Monday, March 26, 2012

Let's have Salad for Lunch

How are you doing with your new Paleo habits? Are you steadily eating away at that elephant? Remember you need to keep reminding yourself until it becomes automatic.

Here's you're next habit. When you feel comfortable, then it's time to work on the next step. But not before. Don't rush this. Remember Kaizen is about changing your life one tiny step at a time.

Check the list below. If you are still working on the first habit then keep doing that until you no longer need to think about it.  Only then are you ready to move on.  Nobody is rushing you and nobody is keeping track.  This is YOUR plan and you decide when you're ready.

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step"

. .... then another, and another.... Take your time, do it right, and you'll build a solid base for a lifetime of easy and healthy Paleo eating.


( 1 )  I have bags in my freezer with bones and leftovers for stock, and I plan to make it regularly on my basics day.


 Habit # 2 - Have a big salad every day for lunch

Vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are some of the best things you can eat. For more info read

The health benefits are tremendous, and once you get into the habit of having salad every day for lunch, it's one less meal you have to think about. (When it's really cold outside, I usually supplement with a cup of home made soup as well, but we'll talk about that another day.)

Back to the salad. Mark Sisson believes in having what he calls "a big-ass salad" every day for lunch and he's made a video about it.

He does show you how to make a great chicken salad, but I think a more thorough list is in order. Most of us tend to stick to one or two ways of doing things and then our imagination deserts us - especially when we are hungry or in a hurry.

When you're getting a little sick of having the same salad day after day, check the list and choose something else. If you remember to check this list before you shop each week, and maybe cook up a few boiled eggs and roast a couple of extra chicken breasts on the weekend (or whenever you have some home time), you'll be able to ensure there are lots of great options ready and waiting for you when you're ready to make your lunch.

Definitely follow Mark's recommendation and cook some extra when you're making dinner, for tomorrow's lunch. Just about anything you cook will go with salad, even saucy things. Just remember if you are taking this all with you to the office to pack your basic greens and vegetables in one container and your leftovers in another to avoid an unappetizing soggy mess.

There are also ready-made salads that you can add - ready made by you of course - such as egg salad and curried chicken salad to name just a couple. ( ready made salad recipes)  Like Mark says, "fat is your friend", so this will fit right in with Paleo eating.

 Now here is a list of salad ingredients that you can pick up ready to eat.

The base

 Choose from :

- mixed baby greens
- arugula
- baby spinach
- radicchio
- endive
- Boston lettuce
- Romaine lettuce

I usually keep three different options and find that is just right to last me a week. You will probably need to experiment a bit before you find just the right amount that you can eat before it starts going bad.

And by the way, if you take a few minutes to repack your greens when you first buy them they will last a lot longer. I transfer all of mine into a large bowl, then wipe the moisture of the sides of the container. I line it with a long piece of paper towel, then put the greens back in layers, dividing the layers with more paper towel cut in half.

I usually end up with three layers, then overlap the remaining paper towel and close the container firmly before refrigerating. All this takes maybe three minutes, but using this method I've had my greens last sometimes for up to two weeks.

Other veggies to add

Choose from :

- sliced radishes
- cherry tomatoes
- sliced red onion
- sliced cooked beets (If you buy these in a jar it saves the mess of cooking yourself)
- brocco slaw mix
- cabbage and carrot slaw mix
- broccoli and cauliflower pieces
- sliced mushrooms
- sliced zucchini
- sliced avocado

 Keep these in separate small containers in your fridge, and only cut as much as you think you will eat in a couple of days or they will get mushy. I find preparing these twice a week is about right for me.

The protein

Choose from :
- hard boiled eggs
- ham
- salami
- cold roast chicken
- cold roast beef
- cooked crumbled bacon
- cold cooked fish
- smoked salmon
- cold cooked tuna
- cooked crab, shrimp or lobster
- grated or chunked cheese
- almonds, walnuts or other favourites
- sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds

Again, have only what you can eat within a few days. It's safer to keep meat and fish frozen and just thaw what you need as you run out. (cheese,hard boiled eggs, and nuts and seeds can be kept a week or longer if properly contained.)


Make up two at the most because they don't keep for more than a week.

The simplest is an olive oil vinaigrette made with either lemon, orange, or lime juice or some kind of vinegar. You can also add garlic and your favourite herbs. Just put it all into a container and shake. Refrigerate and shake again before using.

You can also make a creamy dressing by adding a bit of whipping or sour cream or home made mayonnaise (mayonnaise recipe). I usually make one of each.

For more salad dressing recipes salad dressing recipes

UPDATE : Since I wrote this post Mark Sisson has now come out with a mayonnaise that is amazingly good.

So if you don't have time to make your own or just don't want to be bothered, try this.  It's a great alternative and you can feel safe knowing it's only made from good ingredients.

With a nice variety like this in your fridge eating a "big-ass salad" every day for lunch will be a habit you won't have any difficulty acquiring.

 And soon even Mark himself will be saying ....

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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  1. I'm just so confused by the use of sour cream, cheese and yogurt. How many servings of these dairy products are OK? I was thinking how hard it would be to not have these things anymore, and reading your blog, you've integrated them in but still call it Paleo. I'm not judging at all and I like the way you've done it, I just would like to hear more on how you've made it work.

    1. As you know, I follow Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint recommendations, and according to Mark, dairy is a "grey area". He doesn't think there is a definitive answer yet as to whether or not it should be allowed. His advice is to test your own body to find out whether or not it works for you. (Read his post at for the scientific basis behind his reasoning and his recommendations. )

      Personally, I find I'm fine with dairy as long as I don't overdo it, which is why I add it - in moderation - to my diet. However, because I know not everyone is the same, I also try to give many non dairy recipes here as well for those who don't want to eat it.


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