This is a common question in the Paleo Recipes and Support Facebook Group so I compiled a list of the answers here in this post so you can read through responses from real people:
Reane R. – What are your go-to high-calorie Paleo snacks that aren’t meat? After emergency surgery to have my appendix removed, our family (me, husband, 6-year-old, 1-year-old) switched to a modified paleo diet. The modification is that we only eat meat 2-3 times a week, versus every meal or even every day. We also do not eat any nightshades and limit fruit to special treats.
Most of our calories are coming from root vegetables- sweet potatoes, namè, malanga, yuca, etc.
We all agree that this diet with our modifications makes us feel great, is increasing our energy, breaking food addictions (like to sugar), and keeping our bowels regular.
However, I am having a BIG problem.
I am 12 weeks pregnant and still breastfeeding my 1 year old. And I only weigh 103 pounds. With all of those factors, my midwife suggested I eat at least 2800 calories a day but preferably closer to 3000.
I feel like I am always starving. I am struggling so much to get enough calories. I used to get calories from grains and legumes but now I don’t eat those things sooooo….
If I increase my meat intake, I start getting “backed up” and start experiencing pain in my intestines from where I am still healing from my surgery (it was only 3 weeks ago).
I feel like I have to just be eating constantly. But with two kids, a job, sleep, and just life, this has been difficult lol.
My question is, what are your go-to high-calorie snacks that aren’t meat? Right now I’m just going towards starchy root vegetables and avocados. But I’m still soooo hungry and I’m getting pretty tired of baked sweet potatoes and yuca fries, lol.
Jessica D. – Nut butter is a great high-calorie snack. Eat with apples, carrots or celery. Eggs cooked in ghee or other fat. Definitely make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats.
Reane R. – I don’t do nuts or seeds because of the high lecithin content. We go through 2-4 cartons of eggs a week.
Jessica D. – Are you avoiding them for a reason? It sounds like you’re being too restrictive during a time you need to focus on high calories. If you tolerate nuts and seeds then I would suggest eating them. You need to eat what works for your body and not worry about labels or diet guidelines. I know a lot of people eat gf grains during pregnancy to help with calorie intake.
Reane R. – I don’t eat them because my body doesn’t tolerate them. My body doesn’t tolerate them because I can’t digest lectins.
All of these restrictions are based on what I have learned workz/doesn’t work for my body. Not based on guidelines, aside from my midwife saying to eat 3000 calories daily.
Kristin B. – this. Add in coconut oil and grass-fed butter to your root veggies.
Kristin B. – you also def need way more protein in whatever form you can get it. Up the meat. You can’t build muscle without it and your baby is taking all your nutrients right now.
Michelle S. – If you feel hungry on Paleo then you need more fat. Google search for fat bombs.
Reane R. – I’m eating tons of fat already. Probably at least 15-20 tablespoons daily of coconut, olive and/or avocado oil. Plus butter. I will look that up though
Jessica O. – I tried to do this and got too skinny and ended up having to bring back gluten for one meal a day. Sandwich pasta. It was the only help for me cuz I can’t have dairy either
Beth B. – I find a lot of breakfast bars can be high ok calories. Made with almond flour, seeds, etc. Good to have when you need to up your intake and have a filling snack.
Yve L. – Paleo may not be the exact right thing for you and your baby. You might want to consider non-gluten grains so that you can eat a little more protein and not get backed up. So maybe oats and quinoa for those carbohydrates that your body needs while nursing and then a few more servings of protein. And protein is a condiment not the main attraction of your meal.
Diane M. – I think finding a way to eat more meat is the way to go.
Valery G. My snacks to go:
Macadamia, organic dried coconut chunks, raw pumpkin seed
Mary D. – A lot of great suggestions here already, maybe a protein shake as well? I use an organic protein mix from Amazon that I really love.
Alyce M. – Get doctor’s advice.
Reane R. – Doctors don’t study nutrition. But thanks.
Kristin B. – I am an internal medicine physician that works out 5-6 days a week and practices a modified paleo diet (I eat white potatoes and rice). You need way more protein than you’re getting in addition to what sounds like a more than adequate fat intake. You need to balance your root veggie intake with lots of healthy greens also, they’re packed with necessary nutrients.
Kristin B. – I also study nutrition intensively, as do a lot of my friends. Unfortunately, 95% of our patients would rather take a pill than responsibility for their own health. You just haven’t found the right doc.
Reane R. – We don’t have good doctors in this area, unfortunately.
Thank you for your input!
I eat greens with every single meal. Usually, about half my plate is greens.
How would you suggest I up my protein intake without causing constipation/intestinal pain?
Kristin B. – I supplement with protein shakes and Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides. Beachbody Shakeology is my favorite, but it’s not 100% paleo. Amazon has several good options that are.
Reane R. – I’m not a fan of Beachbody products (was a coach for them years ago) but I will look into some other brands. Thanks so much!
Evelyn B. – I’m commenting on a bunch of comments lol but you sound so much like me! I too struggle with digestive issues if I eat too much meat. I use the Willis Nutrition collagen from Amazon and put two scoops in my smoothie every morning. Then I only eat actual meat for lunch and dinner.
Abigail V. – This might be controversial on a paleo page, but I agree with the above statement- maybe this would be a good time to consider not to be on a strict diet at all- try gluten and dairy-free recipes? Up your calories and fats for the health of you and your babies? Much luck and love to you!❤️
We raised pastured pork so I make my own lard from their fat.
Juliana S. – Try eating this smoothie in the morning or whenever you are hungry. It fills me up for hours. Maybe it will help keep you full for a while. Also, I didn’t put the raw egg in after a while because it gave me stomach pains. The rest of the ingredients are still really good for you. I don’t know if you can eat raw egg while pregnant. It’s Kelly Brogan’s breakfast smoothie.
I buy the coconut water (in the refrigerator section) and frozen cherries at Costco. I also added a few other superfoods to mine like “beef liver powder”. Sometimes I add a vegetable if I have it on hand.