So what’s the deal with my first real cave-meal?

Above is my first paleo lunch, courtesy the cafeteria at my office. The salad bar was my only choice but it offered plenty of variety. I had spinach salad with strawberries and raisins (no dressing), lots of crudités (raw broccoli, cauliflower, julienned pepper, tomatoes), mushrooms sautéed with a little bit of olive oil and paprika (I asked), grilled zucchini, a hard-boiled egg, fruit salad; carrot and celery sticks. Oh, and that dark stuff is beets (“beetroot” in some places).

Assembling this plate meant saying no to several Irish-themed, stew-like options, which is just as well.

It looks delicious, doesn’t it? I’m being serious. I was quite happy with my lunch. But can I eat like this every day?

Cost with tax: $5.62. Food budget remaining until April 16: $340.13.


6 Responses to “So what’s the deal with my first real cave-meal?”

  1. Hi Adam,

    I don’t see how you can stay in budget. I hope if your budget runs out this doesn’t mean that you give up the diet, or god forbid, starve.

    The paleo diet is more expensive. Paleo foods are labor intensive. Neolithic foods are not. Hence they are much cheaper. One fellow on a GPS controlled tractor can cover thousands of acres. Someone hand picked and carefully packed most of the food on your plate.

    I found back when I was employed that the company cafeteria was easy to eat paleo. Usually the steam table had a selection of meats and vegetables that weren’t swimming in a wheat or dairy laden sauce. Sometimes I had them get meat from the kitchen that didn’t have gravy poured over it. And I also daily got something from the salad bar.

    I hope your experiment works out. I didn’t see any mention of your starting statistics, like weight, blood pressure, cholesterol readings. Though I see that weight loss is one of your objectives. You should see improvement on all of these. (Other interesting before and after readings to compare would be homocysteine and CRP.)

    The first link at my website is to my definition of the diet. I list the many variations of it that exist.

    Of course I am willing to take questions. My e-mail is on all my pages. In addition to putting up the first website on paleo, I started the first Listservs, and have been eating paleo for 14 years. My only cheats are when traveling I will eat rice or potatoes to fill up.


  2. Adam –
    Welcome to the World of Primal/Paleo. I’ve enjoyed catching up on your blog. I’ll be curious to see how the next month fares for you.

    I”d like to offer a little advice to help you succeed and to save some cash. First and foremost – you need to rid your pantry of the processed foods and stock up on those items you know you should be eating during your experiment. The grocery stores typically stock the whole foods on the perimeter and all the stuff to avoid (processed) is on the inside aisles. Funny how that works, huh? If you have a crock pot/slow cooker, you’re best off making something in the morning, letting it simmer all day and then eating it at night, with some leftovers to consumer for breakfast or lunch the next day. Us Primal folk love our slow cookers.

    Your meal today looks like a great salad, but where’s your protein? Not only will protein help to fill you up, but the fats within the meat will help keep you satiated as well. As for carbs – those are obviously in fruits and veggies, so you will do better on this plan if you keep to the lower glycemic fruits and keep them in moderation. Is your goal to simply stick to a Paleo/Primal diet or do you wish to lose weight as well?

    Those are some initial thoughts to assist. I’d be happy to answer any questions, etc. that you might have. I’ve been Primal only since November, but I have had no problems sticking to the meal choices. Oh yeah – for breakfast just remember that eggs and bacon are totally acceptable on this plan. Who doesn’t love that?

  3. Check out, there you can find the caveman’s food pyramid! Looks like you need some protein on that beautiful plate:)

    Looking forward to following you on a life changing lifestyle. Have fun and “Grok on”

  4. meret h. Says:

    make sure you’re getting enough protein & healthy fact! it’s the secret to staying satisfied and energized… if you don’t get enough of either, you’ll end up hungry and craving old non-paleo favorites!

  5. make sure you don’t turn this into just a salad, steamed vegies and lean chicken breast experience.

    …like meret h. says, don’t be afraid of sat fat. fatty lamb and chicken skin are staples, not indulgences. the mental paradigm of diet researchers regarding the lipid hypothesis is changing like a storm.

  6. Really excited for you starting this journey! I don’t think you’ll want to “go back.”

    But yeah, embrace the fats… I’m a “little” girl (5’6″ and 125ish pounds when not pregnant – currently 23 weeks pregnant and 135 pounds) and eat about 70% of my daily calories as fat – from meat sources, full-fat dairy, butter, EVOO, coconut oil, a few nuts, coconut…
    Fats make foods taste better, make them more filling, and make the nutrients more bioavailable for you!

    Going out to eat is going to be a budget killer though – instead try buying a whole chicken and roasting it. You can eat the chicken for a day or two, then simmer the bones in water with a touch of vinegar and maybe some veggie scraps for 12-24 hours to make stock and use that to make soup.
    Make a huge brisket or roast and eat it for several days…
    Shop your farmers’ markets. Especially close to closing time, some farmers may be willing to give you a deal if you buy a lot of stuff, so they won’t have to cart it all back home.

    And as you eat more fat and your insulin regulates, you will find you don’t get HUNGRY as much – don’t be afraid to try some intermittent fasting. Several “cavemen” only eat 1 time a day. I’m more of a 2 meals girl, or 1 meal plus some snacks.

    Best of luck! I will be following your blog. Don’t hesitate to post questions or uncertainties you may be having – there are LOTS of us out here to help you!

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