I Can’t Afford To Eat Paleo!

afford paleo grass fed steaks
How To Afford Paleo

This is the complaint I hear most from the people I talk to about going paleo. I simply can’t afford paleo! And, they have a point.  If you look at most of the information out there, you get the impression that the only way to go full paleo is to only buy and eat grass-fed beef, pastured pork, free-range chickens, blah, blah, blah.  In a way, it makes you feel inferior if you can’t always afford the elite meats and vegetables for you and your family.  Paleo, in my opinion, is about feeling better, not worse.

Well y’all, allow me to let you in on a little secret.  It is not necessary to purchase and eat only organic, grass-fed, free range, and pastured produce and meats.

In the beginning, when I first started eating paleo, I drove myself crazy, running from store to store, trying to find all of the products recommended through various sites and blogs.  Then, the foods I did find were so expensive, I had to purchase only enough to get me through the week.  It was a vicious cycle!  And, all that running around was stressing me out to boot.

Now, when my pocketbook gets a little tight,  I make a few concessions.

Those fruits and vegetables listed on EWG’s Dirty Dozen, I always buy organic.  But, anything on their clean list is fair game.  It is important to wash all of your produce, organic or not, in a bath of vinegar and water.  Just add a couple of spoonfuls of vinegar in a sink of warm water.  I’m also very careful about not purchasing GMO (genetically modified) foods.  If you’re unaware of the dangers of GMO foods, here’s a great resource.  Should your town or city have a farmer’s market, try to get out there and get to know your local farmers.  It is always better to buy local, if you can.  Where I live, the farmer’s market is closed all winter.  Even during the seasons it’s open, it’s pretty small.  Luckily, we have a couple of grocery stores that sell locally grown produce.  The key is to shop smart! Buy organic or locally grown when you can.  If it’s on EWG’s clean list, feel free to purchase standard.  Just make sure to wash it.

Okay, let’s get into meats and eggs.  I have found it close to impossible to find grass-fed meats, pastured pork, and free-range (not fed any grains, corn, or soy) poultry in my neck of the woods.  The best I can get my hands on are a couple of grass-fed beef items at my local Trader Joe’s.  Other than that, I’m S.O.L., unless I order online.  There is no way I’m placing an order online every time I want pork chops!  So, here’s what I do.  I set a budget every month on how much I’m willing to spend on meat.  Staying within that budget, I order the items I eat the most, bacon, beef liver (cause it’s really cheap), ground beef and a nice beef roast.  If I have a little extra money, I might purchase a couple of ribeye steaks and some pastured pork loin.  For my poultry, I purchase organic chicken legs and thighs, which are cheaper than breast.  Once in awhile, I’ll buy a whole organic chicken.  Usually, I’ll roast the chicken and make broth with the bones and organs.  For chicken breast, I usually buy a bag of frozen from Trader Joe’s.  It’s not organic.  But, I do trust them as a retailer.  I know they try to sell the highest quality products.  As far as eggs is concerned, I buy organic.  I know it’s not optimal that they are fed a vegetarian diet (corn, grains, soy); but, it’s all I can get out here.  So, there!  It’s really not a problem for me right now; because, I can’t eat eggs while I’m on the elimination phase.  But, when and if I can add them back, I will buy the organic ones.

There are plenty of times when I need certain foods, after running out, that I just try to make the best choice possible.  Pork is a big one.  Sometimes, I just want pork chops or a nice steak.  When this happens, I try to make the best decision I can.  I typically go with companies I trust.  I purchase leaner meats. Just an FYI, the fat of an animal usually contains the most absorbed toxins.  The leaner the meat, the less the chance of contamination.

Bottom line, you don’t have to be rich to eat paleo. Everyone can afford to eat paleo.  Most of us have been spending money on take out, fast food, and restaurant meals.  Now, hopefully, you’re making more of your meals at home.  You are going to receive the benefits of eating paleo, even if your diet doesn’t consist of all organic, grass-fed, elite meats and produce.

So, go out, to your regular grocery store, and get some meats, produce, and eggs.  Start eating paleo!  Don’t let anyone scare you away with their tales of grass-fed, la-de-da meats.  Do what you can!  You and your family will reap the healthy rewards.

If you need any help or encouragement, please leave me a comment.  I love helping people fit paleo into their lives.


Online Meat Sources-

US Wellness Meats

TK Ranch


Two of My Favorite AIP Paleo Snacks

coconut bacon wrapped dates- favorite aip paleo snacks
Coconutty Bacon Wrapped Dates- Favorite AIP Paleo Snacks

Snacks are great for when you need a quick pick-me-up! I’m not a big snacker.  But, when I want one, I want one! One of the most difficult aspects of the elimination paleo diet, is finding allowable AIP paleo snacks. I mean, you can’t have chocolate, nuts, or almond flour (which is used in most of the paleo baking I’ve seen).

So, as usual, I had to get creative.  I actually have three recipes for you, two are with dates. The one I usually make depends on my laziness or busyness when I want a snack. The third recipe is for “ice cream”. I probably didn’t need to put that in quotes because it does use cream, coconut cream.  Without further ado, here are my recipes for my favorite AIP Paleo Snacks.

Quick Coconut Stuffed Dates

You can make as many of these as your little heart wants. All you do is grab a date, slice it in the middle, remove the pit, stuff it with coconut oil, and sprinkle the inside with dried, shredded coconut. That’s it! You just eat ’em up! I warn you though, they’re very rich. Usually, I can only eat two.

Coconutty Bacon Wrapped Dates

Again, you can make as many of these as you want. I’ll just give you the how-to for four.

4 Dates, pitted

2 Slices Bacon, cut in half

1 Tbsp Shredded Coconut

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap each date with a half bacon slice. Place on parchment paper covered pan. Sprinkle each with coconut. Bake in oven to crispness level you prefer. I usually bake mine for 45 minutes. Remove from oven when done. Let sit for a few minutes before eating.  They tend to be really hot inside! Once you can eat them, they are delicious. They’re a great combination of salty and sweet.

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream

1 Frozen Banana, cut into chunks (I freeze mine in chunks to make it easier)

4 Frozen Strawberries

1 Tbsp Raw Honey (or you can use Stevia, if you like),YS Organic Bee Farms

1/2 Cup Coconut Milk, canned, Native Forest

1/2 Cup Coconut Water, ZICO

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender, Vitamix
. If your blender has an ice crush setting, use it.  Check your blender’s manual to see which setting to use for frozen foods. Use the setting specified. Blend until you get an ice cream like consistency. Mine is usually done in 30 seconds.  Even my hubby likes this recipe! And, he’s an ice cream connoisseur!  You can also mix different fruits in if you like. I’ve made blueberry as well.

I hope you enjoy these simple AIP paleo snacks!

Strawberry Banana Ice Cream


What is Paleo, Cajun Lady Style?

First, I’d like to welcome everyone to my new blog.  Those of you who have been following me on Boho and Mo’s blog, thank you for popping over to check out this one. I plan to focus my posts on healing autoimmune disease naturally.  Obviously, one of the ways I’ve chosen to heal myself is by following a paleo diet.

A little background info about me:

Last year, my life changed dramatically.  After years of practicing as an herbalist and homeopath, I founded Boho and Mo.  Due to losing loved ones in my life and my own failing health, I started a business helping families to remove the toxins in their homes and find alternative products.  I quickly branched out to include an Etsy shop and a DIY, holistic living blog.   Business was booming: but, my health was deteriorating.  I had visited a doctor the year before for different issues.  I was promptly referred to four other doctors.  At the time, I just didn’t have time for that,  I was just going to have to deal with my symptoms.

A year later, my symptoms were much worse.  I would wake up in the middle of the night vomitting.  I had rashes and hives all over my body. The rashes on my hands and face were the worst.  I had constant stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, and gas.  Oh, and my hair was falling out by the handfuls. My periods were painful, heavy and erratic. My mouth was filled with canker sores.  And, for no reason, I would bust out crying all the time.  I was a hot mess!

Luckily, I found and visited the doctor who had diagnosed my gall bladder disease years earlier.  She took one look at me and said, “You have an autoimmune disorder.”  She referred me to a specialist in gastrointestinal health and ordered a battery of tests.  We set out on our journey to figure out which one or combination of autoimmune disorders I had.

During the discovery phase (as I like to call it), I visited three doctors, ended up in an urgent care clinic with unexplained bleeding, endured three separate blood tests, an endoscopy, an ultrasound, biopsies and a colonoscopy.  The results of each were not good.  Every organ and body tissue they examined was inflamed.  I had a stomach ulcer, inflammation in my stomach, intestines and colon, a fibroid tumor, and groups of small lesions in my colon.

Two months later, I received the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE and lichen planus.  I was also gluten intolerant.

When my doctor outlined my treatment plan, which included steroids, more specialists, and more tests, I chose to hold off until I could do further research.  She told me the warning signs to be on the lookout for and asked me to call when I’d made my decision.

The research I did scared me…..badly.  There was no way I was going to use steroidal drugs, internally or externally.

I called my doctor the next day to tell her I was refusing treatment.  Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy with my choice.  That’s okay.  I wasn’t too happy with her treatment plan.  However, she was nice enough to let me know symptoms I should not ignore, such as those involving my kidneys or my heart.

Then, I set out to formulate a plan to heal myself naturally.  I read everything I could online, in books, and on social network platforms.  I determined that I should go gluten free.  I went a little nutty in the gluten free aisle at the grocery store, snatching up all the GF pasta and breads I could buy.  I also purchased herbs, supplements, and vitamins that could help in my healing.  Slowly, my health started to improve.  But, it still wasn’t enough.  I was dealing with some of the same symptoms; and, my hair was still falling out.  I could tell I was on the right track.  There was something I was missing.

Mo Meets Paleo

In December of 2013, I started reading about the paleolithic diet.  Many bloggers had written about the success they had treating their autoimmune disease by eating this way.  I chose to dip my toe into the water by doing The 21-Day Sugar Detox, starting on January 6, 2014.  If you’d like to read more about the results,  I posted for all 21 days on www.BohoandMo.com.

Once I was done with the detox, I added back a few foods, mostly nuts and raw dairy cheese.  I began to experience horrible symptoms again.  Thankfully, I found The Paleo Approach, by Dr. Sarah Ballentyne.  This wonderful book provide me with all the information I needed to fully understand my disease and conquer it.  I was going full paleo!  And, I was also doing a strict elimination plan until all my symptoms were gone.

Obviously, it’s been going well.  Otherwise, I doubt you’d be reading this on Paleo Cajun Lady.  Since I’ve started eating paleo, I’ve lost 17 pounds, healed ALL of my belly issues, slowed my hair loss, calmed most of my rashes (the butterfly rash on my face is GONE),  increased my energy, and reduced my joint pain, dramatically.

What I Got For You

What I’m hoping to provide for you in this blog, is a weapon in your arsenal to fight your autoimmune disease.  I’m going to give you recipes for yummy AIP paleo foods, standard paleo, and primal (in case you decide paleo is too restrictive).  I will give you my experience with different vitamins, supplements, and products.  Yes, I’m going to be a lab rat for you.  Now, I understand that just because something works for me, it may not work for you, and vise-versa. So, I will also give you information on things that have worked for others.

Together, we can head out on this journey to heal our autoimmune disease.  Welcome to the ride!

Tara "Mo" Perillo Paleo Cajun Lady
Tara “Mo” Perillo
Paleo Cajun Lady