluten, grains and dairy products (except for possibly camel’s milk, which is expensive and a bit hard to come by, but is generally safe from an immune reactive standpoint. It’s nearly identical in its total composition to human milk, and as such may prove useful where supplementing regular breast-feeding might be necessary, as well as a non-immune reactive dairy alternative).
TBK Fitness Program by Tamir Katz shows how to achieve fitness through a healthy, natural hunter-gatherer diet along with a comprehensive exercise program with over 60 different bodyweight exercises of varying difficulty targeting all of the muscles in the body. Also included is a detailed discussion of nutrition and the diseases of civilization based on scientific research, information on stress management and preventive medicine, recommendations on vitamin and supplement use, tips on how to make your fitness program succeed where others have failed, tips on food shopping and preparation, sample meals, and more. The Amazon reviews average to 4+ stars.
Cancer: Disease of Civilization? An anthropological and historical study by Vilhjalmur Stefansson. This classic shows what happens before and after tribes were "civilized." Covers day-to-day experience of Eskimo life. Published in 1960. Used copies are available at a steep price. To read it get it on inter-library loan. Another of his many books My Life with the Eskimo (New Edition) is available.
I wrote a book called The Paleo Solution which went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. This book incorporates the latest, cutting edge research from genetics, biochemistry and anthropology to help you look, feel and perform your best. I am a research biochemist who traded in his lab coat and pocket protector for a whistle and a stopwatch to become one of the most sought after strength and conditioning coaches in the world. With my unique perspective as both scientist and coach you will learn how simple nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes can radically change your appearance and health for the better.
The paleo diet is hot. Those who follow it are attempting, they say, to mimic our ancient ancestors—minus the animal-skin fashions and the total lack of technology, of course. The adherents eschew what they believe comes from modern agriculture (wheat, dairy, legumes, for instance) and rely instead on meals full of meat, nuts, and vegetables—foods they claim are closer to what hunter-gatherers ate.
Of course Wikipedia has a page on the Paleolithic Diet. It is quite thorough. It also isn't clear about the lean/fatty meat debate between the followers of Loren Cordain and a slew of others, and pushes lean meat. It is weak on the variations of the diet. Then it restricts fermented beverages. Even butterflies eat fermented fruit. Why wouldn't our paleo ancestors also?
The Lazy Paleo Enthusiast's Cookbook: A Collection of Practical Recipes and Advice on How to Eat Healthy, Tasty Food While Spending as Little Time in the Kitchen as Possible by Sean Robertson. The author is a recovering vegan and in the first half of the book recounts his dietary experiences using some paleo foods to restore his health. You learn that the author's main strategy is to make food in large batches which can be reheated to provide dinners for several days running. The second half of the book contains 28 recipes. Some borderline or nonpaleo ingredients do appear, but most of the recipes are more paleo than not. Published November 15, 2011.

Proponents of the Paleo diet follow a nutritional plan based on the eating habits of our ancestors in the Paleolithic period, between 2.5 million and 10,000 years ago. Before agriculture and industry, humans presumably lived as hunter–gatherers: picking berry after berry off of bushes; digging up tumescent tubers; chasing mammals to the point of exhaustion; scavenging meat, fat and organs from animals that larger predators had killed; and eventually learning to fish with lines and hooks and hunt with spears, nets, bows and arrows.


Sally Jones is a writer and editor living in New York City. She has worked at many websites including iVillage, Ladies Home Journal, More, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, The Knot and YourTango, in jobs ranging from editor to COO. Renovation and interior design are her unhealthy obsessions hobbies. She has renovated every home she's lived in, including the rentals, and like... whoa, who does that? You can catch her at her blog Renov8or.

Lucy is WH’s Digital Editor, Features Writer, social media guru and resident woo. A long black lover and foodie at heart, she considers peanut butter an hourly staple and believes chardonnay is the superior drop. When she's not at the beach, barre or yoga studio you'll find her coming up with new and improved ways to kill her unkillable houseplants


The Great Cholesterol Con: The Truth About What Really Causes Heart Disease and How to Avoid It by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick reveals that high cholesterol levels do not cause heart disease; that high-fat diets–saturated or otherwise–do not affect blood cholesterol levels; and that for most men and all women the benefits offered by statins are negligible at best. Other data is also provided that shows that statins have many more side affects than is often acknowledged.
We believe that the Program is generally suitable for people with Gall Stones; however, fat intake may need to be lowered until liver and gall bladder functioning is improved. Despite the possible benefits of a Paleo based diet, we strongly recommend you seek the advice and support of a suitable health professional both before making any changes to your diet or physical routine as well as during the Program so that you liver and gall bladder function and overall digestion can be closely monitored during this time. 

The Hiwi gather and hunt a diverse group of plants and animals from the savannas, forests, rivers and swamps. Their main sources of meat are capybara, collared peccary, deer, anteater, armadillo, and feral cattle, numerous species of fish, and at least some turtle species. Less commonly consumed animals include iguanas and savanna lizards, wild rabbits, and many birds. Not exactly the kind of meat Paleo dieters and others in urban areas can easily obtain.
Overall, the diet is high in protein, moderate in fat (mainly from unsaturated fats), low-moderate in carbohydrate (specifically restricting high glycemic index carbohydrates), high in fiber, and low in sodium and refined sugars. [2] The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (including the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA) come from marine fish, avocado, olive oil, and nuts and seeds.
Grass-fed meat is recommended on the paleo diet because it is leaner than meat from grain-fed animals and has more omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats that reduce inflammation in the body and protect your heart. A typical American diet is high in saturated and trans fats and lower in healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, hence the paleo diet's emphasis on grass-fed meats, as well as seafood.
And again, there’s no concrete scientific proof that the paleo diet wards off disease, Sandon says. Any evidence of its benefits is anecdotal. Although some studies seem to support the benefits of the paleo diet, many scientists still believe we don’t yet have enough evidence to know whether the eating approach is totally healthy and without risk. “Nobody knows the long-term effects of this diet because no one has researched it to any degree,” Sandon says. It’s not really a new concept; instead it’s one that’s been recycled through the years, she adds.
I know that a lot of people still call this the “caveman diet,” but Paleo isn’t about slavishly and mindlessly replicating the actual diets of Paleolithic humans. Okay, a few Paleo die-hards may approach their diets this way, but that’s not the way I eat at all. In fact, there isn’t just one definitive, monolithic, one-size-fits-all “Paleo diet.” Some Paleo eaters choose to go super-low-carb, while others of us (me included!) are happy to munch on a baked potato or a bowl of white rice every now and then. There are Paleo eaters who can’t imagine life without dairy, and more orthodox folks who refuse to touch even a pat of butter with a ten-foot pole. The Paleo tent is big enough to fit a host of different approaches, but the core tenets of ancestral eating remain the same:
Meet Grok. According to his online profile, he is a tall, lean, ripped and agile 30-year-old. By every measure, Grok is in superb health: low blood pressure; no inflammation; ideal levels of insulin, glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides. He and his family eat really healthy, too. They gather wild seeds, grasses, and nuts; seasonal vegetables; roots and berries. They hunt and fish their own meat. Between foraging, building sturdy shelters from natural materials, collecting firewood and fending off dangerous predators far larger than himself, Grok's life is strenuous, perilous and physically demanding. Yet, somehow, he is a stress-free dude who always manages to get enough sleep and finds the time to enjoy moments of tranquility beside gurgling creeks. He is perfectly suited to his environment in every way. He is totally Zen.
I went on Saturday morning and I excitedly told the young girl about finding your blog. The owner was out at the farmers market. I got the chicken salad wrap….delish! I purchases the paleo wraps and can’t wait to make my own this week. I am new paleo….I’ve tried many ways of eating…from raw to lord knows what. I’m 56 in pretty good health but have a bad hip. I need to loose about 20 pounds and want to do it healthfully and have the weight stay off and this be a lifestyle. I’ll be following your blog and maybe I’ll see you at Vive!
According to the model from the evolutionary discordance hypothesis, "[M]any chronic diseases and degenerative conditions evident in modern Western populations have arisen because of a mismatch between Stone Age genes and modern lifestyles."[26] Advocates of the modern Paleo diet have formed their dietary recommendations based on this hypothesis. They argue that modern humans should follow a diet that is nutritionally closer to that of their Paleolithic ancestors.
Chris Masterjohn has Cholesterol: Your Life Depends on It!, another web site pointing out that the war on cholesterol and the push to put people on statins is misguided. The site argues it is actually polyunsaturated fats, not saturated fats or cholesterol, that contribute to heart disease, cancer, liver damage, and aging. He also has a popular blog.
So what does the science say about the paleo diet? Some research suggests that the health claims hold truth. A review analyzed four randomized, controlled trials with 159 participants, and researchers found that the paleo diet led to more short-term improvements in some risk factors for chronic disease (including waist circumference and fasting blood sugar) compared with other control diets. (4)
Cordain explains that high intake of fruits and vegetables is one of best ways to reduce chances of cancer and heart disease. He notes that protein has twice the calorie burning effect of fat and carbs and is more satiating than both. He explains that starch, fats, sugars, and salts together cause us to keep eating. So if we limit our diet to fruits and vegetables and/or meat, we’ll stop eating when we’re full. And if you stop eating when you’re full, you’ll lose weight and won’t get fat. And as you lose weight, your cholesterol will improve (regardless of what you eat). This all makes sense and can’t really be disputed. If you want to lose weight, the Paleo diet will get you there and probably quickly. But Cordain’s hypothesis applied to long-term health falls short.
The Raw Paleo Diet & Lifestyle site is a resource created by members of the Raw Paleolithic Diet community for people looking to improve their health by choosing a more historically natural approach to diet, fitness and lifestyle. They have two forums: Raw Paleo Forum. It has some activity. And Raw Paleo Diet, or RVAF Raw Veg and Animal Foods Group, a forum for followers of semi-RPD diets, (such as Aajonus Vonderplanitz's Primal Diet/Weston-Price Diet/Sally Fallon/Instincto) and followers of the NeanderThin/Paleo/Stefansson Diets, who, for health reasons, wish to pursue a more fully Raw, Paleolithic variation of those diets.
Of course Wikipedia has a page on the Paleolithic Diet. It is quite thorough. It also isn't clear about the lean/fatty meat debate between the followers of Loren Cordain and a slew of others, and pushes lean meat. It is weak on the variations of the diet. Then it restricts fermented beverages. Even butterflies eat fermented fruit. Why wouldn't our paleo ancestors also?
Even if eating only foods available to hunter–gatherers in the Paleolithic made sense, it would be impossible. As Christina Warinner of the University of Zurich emphasizes in her 2012 TED talk, just about every single species commonly consumed today—whether a fruit, vegetable or animal—is drastically different from its Paleolithic predecessor. In most cases, we have transformed the species we eat through artificial selection: we have bred cows, chickens and goats to provide as much meat, milk and eggs as possible and have sown seeds only from plants with the most desirable traits—with the biggest fruits, plumpest kernels, sweetest flesh and fewest natural toxins. Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale are all different cultivars of a single species, Brassica oleracea; generation by generation, we reshaped this one plant's leaves, stems and flowers into wildly different arrangements, the same way we bred Welsh corgis, pugs, dachshunds, Saint Bernards and greyhounds out of a single wolf species. Corn was once a straggly grass known as teosinte and tomatoes were once much smaller berries. And the wild ancestors of bananas were rife with seeds.
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup Paleo Chicken Pot Pie Soup Slow Cooker Beef And Rutabaga Stew Curried Cauliflower And Kale Soup Creamy Onion Soup Cauliflower Chowder Cream of Chicken and Leek Soup Beef and Winter Vegetable Soup Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Soup Curried Acorn Squash Soup Wild Mushroom Soup Coconut Lime Chicken Soup Cream of Zucchini Soup Creamy Zucchini And Mushroom Soup Chunky Meat and Vegetable Soup Tomato Soup Carrot Potage Ham and Pumpkin Soup Turban Squash Soup Turnip, Potato, And Pear Soup Beet and Tomato Soup Mexican chicken soup Roasted Cauliflower And Sweet Potato Soup Leek and sweet potato soup Creamy Chicken And Vegetable Soup Sweet potato and sausage soup Butternut squash soup Roasted Cauliflower Soup
Our bodies need much more protein than the average person consumes. In fact, protein accounts for only 15 percent of the average person’s daily calories, while 19 to 35 percent of the average hunter-gatherer diet was comprised of protein. This was due to the high consumption of meat, seafood, and other animal products prevalent in contemporary approaches to Paleo eating.

Dr. Lauryn Lax is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Functional Medicine Practitioner, author and speaker, with over 20 years of clinical and personal experience specializing in gut health, intuitive eating, food freedom, anxiety, hormone balance and women’s health. She is also a published journalist, and her work has been featured in Oxygen Magazine, Women’s Health, Paleo Magazine, Breaking Muscle, CrossFit Inc, USA Today, ABC and CBS News. She operates a virtual Functional Medicine & Nutrition practice, Thrive Wellness & Recovery, LLC, working with clients around the world to reinvent the way their body looks, moves and feels.
We’re in a position to understand more of the benefits of the Paleo diet now that we have a basic understanding of which food sources are emphasized. One major benefit of the Paleo diet is an increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass-produced or free-ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not absorbed efficiently by the body. The Paleo diet cuts out whole grains and replaces them with unprocessed, fresh foods.
Paleonutrition by Mark Q. Sutton, Kristin D. Sobolik, and Jill K. Gardner is the analysis of prehistoric human diets and the interpretation of dietary intake in relation to health and nutrition. This is a substantial text that combines background to paleonutrition, an extensive bibliography, a discussion on methods, and case studies. Published February 23, 2010.
Hey, great recipe and site!! FYI, The Paleo Kitchen cookbook has a mayo recipe that is SOOOO much easier…you take 3/4 cut oil of your choice, 1 egg, lemon juice(1 tsp I think), and 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, place them in a tall, narrow container, and use an immersion blender! Start at the bottom and move the blender upward as the ingredients emulsify. I had quit making my own mayo because the other way was SO time consuming and mine never seemed to come out right, but this version is pretty fool-proof! I use grapeseed oil because the olive oil is a bit bitter for me.
1. Meat: It’s not always for dinner. Cooking meat transforms it: Roasting it or braising it for hours in liquid unlocks complex smells and flavors that are hard to resist. In addition to converting it into something we crave, intense heat also breaks down the meat into nutrients that we can more easily access. Our ancient ancestors likely loved the smell of meat on an open fire as much as we do.
Kirsty, with animal protein I’m a pretty picky. I buy at butchers where I trust in the quality. In my opinion there is a huge difference in taste and quality when it comes to animal protein. Grains and veggies I’m more lenient but never with animal protein. The cheapest way to get high quality meat is share a whole animal with friends or neighbors. The bacon we eat is from a pig I share with another 2 families. Once a year I get 1/3 and freeze it all. The bacon is incomparable to any grocery store bacon. I’d rather it less often.
Ostensibly, Grok is "a rather typical hunter–gatherer" living before the dawn of agriculture—an "official primal prototype." He is the poster-persona for fitness author and blogger Mark Sisson's "Primal Blueprint"—a set of guidelines that "allows you to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology (that's the primal part)." These guidelines incorporate many principles of what is more commonly known as the Paleolithic, or caveman, diet, which started to whet people's appetites as early as the 1960s and is available in many different flavors today.
The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy by Mark Sisson is a journey through human evolution, comparing the life and robust health of our hunter-gatherer ancestors with a day in the life of a modern family. The author offers a solution in 10 empowering Blueprint Lifestyle Laws: eat lots of plants and animals, avoid poisonous things, move frequently at a slow pace, lift heavy things, sprint once in a while, get adequate sleep, play, get adequate sunlight, avoid stupid mistakes, and use your brain. The reader learns how the right high-fat diet can actually help one lose weight and how popular low-fat, grain-based diets might trigger illness, disease, and lifelong weight gain. The author presents a comprehensive, well thought out paleo style eating plan in a humorous and organized manner. He backs up all his work with research, natural wisdom, and historical timelines. He disputes the role of dietary saturated fat in causation of arteriosclerosis, the role of cholesterol in promotion of heart disease, and the costly over-promotion of expensive, potentially toxic statin drugs. He criticizes our massive overeating of refined carbohydrates and urges avoidance of grains, cereals, bread and sugar. There is specific recommendation for "primal" food including more natural healthy fats and meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts. Some reviewers consider this to be the best of the various paleo books. The many Amazon reviews average to 5 stars. The author's popular and worthwhile web site: Mark's Daily Apple. The 2nd Edition was published January 14, 2012.
We’re in a position to understand more of the benefits of the Paleo diet now that we have a basic understanding of which food sources are emphasized. One major benefit of the Paleo diet is an increased consumption of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and plant phytochemicals. Whole grains are not a good substitute for grass-produced or free-ranging meats, fruits, and veggies, as they contain no vitamin C, vitamin A, or vitamin B12. Many of the minerals and some of the B vitamins whole grains do contain are not absorbed efficiently by the body. The Paleo diet cuts out whole grains and replaces them with unprocessed, fresh foods.
For the most part, my eats are “clean.” For me, that means generally following the rules of the Whole30®. The Whole30 is a nutritional reset that gets you back to a clean dietary slate: Eliminate all grains, legumes, dairy, sugar, and chemically processed vegetable and seed oils from your diet for a month. Once a baseline of health is established, slowly reintroduce some of these foods (like dairy, white rice, and dark chocolate—not hyper-processed junk foods!) one at a time to see where you sit on the spectrum of food tolerance. We all share the goal of finding a lifelong template for optimal nutrition and health, but you just might find that your template allows for a wider range of foods than mine.
Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn't consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes (including peanuts, beans, lentils, and soybeans), according to Robb Wolf, a former research biochemist, paleo expert, and author of The Paleo Solution. While potatoes are generally outlawed on the diet, Wolff says they are okay to eat sparingly as long as you earn them through exercise (more on that next). Alcohol and honey are also generally considered paleo no-nos, but red wine tends to be the closest option there is to a paleo drink, and honey is far preferred to table sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis, MD. A renowned cardiologist explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly "wheat belly" bulges, and reverse myriad health problems, like minor rashes and high blood sugar. The author contends that every single human will experience health improvement by giving up modern wheat. The book provides readers with a user-friendly, step-by-step plan to navigate a new, wheat-free lifestyle. Informed by cutting-edge science and nutrition, along with case studies from men and women who have experienced life-changing transformations in their health after waving goodbye to wheat. The author's blog. Published August 30, 2011.
Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan has recipes for food that you can eat every day, along with easy tips to make sure it takes as little time as possible to prepare. All recipes are made with zero grains, legumes, soy, sugar, dairy, or alcohol. Calorie-dense ingredients like dried fruit and nuts show up as flavoring, instead of primary ingredients. It will also show you how to how to mix and match basic ingredients with spices and seasonings that take your taste buds on a world tour. With 115+ original recipes and variations. The author is a popular blogger at The Clothes Make The Girl. All Amazon reviews are positive. Published December 12, 2011.
So here’s the deal: I can’t even explain how good this dish is without getting hyperbolic. The way the ingredients blend together is simply perfect: creamy and rich but bright and so satisfying. It’s a simple recipe but so beautifully balanced. With only 7 ingredients, all you need is a simple side and you’re set! It’s company-worthy but easy enough to make for your fam on a Tuesday night.
Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes: These are just a few of the health conditions that proponents of thePaleolithic diet, or caveman diet, blame on our sedentary lifestyles and modern diets, which are loaded with sugar, fat, and processed foods. Their proposed solution? Cut modern foods from our diet and return to the way our early hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.
1. Crispy Plantains With Garlic Sauce: A staple of Caribbean cuisine, plantains are delicious fried or mashed. Ripe ones look similar to bananas and can be used in sweet dishes, while green ones mash and crisp up nicely. In this recipe, green plantains are parboiled, smashed and pan-fried, so the center remains soft while the edges provide crunch. The accompanying garlic-lime dipping sauce is sinfully delicious. (via Wellfed)
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