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Mexican Cuisine is Paleo Friendly

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I travelled to Mexico after my Paleo Diet experiment ended and I was concerned that I would have trouble following Paleo principles.  Having been to Mexico on 10 occasions, I knew that Mexican food was more than tacos, frijoles (beans) and enchiladas.  Unfortunately, I love tacos from roadside stalls and could eat them every day, so I thought my newly formed diet habits would face a serious challenge during my most recent trip.

Alright, I’ll admit it.  My first three meals in Mexico were tacos.  I know tortillas are not Paleo compliant but I couldn’t resist.  Every day, a street vendor fired up spits of marinated pork for tacos pastor and after seeing a constant line up of locals, I had to try his cooking.  Dozens of Sayulita citizens we’re right.  The tacos were delicious and well worth standing in line.

Once my taco craving was satisfied, it was time to return to Paleo principles.  I was ready to try any Mexican cuisine that was Paleo Diet friendly.  To my surprise, once you move away from the tortilla section of most Mexican restaurant menus, it was very easy to maintain my Paleo Diet.

Plenty of Seafood Options

Because I stayed in the fishing/surfer town of Sayulita, fresh fish and seafood were always on the menu.  The daily catch always included Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi and Marlin.  Shrimp was abundant and I ate it almost daily.  I would eat it freshly grilled from beach vendors, in salads or even in ceviche.

Whenever I ordered fish for a meal, it always came with a variety of fresh or steamed vegetables.  Not only did I receive the usual vegetables during Mexican meals, I was able to enjoy cactus too.  Because of the different chillies and other spices used in Mexican cuisine, my fish meals always tasted different even though I might eat the same type of fish several days in a row.

Not once did any of my fish or seafood meals come with tortillas or beans; just plenty of lean protein and lots of fresh vegetables.

Some of my favourite Mexican fish or seafood meals this trip included mesquite grilled Mahi Mahi with mixed sautéed vegetables from Don Pedro’s restaurant and a ceviche dish consisting of shrimp, hot chillies, lime juice, cucumber, tomato and cilantro.

Lean Meat Cuts are Everywhere

Have you ever had carné asada?  This delicious grilled beef is actually made from very lean inexpensive cuts.  Because lean cuts are often tough, carné asada is marinated for hours in order to become tender.  Most times when I ate this dish, it came with a variety of grilled vegetables.

Pollo asado is charcoal grilled chicken.  This meat is also marinated so despite being well cooked, it’s still moist and tender.  I often purchased pollo asado because it would feed me for three meals.  I noticed that this dish came with coleslaw, salsa and rice from several different restaurants.  I gave the rice to my local street dogs and enjoyed several tasty Paleo meals with everything else.

After 10 days in beautiful Sayulita, I was able to eat Paleo at every meal.  I never got bored with the cuisine and it was actually easier to follow Paleo principles in Mexico than I anticipated.  Once I left the tortillas and beans behind, a world of tasty Paleo friendly Mexican cuisine welcomed me with gusto. If you’re having trouble coming up with new Paleo menu ideas, learn more about Mexican cuisine. I know that I’ll be eating Mexican more often.

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About Layne Pennell

  • SteveS

    I’ve been eating Paleo since January and let me tell you I woud not feel guilty over eating a few corn tortillas when “down Mexico way.”

    I’m totally inspired to cook some of the seafood dishes. Thanks for the post. -Steve