Clean Eating versus Paleo

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I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that importance of healthy living once or twice while sharing our weekly menu plans. Many of you have picked up on the fact that The Texan follows a Paleo diet and some have asked to explain what Paleo is. Not knowing the best way to explain it, I did a bit of research and discovered it was similar to Clean Eating. And Clean Eating appealed to me. A lot. I thought I’d explain the differences in Clean Eating versus Paleo.

Clean Eating versus Paleo

My basic research turned up two major differences in Clean Eating versus Paleo: no grains and no dairy when following Paleo. I read that as “Paleo means no crusty baguettes and no cheese” that loosely translates to “Emily you cannot eat that way.” I love cheese and bread too much. There I said it. That felt good.

Both diets encourage you to eat foods in the most natural state as possible. That makes sense, with all of the GMOs and chemicals that companies are adding to our foods, why wouldn’t you want to eat as natural as possible? We avoid processed foods as much as possible, and fast food really isn’t our “thing”. I know that we’re fortunate to be able to prepare most of our meals at home. That’s better on your wallet and your waist!

Another thing that both mention…avoiding alcohol. What?! I enjoy a glass of red wine at night. Some nights I have two. Summer nights, I love a margarita. Not sure I want to sacrifice that just to say that “I am a Clean Eater!”

Clean Eating versus Paleo

Clean Eating

  • Lean protein
  • Healthy fats
  • Nothing white (rice, pasta, flour, sugar, etc.)
  • Avoid all processed foods, fast food, and {yikes!} alcohol
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Organic products
  • Whole grains (like brown rice, quinoa, and steel cut oats)
  • Limited or no dairy


  • Organic and grass fed lean meats
  • Healthy fats
  • Nothing white (rice, pasta, flour, sugar, etc.)
  • Avoid all processed foods, fast food, and {yikes!} alcohol
  • Organic fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming food in it’s most natural state
  • No added sugar (unless from fruit or natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar)
  • No beans, gluten, or grains
  • No dairy

As you know, I’ll be starting the Shaklee 180™ blogger program on March 1. That means I’ll be following their daily plan and preparing only one meal {dinner} on my own for the first 90 days. I plan to make that meal as close to clean eating as I can. It should be easy to add fresh organic produce to my evening meal with a lean protein.

How close are you to clean eating? Do you find yourself following a Paleo plan?

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About Emily

Emily is a rugby wife and modern mom to one active Kindergarten son. A former restaurant industry professional, she transferred the brand marketing and relationship building skills she learned working for a Fortune500 Company into building a successful social media business. Launched in 2010, her blog focuses on parenting tips, recipes and easy crafts. When not online, you can find her running, taking photographs, or sipping a Margarita while enjoying the beauty that Cape Cod has to offer.


  1. I like the idea behind them but not all the rules. Not even homemade bread? I can go without alcohol but I like my grains and cheese!
    Darcy recently shared..The Differences in Diapering Baby Boys and GirlsMy Profile

    • I’m with you Darcy – I’d rather give my arm than give up bread and cheese. Since The Texan doesn’t eat bread, it’s a bit easier for me not to eat it. Although I did have a sandwich today for lunch on delicious raisin bread.

      Many people choose clean eating or paleo as a way to improve overall health – not just as a weight loss tool. Gradually eliminating things from your pantry and refrigerator is one way to make a lifestyle change and improve overall health.

      My diet is fairly close to clean eating, but I certainly don’t follow it to a tee!

  2. I don’t think I could stick to a Paleo diet. Too many restrictions!
    Cecile recently shared..Children and Money – Teaching Your Kids About MoneyMy Profile

    • It certainly is a meal plan where you need to remain focused – and have a love of beef {which I don’t have!}.

      When choosing to be healthier, it’s important make choices that you know you’ll be able to stick with. So, if it’s eating vegetarian three days a week, and always having chicken on Thursdays – do it! I try to be mindful of what I’m eating and make conscious choices. I avoid HFCS & other “funky” ingredients, but I don’t follow one specific plan everyday. I would get bored doing that!

  3. I’ve wanted to try out a Paleo diet – I know the chances of sticking to it are slim, but I love the concept. Thanks for pointing out the differences.
    Amber K recently shared..Clean Up with Windex Touch Up CleanerMy Profile

    • I think, it’s fairly easy to do! There are a number of great recipes and resources. My husband has done it fairly well, of course he strays from it – and immediately feels the difference!

  4. I would be more Primal than Paleo because I do eat dairy (raw cream, yogurt, sour cream, butter).

    Oh, and fatty meats are fine with Paleo and Primal! Well, that is if they are from grass fed animals, with their healthy fats!

    • I’d rather have you take my arm then take my cheese! My husband doesn’t tolerate dairy well, so he doesn’t miss it. He eats buffalo and rib eye beef both of which are grass fed animals.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Enjoy the weekend!

      • Mmm….buffalo! There are a couple buffalo farms nearby! We buy their ground buffalo, roasts, marrow bones, and liver (…could live without the liver!)

  5. Interesting. I’ve seen a lot about the Paleo diet lately and wondered what it was all about. Good luck!
    Ellen Christian recently shared..Rachel Weisz Interview #DisneyOzEventMy Profile

    • My husband has been following Paleo for about a year. In my opinion, there isn’t enough variety – but that could be due to his personal preferences. But, when I found out there was no dairy, I knew there was no way that was for me!

      Have a great weekend!

  6. You can take my freedom, but you’ll never take my SUGGGGAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!! Or something like that.

    Yeah, I totally could not survive on either of those eating plans.
    Greta recently shared..Do You Believe in Fairies | Fairy QuotesMy Profile

    • It’s a big adjustment, but we’re doing great! I do miss cheese (too many calories) and dark chocolate peanut butter cups from Trader Joe’s.

  7. Tammy Scott says:

    Eating clean does NOT mean limited or no dairy. We eat clean and we eat dairy…a lot of people who eat clean eat raw dairy and raw dairy products. This is a very important point to note when you’re making comparisons.


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