Meal Plan

Firstly I need to tell you that I’m starving. STARVING TO DEATH. I am one calorie shy from starring in my own commercial with flies buzzing around my face.

The fella has embarked on another “meal plan”. You may remember me from the last meal plan. In case you don’t … this is me during his last meal plan.

scary me

Last time the meal plan was “Whole Foods”.  Not the grocery store.  Cooking with actual ingredients.  Nothing processed, nothing pre-made.  Which was astonishingly annoying considering I pretty much cook whole foods anyway. But it was weird recipes with weird ingredients and there were rules. I do NOT like rules when I’m cooking. But his Crossfit gym was going on a meal plan and he wanted to take part.

FOR TWO MONTHS. Two months of eating food I didn’t like. TWO MONTHS. By the end of it I had resorted to sucking on the hem of my pjamas and praying for the end.

That was 2 years ago.

I believe it took the fella 2 years to gather up the nerve to ask me to do a “meal plan” again.

This time, it’s Paleo. Which I hate. Now, to be fair to all of the people who love Paleo, if it’s working for you that’s great. Truly.  That mean’s it’s good for you. People who are Paleo are hardcore Paleoites. They love it, they live it, it works for them.

It does not work for me.

For one thing I like cheese. And bread. And toast. And stuffing. But the fella wanted to try Paleo so being the loving not-wife that I am, I’m doing the best I can to meet his needs.

I should take a moment here to describe what Paleo is. Which is difficult because even people who eat Paleo don’t really agree on what’s Paleo.

Basically it’s a meal plan that’s based on eating what a caveman would have eaten. So that means wild game, organ meats and vegetables. No grain, no potatoes, no legumes, no dairy. I’m not sure what the exact reasoning is behind it but the basic thought is our bodies are bred to eat what our caveman ancestors ate. Which I agree with to an extent. Just not the extent that would prevent me from eating bread. And toast. And stuffing.

And I’m gonna be honest with you.  I’m suspicious of anything that hasn’t been documented with an iPhone.  Who’s to say they weren’t eating Jelly Belly’s and deep fried corn dogs?  We don’t know.  Instagram wasn’t even invented then.

As someone who loves to cook and experiment with meals I find Paleo too restrictive. Please don’t yell at me Paleo people. I know you love Paleo and you’re allowed. I’m just talking about what’s right for me. The thought of not being able to throw some flour in a mound on the counter, crack some eggs and olive oil into it and make fresh pasta makes me all wiggly. And a little bit anxious.

So there you have a very brief, not at all well rounded explanation of Paleo.

Modern day Paleoites find getting their hands on wild game a bit difficult these days so they eat other meat. It’s supposed to be lean cuts of meat but you can’t take all the fun out of eating so most people who eat Paleo make exceptions and eat things like bacon, steaks and pork chops along with fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts. No cheese, grains, alcohol, coffee or dairy. Although I’ve yet to meet a Paleo person that doesn’t have a coffee every once in a while. Can’t blame them.

SO … let’s get back to the fella and this meal plan. He started it on January 1st and has been going strong ever since. That man has willpower. I do not. However, since I’m the one making dinner every night and I’m not about to make 2 dinners every night I’m eating Paleo for dinner too. Of course in between dinner one night and dinner the next night, I’m eating “not Paleo”.

BUT I’M STILL STARVING.  I swear to you I am.  I’m pretty hungry at the very least.  It’s because of the water wings. The ones growing on my back. The ones threatening to grow on my knees. You see. I need to lose 6 pounds or so. And this half heartedly eating Paleo thing seems to be …  working.

Which isn’t a shock. Take grains, potatoes, dairy, and cheese out of one’s diet and even someone with an enormous thyroid condition would lose weight.

The big plus of Paleo is bacon. Which technically should only be eaten every once in a while but if you were to take advantage of the bacon allowance, then you could in fact gain weight on Paleo I suppose.

I guess I’m not actually all that starving to be honest.  I’m missing potato chips.  And cheese.  And toast with real peanut butter not “my favourite nut butter”.  And tortellini en brodo and beets with goat’s cheese crumbled over top.

But I’m willing to do it.  Willing to put up with it.  Willing to do anything for my fella.

Even lie about what’s actually in his meals.  You think carrot soup *really* taste that good without a cup of cream?  Pfttt.

Sucker.  Never again I said 2 years ago.  And I meant it.

My first Paleo  Meal of the Week … coming up in tomorrow’s post.  And yes.  It really is Paleo.


Curious about how the first meal plan went?  Read about that debacle here in the post “I love you so much you make me sick“.


  1. Ru says:

    Good luck, Karen. My husband and I are doing a meal plan similar to Paleo and the lack of chips is killer. I made baked kale chips tonight and highly recommend them. Didn’t even screw up on the first try!

  2. Karen says:

    Ru. I appreciate the tip, but I hate Kale chips, LOL. I’d rather eat a Kale salad believe it or not. This is a VERY difficult thing for someone who loves food and cooking a much as I do. VERY. Good luck to you both! ~ karen!

  3. karenagain says:

    Two months ago I went glutten free for a month. I was so sad. I was sad the whole month.

  4. Karen says:

    I’m sad too karen. i’m sad too. i hugged a favourite cookbook today.

  5. Amber says:

    Totally giggling over this post and comments. That is my new workout plan. Giggling.

  6. Erica says:

    Paleolithic people only lived to be about 30 years old. That doesn’t say much for their diet as far as I’m concerned.

  7. Karen says:

    To be fair, they also didn’t have modern medicine. Which they claim is around to fix the things we’ve done to ourselves through food. I don’t believe it for a second but thought I should mention it. To be fair. It’s also possible they died from sadness over not having mashed potatoes sour cream whipped into them. ~ karen

  8. Karla C says:

    Not being able to have coffee would turn me into a caveman. I would take a club and beat someone to death for their coffee!

  9. Nicole says:

    We sort of eat Paleo plus coffee, alcohol, sweet potatoes, quinoa, legumes, dairy and cheese. That’s been working well and we don’t miss the starches. My husband rarely does, but if we are out I’ll have a little bread, pasta, potatoes, rice. We are used to not having them now…we find this diet to be still tasty. 🙂

  10. Jan says:

    I want the recipe for kale chips. Please?

  11. Jan says:

    There is some spiral veggie cutter out there that makes thin pasta shapes out of veggies. I just use my veggie peeler to make zucchini ” noodles.” My youngest kid loves them but he actually loves veggies. He’s weird that way, thank goodness. The other 2 hate vegetables and could stand to lose weight. They are major carb lovers. Like me…I could live on good bread but Jenny Craig slimmed me, carbs and all.

  12. Diane says:

    I think they died from sadness, too. Their tongues fell out of their heads, because without yummy foods, the tongue is useless… but then they had even more trouble eating their sad, not yummy food.

  13. Angela Meyer says:

    I can’t think of anything worse than eating like a caveman. I’ve lost 15 pounds since I switched to fruits, beans, and vegetables!

  14. Susan says:

    What is the difference between Paleo and Atkins? Sounds exactly the same.
    If it’s anything like the Atkins diet, you lose about 5 – 7 pounds of water weight in the first week and if you stay on it the rest of your life, you’ll stay lean and mean. But the minute you start adding anything from those banned food groups, the weight comes back like gangbusters. And I speak from rueful experience.

  15. Janie says:

    Sounds like a serious case of ‘paleophobia’. Eat 2 bags of potato chips and call me in the morning.

  16. Dawn says:

    Have you checked out Lots of good recipes- I enjoyed reading her when I went paleo for a little while (like two weeks omg seriously gimme my cheese). It’s definitely striking how much dairy/butter makes life better!

  17. marilyn says:

    my niece and her husband are on that diet…no thanks, not very realistic if you ask me..what ever happened to moderation for petes sake..less in and more is way too short to never eat bread or cheese..just sayin’

  18. magali says:

    I am on an no processed foods, no dairy, no refined sugar diet right now! Yesterday I sounded like you do in this post. I wanted cheese so bad. That’s all I could talk about. I started eating my stupid salad for supper (which really was delicious) while watching TV and while my boyfriend was having a good laugh beside me I was just staring. I couldn’t even listen to what was happening on the screen because I was thinking of cheese. So I got up and ate a piece and a half. Best cheese ever.

    plus side: I’ve lost three of the five pounds I want to loose before my wedding that’s in three weeks!

  19. Ashley says:

    Paleo wouldn’t work for me either. I’m trying DASH which is backed by actual scientific research and verified by numerous independent studies. I don’t try diets lightly especially ones with not much evidence to prove it is actually healthy. Mayo clinic has a great breakdown on various diets and DASH was one of the top rated.

  20. Lisa says:

    Paleo has some good to glean. But it makes more sense to look at traditional cultures from around the world. Also, the food preparation of those cultures are key. Have you looked into the research done by Weston A. Price? This dietary philosophy suggest eating and preparing foods the way your ancestors did. Check it out. The book, Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon is amazing. And with a title like that, it has to be a page turner.

  21. Holly says:

    Here’s my story since I know you are just dying to hear it. My sister talked me into Paleo when she found out I was feeling really crappy and lethargic. I started Paleo and followed it to a T. I felt amazing and lost 12 lbs the first month. I had never felt better in my life. But then….well, it started with Cheetos and went onto spaghetti and Philly Cheesesteaks. It’s been ugly ever since and I really feel like crap and I can barely hold my head up most days but I am sure loving those cheesesteaks so it’s kinda worth it.

  22. Maggie V says:

    My daughter and son-in-law are on it. She has lost 8 lbs since Jan 7th and he 14 lbs. He dislikes it and says he will not last 30 days she on the other hand does all the cooking and likes the meal plan thingy. It is a life time way to eat not 30 days. We will see. Koodos to all who try it and can stick with that way of eating FOREVER.

  23. Reg says:

    Oh dear. No chips. I love potato chips, in moderation of course.

    I have to admit that I was imagining fella with a determined expression on his face, brandishing a spear at some beastie, and you at home in the cave tapping your foot because he was late getting back with dinner. By the way, you looked fetching in skins.

    Ah me, the things we do for the ones we love.

  24. ~JackieVB says:

    I follow a Paleo, ‘not-Paleo’ diet. Meaning that I do have certain types of dairy like yogurt and heavy cream(if it’s from a healthy source) and some cheeses if they are hard cheeses like Parmesan. Can’t have it on my spaghetti anymore but I’ve become even more of a champ at making meatballs. And I do have some ‘healthy’ starches which include potatoes and -gasp- even white rice. I know you didn’t want the Paleo types to defend the diet but just wanted to weigh in with that. I was very strict during the first 30 days though, and it helped me uncover some food allergies/sensitivities that I didn’t know I had. Plus it fixed some long term health problems I didn’t think would ever be resolved. Didn’t mean to turn this into a platform but I’ve learned alot about the role of good food for our physical and mental well being and I’ve seen many people benefit from it so can’t help but be a cheerleader. By the way I had a big peanut butter habit before all this – was happy to know I could have some Almond butter (much cheaper at Trader Joes by the way) but I do miss the big glass of milk and squeeze bottle of chocolate syrup that went along with it!

  25. Ruth says:

    I eat neither meat or dairy, so I would kick the bucket on the first day without my nuts and grains. Are legumes allowed? How about smoothies, honey, coconut icecream? No? Paleo is not for the likes of me. LOL!

    (I realise peanut is not actually a nut, but I am still claiming it as my favourite nut butter….. because I can.) 😀

  26. Maria says:

    I’m sorry your starving Karen. You need to eat more BACON!
    Seriously- we eat “primal” here which is Mark Sisson’s version- its Paleo plus dairy. The idea is that not everyone is intolerant to dairy so you hold eat it if it makes you feel good. Honestly first time in my life I HAVEN’T been starving. Oh- and you get to eat lots of maple syrup!

  27. Robyn says:

    Are eggs allowed?

  28. Renee says:

    Karen, Do you have Melissa Joulwan’s cookbook “Well Fed” yet? SO MUCH GOOD FOOD

  29. Rebecca says:

    I’d heard kale chips are so good for so long, I finally made them a few days ago. Sorry, but so not good. They even made my garbage smell horrible. Kale salad is much better.
    Can’t even imagine eating paleo. I would be so sad. We tried gluten free a couple years ago and I was so damn happy it didn’t help with my son’s ADHD so I didn’t have to keep doing it. It was torture.

  30. Susan says:

    First, we only surmise what Paleolithic people ate, based on what we’ve been able to find that’s left over from their time on this Earth. So it’s a guess, at best, based on a very small sampling. Second, they ate what was available to them, based on their current technology. We’ve evolved, and our digestive systems are evolving with us. Our technology has evolved, and we now know how to make cheese, harvest grains, make truffles. Most current “ills” aren’t because we don’t eat like they did, it’s because we don’t get enough exercise and overeat. I’m pretty sure that if Paleo man could be brought back to life today, he’d eat the sour cream backed potato instead of some weeds and a rat he was able to catch.

  31. Langela says:

    I clicked back to your first adventure. The photo of you cracks me up! Why do they think no grains were eaten? Were there no plants back then? Is there a paleo man around still that tells us what he ate back then? There are no modern day living paleo people who can tell us. Your fella is just looking for an excuse to drag you around by your hair while wielding a club.

  32. Ann says:

    I am one of those people who swear by Paleo. And at Paleo, I am afraid. When I am living pure Paleo, my entire body works and feels so much better. I sleep well, which for me is a true miracle. My digestion is amazing and I lose weight without even thinking about it.

    But the reason I also swear at Paleo is the boredom factor. I am able to purchase and use all kinds of free range, organic meats. Not game meats but beef, chicken, pork and lamb. I also eat fish once a week but it is not a fav of mine. I love so many veggies and fruits but I have a bit of trouble with nuts so I have to keep them to a minimum. But not having dairy, legumes, and grains is so freakin hard. But if you look around you will find that a lot of hard core Paleo-ists do eat sweet potatoes, wild rice, millet and a few other oddities. Some even do cheese. So if you slowly add those things in and none of them change how good you feel on Paleo then you have the permission of many of the Paleo police out there.

    That said, I sure need to go back to eating Paleo. I have been eating whole since about Thanksgiving. As in eating whole chickens, whole pies, whole loaves of bread, LOL. Well, not really but I have been eating grains again and not feeling nearly as well. I ate some chili the other night and within an hour of eating the black beans I was sick as a dog so those may be out of my diet forever.

  33. Ann says:

    I think those Paleo people died young from things like wild boar attacks!! And lack of dental care. The archaeologists have a lack of many modern diseases in the few humans they have been able to unearth. But they found horrible dental disease and sometimes things like rickets and scurvy, all of which we can avoid easily now. But mostly they found that their deaths were due to injuries during hunting, gathering or squabbles with other tribes.

  34. Branwen says:

    I cannot do Paleo. Because I’m a veggie. If I were to eat Paleo as well I would only be eating veggies and nuts. Therefore I have to include pulses and oils (for fat, I need fat). But to show you that I am feeling for you I will leave out the dairy for this month. So I can feel a bit like how you are feeling. (but I’m telling you, when I get hungry I will eat crisps, cannot help myself)

  35. AmieM says:

    I could get behind a giggling workout. Abs are ready to go!

  36. If you think that is tough, try raw vegan, where you eliminate also anything cooked plus all the meat . . . just raw vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

  37. Deb J. says:

    Don’t know much about this paleo thing and am not much of a fan of any diet that cuts out whole food groups. But all that aside, weren’t cavemen hunter/gatherers? And weren’t grains one of the first thing they learned to eat? And, if I understand things correctly, mostly lived on ‘cos the hunter side of the hunter/gatherer equation weren’t always as successful as the gatherer side. Maybe you could launch an argument for a realistic caveman diet – and get your grains back :). Good luck on the wings. Get them under control and chicken wings won’t be far behind.

  38. JF says:

    . . .sorry. . .you lost me at “no alcohol”. . .

    Karen, I’ll see your water wings and raise you my kissing thighs — apparently, they have got to remain in close contact with each other — I miss my old metabolism

    maybe some chips will make me feel better. . .

  39. Karen says:

    Ohhhhhh Nicole. Trust me. That’s not even close to Paleo, LOL. ~ karen

  40. Karen says:

    LOL! Yes. Yes indeed. ~ karen

  41. Karen says:

    There are some similarities between Atkins and Paleo, but Atkins is more comparable to the French Dukan diet. ~ karen!

  42. Karen says:

    I have. And I like her. But Paleo recipes aren’t for me. I’ve found the biggest problem is most people who have Paleo “recipe” sites are people who never cooked to begin with and it shows in their “recipes”. ~ karen!

  43. Kristen S says:

    I was diagnosed with Celiac disease 2 months ago, and was immediately forced into a gluten free diet for life. I didn’t even get to say goodbye to croissants and fresh baguettes. Gluten free SUCKS. There is gluten hidden in everything (chicken stock, soy sauce, chocolate!). It severely limits what I can eat (and I want to try/eat everything!) If the fella suggest a Gluten Free meal plan next; run.

  44. Karen says:

    Yes they are Robyn. ~ karen

  45. Karen says:

    Renee – No. I won’t be doing this long enough to justify investing in a cookbook. ~ karen

  46. Karen says:

    No grains because Paleo surmises that the agricultural revolution didn’t happen until a mere 10,000 years ago and our bodies haven’t adjusted to things like grains yet. Although there is *other* evidence suggesting the eating of grains hundreds of thousands of years ago. ~ karen

  47. Kerri says:

    I love all the caveman these days. I highly doubt they were benching bison and worrying about fitting into their fur pants. Plus, they evolved and all, so even they didn’t agree with their diet 😉 Cheese..

  48. I never get people who are fussy about these things, and then say I couldn’t live with out….. Yes you can when you have no choice because of health issues you just do it, that’s right you man up and do it and enjoy the process for what it is, a journey to a better you. I haven’t had coffee, alcohol, dairy or wheat for a month. With a diet consisting of mostly vegetables and fruits, and I am just fine and feel amazing! Man up Karen!!! :))

  49. Christina says:

    YES! You hit the nail on the head! I think that’s the trouble with a lot of specialty diets (paleo, vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, etc.). The people who come up with them are generally decent nutritionists or have a keen sense of animal welfare, but they aren’t really good cooks. I found a vegetarian soup cookbook recently that was actually written by a good cook: Love Soup by Anna Thomas. Her green soup is both vegan and paleo-friendly–and soooo delicious!

  50. jamie says:

    I hear you. If I didn’t have an actual (medical) reason to eat paleo, I probably wouldn’t be so strict with it. That being said, I also think there are things you can do to help yourself through this.

    Here’s my advice as someone who’s been doing it since May with a similar body type:
    I drink coffee everyday. WITH HEAVY CREAM.
    I eat small bits of aged cheese.
    I eat whatever meat with whatever fat content I want.
    Occasionally, I eat white rice (never brown).
    I add extra olive oil or MCT oil (coconut oil), butter, and coconut butter to my food.
    I eat sweet potatoes and occasionally purple potatoes.

    And I’ve lot about ten pounds without meaning to. You have to add extra fat to feel satiated if you already have a lean frame.

    Good luck! It’s a hard diet, but you are an amazing person for supporting your spouse this way!!!

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