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Weekly Paleo Meal Plan


This Paleo Plan is for my friend Leslie Dietrich. Our children play baseball together and Leslie and I had the pleasure of thrift shopping our way through Waco, Texas last summer when their team was in the Regional Little League World Series Playoffs.

Like me, Leslie has a host of auto-immune disorders. Unlike me, she still eats gluten and grains. Leslie asked me for an eating plan that she could try for one week to see if the symptoms in her hands and other parts of her body would change. One week is probably not long enough (30 days is optimal) for seeing results from a change in diet. So if you want, just repeat this meal plan 4 times, or make your own, using the recipes from this site and Paleo sites such as Everyday Paleo or Paleo Parents.

Please note, this eating plan is not designed for someone who is trying to lose weight, this is not a diet plan. This is an anti-inflammatory eating plan that can be used by some people to improve overall health and wellness. If you do need to lose weight, feel free to refer to Loren Cordain’s book The Paleo Diet or Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution, those 2 books have very specific weight loss plans that utilize the grain free diet as a base for weight reduction.

This post is for people that want to incorporate more nutrient dense foods into their diet by eliminating the grains that are toxic to a large percentage of us. So, eat your veggies. They’re far more nutrient dense than grains. Or as my dear Dad has been saying for the past 40 years, “Eat the rainbow!”

  1. Sunday

    Breakfast
    Silver Dollar Pancakes
    Turkey or Pork Bacon
    Fresh Berries
    Lunch
    Turkey Club Sandwich
    Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Dinner
    Sesame Salmon Burgers
    Garlic Ginger Bok Choy or Steamed Broccoli
  2. Monday

    Breakfast
    2 slices Paleo Bread
    3 Scrambled Eggs
    1 Grapefruit
    Lunch
    Turkey Club Sandwich
    Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Dinner
    Cod Piccata
    Roasted Broccoli
    Cabbage Orange Salad
  3. Tuesday

    Breakfast
    Almond Butter Protein Shake
    Toasted Almonds
    Lunch
    Turkey Roll Ups
    Fresh Blueberries
    Dinner
    Cobb Salad
    Mushroom Soup
  4. Wednesday

    Breakfast
    3 Fried Eggs
    Turkey or Pork Bacon
    ½ Avocado
    Lunch
    Leftover Mushroom Soup
    Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
    Dinner
    Roasted Chicken with Olives and Prunes
    Roasted Butternut Squash
    Steamed Broccoli
  5. Thursday

    Breakfast
    Greena Colada (add 1 scoop protein powder)
    Handful of Dehydrated Almonds
    Lunch
    Turkey Club Sandwich
    Veggie Sticks
    Dinner
    Chicken Soup
    Green Salad
    Roasted Acorn Squash
  6. Friday

    Breakfast
    3 Scrambled Eggs
    2 slices Paleo Toast
    Fresh Raspberries
    Lunch
    Leftover Chicken Soup
    Green Salad
    Dinner
    Chili Chicken
    Cauliflower Rice
    Green Salad
  7. Saturday

    Breakfast
    Almond Butter Protein Shake
    Lunch
    Leftover Chili Chicken
    Leftover Cauliflower Rice
    Dinner
    Stuffed Peppers
    Grilled Broccoli
  8. Snacks

    Fruit
    Green Apples
    Blueberries
    Raspberries
    Strawberries
    Other Fruit
    Veggies
    Veggie Sticks
    Protein
    Turkey Jerky
    Bacon
    Protein/Carbs
    Dehydrated Nuts
    Crackers

Some of the recipes above might not be super strict Paleo, however if you make quick and easy substitutions they can be. All are grain free and primal; they are Paleo friendly as well.

For the snack section of this plan, I have listed the lower glycemic fruits that work best for me. If you like to eat sweeter fruits, feel free to add those in to your plan. However, if you have trouble with sugar, it may be best to stick with less fruit and low glycemic at that.

What is your favorite Paleo dish and what are your health goals for 2012?


posted on January 3, 2012, 74 comments

  1. Jenny @ Colorado Uncouture @ coloradouncouture.blogspot.com

    This is so helpful, thank you! I put together a weekly meal plan so I’m not caught without a meal, and fall subject to poor choices on-the-go. I think having a meal plan helps you reduce costs, as you start thinking more critically about how to best utilize what you have. For example, each and every supper I make will become the following day’s lunch that I can take to work. I might make a big batch of cauliflower rice that can go with a couple of different meals. And lately, making your banana bread has been a staple! Great for breakfast or just a snack.

    I’ve been feeling very uninspired about meals this week so will be gleaning some from this plan. Thanks Elana!

  2. Adrienne

    Thank you Elana for this! I have been eating Paleo for 3 months now, but kinda fell off the wagon over the holidays. This is very helpful as I start a new year eating strict Paleo. It gives me ideas on how to structure my week as a whole instead of going day by day. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  3. Nata

    Hi Elana,
    Thank you for sharing such good recipes. Our family switched over to a Paleo diet in the summer. My husband has several autoimmune diseases, and a GI doctor in Alabama recommended making this switch. We have seen good improvements, and your recipes have helped to make the transition easier on all of us (especially my two boys). Thanks, too, for the Paleo menu; the cauliflower rice is so good!

  4. Kristin W.

    This is fantastic!!!!! I would love for you to make this a regular post:) I know it would be a lot of work, your recipe’s are so amazing, healthy and helpful!

  5. jen

    Thank you, this is much appreciated – you are an angel, Elena!

  6. Lacey

    I would love to have breakfast like that everyday.

  7. Suzanne Fisher @ childwoodmagnets.com

    Thank you so much for the weekly menu. I get so tired of planning and shopping. It is nice to have a pre-made week and this inspires me to plan out some other weeks. Then I could have a rotation. That would make life so much easier.

    Suzanne:)

  8. Robin

    For another low-imflamatory option that does have weight loss components if interested is Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint. Changed my life! And Elana’s website helped me to stick with it.

    • Kathy

      Ditto…….started Primal last week with Mark Sissons and have already lost 5lbs. and feel terrific. It helped that I started with Elana’s blog and recipes first…….She has wonderful tasting recipes that make it easy to change your life for the better!!!! Three cheers for Elana!!! I am a big fan!!!

  9. This list is so awesome! Thanks for providing this for us all to look at and gain ideas from.

    I’ve been paleo for the last two years or so, and have enjoyed it very much. It seems to lead to clearer skin and higher energy levels, at least for me, and I will not go back to eating grains or refined sugar.

    My goal for this year is to eat more raw foods, specifically making my diet about 80-90% raw on most days, alongside 10-20% being cooked foods or Paleo desserts.

  10. Lisa

    My family has been Paleo for the last 7 months and it actually created skin problems, an egg intolerance and I gained a considerable amount of weight. We did it to try and cure our daughter (Celiac) of her maldigestion issues. That didn’t work either, but introducing an enzyme did. My kids are now the BEST veggie eaters on the planet because of it though! Trying to find the right balance for our family while continuing to eat clean is our #1 health goal for 2012.

  11. Christine

    Thank you SO much! You have no idea how helpful this is! I’m positively giddy with excitement to try these now! I’m a grain-free Celiac and really appreciate all the wonderful recipes you share! Love the menu planning as well! Completely fabulous! You’re just awesome Elana! The best! Hugs xxx

  12. Really cool list. It simplifies Paleo eating so much… and still makes it sound delicious.

  13. staygold

    Thanks for this! Have you posted elsewhere about the protein powder you use in the almond butter shake? I’ve been using Sun Warrior, but I’m nearing the end of my bag and may be persuaded to try something new. How do you like the Cutting Edge, and/or how does it compare to others you might have used?
    Thanks again :)

  14. Christine Robinett

    Thank You :-) for all the great recipes, meal plan and posts. Grain-free has been the best plan for me, even though it’s taken nealy 5 years to figure out all the cross-reactive grains and legumes. Thank you for making this transition possible.

  15. What a wonderful resource, and so easy to read! Thanks for the mention, honored to be noted!

  16. Lisa Daniel

    Your love of this lifestyle and wanting to share to help other people to health is evident and heartwarming, Elana! Thank you. When I return from vacation, I am going to follow this Paleo friendly diet. I am already an almond and coconut flour fan! =)

  17. Mama Jo

    I have worked on my own custom unprocessed nutrition plan that is still evolving but so far have lost 28lbs and that is with obtaining excercise by the nature of being a medical careprovider for 32yrs now of my son. So the plan so far is 2 days fasting/3 days vegan and or vegetarian and 2 days Paleo in the week. It really is custom. I found out I can’t tolerate pumkin hulled seeds or hemp seeds as it flared up an old diverticuli. I eat very little if at all rice/bread/potatos the things that I have found that tweek my BG. I am going to invest in a local grassfed steer (part of one) this year. I have enjoyed following all the varieties of nutrition blogs.

  18. Elizabet Rangel @ blissfulseed.com

    Nice! I may just try this plan.

  19. Great, Thanks Elana!

    So far eating grain free for the last month seems to have really helped! I’ve been dealing with itchy skin for years, and gluten free hasn’t helped. But grain free seems to.

    I make your Cinnamon coffee cake with water instead of agave, and just leave out the agave in the topping. The cinnamon makes it sweet enough for me, and I feel good after eating it. I love it!!!!! I make it with dates too, for my husband, who eats anything, and he loves that too.

    Thanks so much for all your recipes…I’m trying your salmon burgers tonight.

    Pat

  20. MH Carr

    Just found this through my friends Facebook page. I’m an autoimmune nightmare, well used to be until I found remicade. How does paleo help y’all with the autoimmune thing? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  21. Noel

    I love these menu suggestions — thank you!

    I love having chard (or other greens) for dinner, then reheating them in my fried egg pan and putting them over my eggs (fried in coconut oil) for breakfast. Sometimes it’s broccoli or brussel sprouts, but lately greens are my favorite. If I don’t have a leftover vegie handy, spinach works well b/c it cooks so quickly — or an avacado if I have one — yum!!! So quick and easy.
    I also make a whole batch of bacon (turkey) in the oven – 400 deg on parchment – then keep some in the fridge and some in the freezer for quick morning reheats in my egg pan or toaster oven.
    And I make your pumpkin muffins regularly, which make a quick breakfast of snack. Are these paleo? I make them with honey and coconut oil. A favorite for my kids.

    : ) Noel

  22. Laura

    Thank you! This is so helpful!

  23. Christina

    Elana,
    Thank you for all you do for us! You are so Beautiful!

    Can I ask please how long you store your almond flour out on the counter/pantry? How long is it “good for”? Or, should I store it in the frige or freezer only? Thank you!

  24. Christina

    Sorry to write again, but how can bacon be “healthy” food?

  25. Sarah

    Thank you Elana! Question: what about the refined sugar that’s in most bacon? I’m trying to avoid it and it’s in nearly every kind I’ve found.

  26. Sarah @ The Healthy Diva @ the-healthy-diva.com

    This is super amazing. I’ve been contemplating the whole paleo thing for a while now. Wasn’t entirely sure how to go about it though. With your recipes and meal plan it’s a no brainer now. Thank you :)

  27. Thank you for sharing this. It’s simple elegant meal plan. I like the Paleo diet because it is one of the few diets that doesn’t include so many things I am allergic to or intolerant to. It’s really nice to actually use a recipe as is and not have to alter it. I wanted to ask you, I am allergic to almonds. It’s a new allergy for me..totally sucks, but can I use hazelnut flour instead?

  28. Stacy

    Thank you so much. I have been wanting to start but was overwhelmed at figuring out what to eat. This will give me a start and a guide of ideas of what to follow. Thank you!

  29. Jan J

    Hi Elana and happy 2012! My husband and I are paleo and love your blog as well as Mark Sisson’s. One of my favorite recipes, especially for the winter is an Easy Paleo Chicken Curry. It is not hot and spicy, but very savory and delicious. Great for family dinners and leftovers. Didn’t know if you wanted recipes posted here, but I’d be happy to provide the recipe.

    Thanks for all of your great gluten free recipes…especially the desserts and breads!

  30. Christina

    Does anyone know how long the almond flour can be stored out in the pantry and still
    keep fresh?

  31. Some anti-inflammatory diets recommend removing eggs as well in addition to grains, legumes, and dairy – just a thought in case your friend wants to consider this.

  32. Brooke @ brookeklein.com

    This is great! Could you please make a xls or pdf version? So much easier to print out that way.

  33. Melissa

    This sounds delish! thanks for sharing!
    Question – why eat dehydrated almonds, and are you dehydrating them yourself? I’ve never heard of dehydrating them before.
    Thanks!

    • Magda

      Melissa,
      This is done to reduce phytic acid which is an antinutrient. This method was described in Nourishing Traditions, a book written by Sally Fallon of the Weston Price foundation. You can buy dehydrated almonds but it’s best (and more cost-effective) to dry them yourself.

  34. Stephanie

    Wow! Thank you Elana for these recipes. I just served the stuffed peppers and cauliflower rice. It was a HUGE hit with my family.

  35. Tania

    Just made the pancakes yesterday morning after getting your email. Oh, they were wonderful! All the kids raved about them. I had a few leftover and used them for snacks throught the day. Thank you so much!

  36. I am soo happy to have been following your blog. I am so glad to have come across this lovely meal plan. I am very dedicated to Grain free and I love to get new ideas for new meal plans.
    P.s. I bough your books :)

  37. Trina

    This is my favorite website!! Thank you for sharing all these yummy recipes!! Just started the paleo lifestyle after experiencing many food sensitivities and by far this has been my favorite go to for healthy meal ideas. Thank you for your kind heart and inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle.

  38. Dear Elana! Thank you for your amazing work! I check your site almost daily. All the best to you and your family! Marlise

  39. Kristen

    For autoimmune disease go for the GAPS diet!

  40. Diane

    Many people with inflammation (and hence autoimmune) issues benefit from a plant-based diet. I highly recommend getting tested for food allergies (get tested for everything you can), and reading The Food Allergy Survival Guide. I was stunned to learn, for example, that people can have low-level allergies they never knew about. One week after switching my diet I was pain-free from issues that I didn’t even realize were connected to the internal inflammation I was experiencing. (I found out about the inflammation via a blood test).

    I went vegan and am thrilled with the decision. It all started with the deeper understanding I got from the book mentioned above, which led me to read The China Study and other books (by Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. John McDougall).

    • Magda

      Diane,
      A lot of inflammation (if not all) is associated with grains, so just reducing/eliminating grains will do wonders for inflammation.
      Be very careful with a vegan diet – many benefit at first, but longterm the diet needs to be supplemented for one to remain healthy. The China Study is flawed and has been debunked before…

  41. The Healthy Apple @ thehealthyapple.com

    Lovely meal plan; this looks fabulous Elana. Thank you for sharing; I’m surely going to use some of these recipes for my week ahead.
    Happy New Year!
    xo

  42. Mollie Frances @ thealmondflower.com

    Hi Elana,

    I have more friends who are trying some version of low carb, sugar free diets- I think people are excited to really make lasting change with their health. I’ve been working on a weekly meal plan, for others but also for myself. It’s a great way to focus and not get overwhelmed.

    My health goal for 2012 is to eat more green smoothies and do a few cleanses. You have some great smoothie/juice recipes that I can’t wait to try!

    Mollie

  43. barb

    E – This is great! A huge help to have someone else figure this out for the week for a change. Any chance you would consider posting 2 meal plans for each season – so maybe one more soon for winter? Then i would have a nice two week rotation for seasonal paleo eating :)

    Thanks for a great site that always inspires me.

  44. Judy Smith

    This is wonderful! Thank you sooooo much.

  45. I have to let you know I made your paleo bread (two loafs) intending to give one away to my paleo co-worker… then I got greedy and kept them both. :) Love it with a little slather of sunflower seed butter or almond butter and a date for dessert.

  46. Tracy

    As someone who has evolved from gluten free to Paleo, pretty much right along with you, I LOVE all your Paleo posts. Keep ‘em coming.

  47. Molly

    I’ve only recently stumbled upon your site after going paleo. I’m so glad to have found it! I’m wondering if there’s an option to search for “grain free” tagged recipes on your site?

  48. Jamie

    Elana,
    Thank you so much for this Paleo menu plan. I hope it has helped your friend. Also by posting it here it is helping so many more! I will be trying many of your recipes this week. I logged on looking for a good dessert to make to take to friend’s house tonight and found this wonderful post! Thank you! This site is quickly becoming one of my favorite’s. Would LOVE to see more gluten free/Paleo menus in the future!
    Jamie

  49. newly paleo kris

    nice!
    after moving house and a period of travelling where i really didn’t manage to focus on good foods as much as i would have liked, i have now cut out grains and sugar again, and enjoy shopping for veggies and spending time in the kitchen feeling good about myself. :)

    my “secret” paleo miracle snack that has helped me enormously in situations where i needed stuff for on-the-go, knew i had no time for “proper” cooking, or simply had grown tired of nuts or fruit, are scrambled egg muffins. there are dozens of recipes to be found online, but essentially they are just scrambled egg batter, ideally with lots of veggies added, baked in muffin tins. they are delicious, filling, easily wrapped and fit into any lunchbox, and can be made in lots of varieties.

    i think i’ll need to try your paleo and nutty breads next — i think they’ll be great for those times when i just need a quick fix.

  50. Christiane

    I would love to try out this meal plan since I suffer from a number of immune system problems (allergies, asthma, eczema), but I’m allergic to nuts! Deadly to peanuts, quite allergic to cashews, and almonds I can only eat withouth ichting in my mouth if I take antihistamines beforehand…is it possible to follow your diet without the use of nuts ? Btw, I’m not allergic to coconut (TG!).

    Love,
    from a 26-year old Norwegian, soon-to-be-driven-crazy by all this itching, sneezing, and low energy

    • newly paleo kris

      christiane, hang in there! it’s true that nuts are just very convenient snacks and have a good protein/fat ratio, but there is absolutely no reason you can’t eat a paleo style diet without nuts.
      if you crave a particular receipe that calls for almonds or other nuts, you might try to substitute them for seeds (sunflower or pumpkin, for example — whatver you can get in stores locally and won’t ruin you financially); i’ve certainly baked pumpkin seed muffins with great success.
      if subsituting is not feasible (i imagine money would be an issue in the long run), just enjoy more of the great dessert receipes that call for coconut milk or cream. :)
      for the immune-boosting benefits of a paleo diet, all (haha!) that you need to cut out are the starches and sugars that can aid inflamation, plus the chemical junk often found in processed foods.

  51. Angel Tucker

    Hi Elana,
    If you answer emails can you tell me what other fat you’d use besides the vegan shortening for the Triple Cho Chip cookies? Could I substitute with butter or coconut oil?

  52. Im always up for trying new things healthwise , this is next on my list!

  53. Molly

    This will be such a great help for me with my gluten free diet I started Feb 1st! I often struggled with choosing what to eat before plus with the added issue of not having as many foods I could eat it was seeming like it might be nearly impossible to keep up my nutrition. Thank you very much :)

  54. Sara

    I love your website!! I am a new mom and trying to keep up with healthy meals. I would love to see another post on what you feed your boys over the course of a week. The example you set is very inspiring.

  55. Kelly Gerken

    I just wanted to share my deepest thank you’s to you for providing us with these recipes! I am a college student entering medical school soon and needless to say I am on a strict budget. However, I never want to sacrifice my health (ahem, ramen) and I cannot thank you enough for simply posting these recipes.

  56. barbara

    Hi Elana, I love your website and recipes. I have bought your book and have been very please with the results. I have an gluten intolerance and also a problem with sugar, even though I am not a diabetic. I never heard of the Paleo Diet until I found you mentioning it on your site. I think that will be a good fit for me but would love if you were to come out with another book specificly addressing the Paleo Plan. Is this in your future? Hope so. Thank you for all your wounderful advice and inspiration.

  57. Maureen

    I am confused. I noticed on the Paleo website that they are strictly against both coconuts and peanuts, yet your website promotes recipes for both and calls them paleo. In fact in one of the recipes it says, “or coconut oil for paleo.” Can you explain?

    Thanks,
    Maureen

    • Nicole

      What website are you looking at? In Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution it says to use coconut oil and in The Everything Paleo Diet Book it also says to use it. I was just looking at Paleo friendly wraps made from coconut meal as well.

  58. kara mandeville

    Hi Elana- thank you so much for your yummy grain free recipes! It has made our transition go so smoothly. I was wondering if you had a tortilla recipe or some kind of wrap besides lettuce wraps?

  59. Sarah

    This looks fantastic, but I’m doing the Paleo as well, and have autoimmune skin issues. The Paleo diet recommends removing eggs, nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), as well as nuts. I’m doing it, but it is not easy…many of the recipes in this plan include these no-no ingredients…how did your friend feel after a week of eating this way? I want to do the “right” way as the books tell you, and remove these autoimmune problematic foods as well, but it’s really limiting.

  60. Jennifer

    I started paleo in March 2012. It is amazing. One of my favorite dishes is a great meat sauce with spaghetti squash. I never liked the feeling I would get after eating pasta anyway. Now I can enjoy great sauces without all of the carbs. Also I make crust less pizza. I sautée all of the meats and veggies that I would normally have on a pizza, add some marinara and garlic, and serve over fresh spinach or arugula. If I am in the mood I can add a bit of fresh mozzarella. This is so much better than pizza and I get all of my meats free of preservatives like nitrates and such so it is super healthy.

  61. Amanda

    Hi Elana,

    I am experimenting with a paleo diet and am wondering what your view on beans/legumes is. Do you still eat them? I have found that I need a lot of fiber in my diet to keep my digestive system happy and am finding it hard to incorporate enough fiber on a paleo diet…are there any high-fiber paleo foods that you can recommend? I am thinking of doing a mostly paleo diet but incorporating beans/legumes, just no grains.

    Thanks!
    Amanda

  62. I am really excited to have found your blog, cookbooks, and recipes! I just recently switched over to a gluten-free diet (Paleo) and was looking for a meal plan, and I found you! Thank you so much for all your hard work in developing the recipes you share – I cannot wait to try them out!

  63. Katherina Dela Fuente @ paleolifestylehub.com

    This site is a great find for me. When I started my Paleo diet few months back I was constantly on the look out for recipes whose ingredients are easy to find and easy to prepare. Now I have a whole week meal plan and won’t thrive on day to day preparation like what I’ve been used too. Thanks Elana for this wonderful blog!

  64. Stacie Glaser

    Thank you so much for your site. I was introduced to your site on Facebook. Our family has gone Paleo for about 2 months now and at first it has been so hard, but with sites like yours it has helped me tremendously. My kids say, “Wow mom, eating Paleo isn’t bad at all, or “Wow mom, you mean THIS is Paleo!” It’s been such a blessing and to top it off I have dropped 10 of my 40 pounds just eating Paleo. I feel so much better and have lost that bloaty feeling, in fact I have so much more energy I have joined a gym and have started working out.

    I really don’t know what I would do without these wonderful ideas and recipes to help us on our healthy journey. Just wanted to say a big thank you from my family. I look forward to getting your cookbooks.
    Sincerely,
    Stacie – Alaska

  65. Danielle

    Hi, while i was reading this i saw it was for inflammatory problems? Now i know you arent a dr but my dad has been having random parts of his body swell up (feet, hands, face, ect.) the doctors have no idea why, but could his diet be the problem? I only ask because my family have no experience with any type of food allergies or auto immune disorders.

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