Paleo vs Primal vs Zone: You Choose!

I have compiled the information below about Paleo, Primal, and Zone. You can read, research, and decide for yourself what is best for you. This is my simple-minded attempt at a page of information for those interested in changing their eating habits. I am by no means an expert and have only just compiled information for you to view and study and decide what works best for you. Feel free to ask any of the coaches for information.


Check out the CrossFit Mayhem Food Blog for recipes and information.



The paleo diet essentially allows lean meats, fish, veggies, some fruit, tree nuts (not peanuts) and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. This excludes… grains, legumes, white potatoes, dairy, and corn. Think about it this way… the things that are excluded are the food items that people are more often allergic to or just have issues digesting. White potatoes and corn just turn into sugar.

  1. The Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet
  2. The Paleo Diet –



The primal plan allows foods like the paleo diet, but includes some dairy. Such as creams, butter, greek yogurts, and some cheese (but don’t go overboard).

  1. The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan –
  2. Getting Started with Mark’s Daily Apple –



This plan is much more rigid. There is weighing and measuring and lots of planning to this one because each meal or snack is in blocks. You have to really lay your meals out ahead of time. This is great for a person who wants to really watch everything they eat and is organized. It does allow for some grains, but some people will choose to do a cross of paleo/zone. This would exclude the grains and only include for the paleo foods. I am honestly not as familiar with this one. I am not organized enough to try it really!

  1. Zone Diet Explained –
  2. Zone Diet Meal Plans –


A couple good resources about eating right –

  1. The last days of the low-fat diet –
  2. YouTube Video – Mind your Mitochondria


Tips for snacks:

  1. Steve’s Club –
  2. Irwin’s Beef Jerky ( – a locally owned company). You can buy it from different places around Cookeville or online.
  3. Cattaneo Bros – – they also have jerky and personally I liked it better than most because they also carry a thin cut that is easy to eat, and great flavors!
  4. Paleo Snacks –
  5. More snack ideas –
  6. Paleo People – – you can order snacks online (I haven’t personally tried it, but let me know if you do).
  7. Just a note – if you are a Costco person they do have a large thing of almond butter for under $6.



You can find recipes all over the web. Some are great, some just require too much stuff that I don’t keep in my house. I will gather some recipes and post them online for you to try! If you find a favorite, feel free to share with us! Here are a few sites:


  1. Primal Blueprint Cookbook –
  2. Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals – (I haven’t used this one yet, but love the Primal Blueprint Cookbook and it’s the same authors)
  3. Paleo Comfort Foods – one of my favorites –
  4. Everyday Paleo – another common one used by a lot of people (she also has a great blog) –
  5. Paleo Food – online cookbook – (I just found this one and will have to try it!)


TIPS for a PALEO, PRIMAL, or ZONE 30-Day Challenge

Here are some things I learned from when I started my first (and second) 30-day challenge:

  • Try your best! It will be a bit tough at first because most people are used to the quick carbs they can grab. Plan your snacks!
  • Paleo is a great way to cut out foods that could be causing you issues. You can always add things back when you find they are not an issue.
  • I loved bread! LOVED IT! I thought for sure that would be the worst thing to have to cut out… guess what… it wasn’t! After 30 days of not eating it, I have never returned to eating it like I did before because the way it makes me feel overly bloated and full.
  • As for milk… I am not a milk drinker. I like the occasional yogurt and creams and butter, but milk… no! That was the one thing that I actually did add back after doing the Paleo challenge the first time. Strange huh… I loved bread and didn’t care if I had it anymore, didn’t like milk… but wanted dairy back.
  • Some people like to have a cheat meal and some do not. I prefer a cheat meal to make sure that I nip those cravings in the bud (we all have our faves and mine is ice cream!), but if you feel it might cause you to waiver too much… don’t.
  • Try different recipes and new things. I had to start being more creative. When I eat fajitas or sloppy joe (i’ll post this recipe later), instead of tortillas or bread I put it on a bed of raw baby spinach! It really is good!
  • Last… try to do your best during this 30 days. Eat as clean as possible! But if you have a bad day… chalk it up to that and start clean the next day!

Let me know if you have any questions. I will try to help the best I can. You can also ask any of the other Coaches as well!

Good Luck


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