Our Paleo challenge starts next week. As Rexy alluded to in her post, breaking potentially lifelong eating habits will inevitably be challenging. Convenience, knowledge about what food to eat and fatigue all play roles in what we choose to put in our mouths. But after we settle into these new habits and adopt tricks for making things easier, what once seemed like such a pain will start to become second nature. So, in an effort to help everyone through the first stretch of the challenge some of our resident paleo experts are sharing what works best for them.
Acceptance. You‘re going to be that person for a while that asks what is in everything at restaurants, makes copious substitutions and modifications, and demonstrates an iron will to avoid tortilla chips and fresh bread. Your friends might not understand why you’re being so silly and heckle you along the way. Just know it is worth it and there are at least 50 other people in your gym alone that are doing it right along with you.
Breakfast. Rexy says Eat it. Eat it with fat. Eat it with meat. Eat it early. And it will help SO much to stave off cravings.
Develop easy go-to meals. A basic meal that keeps Mark Cogan sane is some kind of meat (a steak, chicken, lamb chops, etc) with some green veggie (spinach, asparagus, broccoli, etc). To keep it to one pan and maximize the yummy meat flavor, he likes to cook the meat first (often in coconut oil), then while it’s resting, throw the veggies in the still-hot pan and use them to mop up the fats and juices. Most dark greens only need a minute or two to soften up a bit; throw them on the plate next to the meat and you’re good to go. And the pan is pretty clean, too.
Get to know your spice rack. Cyndy makes the same meat new again with a different herb and spice mix. Don’t be afraid to use a lot.
Snacks. Emily finds it essential to always have snacks on your person or nearby (in your pocket, purse, man satchel, desk, car, random nooks & crannies at Xplore) in case you get hungry and can’t get to anything paleo. Things she likes to have with her are: Larabars, almonds, macadamia nuts, fruit, beef jerky – anything that can keep without refrigeration.
But not too many snacks. Jordan recommends letting yourself be hungry every once in a while. Not a gut wrenching dreaming about food way but put down the chips and wait until dinner sort of way. There are some good internal processes that accompany our natural huger response.
Cook in large batches. This is perhaps the most important one for me. You’ll find eating paleo tends to increase the amount you cook at home. There will be dishes, epic amounts of dishes. To reduce this, follow Mark’s great tip above about a single pan meal, and cook enough food at one time for several meals. Soups and crockpot dishes are great options.
Have fall backs when you don’t feel like or have time to cook. According to Emily, Whole Foods will literally cook ANYTHING for you if you buy it. Bacon, eggs, chicken beast, steak… pretty much anything your heart desires. If you’re on the go, Mark suggests the Jimmy John’s Hunter’s Club Unwich, no cheese, no mayo, add onions, avocado, peppers.
Finally, we leave you with a list of websites that provide further insight on living a paleo lifestyle. If you have any great tips to share with the rest of us on what you have found most helpful about eating paleo please post them to the comments!
www.theclothesmakethegirl.com – Lots of recipes!