Imperfectly Paleo/WIAW

March 18, 2015
I’ve “been paleo” (can you actually be a dietary regimen?) for ~7 months now.  While I do not eat grains on a routine basis, I am far from hardcore or superstrict.  I make exceptions for fun nights out, special occasions, etc, and I have no plans of stopping.  I just feel better, for the most part, when I stick to paleo-style eating, so it has to feel ‘worth it’ for me to make an exception.

Here’s a typical (perfectly imperfect) day:


Eggs scrambled with butter (sometimes I use ghee)
Sunflower seed butter (Maranatha brand that is just seeds & salt)
Coffee (2 shots of Nespresso, actually, black)


Leftover salmon (wild) from Monday’s dinner
Japanese white sweet potatoes


With a side of graph paper.
(I eat these all the time, although will acknowledge that they are rather high in sugar, even if it is ‘natural’ sugar in dried fruit)


Taco-inspired salad with ground beef, romaine, avocados, peppers, tomatoes, and lime

About 1/3 of this bar:

I usually stick to higher dark chocolate content (85 or 88%) but this was calling my name last night.

So . . . that’s it!   Often I will have red wine, too, but not every night and not when sick.

I’ll do this every couple of weeks although it might become monotonous really quickly.  Next time I’ll include a link to some of our tried-and-true favorite paleo dinner recipes.  Over time, I have discovered that I am oddly content eating the same things time after time with only minor variations, especially for breakfast and snacks, and often lunch too.


  • Reply @sydneyshopgirl March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I’m inspired now to make more healthful choices each day in what I eat.

    SSG xxx

  • Reply Marie March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I finally became desperate and started doing a bastardized form of paleo, basically no bread or pasta but I still get to have cheese and beer because come on.

  • Reply Ana March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    That is the only flavor of Larabar I like (and I love that chocolate too). Every time I think I "should" go paleo, i see your meals and realize I could not eat that much meat. I think I’ve got a good balance going right now so I need to just ignore the "shoulds" anyways.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      absolutely ignore the ‘shoulds’! and embrace the balance that works for you. i’m actually slightly surprised at myself for finding that this template fits me so well, but it really seems to. we do make an effort about the sourcing of meat – wild salmon, grass fed beef. (it is pricey). and we eat a lot of fish/seafood and not red meat every day, but several days per week we definitely do.

  • Reply SusannahEarlyBd March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I enjoyed this! Question: I would really like to make the switch to a more protein, less carbs breakfast (I do this with no problem at lunch and dinner but seem to wake up not being able to stomach the thought of a savory or egg breakfast versus pb toast, oatmeal, etc). I remember you used to do toast or oatmeal for breakfast from previous posts…was it tough for you to switch over to your current picks? I feel like if I could just do it for a week it would get easier.

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      hi!!! When I decided to switch, I just kind of went all-in. Why don’t you commit to a ‘trial’ month (I think that was what my original experiment was!) to see if it helps your energy/makes you feel better? I think a week might not be enough to truly see if there are benefits. The month would allow you to get used to it (I am definitely used to it now and love eggs in the AM) and then you could decide if it really works for you (everyone is different!). Of course since you are pregnant now everything will be in flux, but you could always try it again later.

  • Reply Priyanka March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    I love seeing these wia type of posts. That salmon looks delicious! Hope you are feeling better now!

  • Reply EAS March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Glad you are feeling good on the Paleo type diet but I have an honest question (not trying to just give you a hard time). Since you’re a scientist, and clearly can read and understand scientific research, how do you reconcile that with the Paleo lifestyle? My understanding is that the idea it’s what our ancestors ate is basically pseudoscience… and that most nutrition research supports that the best diets for a long and healthy life and mainly plant based, including whole grains, with smaller amounts of animal products and healthy oils? Would love to hear your thoughts, or what convinced you that Paleo is a healthy way to eat?

    • Reply theSHUbox March 10, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      This could easily be a whole post (. . . or blog!). Basically, I am dubious of mainstream medicine’s recommendations of a high-carb, low fat diet. I don’t necessarily think legumes or even grains are evil, but I think that it’s probably easier to be healthier without them. There really are no randomized control studies of paleo eating (I wish there were) or long term outcomes data because eating a diet that is primarily WHOLE foods but without grains/legumes/dairy is sort of a new thing.

      I agree that the idea of it being a copy of what ancestors ate is ridiculous. HOWEVER, there is something to be said for our ancestors not eating so many things made from flour (highly processed) or factory-churned-out snack foods. I decided to try it an n=1 because I couldn’t think of health reasons why not to eat this way, and it turns out I feel better, so . . . I will draw my conclusions that for me (and likely for some others) paleo is a great way of eating that many of us would not have considered/thought of without the movement.

      Finally, even the FDA is backtracking on their position on saturated fats. Everyone agrees that trans fats are terrible, but saturated — I do not think they are the evil they were once made out to be.

      The only things I do worry about are sustainability (even when we buy organic/sustainable to the degree that we can, I worry that it is higher impact on the earth) and cost. I cannot recommend paleo to low income patients, for example, because it is just more expensive.

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