Day 1 of My Paleo Diet

Why do it?

  • Direct experience with implementation obstacles
  • Potential health benefits

My first Parker Paleo Diet meal: sautéed mixed veggies and pan-fried chicken breast

I’m not doing this to lose weight, although I wouldn’t mind losing 10 lb (4.5 kg).  I weigh 171 lb (77.7 kg, BMI 23.4).  Regarding health benefits, I’m just going to monitor how I feel.  No blood work.  My blood pressure’s normal already.

My current version of paleo is not designed for someone with diabetes or prediabetes.  That may come in the future (Dr. Frassetto, when can we see your latest research results?).  By “current version,” I mean I’ll quite likely tweak it over the coming months.  One of my major issues is whether to keep or delete potatoes.

Here’s what I’ll eat (or not) on the Parker Paleo Diet:

FORBIDDEN FOODS: Grains (e.g., corn, wheat, rice), Dairy, Legumes (peanuts, beans, peas, green beans), Industrial Vegetable Oils (soybean, corn, safflower, etc.), Alcohol, Refined Sugars.

PROTEINS: Meat, fish/seafood, eggs, poultry, and wild game.  Bacon OK; minimize other processed meats.

NUTS & SEEDS: Especially walnuts, macadamia, cachews, almonds.  Limit to 1-2 oz/day.

FRUITS: Limit 2 pieces/day?


Lower-Carb: Greens (lettuce, spinach, chard, collard, mustard geen, kale), radicchio, endive, bok choy, herbs, celery, radishes, mushrooms, cabbage, jicama, avocado, asparagus, okra, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, summer squash, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, green onions, tomatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, eggplant, artichokes, turnips, rutabagas, spaghetti squash, carrots, onions, leeks, water chestnuts (small serving).  This list generally starts with the lower carb items and gradually increases to higher carb grams.  All these have 5 or fewer carbs per serving; most are  much less.

Starchy, Higher-Carb: Beets (6 g, GI 64), winter squashes (acorn, butternut), water chestnuts, parsnips (9 g, GI 97), potatoes (35 g, GI 87), sweet potatoes, (20 g, GI 61), cassava (37 g), taro (21 g), plantains.  Some categorize carrots as starchy.

HERBS & SPICES: Cilantro, parsley, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.  Salt (minimal), pepper, vinegar.

OILS: Extra virgin olive, canola, flax, avocado.

CONDIMENTS: Olive oil vinaigrettes, mayonnaise from olive oil & egg yolk, and ?

LIQUIDS: H2O, coffee, tea

I’m not counting calories, fat grams, or carb grams.  I’ll eat until full or satisfied, not stuffed.  This is a two-month trial, excluding 24 hours around Thanksgiving.

Steve Parker, M.D.

14 responses to “Day 1 of My Paleo Diet

  1. Philip Thackray


    I assume you are not including butter and triple cream cheeses (St Andre anyone!) because they are not “Paleo” or because you are worried about casein?

    Lots of Omega 6 in those nuts – not a problem?

    Try making your mayo with avocado oil. Avocado oil has the same fat profile as olive oil but it does not dominate the mayo taste like olive oil.

    Will you be monitoring your blood sugar?

    At the least, I think starches, if included, should be eaten a few hours apart from the fats. The body seem not to like high FFA and high Glucose in the blood at the same time. (To me, this puts the myth to Glycemic Index and it’s variations.)Separating carbs and fat, for “non-broken” metabolisms this seems the metabolically best approach as well as seeming to be an ancient way of eating. For the “broken” metabolism, If including starches I’d monitor blood sugar or at least how one feels postprandially.

    I have been VLC for almost 10 years and I love it. I do include high fat dairy and I eat zero nuts and very low starch, otherwise, looks a lot like what you are doing.



    • Hey, Philip.
      Cordain says those nuts are the ones with the best omega-6/omega-3 ratios and/or have more monounsaturated fatty acids than many other nuts.
      I just found a recipe for home-made mayo. I’ll try it with avocado oil. I’ve heard that “light olive oil” can be used without imparting too much olive oil taste. I have to research if that’s to highly processed to be considered paleo.
      I’ve never had blood sugar issues, so I’ll not be monitoring.
      Regarding butter and cream cheese: At this point I don’t consider them pure paleo because their production would normally require domesticated animals in herds closely linked to humans. I can imagine our ancestors drinking the milk in the udder of an ungulate they killed for the meat, but how often would that happen? That milk would probably be seasonal; how long would the season last? The answers are probably obvious to someone familiar with reproduction cycles of extant wild African ungulates, reindeer, elk, moose, etc.


  2. Are you going to do intermittent fasting?

    Well, I think I never will be strictly “paleo” (in the classic use of the term). I love beans, I have kefir with fruit, oats and nuts every day and I like my coffee with milk. I don’t think there is evidence against these foods (quite the contrary).

    I think it’s better to experiment changing one thing at a time, allowing to identify what caused some perceptible change in your mood.

    • Hi, Ezer.
      I’m increasingly interested in intermittent fasting, but have no specific plan yet. I suspect there were many times our ancestors couldn’t avoid intermittent fasting.


  3. I don’t agree with second guessing what you’re doing here. Enough omega-3s from fish and greens will cancel out the omega-6s in the nuts, white meat and oils.
    Any organ meats?

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  5. What do you mean with the numbers on the higher carb vegetables? Is that a daily amount that you allow?

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