What is Paleo?
The Paleo diet, simply, is eating non-processed, real foods. Basically, lean meats, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and healthy oils. It’s directly related to the way people ate years ago- hence the “caveman (or cavewoman) diet”.
What should I eat?
Meat options: (Grass-fed when possible) Lean beef, chicken, buffalo, turkey, duck, venison, salmon, redfish, snapper, tilapia, tuna, flounder, halibut, eggs, protein drinks (whey, hemp, etc).
Veggie options (eat twice as many veggies as compared to fruit): Asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, green peas, kale, leeks, onion, parsley, parsnips, potato, pumpkin, radishes, spaghetti squash, spinach, sweet potato, and many more! Be creative and adventurous!
Fruit options: Apples, bananas, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, mango, oranges, papaya, peach, pear, plums, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes
Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts & seeds (almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, macadamias, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, etc.), nut & seed butters, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil & almond oil
Milk/Dairy alternatives: Coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk (Personally, I love coconut or almond milk! Especially in smoothies!)
Flour alternatives: Coconut flour, almond flour, potato flour (to thicken dishes), tapioca flour, hazelnut flour, etc.
Fave Paleo snacks: Homemade granola (recipe coming soon!), olives, dried fruit, beef jerky, nuts & seeds, homemade paleo crackers (recipe coming soon!), pickles (my husband just loooves when I eat those!), green smoothies, plantain chips with salsa or guac, kale chips, etc.
I’m overwhelmed! Where do I start?
Start simply. Paleo can be super adventurous and super fun once you’ve integrated all of the changes, but you don’t have to learn how to cook duck and collard greens right this very second. So take a deep breath, step away from the ledge and allow your heart rate to return to a normal rhythm. Begin by weeding out the processed food you have stockpiled in your pantry- throw away (or give to a poor, starving college student) the crackers and garlic bread and brown rice and Spaghetti O’s. If you keep it in your house, you will eat it. So just don’t even go there!
Start buying some of your favorite fruits and veggies. Keep nuts and seeds on hand. Simplify your meals; If you try to be a Master Paleo Chef on day 1, there’s a high chance you’ll get burned out. Choose one new food to try every week- you might surprise yourself & actually like it! Retrain your mind and body on the meaning of “healthy eating” (Just because a label says, “whole grain” doesn’t mean it’s good for you!). Try some of the recipes you find on here. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. Smile! Because you’ve just taken the first step to living well, simply by taking the time to read this blog.
Any other tips and tricks?
Eating Paleo is only truly successful when you’re willing to be adventurous. And make mistakes. You can ask my husband- nothing makes my anger level rise faster than a recipe not turning out the way I want. BUT, the reality is, it’s going to happen from time to time. So laugh, throw it out and then go drown your sorrows in a giant bag of sour skittles (Anyone else? No? Just me?). But seriously, learn to ENJOY the process. Don’t pressure yourself to learn all of the do’s and don’ts of Paleo overnight.
Also, learn the art of preparation. If you don’t prepare/plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, you will find it much harder to stick to the right habits. You don’t need to plan a month in advance (unless you want to, then by all means, go for it! And don’t forget to send me a copy of your calendar while you’re at it! ;)). I would, however, suggest at least a week. This will a huge help to you at the grocery store. And let’s just be honest.. we’ve all been there: hunger strikes and you grab the closest thing you can find, nutritional or not. Meal planning will ensure that you have good stuff on hand & make the right choice!
Paleo is fun! And delicious. So let’s do this thing!!