I’ve been primal for about 7 years now and what I’ve realized is that there are certain foods that really have stuck with me over time. So I thought it might be beneficial to compile a list of the top 10 primal foods I can’t live without. Sure I get in funks where I want to make some miso mushroom sweet potato thing, but that’s not something I eat every week or even every day. This list is a list of foods that really have stuck around for the past few years, that don’t get old to me and satisfy those cravings that other junk food tries to offer.
Eggs are like the staple protein in my house. We go to a drive through egg place and buy about 60 eggs a week. My whole family loves eggs and do you blame them? They’re a whole food and a quick and cheapish source of protein. They’re great for breakfast, or a snack or fry them up for dinner. No rules with eggs!
Avocados are all the rage these days on toast and such, but I like my avocados straight up. I pull out my pocket knife and slice away. With a little salt and pepper these little nuggets of fat and fiber are delicious. This is something that’s definitely on our grocery list every week.
3. Canned fish
I personally do not like reheated chicken on salads. It’s pretty gross to me. So as I’ve been eating my lunch salads over the past few years, canned fish has been my preferred source of protein on the side. I really enjoy all varieties of canned fish – tuna, salmon, sardines and even oysters. I literally could not live without canned fish.
I know this sounds basic, but out of all the vegetables I have at my disposal I consume crazy amounts of broccoli. It’s easy to roast in the oven and eat as a side or as an alternative to spaghetti noodles. We buy it frozen or fresh all year long.
I know if you’re watching your carbs this is something that’s been off your plate for awhile. But over the past few years I realized that a potato here and there won’t hurt your goals. One russet potato has roughly 35 net carbs. So if you’ve had eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch and potatoes as a side with you’re dinner – it’s not gonna kill you. Not to mention they’re delicious when roasted in your leftover bacon fat!
6. Pork shoulder
There is no greater cut of meat for a large family than the pork shoulder (or butt). You can smoke it, slow cooker it, pressure cooker it or slow roast it in a cast iron dutch oven for some authentic carnitas. All ways produce delicious pork that’s cheap enough to eat often and leaves you with plenty of leftovers for a few days at a time.
7. Olive oil
The amount of olive oil we go through in our family is pretty insane. I keep a liter bottle at work and at home. I use it for salads and for roasting veggies. It’s delicious, relatively inexpensive compared to avocado oil and they sell it at Costco!
8. Dark chocolate
I keep a handful of dark chocolate bars on hand at home when that late night dessert craving hits. Eat just a few squares and it satisfies any sweet cravings and not to mention dark chocolate is loaded with health benefits. Trader Joe’s has some really good dark chocolate with hazelnuts and Target carries plenty of options too. So it’s readily available, cheap and delicious!
9. Whey protein
Another primal food that’s slightly controversial in the paleo community, but it makes for a great source of protein in our house. We make quick meal replacement shakes, or add it to smoothies or we even add it to our babies rice cereal with coconut oil. When our budget permits I love the Primal Kitchen whey protein, but if the budget is tight we get this one too from Amazon.
10. Eat Smart Kale Salad
This is my go to bag of salad every day at work. I buy it in bulk at Costco, throw away the dressing and use olive oil (see above) and it’s the perfect salad. I like the crunch and texture of it and it’s incredibly filling. It’s also used at home as an easy side for some pulled pork or any other type of meal we may be eating for dinner at home. I just can’t get enough of this salad!
Bonus Food: Pork Rinds
Everybody loves chips. But I suspect we like chips because humans naturally just like salty and crunchy things. So sure you could buy some Siete chips and be totally Paleo compliant or even some corn chips cooked in lard (gluten free) but nothing beats a 99 cent bag of pork rinds. Crunchy, salty, low carb and tasty!
Thanks for reading everyone! These were just the top 10 (or eleven) things that really stuck out in my mind that I’ve been eating over the past few years on this Primal journey. Feel free to share in the comments below your favorite Paleo staple food items!
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