The Paleo Diet

Understanding the Paleo Diet

Eating a healthy diet can be difficult in modern-day America. Processed products and other foods did not exist when early humans roamed the Earth, and the paleo diet is based on the idea that changes to our diets over time have outpaced the human body’s ability to adapt, contributing to a whole host of health struggles, including heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and more.

What is a Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet focuses on whole, nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods similar to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors might have eaten, including fruits, vegetables, organic poultry, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds. 

It eliminates foods that became more common when small-scale farming began about 10,000 years ago. These foods include grains, legumes, refined sugar, dairy products, and processed foods.

The paleo diet is one of many special dietary needs our personal chef team works with at The Pickled Beet. 

What’s the Autoimmune Paleo Diet?

The paleo diet goes by many other names, including the Paleolithic diet, the Stone Age diet, the hunter-gatherer diet, and the caveman diet.

It’s also often confused with a similar diet – the autoimmune protocol diet (AIP diet), which can also be called the autoimmune paleo or the paleo autoimmune diet. 

Are you confused yet? We can clear things up.

The paleo diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods similar to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors might have eaten. 

The paleo autoimmune diet (also called the AIP diet) follows the core principles of the paleo diet, but it is stricter than paleo by eliminating additional foods, such as eggs, nuts, and seeds. Ultimately, it focuses on discovering foods that may be triggering an individual’s body inflammation.

    The key differences between the two diets are:

    • Goals – The paleo diet targets overall health and well-being, while the AIP diet plan specifically aims to help manage inflammation common for those with autoimmune conditions.
    • Elimination – The AIP diet is more restrictive than paleo, eliminating additional food groups that might be problematic for those who suffer from autoimmune issues.
    • Structure – The paleo diet lists foods you can and cannot eat. It does not include a structured elimination phase followed by a reintroduction phase. In contrast, the AIP diet follows a defined elimination period followed by a reintroduction phase to identify a person’s unique food sensitivities.

    Paleo Diet Food List

    The basic concept of the paleo diet is to eat whole foods available during the Paleolithic age and avoid modern-day farmed and processed foods.

    Whole, unprocessed, fresh, quality foods are key. Organic, toxin-free foods are ideal. Today’s chemicals, preservatives, artificial hormones, GMOs, and other toxic compounds were NOT on the menu for our hunter-gatherer ancestors!

    Foods To Eat

    Foods you CAN eat on a paleo diet are those that were readily available to our ancestors through hunting and gathering and include:

    • Lean, grass-fed, pastured meats
    • Pastured, organic poultry
    • Wild-caught fish and seafood
    • Vegetables
    • Fruits
    • Nuts
    • Seeds 
    • Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and nut butters without added sugar, salt, or other oils.

    What Foods To Avoid

    Foods you cannot eat when following a strict paleo diet include:

    • Grains (including gluten-free options)
    • Legumes (beans, lentils, etc.)
    • Corn
    • Dairy products 
    • Gluten (paleo requires a gluten-free diet)
    • Refined sugars
    • Processed foods
    • Potatoes and other “tubers”
    • Processed oils
    • Alcohol
    • Coffee

    The Modified Paleo Diet

    While some paleo followers adhere to a strict approach, others find it challenging to maintain long-term. This leads them to adopt a more flexible, modified paleo plan

    Many versions of the paleo diet embrace additional foods, such as:

    • Grass-fed butter
    • Gluten-free grains, such as quinoa or rice
    • Occasional sweet potatoes
    • Lower-processed alcohol in moderation (such as 100% agave tequila or quality red wine)
    • Dark chocolate 
    • Coffee (black)

    Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to include modified foods is up to you.

    All the benefits of a private chef without the hassle of lending out your kitchen space”

    “Highly recommend The Pickled Beet personal chef meals. Incredibly well-rounded service, ranging from the quality of the ingredients, the creativity of the meal ideas, the execution of the dishes, and the highly attentive and kind customer service. Perfect for people seeking clean (regarding both hygiene and health) meals that feel homemade and support your goals. It has all the benefits of a private chef without the hassle of lending out your kitchen space. Glad I found The Pickled Beet and that it’s local. Love it!”

    – Michel W

    Paleo Meal Ideas

    Listed below are a few favorite paleo meal ideas The Pickled Beet chefs have made for our paleo clients in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale areas:


    • House-made Chorizo Egg Bake – we make our own chorizo for this filling breakfast casserole which features sausage, eggs, and bell peppers
    • Green Juice – a delicious and nutrient-dense blend of organic kale, celery, cucumber, lemon and fresh ginger root
    • Crustless Veggie Quiche – a mixture of organic, pastured eggs and seasonal veggies 
    • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait – organic berries, paleo nondairy yogurt, and toasted nuts


    • Baked Chickn Fajita Roll Ups – organic chicken breast pounded thin, seasoned and stuffed with onions and bell peppers
    • Tangy Mexican Slaw – we combine shredded cabbage with a spicy mayo-free dressing
    • Spicy Steak Salad – grass-fed skirt steak atop lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, fresh herbs, and a creamy dairy-free dressing
    • Grilled Summer Veggies – a mixture of zucchini, summer squash, and vine-ripened tomatoes marinated and grilled


    • Mediterranean Snack Board – a colorful, antioxidant-rich board with cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, black olives and toasted walnuts
    • Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips – crispy, oven-baked organic kale


    • Tuscan Pork Tenderloin – Berkshire pork wrapped with prosciutto, garlic, and herbs and roasted
    • Butternut Squash Puree – creamy squash roasted and pureed, tossed with crispy apples
    • Almond Crusted Grouper with Sauce Vierge – fresh, wild-caught grouper filet coated with almonds, pan roasted and served with a bright sauce
    • Stuffed Tomatoes – fresh, organic tomatoes fiilled with riced cauliflower, olives, fresh herbs, and dairy-free cheese then baked until soft


    • Paleo Apple Crisp – organic apples roasted with cinnamon, raisins, and nutmeg
    • Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies – these moist, creamy cookies are addictive



    I can’t tell you enough how happy we are with your gourmet paleo meals.

    “I can’t tell you enough how happy we are with your gourmet paleo meals. I am currently enjoying another wonderful lunch and had an outstanding dinner last night (steak and blistered tomato). So I thought I would tell you bravo!”

    – Andrea M 

    Benefits of A Paleo Diet

    A well-rounded paleo diet can provide health benefits that include:

    • Weight loss: The paleo diet can lead to weight loss, thanks to its emphasis on whole foods, lean protein, and a reduced intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
    • Improved blood sugar control: The paleo diet’s focus on whole foods, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables may help regulate blood sugar levels, potentially benefiting those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
    • Reduced inflammation: Chronic inflammation is linked to many health problems. The paleo diet can reduce inflammation markers in the body, helping a variety of conditions.

      Possible Downsides

      • Sustainability: A strict paleo diet can be challenging to follow long-term due to its restrictions.
      • Nutrient deficiencies: If not followed carefully, a strict paleo diet might lack some specific needed nutrients, such as calcium or fiber. Those with certain health conditions may need to plan meals carefully and consult their doctor or a registered dietitian.
      • Social Challenges: Maintaining a strict paleo diet might be difficult in some social settings. This can require extra planning and preparation.
      • Cost: Grass-fed meats, pastured poultry, wild-caught fish, and organic produce are more expensive than conventionally raised options. Following a strict paleo diet will most likely increase your grocery budget.
      • Individual Needs: A strict paleo diet may not be the ideal eating plan for everyone, especially those with certain health conditions, pregnant or breastfeeding women.

          “They have accommodated my strict diet, without repeating recipes.

          “Chef Liz and The Pickled Beet team have been cooking for us for about 6+ months, and the food has been amazing!  They have accommodated my strict diet, without repeating recipes. She makes dinners so easy now. I’m happy to have found a professional chef and company like The Pickled Beet!

          – Brooke B.

          Tips for Success

          • Plan Ahead. Planning your meals and preparing some snacks in advance can help you when time constraints or hunger tempt you to make non-paleo choices.
          • Stock Your Pantry with Paleo Staples: Having healthy paleo options readily available will make it easier to stick to the diet. Keep your pantry stocked with nuts, seeds, dried fruits (if you allow them on your paleo plan), canned paleo-friendly fish, and healthy fats like olive and avocado oil.
          • Learn New Recipes: Research and find new paleo-friendly recipes (or figure out how to remake existing favorites, if possible) to keep mealtimes interesting and enjoyable.
          • Embrace Variety. Eating the rainbow and trying new dishes will not only make it more enjoyable to eat paleo, but it will also help ensure you’re eating a balanced, healthy, sustainable diet.
          • Consider Easing Into It. If you’re new to eating a paleo diet, this may be a massive change, depending on your existing eating habits. If a health condition doesn’t require a cold turkey approach, consider easing into it and giving yourself time to learn and explore as you adopt this new way of eating. It could be the difference between success and giving up prematurely out of frustration.
          • Don’t Be Afraid to Eat a Modified Paleo Diet. The paleo diet isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Listen to your body and adjust the plan to fit your needs and preferences. There are many variations of paleo, so find what works best for you.
          • Focus on the Positives: Instead of dwelling on the restrictions, focus on the potential health benefits and how good you feel eating whole, unprocessed foods.
          • Consult a Doctor or Registered Dietitian: A doctor or registered dietitian can help you create a balanced paleo plan that meets your individual needs.

          “Each meal is thoughtful, creative, healthy, and most importantly, customized to your specific needs.”

          “Elizabeth and the Pickled Beet are a must for anyone struggling with dietary restrictions! Elizabeth is so kind and knowledgeable and I feel such relief both physically and mentally since using her services. She really takes her time to learn about each client and how to create the best experience for them. Each meal is thoughtful, creative, healthy, and most importantly, customized to your specific needs. I am so grateful to the entire Pickled Beet team and could not recommend them more.”

          – Kristi T.

          How The Pickled Beet Can Help You Adopt a Paleo Diet

          We know it can be challenging to adopt (and stick with) a paleo diet, especially if you’re brand new to it! Shopping, preparing meals, and eating out can become time-consuming and frustrating. Your meals can become repetitive and you can easily start to feel deprived. You may also want to eat a modified paleo diet, unique to your lifestyle, taste preferences, and health goals.

          This is where we come in! 

          Our paleo meal and catering services include:

          • Personalized Chef-Prepared Meal Delivery – creative, custom, scratch-made meals, prepared just for you, according to your specific diet and taste preferences, then delivered fresh directly from our gluten-free Miami kitchen to you; if your household has a mix of dietary needs, no problem – we can prepare different menus and meals for you.
          • Optional Nutrition Consulting Services with our Registered Dietician – an add-on service for our weekly personal chef clients; helpful if you are concerned about proper nutrition on a paleo diet
          • Paleo Catering – whether you’re looking for in-home dinner party catering or drop-off catering for a special occasion, we can easily accommodate paleo and other special dietary needs you and your guests may have.
          • Paleo Meals for Travelers Visiting South Florida – if you’re in the Miami or Fort Lauderdale area for vacation, business, medical treatment, athletic training, or to visit family and need paleo meals while you’re in town, we can prepare and deliver fully customized meals for your needs.

          Our Paleo-Friendly, Gluten-Free Miami Kitchen

          The Pickled Beet owns and operates Miami’s only dedicated gluten-free personal chef kitchen. 

          Our gluten-free commercial kitchen provides peace of mind to our paleo clients and many others with special dietary needs, including clients with celiac disease, autoimmune disorders, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies.

          “A game-changer for our weekly meals.”

          “The entire Pickled Beet team and their service have been a game-changer for our weekly meals. Because the meals are extremely customized to our tastes, general proportions of macros, and dietary preferences, we get to enjoy a wide variety of options while knowing we’re eating correctly for our bodies and lifestyle. Everything is easy so even when it’s an extremely busy week, we can rest a bit easier knowing our meals are under control. We’ve been using their services for more  than two years now.”

          – Marc T.

          How It Works: Fresh Paleo Meal Delivery in Miami and Fort Lauderdale


          Our process starts with you filling out our food questionnaire and scheduling a consultation call.


          Based on your consult, we will design your personalized menu plan and present it to you for review.

          Private Aviation Catering - Miami, FL


          Our chefs will cook for you 2-3 times per week in our kitchen and deliver fresh meals on scheduled days.

          Step 1: We Get to Know You 

          First, we’ll get to know you. Every new weekly personal chef service client fills out a detailed food questionnaire, and then we schedule a 15-minute phone consultation to ask questions, answer your questions, and learn more. 

          The food questionnaire and short phone meeting do not obligate you, and you will not be required to sign a contract. You can pause and resume your weekly meals as needed for vacations, summers spent in your second home, business travel, etc.

          Step 2: We Plan Your Menus and Meals

          If you decide to move forward as a client, then each week, we’ll create a customized menu just for you/your household. You will get to review, provide any feedback, and approve each weekly menu before we shop for or order your groceries.

          Step 3: We Cook and Deliver Your Freshly Prepared Vegan Meals

          We’ll craft your fresh, custom, scratch-made vegan meals, preparing them according to your unique menu plan, taste preferences, and dietary needs. 

          Finally, we hand-deliver your fresh vegan meals straight from our Miami kitchen to you. 


          Frequently Asked Questions

          Can I eat sugar on a paleo diet?

          Refined sugars (like table sugar, sucrose, cane sugar, brown sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup) are excluded on a paleo diet. And no artificial sweeteners are allowed.

          However, most paleo diet variations allow for small amounts of unrefined, paleo-friendly options such as small amounts of fruit and dates as sweeteners.

          Can I eat eggs on a paleo diet?


          In fact, eggs (preferably pastured, organic eggs) are considered a staple food in the paleo diet because eggs from wild birds would have likely been a food source for our Paleolithic ancestors.

          Can I drink coffee on a paleo diet?

          On a strict paleo diet, no. But black coffee (skipping creamers and sugar) is one of the most common modifications by paleo coffee lovers. 

          Can I eat potatoes on a paleo diet?

          A strict paleo diet focuses on whole, unprocessed foods that were likely available to humans during the Paleolithic era. Potatoes and other tubers weren’t a food source readily available to hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era.

          However, some paleo followers include potatoes, especially sweet potatoes, in moderation due to potential health benefits.

          Can I drink alcohol on a paleo diet?

          Since alcohol is a processed product and wasn’t consumed by our Paleolithic ancestors, it wouldn’t be considered strictly paleo.

          However, on a modified paleo diet, lower sugar and lower processed alcohol, such as dry wines and clear spirits, are more paleo-friendly than other options.

          Do you have a sample menu your paleo chefs have prepared for a client?

          Yes, although please keep in mind that we prepare a new, unique, individualized menu each week for each client, so this is just one sample. 

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