Over the last 100 or so years, we’ve seen a massive shift away from the whole, unprocessed foods that our ancestors ate. Today, processed, sugary, empty-nutrient foods dominate supermarket shelves.
Among their problem ingredients, researchers estimate that almost three out of four of these processed foods contain added sugars.1 As a result, chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease have skyrocketed.2
The paleo diet is a throwback to a far different dietary era. While you’ll find variations of this plan with different guidelines, its overall focus is on whole, unprocessed foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate.
“The more food you eat that could have been grown, hunted, fished, caught, plucked, or gathered, the better off you’ll be,” says Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., in Living Low Carb. “And that’s the paleo diet in a nutshell.”
According to Alan Christianson, NMD, in The Adrenal Reset Diet, the popularity of the paleo diet has positively impacted our eating habits.
“From it, people have become more conscious of the value of fresh organic vegetables, the need for high-quality lean protein, and the importance of avoiding synthetic and processed foods,” he says.
Christianson adds that the paleo diet has also made us more aware of things like unhealthy carbs and food intolerances such as dairy and soy. While I’m not a dogmatic follower, I agree with Christianson about that positive impact, including the paleo diet’s focus on nutrient-dense, protein-packed foods.
I’ve incorporated those paleo principles into my Reignite Wellness products. My Paleo-Inspired All-In-One Shakes mimic the nutrient profile found in whole, unprocessed foods.* Likewise, my Paleo Brownie Protein Bars With Collagen are a protein-packed, go-to treat when I need something sweet without the guilt.
Read more about my top 10 paleo foods here.
With those principles in mind, I’ve created a paleo recipe roundup that’s perfect for the upcoming holidays. You’ll find super-satisfying breakfast, appetizer, entrée, and dessert recipes that satisfy your most finicky eater or carb-loving in-law.
Whether or not you adhere to paleo principles, follow these recipes and you’ll create a smart, delicious, and health-focused meal plan that dramatically upgrades your holiday favorites.
Break Your Morning Fast With These Paleo-Approved Recipes
Unlike modern-day diets, our paleo ancestors didn’t graze all day. They ate when food was available, meaning that they had periods of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting mimics those paleo principles. You don’t need to go overboard here: have a healthy dinner, close the kitchen for the evening, and then break your fast the following morning with a protein-packed loaded smoothie or meal. You’ll effortlessly create a 12- to 14-hour overnight fast.
- My Perfect Paleo Smoothie is a simple, satisfying way to break your morning fast. But during the holidays, you might be feeling more festive.
- These Pumpkin Spice Paleo Pancakes are a light, fluffy way to start your day. Unlike traditional pancakes, they’re gluten- and dairy-free, with the amazing taste of pumpkin spice.
- For non-pumpkin lovers, these Vanilla Almond Paleo Protein Pancakes equally hit the sweet spot without added sugar and food intolerances.
- Want something a bit heartier on a cold winter morning? This Bacon and Mushroom Sweet Potato Hash recipe combines the triple-satisfying combo of sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and nitrate-free bacon to satisfy the hungriest guest.
Let’s Get This Party Started
Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or want to bring a healthy dish to a family gathering, you don’t need to lay out a massive array of sugary, empty-nutrient appetizers.
- Keep these Smoked Paprika and Cayenne Roasted Almonds for guests to munch on… just be prepared for them to go quickly.
- Once everyone is ready to dig in, this Paleo Creamy Italian Cauliflower Dip will satisfy and help you hit your veggie quota.
- Want something completely portable? My Virgin Stuffed Mushrooms pack protein-loaded shrimp and veggies for a guaranteed-hit holiday appetizer.
- Looking for a unique spin on the traditional Mexican dish (and something a little different for the holidays)? My Roasted Jalapeño Guacamole with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds recipe combines creaminess and crunch, plus it’s packed with healthy fats, protein, and fiber to steady your blood sugar and appetite.
Navigating temptations around the holidays can be challenging! The good news is that with the right approach, you can indulge and imbibe… without guilt or regret. My Holiday Help Cheat Sheet gives you smart, simple strategies to have fun, partake intelligently, and make the most out of this meaningful season. Grab it for FREE here.
Dinner Is Served! Try These Protein-Packed Main Dishes
For most gatherings, meat becomes the centerpiece. (Vegetarians and vegans, we’ve also got you covered here!) This is your chance to wow guests with something traditional… or not-so-traditional.
- You can go the familiar, sure-to-satisfy holiday route with this Golden Roasted Turkey Breast.
- Or, you can mix it up with my Paleo Lemon and Herb Broiled Sole! It’s low in mercury and rich with anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Omega Ultras™ provides almost a gram of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids in just one softgel. You’d have to take multiple softgels of nearly any other brand to get that amount! Order yours here.
- Steak is another holiday crowd pleaser. These Grass-Fed Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Sauteed Shiitakes will go faster than your favorite designer on the clearance rack.
- If my guest list includes non-meat eaters, I’ll also make these protein-loaded Lentil Nut Burgers with Cilantro Vinaigrette.
Add These Perfect Paleo Sides
Much as we all love turkey or meaty mains, the sides are what really make or break your meal. That’s why I’ve created a few soup, salad, and side dish recipes that help your entrée shine.
- Do you think salads make a boring way to start your meal? Then you haven’t tried this Chai Waldorf Salad. I’ve combined coconut milk, apples, and my Chai Plant-Based All-In-One Shake for a unique, bold flavor reminiscent of the fabled salad that New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel served.
- If you’re feeling a warmer starter, this Roasted Cauliflower Detox Soup helps you meet your veggie quota, spoonful after delicious spoonful.
- Can a side dish outshine the main course? If it’s this Paleo Steamed Broccoli with Garlic Oil Drizzle, it sure can! The healthy fats in the olive oil will help you better absorb the nutrients in this cruciferous vegetable.
- For many people, holiday meals aren’t complete without stuffing. But the gluten and empty carbs in traditional varieties can derail your healthy meal. No need to deprive yourself with this Gluten-Free Bone Broth Stuffing, which uses gluten-free bread along with bone broth or veggie stock. Portobello mushrooms add a chewy, delicious texture. Be prepared for guests to ask for this recipe!
Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Smartly
What’s a holiday feast without dessert? If you think eating healthy means deprivation, we’ve got quite a few decadent recipes to change your mind.
- We like to keep desserts simple, which is why these 4-Ingredient Paleo Pumpkin Brownies are such a hit. Almond butter and All-In-One Shake Powder upgrade the classic brownie, while pumpkin gives them holiday flare.
- Likewise, these 5-Ingredient Paleo Chocolate Almond Butter Cups take minutes to make… and they’ll go just as quickly.
- If you’re feeling more traditional, this Easy Gluten-Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie combines organic pumpkin puree and unsweetened canned coconut milk, with none of the added sugar and other “no” ingredients in traditional recipes.
- What’s pumpkin pie without whipped cream? We’ve got you covered there, with this Vanilla Pro-Whip Dairy-Free Whipped Cream. We use coconut cream or milk instead of dairy along with Vanilla Paleo-Inspired All-In-One Protein Shake for a just-as-fabulous taste.
Gas, bloating, and running to the bathroom after meals are NOT normal behaviors.. You may not be digesting your food well… which means you aren’t getting the benefits of a nutrient-rich diet. Protein First Enzymes combines digestive enzymes and select botanicals to help promote efficient digestion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates like a pro! *
Order Protein First Enzymes here.
- Challa HJ, Bandlamudi M, Uppaluri KR. Paleolithic Diet. [Updated 2022 Jul 4]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK482457/
The views in this blog by JJ Virgin should never be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please work with a healthcare practitioner concerning any medical problem or concern. The information here is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition. Statements contained here have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.