You’ve probably read it before, the benefits of the Paleo diet, and how great eating Paleo is for you. But how do you jump into this way of eating? Don’t be intimidated by the lists of what you can and can’t eat or fear that if you can’t do it 100% perfect, you’re not doing it right. Ignore that! Go at your own pace, eat the foods you like, and feel great about the healthy choices you are making!
The idea behind the Paleo diet is that we are still designed to eat as our ancestors did, so the Paleo diet consists of meats, vegetables, and fruits, and excludes breads, dairy, sweets, and other processed foods.
The biggest thing you’ll be overcoming with eating Paleo, is being dependent on packaged food. This is my stumbling block! If it’s not in plastic wrap, I don’t know what to do with it! But you will feel so good when you start eating fresh foods, and even just adding in some vegetables to your diet will make your body happy!
Tip #1: You want to do away with anything that has an ingredient list that’s a mile long and full of dyes and preservatives you can hardly pronounce. You’ll be surprised how much food you’ll really be ridding from your life- it’s not just cookies and boxed dinners! Even the salad dressings you use may be filled with lots of extra, not always healthy, ingredients.
Doing a complete food makeover is once again, different for everyone. If you’re the type of person who wants to jump in head first and throw out everything that’s not Paleo-approved, and go out and buy everything fresh, then go for it!
If you want to take a slower approach, that’s totally okay! Try easing yourself into this new way of eating. Whether you need to use up the food that’s in your house or you feel more confident by taking smaller steps, it all works. The more comfortable you feel with the change, the more likely you are to stick to clean eating.
Tip #2: Start out with simple food swaps. Ditch your pasta for spaghetti squash or zoodles (zucchini noodles). Instead of buying peanut butter, try different nut butters such as almond or cashew. Use coconut oil for your cooking. Sweeten things with honey instead of processed sugar or artificial sweeteners.
I’ve started using coconut oil. Cooking is intimidating to me, but I was already using a butter-spray to coat my pans when I use them, and I found a great coconut oil spray, so that was a super easy swap for me!
Tip #3: Simple meals are great for beginners. You don’t have to dive headfirst into a recipe with a bunch of new ingredients you might not have on hand. Have an omelette for breakfast, loaded with veggies. For lunch, make a salad with shredded chicken. For dinner, grill a piece of steak with a baked sweet potato and loads of grilled veggies. Starting out simple can get you use to the delicious yet subtle taste of ‘clean’ food.
Got an Instant Pot? Check out these great paleo Instant Pot recipes!
Tip #4: Planning ahead will help you keep on track. It’s really easy to not plan anything for dinner, go to work, be famished on the ride home, and just pick up something quick from the store or take out. #storyofmylife
But what’s quick and easy is often not the healthiest choice. By figuring out meals ahead of time, you’re less likely to impulsively buy something else. Make a plan and stick to your plan! Look forward to biting into that delicious Paleo dinner you’re going to make! Crockpot meals are a fabulous option for those of us who don’t enjoy cooking.
Once you’ve got the basics under your belt, start exploring! There are so many tasty foods out there you’ve yet to discover and enjoy. Clean eating is a great way to build a better relationship with food and you’ll see just how food affects your mind and body. It’s not as hard or as pricey as one would think – it’s all about wanting to make a change in your life and sticking to it!
It’s Day 3 of “Baby Steps to a Better You,” and today’s challenge is to take a look at your eating habits. A lot of us have some unhealthy habits we’d like to change. Today, identify something you’d like to change about your eating habits. Is it skipping the drive-thru? Cutting out the afternoon candy bar? Eating eggs instead of a bagel for breakfast? Drinking more water? Choose one habit you want to change, and then do it for the next week! Record your progress so you can look back and see how many days you were successful in a row.
And hey, if you want to crank out those same 10 pushups we did yesterday, I don’t think anything bad would happen! *wink*
See you tomorrow for Day 4!