The Paleo diet craze might seem fairly new, but it’s based on one of the oldest diets out there: the caveman diet. Today, I’m going to share an Easy Spicy One Week Paleo Meal Plan to make eating Paleo simple and spicy!
Brought to the mainstream by Dr. Loren Cordain in 2002 with his book, The Paleo Diet, eating Paleo means eating anything that cavemen would have been able to hunt or gather.
I’ve eaten strictly Paleo as one strategy to keep my diet simple. It also helped me stay consistent with my happy weight. Once you get the hang of it and learn the foods you can and can’t eat, the Paleo diet is so easy to follow. I always use my tasty spices to flavor the food which makes the “diet” part much more enjoyable.
I decided to make a Paleo meal plan in addition to my vegetarian and vegan plans. If you eat meat, it can be beneficial to explore the Paleo approach as well throughout your weight loss journey. How else will you figure out what works best for you and makes you feel as amazing as you are?
Note that if you’re vegan or vegetarian, eating Paleo is tough. The Paleo diet relies heavily on protein from animal products with dairy, legumes and grains (like quinoa) out of the picture. I wouldn’t advise trying this plan if you’re strictly vegan or vegetarian, but instead check out my other plans linked here:
It’s also important to note that salt is not Paleo-friendly! None of the recipes here include salt, which I think is a fun challenge to try for a week. There are other ways to make your food taste amazing without any salt!
The Benefits Of Eating Paleo
While the Paleo diet isn’t for everyone, there are several benefits for meat-eaters to be aware of. Having processed foods, grains, sugar and dairy on the “no” list means you’re likely to eat significantly less processed foods which contributes to weight loss. And of course, you’re going to get more vitamins and nutrients by increasing the amount of fruit, vegetables, oils, nuts, seeds and meat in your diet. You may also feel more satisfied for longer because the Paleo diet is focused on protein and fats, but is lower in carbs.
Here’s a list of foods that are allowed on the Paleo diet, just in case you were interested in exploring it more in depth.
- Chicken, turkey, pork, lean beef, and buffalo (bison)
- Fish and seafood
- Fresh fruit
- Non-starchy vegetables like lettuce, asparagus, green beans, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach
- Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, and pistachios (no peanuts)
- Seeds, like pumpkin and sunflower
- Plant-based oils like olive, walnut, grapeseed, and coconut oil
Here’s a list of foods that are not allowed on the Paleo diet. You won’t find them in this meal plan!
- All grains like wheat, barley, and rice. No cereal, bread, pasta, bagels, crackers, or granola bars!
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. No potato and corn chips, tortillas, and popcorn
- Legumes or beans like peanuts or peanut butter; no soy foods like soy milk, tofu, or edamame and no hummus or beans of any kind
- Dairy products
- High-fat meats like salami, bologna, pepperoni, hot dogs, ground meat, rib roast, and ribs
- Any product with sugar in it
- Processed foods or trans fats like doughnuts, french fries, fruit snacks, or macaroni and cheese
- Salty foods like crackers, chips, pretzels, soy sauce, added-salt foods, or sports drinks
After reading the restrictions list, you can probably see why most lose weight on this diet! Just note that there are no portion requirements on the Paleo diet, which can still lead to weight gain if you overeat. This diet can also be tough for athletes because it’s so low in carbohydrates, which are necessary for extra energy during exercise.
Whether you’re new to Paleo or were simply waiting for a MasalaBody.com meal plan that includes meat, this meal plan will make your weekly meal prep a breeze.
When starting any new diet or approach to eating, meal prepping your meals ahead of time is so important. It helps you take your mind off your new diet because the meals are right there in your fridge, waiting to be eaten. You don’t have to decide in the moment between whipping up a healthy meal or getting takeout! Plus, because diets require so much cooking in general, prepping meals in advance saves you time during the week when you’re super busy running errands, shuttling the kids around and taking care of random stuff at home.
If you’ve never meal prepped before, check out my vegetarian meal plan post which breaks down meal prep basics and essentials. I also have a vegan meal plan where you’ll learn more about the benefits of meal prep and have access to even more yummy, spicy recipes.
Easy Spicy Paleo One-Week Meal Plan
Optional Breakfast: Egg Veggie Cups
Quick lunch idea: Red & Green Salad
Monday Dinner: Hawaiian BBQ Chicken
Tuesday Dinner: Golden Cauliflower Rice Beef Stir Fry
Wednesday Dinner: Leftovers Over Zoodles
Thursday Dinner: Spiced One-Pot Turkey Chili
Friday Dinner: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wraps (repurposing the chili)
This is what your week could look like using the recipes and planning/packing advice in this post. Some of the recipes are for an extra meal, which you could eat on the weekend or have dinner for two and then take the other serving to lunch for yourself.
Recipes were adapted and photos provided with permission from Workweek Lunch.
Here is the link for the 5-min Detox Salad With No-Mix Dressing
Grocery List For The Week:
- Coconut oil OR olive oil
- Regular cooking spray
- Spinach or kale
- Cherry tomatoes
- Baby bella mushrooms
- 11 oz. (311 g) can tomato puree*
- 6 oz (170 g) tomato paste*
- Apple cider vinegar*
- Raw honey*
- Coconut aminos (only if strictly following Paleo, if not then Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or soy sauce will work)
- 1 bunch of garlic
- 1 pound (450 g) of chicken breast
- 1 ½ cups (6.5 oz. or 192 grams) of pineapple (fresh pre-chopped is preferable, frozen is good too)
- 24 oz. / 680 g) green beans
- 2 inches (5cm) of ginger
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 pound (450 g) of skirt steak OR flank steak OR top sirloin
- 1 Yellow onion
- Carrot sticks
- 1 package of zoodles – found at Whole Foods (or buy 1 zucchini to spiralize and make zoodles at home)
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 1 14oz. (396 g) can diced tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 bunch of celery ribs
- 1 red onion
- Chicken OR veggie broth
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 head of butter lettuce
- 2 avocados
- 1 package of walnuts (or a nut of your choice except for peanuts)
*= for the Paleo BBQ sauce recipe. If not following a strict Paleo diet and/or you want a simpler option, I recommend this low-sugar BBQ sauce instead.
In your skinny spice collection:
- Black Pepper
- Turmeric powder
- Red chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Crushed red pepper
Optional breakfast: Egg Veggie Cups (make on Sunday night and Wednesday night)
This breakfast is one of the easiest to prep and change up for variety. Packed with protein and veggies, it’s guaranteed to fill you up and give you energy to get you through the morning without feeling hungry or tired. This is such an easy breakfast to grab while you’re running out the door and eat on your commute or at your desk at work.
This meal comes together in about 20 minutes and most of that is baking time! If you’re using a muffin tin, make sure to generously grease the pan OR use liners because the egg can get a little sticky making the tins a pain to clean. That’s why I prefer a regular, square glass baking dish for baked eggs.
Check out the cravings-curbing PB&J Smoothie in my Easy Spicy Vegetarian Meal Plan. Use almond, sunflower seed butter or coconut oil to keep it Paleo!
Optional quick lunch: Red & Green Salad
If you want another salad option, try the “5-minute Detox Salad With No-Mix Dressing” in my Easy Spicy Vegan Meal Plan here!
Monday night: Hawaiian BBQ Chicken (Prep on Sunday or Monday)
OK, maybe the cavemen didn’t have barbecue sauce, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get creative with the ingredients available on the Paleo diet. Paleo Hawaiian BBQ chicken is one of those meals that makes you forget you’re actually eating something that’s healthy because it tastes that good! The sweet pineapple mixed with the tangy barbecue taste of the chicken will make you want to add this meal to your regular rotation. Your family will love it too.
For the Paleo bbq sauce:
Use regular, low-sugar BBQ sauce if not strictly following Paleo or if you want a simpler option. I like Stubb’s Original or Spicy BBQ Sauce)
Tuesday night: Golden Cauli Rice & Beef Stir Fry
Since there are no rice or grains on the Paleo diet, cauliflower rice makes an excellent veggie substitute. Cauliflower rice can be made in the food processor or the blender. You can also buy it pre-”riced” at certain stores. After processing it, all you need to do is saute the riced cauliflower for a few minutes and it’s done! And what better meal to serve with cauli rice than a satisfying beef and veggie stir fry?
Wednesday night: Leftovers On Zoodles
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: less than 10 minutes
Zoodles AKA zucchini noodles are basically thin strips of zucchini made with a spiralizer tool to look like pasta. They’re a very popular replacement for pasta, especially if you want to eat more veggies AND comfort food at the same time.
You can usually find zoodles in the produce section of stores, near pre-chopped and sliced vegetables. Whole Foods always has them available. If you can’t find them or want to make them yourself, all you need is a spiralizer, which you can order on Amazon. Here’s one that’s easy to use (and you can make noodles out of other veggies with it too).
Zoodles take exactly 3 minutes to saute and can be paired with pretty much anything. Whether you have leftover stir fry, Hawaiian chicken or want to quickly make a zoodle salad with leftover veggies, you’ll be satisfied. Here are a few easy ways to add Paleo-friendly flavor to zoodles:
- Squeeze lemon over them
- Make a Paleo-friendly pesto
- Saute with garlic
- Add paprika and chili powder for spice
Thursday night: Spiced One-Pot Paleo Turkey Chili
When we think “chili” we usually think beans. But since the Paleo diet doesn’t include beans, you won’t find any in this chili! Instead, you’ll find a heaping amount of vegetables and ground turkey. Most of the time spent cooking this meal is completely hands-off, which is nice on a Thursday night after a busy week. This recipe would work well in a crockpot with adjusted cooking times!
Freeze it for later!
If you have extra chili, this makes an excellent freezer meal. Before placing leftover chili in the freezer, allow it to cool to room temperature. Then seal it in an airtight container (glass or BPA-free plastic works) and label it with the date. This will keep well for up to three months in the freezer. When ready to use, pull it out the day before you want to eat it and let it thaw in the fridge. Then, reheat it in a pot or skillet on the stove with a little bit of oil on medium heat for best results.
Friday: Spicy Turkey Lettuce Wrap
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: Less than 10 mins
On Fridays, we like to take it easy, right? Well, it doesn’t get much easier than repurposing the yummy chili you made the previous night into some fresh, crisp lettuce wraps.
All you need is rinsed butter lettuce leaves for the “taco” shell part of this meal.
This works best if you reheat the chili in the microwave or on the stove until it’s not piping hot, just warm enough. Then spoon the turkey chili into your lettuce leaves. I also suggest adding sliced avocado on top of the wraps for an extra dose of healthy fat.
Another option: chopping up the butter lettuce and making a taco salad with the turkey chili instead. Do whatever you’re in the mood for!
Think of Paleo as a tasty challenge
If you eat meat regularly, then using this Paleo plan is the perfect opportunity to discover more ways for making your diet even healthier by cutting out processed food, sugars and more.
When using this plan, I want you to pay attention to how your body feels. Check in with yourself in the morning, middle of the day and before bed. Do you feel leaner than usual? More energetic than usual? What about your cravings?
This is important because cutting out certain foods from our diets for a short amount of time can tell us a lot about what our body needs more or less of. You’ll probably find that you feel amazing and strong after not eating processed foods, dairy and sugar for a week.
If you make any food on the plan, I’d love to see it! Tag @masalabody on Instagram or use the hashtag #masalabody.
Don’t forget to try my Easy Spicy Vegetarian and Vegan meal plans!