Paleo Menu: A Typical Paleo Day and an Acne Update

Many of you have asked me what a typical day on this new Paleo diet looks like for me, so I thought I’d post a quick update to share. Keep in mind that I’m doing Paleo to help with acne, inflammation, and other skin issues, not to lose weight, so if you are trying to drop some pounds, this might not be a great menu plan for you, but it could give you some ideas for meals and such. Anyway, here’s what I eat on the reg:

Breakfast

  • one Omega-3 enriched egg, either hard boiled or pan-fried with a bit of olive oil (usually I do hard boiled because I’m running late and I boil like 6 of them on Sunday mornings)
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • one piece of fruit: usually an apple, plum, peach, or slice of watermelon – whatever we have on hand

Snack

  • a handful of nuts

OR

  • carrot sticks

OR

  • celery sticks

OR

  • beef/bison/salmon jerky from Trader Joe’s (it’s not technically Paleo because there is soy sauce in it, but sometimes I get SO HUNGRY and it’s so delicious that I don’t really care)

OR

  • sweet potato chips if I’m feeling really fancy

Lunch

  • a spinach salad dressed with a squeeze of lemon with whatever is in the fridge and doesn’t require cooking, which could include:
    • hard boiled egg white (because I try to only eat one yolk a day)
    • salad shrimp (super easy from Target – just thaw and eat)
    • carrots
    • blueberries
    • celery
    • cucumbers
    • smoked oysters (Seriously, an awesome source of zinc – great for acne! – and $3 per tin at Trader Joe’s? Sign me up.)
    • leftover meat from dinner the night before (cold, cut-up meat is surprisingly delicious on a salad, and leftover sauces make great salad dressings)

OR

  • a spinach smoothie (1 cup coconut milk, 1 spoonful almond butter, 1 banana, fill the rest of the blender with spinach and blend, baby!) – these are great to freeze overnight and put in your lunch bag the next day, plus they keep everything else cold!
  • leftover meat

Snack (I snack a lot)

  • See above

Dinner

  • Usually some kind of read meat if I haven’t eaten red meat leftovers from the night before for lunch. If I have, I make some kind of fish – usually either tuna or salmon. I try to make enough that I’ll have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. I like cooking, but I don’t need to spend my life doing it.
  • a side of whatever vegetables we got at the farmer’s market that week
  • sometimes another side of vegetables if we’re really hungry
  • You can see all of my Paleo dinner meals here, and check back often for updates!

Beverages

  • throughout the day, I drink 8 8-oz glasses of water infused with lemon and cucumbers (lemon cleans out your liver, supposedly, and there is no way I could drink that much water without some kind of flavor)
  • LOTS of herbal tea. I drink one cup a day of each of the following: green tea, roasted dandelion root tea, ginger tea, chamomile tea (before bed) and sometimes echinacea if I’m feeling a little run down
  • Wine. I know alcohol is not good for acne, but if I had to choose between wine with acne and no wine with no acne, I’ll pick the wine every time.

I also try to do Zumba twice a week, yoga once a week, and something else like walking the dogs or working in the yard another day during the week.

As you can see, I am trying to keep the fruit to a minimum because fructose can exacerbate skin issues. I’m also trying to cut back on nuts (I’ve replaced them with zinc-heavy pumpkin seeds, but too many of those can really wreak havoc on my digestive system) because they can cause unknown food sensitivities which exacerbate skin issues as well. This is why I ended up buying the TJ’s jerky yesterday because I was so hungry after my lunchtime salad but well before dinner, and didn’t want to grab fruit or nuts, so I had to do something. I doubt a little soy sauce is causing my acne, so I think we’re good there.

As far as an update on my acne issues, I will say that my face is looking quite a bit better than it has this past year. I’ve had a one or two pimples crop up at certain points in my cycle (my acne is most definitely hormonal and, as such, will probably not entirely go away on this diet, but if it helps manage it a bit more, I’ll take it!) and my left cheek is still a mess, but that’s definitely better than the 10 on my forehead/10 on my cheek/10 on my chin that I had when school ended.

I’ve read a lot of anecdotal stuff on message boards about people who have cleared up their acne with this diet within 30 days, and a lot of people who have taken about 6 months to do so. Think about it, though: if Accutane and birth control pills take 2-6 months to work, why wouldn’t a diet take the same time? Plus, I’m not 100% hardcore with this diet. As stated above, you’ll have to pry my glass of wine out of my cold, dead hands, so I won’t give that up no matter how much it would help (but I have cut back! so there’s that). Also, I’ll cut back on fruits and nuts, but I won’t give them up entirely, and sometimes you just have to have a beer at a cookout, you know? I’m focused more on changing my overall lifestyle for better health, more sleep, less stress, and a more centered, kind way of living – kind to both myself and the world. So far, I feel really good physically, spiritually, and morally, so I’m willing to see how this goes at least through the school year.

Do you have any healthy, kind living tips? If so, share them in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “Paleo Menu: A Typical Paleo Day and an Acne Update

  1. I just wanted to let you know that my husband is super soy sensitive and he does get acne from one exposure to soy! I make our own jerky at home with coconut aminos, and it is very easy to do in the oven, we don’t have a dehydrator – yet 🙂

    • Thanks for the info, Darcie. I don’t seem to break out from a little soy, though I used to drink soy milk, eat tofu and soy burgers and all of that a TON, so it’s possible that a lot of it did cause my breakouts. I’ll never go back to soy burgers and soy milk, so maybe we’ll never know!

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