Breaking down a recipe

One of the tools I’ve been using for years now, is the Sparkpeople food tracker. You can enter in what you ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner & it will break it all down into fats, carbs, protein, and fiber. I took a salad recipe from Natalie at Tastes Lovely that she has labeled as paleo. Please do not eat this salad if you are diabetic as it has a heavy glycemic index. Even divided among four people you are better off putting this off for a special occasion and not eating it on a regular basis. Also, once you have been on true paleo for a while, all the sugar from the dressing and fruit might be overwhelming to your taste buds.

Paleo Strawberry Mango Salad with Chicken - a healthy and delicious paleo, gluten free and dairy free salad for lunch or dinner!
Looks good!
  • 2 8-oz chicken breasts, cooked* and chopped
  • 1 Avocado, medium
  • 8 cups Baby greens
  • 1 Mango, medium
  • 1 1/2 cup Strawberry
  • 1/4 cup Honey
Baking & Spices
  • 1 tbsp Poppyseeds (I didn’t calculate nutrition for theses)
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
Oils & Vinegars
  • 1/3 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil
Nuts & Seeds
  • 1 cup Almonds, roasted

Here is a break down of the salad: categories in order: total calories, carbs, fats, protein:

3,125 173 220 140

Divide each number by 4 and you get the totals per serving: cals 781.25, carbs 43.25, fat 55, protein 35.


Not all calories are created equal. It is important to note that the baby greens are providing a nominal amount of carbs in this salad. Per the Sparkpeople tracker, 8 cups of Fresh Express Baby Greens contain 27 calories & 5 grams of carbs. So what is providing the carb load for this recipe? The fruit and it’s fruit that is high in sugar.Add in the honey and you have a GI and carb nightmare.

This is why the paleo diet food pyramid shows fats & meats as the base and fruits are way up on top in the little bitty triangle. The paleo diet is not about fruits & nuts, and honey. It’s about meat & fat with some low-carb vegetables thrown in so that you do not scare your friends with all the meat you are eating. Ok I exaggerated a bit on that last one but only to prove a point and make light of people’s reaction when they realize true paleo is very carnivorous in nature. The paleo diet is very primal. It’s not ladies-who-do lunch and eat poppyseed chicken salads. You can, but you would not be enjoying the full benefit of eating paleo.  If you are eating these not-really-paleo recipes you see on Pinterest and other places but cannot figure out why you are not losing weight… this is why. Too much fruit and honey gives you a big tummy.

Let me know if you have a favorite paleo recipe you would like for me to break down.


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