You’ve probably heard the saying that 21 days makes a habit—because it’s true. After you spend 21 days working your way through this meal plan, you’ll have an excellent grasp of what foods are (and are not) Paleo. You’ll discover a healthy diet that’s rich in flavor and satisfies every food craving.
The Paleo diet approaches nutrition in a revolutionary way, pairing the best of ancient principles with modern research and convenience. You don’t have to forage like a caveman to reap the benefits of Paleo, like reduced inflammation, improved energy levels, better sleep quality, and clearer skin! Weight loss is also a common side effect of Paleo—but just one of the many life-changing improvements you might find when you adopt this new way of eating.
With this done-for-you meal plan and shopping list, your first 21 days are covered! No need to scour the internet or cookbooks for recipes. We’ve found the tastiest dishes to whet your appetite, and created a meal plan to save you time and money. With creative use of leftovers, this meal plan is doable for even the busiest person or anyone who has never cooked before.
A Paleo diet has many amazing health benefits: from anti-inflammatory wellness to digestive health to reducing or eliminating chronic conditions. The Paleo recipes selected here are a good introduction to the diet, and we’ve even thrown in a few desserts to show that Paleo eaters can satisfy a sweet tooth without sacrificing nutrients or food quality.
While most people will lose weight when they switch to a Paleo diet, it’s important to remember that food, while critical, is not the only thing that matters. Exercise, healthy sleep habits, staying hydrated, and finding ways to bring calm and joy into your daily routine are just as essential for a happy life.
When you pair a Paleo diet with these things, not only will food cravings go away and digestive symptoms calm down (say goodbye to bloating, gas, and reflux!), but you’re going to have energy that will make you feel 10 years younger.
“Who you are tomorrow begins with what you do today.” Tim Fargo
- Breakfast: Maple Pecan Granola with Bacon Sprinkles (1 serving): While oat-based granola lacks protein, this sweet and savory pecan granola is rich in protein.
- Lunch: One Pan Lemon and Herb Chicken (2 servings): Lemons are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the natural detox function of the liver, and when paired with chicken and herbs, provide an immune-boosting combo that is anti-inflammatory and digestion balancing.
- Dinner: Chipotle Chicken Soup (4 servings): Chicken is an excellent Paleo protein that’s rich in amino acids, which have a wide range of benefits including heart health, blood sugar balance, and a protein that decreases risk of colorectal cancer. When thrown in a soup, it’s a budget-friendly way to get protein and other nutrients that won’t break the bank.
- Breakfast: Grain-Free Broccoli Toast (6 slices) with Avocado: Enjoy this grain-free toast topped with avocado and maybe a pinch of sea salt for a fiber-rich breakfast that will keep you full till lunch.
- Lunch: Leftover Chipotle Chicken Soup
- Dinner: Apple Cider Pork Roast (serves 6) with Honey Maple Glazed Carrots (serves 6): Apples and carrots are the nutrient stars of this meal, with benefits ranging from improved eyesight to blood sugar balance to even anti-aging nutrients, but they’re nothing without the sweet and savory pork that provides a hefty dose of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
- Breakfast: Keto Breakfast Burger with Avocado Buns (1 serving): Starting your day off with a high-fat, high-protein meal can set the tone for a day of boosted metabolism, satiety, and energy levels.
- Lunch: Leftover Apple Cider Pork Roast with Honey Maple Glazed Carrots
- Dinner: Creamy Chicken Alfredo (3 servings): Cauliflower is the “Paleo potato” because its flavor profile is versatile, allowing it to be a low-carb, fiber-rich component of just about any Paleo dish; here it provides the perfect base for a creamy comfort food that is completely dairy-free.
- Breakfast: Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus Dipped in Soft Boiled Eggs (serves 2): One cup of asparagus provides a whopping 70 percent of your daily vitamin K needs, which is essential for bone health, heart health, and brain health, not to mention proper blood clotting, and when paired with the salty prosciutto and soft boiled egg, it will become a go-to breakfast you’ll be prepping for years to come.
- Lunch: BLT Avocado Stack (1 stack): These avocado stacks are convenient (and double as amazing appetizers), proving that not every Paleo meal needs to be complex or loaded down with tons of ingredients. Plus, they’re seriously good.
- Dinner: Ahi Tuna Salad (serves 4): Four ounces of tuna contain more than double the recommended daily amount of selenium, a trace mineral that is required for thyroid balance, healthy metabolism, and reduced inflammation.
- Breakfast: Zucchini Fritters (serves 2): Zucchini squash are rich in magnesium, a mineral that an astounding number of folks are deficient in, and which plays an important role in sleep quality, reduced muscle aches and pains, and balanced hormones.
- Lunch: Paleo Spicy Orange Chicken (serves 2) with Steamed Broccoli: This orange chicken is bursting with flavor, and pairs well with any steamed veggie, but broccoli is an easy favorite.
- Dinner: Crockpot Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup (serves 4): You’ve heard chicken soup is good for, well, everything, but when it also contains turmeric it’s an inflammation buster that supports proper digestion and cardiovascular health, too.
- Breakfast: Zucchini Pancakes with Bacon and Chives (serves 8): This savory twist on the classic pancake breakfast is low carb and significantly better for blood sugar balance.
- Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Soup
- Dinner: Rosemary Citrus Chicken (serves 3): This herbaceous chicken dish features rosemary, an herb that can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation, along with fresh lemon and orange that give a boost to digestive wellness and a nice influx of vitamin C.
- Breakfast: Leftover Zucchini Pancakes with Bacon and Chives
- Lunch: Chorizo Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts (serves 2): Brussels sprouts are in the cruciferous family of vegetables, which have been proven to have cancer fighting properties by significant amounts of research. These “mini cabbages” are also rich in fiber and have more than twice the daily amount of vitamin K (making them bone and blood builders, too), and combined with the spicy flair of chorizo, even the pickiest veggie eaters will be asking for seconds.
- Dinner: Guac-Stuffed Kali Burgers (serves 4): Avocados can help promote feelings of fullness longer after meals and can also help to support metabolism; plus, they are a match made in heaven for the classic burger.
- Dessert: Brownies (serves 10): Desserts don’t have to be forbidden on a Paleo plan, but should still be eaten in moderation. These brownies use sweet potatoes as the secret ingredient behind the satisfying, chewy texture of this classic dessert.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” Jim Rohn
- Breakfast: Coconut Flour Blueberry Lemon Bread (10 slices): Missing bread on a Paleo diet? This blueberry bread is infused with the wake-me-up zest of lemon; add a dollop of grass-fed butter or ghee and sip alongside your morning coffee for a vacation on a plate.
- Lunch: Leftover Guac-Stuffed Kali Burgers
- Dinner: Cozy Taco Soup (serves 2): Bell peppers contain more than 150 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, and this taco soup also provides some classic comfort food, too, which can often be missed when making dietary changes.
- Breakfast: Leftover Coconut Flour Blueberry Lemon Bread
- Lunch: Turkey Cobb Salad (serves 6): Making your own dressing for this salad has never been simpler. Plus, the apple cider vinegar helps boost digestive function and reduces heartburn and reflux.
- Dinner: Cauliflower Shrimp Fried Rice (serves 2): Missing takeout on a Paleo diet? This dish preps fast, cooks fast, and will satisfy that deliciously delivered-to-your-door feeling that is perfect for the end of a long day.
- Breakfast: Kale and Mushroom Sausage Patties (serves 5): While most people think of kale as a weight loss food, it’s also rich in beta-carotene, which nourishes hair, skin, and nails—part of why so many who eat Paleo report that their hair gets stronger and their skin looks brighter! Even picky eaters will find that the kale is subtle here, and these sausage patties can be customized with favorite spice profiles to kick them up a notch.
- Lunch: Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
- Dinner: Cauliflower and Beef Ragout (serves 2): Red meat is healthy! It’s an excellent source of B12, a nutrient needed for neurological and mental health as well as for healthy immunity and weight loss, and this dish is just one example of how Paleo can be simple and gourmet at the same time.
- Breakfast: Leftover Kale and Mushroom Sausage Patties
- Lunch: Leftover Turkey Cobb Salad
- Dinner: Avocado Bacon Burger (serves 4) with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls (serves 12): While most people don’t associate beef and bacon with a healthy meal, this Paleo avocado burger does just that—low in carbohydrates, high in healthy fats, and ultra-satisfying for the taste buds—and it’s paired with just enough starch from sweet potatoes to give you a boost of energy.
- Breakfast: Mango Bacon Butternut Squash Hash (serves 1): One cup of butternut squash contains more than 400 percent daily value of vitamin A, and it’s also a starch that is well-tolerated by most carb-sensitive people, making it a perfect way to get a few carbs into the first meal of the day.
- Lunch: Leftover Avocado Bacon Burgers with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls
- Dinner: Crockpot Cabbage Soup (serves 4): Cabbage is a low-carb vegetable that contains specific nutrients that benefit liver detox, digestive health, and hormone balance; this soup is a great way to consume cabbage for anyone who struggles to digest it when raw!
- Breakfast: Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Egg (serves 2): Prosciutto is another form of cured pork, and when paired with avocado and egg, it provides a salty balance to a dish that is rich in protein, folate, and vitamin B12.
- Lunch: Leftover Crockpot Cabbage Soup with Loaded Mashed Sweet Potato Balls
- Dinner: Creamy Chicken Marsala (serves 4): Missing creamy foods on a dairy-free diet? This dish proves you can enjoy a delicious, coconut-milk based sauce without sacrificing taste or digestion! Coconut milk is rich in healthy fats that can actually reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, and promote weight loss.
- Breakfast: Matcha Smoothie Bowl (serves 2): Want to join the smoothie bowl craze? This one incorporates matcha, an antioxidant-rich green tea powder that is a great source of chlorophyll, a detoxifying nutrient that also purifies the blood.
- Lunch: Leftover Creamy Chicken Marsala
- Dinner: Taco Casserole (serves 4): You won’t have to skip taco Tuesday with this grain-free, dairy-free casserole that combines favorite taco elements with 100 percent Paleo goodness.
- Dessert: Dark Chocolate Mousse (serves 4): Need a chocolate fix? This mousse is chock-full of healthy Paleo fats and antioxidants, and only uses a small amount of raw honey for the sweetener—making it a dessert you absolutely don’t have to feel guilty about.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Robert Collier
- Breakfast: Morning Glory Muffins (yields 9): These muffins are that perfect on-the-go breakfast that can also double as a snack or a clever way to get more fruits and veggies in when you’re super busy or a little picky.
- Lunch: Leftover Taco Casserole
- Dinner: Baked Salmon (serves 2) with Beet Noodle Arugula Salad (serves 1): Enjoy the bright pop of color from this baked salmon and beet dish—a one-two punch for brain health, since salmon reduces inflammation and beets can actually increase blood flow to our hard-working brains.
“People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them could ever imagine.” Brian Tracy
- Breakfast: Bacon and Egg Sweet Potato Pancake Breakfast Sandwich (serves 1): Sweet potatoes are not only beneficial for eye health, but they’re also rich in fiber and contain beneficial nutrients for fertility, hormone balance, and weight loss, and they are the perfect partner for everyone’s favorite salty breakfast meat.
- Lunch: Teriyaki Meatball Bowl (serves 2): It doesn’t get more convenient than a one-dish meal, and these teriyaki meatballs harness the power of fresh garlic (which is so potent that it can be used to prevent numerous forms of cancer), and it even functions as a natural type of antibiotic.
- Dinner: Beef Tomato Soup (serves 6): Come home to dinner already prepared by slow-cooking this simple, savory dish that is rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that is anti-cancer and weight-loss friendly.
- Breakfast: Coconut Oatmeal (serves 1): If you need a quick, out-the-door breakfast, this easily replaces oatmeal and is richer in protein and healthy fats. Bonus: you can customize it with your favorite flavors!
- Lunch: Leftover Beef Tomato Soup
- Dinner: Tandoori Chicken (serves 4): Paprika, the primary spice in this zesty chicken dish, is rich in iron and promotes healthy blood and hemoglobin levels, and besides—who doesn’t love a marinated chicken?
- Breakfast: Eggs in Hash Brown Nests (serves 4): Bring the classic flavors of a hometown diner to your kitchen, and do it in a single dish! Eggs and hash browns are the perfect breakfast because you get fats, carbs, and proteins for a true balanced meal.
- Lunch: Leftover Tandoori Chicken
- Dinner: Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats (serves 4): While some may struggle to make Paleo a kid-friendly food plan, there are tons of options that appeal for family meals, including these fun and simple zucchini boats.
- Breakfast: Sausage Quiche (serves 6): Eggs slow the breakdown of body tissues and promote healthy muscle development, and the convenience of a one-dish breakfast is hard to beat!
- Lunch: Leftover Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats
- Dinner: Garlic Chicken Drumsticks (serves 8) with Creamed Collard Greens (serves 3): Collard greens are an excellent Paleo source of calcium, and they are a perfect pairing with classic chicken drumsticks that are far from boring with a rich, garlicky flavor.
- Breakfast: Leftover Sausage Quiche
- Lunch: Leftover Garlic Chicken Drumsticks with Mushroom Risotto (serves 4): Prepping a new side dish makes a leftover protein feel brand new again, and this mushroom risotto with cauliflower rice is so chic it could have stepped right out of a cooking show onto your table.
- Dinner: Steak Wraps (serves 2): Balsamic vinegar is balancing for cholesterol and blood sugar, and it adds a perfect zest to this simple steak dish.
- Dessert: Raspberry Cookies (10 cookies): Chocolate raspberry cookies that aren’t excessively high in sugar? We’ve got you covered.
- Breakfast: Leftover Sausage Quiche
- Lunch: Leftover Garlic Chicken Drumsticks with Mushroom Risotto
- Dinner: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Almonds (serves 4): Almonds are a great source of fiber and protein. They have even been shown to reduce cholesterol and to have cancer-fighting properties, and they add the perfect amount of crunch to this veggie bacon dish.
“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Tips to Keep Making Progress
Three weeks of Paleo eating may feel like a long time, but in reality, it is just enough time to get you started on a Paleo habit. The health benefits that you’ll see if you continue on a Paleo path are boundless, but the journey can feel long without the right resources and support.
- Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest lifestyle, wellness, fitness, and food inspiration to keep you motivated and inspired.
- Join a meal plan subscription (we recommend PaleoPlan, it makes being healthy easy!)
- Sign up for CrossFit, a fitness program, or work with a personal trainer to keep you active.
- Take a yoga class to help you relax and reflect on your progress.
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