In my blog post on how to source beef, I briefly mentioned the Primal Blueprint food pyramid. The Primal Blueprint food pyramid outlines which types of foods someone should consider eating when wanting to eat according to the ancestral template. The bulk of any meal is vegetables. In smaller quantities then comes meat, fish, fowl, and eggs. The middle of the pyramid highlights the importance of consuming healthy fats, followed by certain foods you can eat in small amounts. Lastly, herbs, spices, extracts, and supplements top the pyramid of primal-approved foods.
Vegetables should be diverse and of many different colors. You want to “eat the rainbow,” as they say. It is better to buy locally grown fresh produce and organic. To know exactly how to pick vegetables and fruits, please see my blog post on what to buy organic. Also, an awesome book to read on how to select and prepare vegetables and fruits is Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health, by Jo Robinson.
Meat, fish, fowl, and eggs
Protein intake comes in second, as opposed to what many assume regarding the paleo/primal diet. Good-quality meat and fish is essential. It’s all about quality, not quantity. Here again, local (and pasture-raised) is the best pick, then buying organic is the next best choice. You can learn more about how to source beef, fish, and eggs by checking out my previous articles on these topics.
Consuming healthy fats and only healthy fats is non-negotiable. This includes the fats used in cooking which should be solid at room temperature (coconut oil, butter, ghee, animal fats), except for avocado oil. Extra-virgin olive oil would be used more for drizzling over food and for dressings. Healthy fats also include foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, coconut products, etc. My blog post What are ketones? outlines the benefits we get out of consuming healthy fats.
The foods to eat in moderation are most fruits because they can bring up your blood sugar quite a bit (except for certain berries) and “nutritious carbs” like sweet potatoes, squash, quinoa, and wild rice. High-fat dairy (raw, fermented, and unpasteurized) is also okay in small quantities provided it is well-sourced (from pasture-raised and grass-fed/grass-finished animals). That means none of the conventional dairy products we find in supermarkets. Dark chocolate is an okay treat too, but it has to be 75% or above, cacao content-wise.
Herbs, spices, extracts, and supplements
Herbs and spices are a great addition to any dish and they offer a host of benefits. They say it’s like having a small medicine cabinet in your kitchen. Of course, organic and mold-free is highly recommended for these. Certain supplements are usually fine to add too as even the best quality foods we can find nowadays offer fewer nutrients compared to centuries ago (or simply decades ago). To find out which supplements might be beneficial to you, you must consult a licensed professional that can help you figure this out after carefully studying your lab work results.
This sums up the types of primal-approved foods you want to focus on when eating according to the Primal Blueprint template. Keep in mind that even these primal-approved foods may not work well for everyone. It is up to you to experiment and see how your body responds to each food you consume. To be more attuned to your body and how foods make you feel on a daily basis is part of becoming more knowledgeable about your health and overall wellness.
Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 101-122.
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