Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

Simplifying Paleo So it Sticks in the New Year

It’s a new year and the internets are rampant with new diets and exercise regimes to jump into in hopes of losing weight and getting healthier. Depending on where you’re at in your health journey you can start a whole30 today, or you can start a 21 day challenge or if you’re already a veteran Paleo check out these 10 lessons learned from Russ Crandall. Whatever you do starting this new year you have to start somewhere and that’s where I think it can be overwhelming for some. There is just so much out there and it can be difficult determining where to start so here is a template for simplifying Paleo so it sticks in the new year.

So I want to propose something easy to swallow. A foundation for eating. Basically providing a template on where you can base your meals for breakfast, lunch & dinner. The reason for this is because so many people start diets and sign up for gyms at the beginning of the new year and end up falling off the wagon shortly after. So my goal is to simplify Paleo so that it sticks. I don’t want to provide specific recipes because if you’re just starting Paleo or already a veteran; recipes can be overwhelming or not needed.

Why start with food and not a template for exercise? Well, while exercise is necessary for health, all health starts first with what you eat. Weight loss and health doesn’t start with exercise. Weight loss and health starts with what we eat and put in your body. So if you’re looking to lose weight or just be overall healthier – start here with what you should eat for breakfast, lunch & dinner. Remember this is just a starting point not an end point. You can start here for your meals and expand on them for what works best for you and your family. Starting out here is great for losing weight and seeing how you do then when you reach your ideal weight you can add in more starches like white potatoes and white rice.

Though it’s already the new year maybe plan your grocery trip before the start of the week and begin this template Monday. Review the basics of Primal here if this is all new to you and you’re trying to figure out what’s Paleo/Primal. But for now let’s check out a simple and easy template for your daily meals:

Breakfast – Bacon & Eggs

 

A photo posted by Kristi Creasey (@hikristi) on

Breakfast couldn’t be easier to figure out. It’s dead simple and it’s exactly what we need for the morning – protein. Get yourself some eggs and bacon from the store. Cook the bacon first then use the bacon fat for your eggs and boom – Primal breakfast done. Note: I started out this way on Primal a few years ago but now I normally fast for breakfast throughout the week and just eat lunch around 11:30am. So depending on if you’re hungry in the morning, you can always fast and just go straight to lunch.


Lunch – Salad

 

#lunch

A photo posted by That’s So Primal (@thatssoprimal) on

Get yourself some organic mixed greens or whatever salad mix you like and throw it in a bowl with olive oil and vinegar or some Tessemae’s dressing. Add in whatever veggies, seeds or nuts you like. Then add in some protein in the form of leftovers from the night before or cans of fish i.e. tuna, sardines or salmon.


Dinner – Meat & Roasted Veggies

 

I love this Cacao-Rubbed Steak recipe by @thedomesticman. Link to it in the profile. #dinner

A photo posted by That’s So Primal (@thatssoprimal) on

Dinner doesn’t have to be hard. Throw some protein on the grill or in a crockpot and use your oven and some baking trays to roast some veggies in the fat of your choice: lard, butter, coconut oil, olive oil, duck fat, tallow, etc… You don’t even need to follow a recipe for this really. Just make sure to use seasonings and fat to make the veggies tasty. This is a good post to check out if you’ve never roasted veggies before or check out my roasted broccoli that has become a staple in our house.

Remember these meals are just a template and a base to start from. Some days may look completely different. Don’t expect perfection. Expect that some days you might eat a doughnut or nachos but know that your foundation for eating 80% of the time should be based around these types of meals listed above. Then leave the 20% of things you eat for times that planning meals may be out of your control: office parties, birthdays, Disneyland or just because you’re craving ice cream. As Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo says think of Paleo as the main highway and expect to take slight detours every so often.

7 Lessons Learned: Eating Primal during your lunch hour

7 Lessons Learned: Eating Primal during your lunch hour

Do you have a hard time staying consistent with eating Primal during you lunch hour? Consistency is the key word here. So often my buddies or coworkers talk about how they’ve gone primal but so often fall off of it because grabbing a burger is that much easier (and sometimes tastier) than a salad. Bleh.

Eat Simple Salads

There’s nothing wrong with eating a big salad every day. The key that I’ve learned is to keep the salad simple. Buying a big box of salad and throwing it together with seeds or nuts every morning before work is what works best. Don’t wear yourself out with trying to do some new extravagant salad every single day. Every once in awhile is ok, but we are shooting for consistency.

Use a dressing that’s nutritious and delicious

This probably should be the first tip because it seems to be the one that that trips up all of us. Salads are so boring if they don’t have a good dressing. But the problem is, all salad dressings in the stores are made with soybean oil or canola oil. Not nutritious. Not to mention they are filled with copious amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. The key here is that you need a dressing that will fill you up, i.e. good fats, i.e. olive oil. Now, you can go the route of making your own dressing every week. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re not into that however I suggest you check out Tessemaes salad dressings. They will make your daily salads nutritious and delicious. You no longer will have to compromise on nutrition or taste. If you want to keep it even simpler: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar goes a long way.

Find an easy protein you love

I would go insane if I ate skinless chicken breasts every day. One thing I’ve learned is that having an easy protein option at lunch is key to succeeding at staying consistent with going Primal during your lunch hour. An easy protein for me are cans of tuna, salmon or sardines. These are quick sources of protein, they taste good, they’re very nutritious and they are relatively cheap too. At first sardines sounded so gross to me to eat straight out of the can, but after I tried it a few times I got hooked. You may need to step out of your comfort zone on this one to find an easy protein source you love. But remember the goal is consistency.

Think leftovers

Cook extra food for dinner throughout the week. That way you have an abundance of leftovers to take to work the next day. This especially comes in handy when you’re tired of salads and tired of an easy protein source you love.

Find a park near your work to eat outside

Ever think it’s weird that we (people with desk jobs) drive from one box to another box inside a box just to stare at a box? The reality is we spend too much time inside boxes. Get outside the box during your lunch hour. Sit in the sun. Synthesize some Vitamin D. Eat your salad. Maybe grab a couple buddies to play frisbee or try to see who can climb a tree the fastest. Whatever you do during your lunch hour, make sure you get away from your desk and get your skin in the sun.

Don’t freak out when your coworkers want to go to a restaurant/fast food place

This one is where people put an end to going Primal. Claiming it’s to hard to stay Primal throughout the week at work. But check this out, you have two options when you commit to eating out with your coworkers. Take it as a day where you eat whatever you want or do your best to eat Primal. If you eat one off meal you’re not going to be unhealthy, just as one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy. If you choose to still stay Primal, that can be an option too. What does that look like exactly? Depending on the restaurant you go to most places have fancy salads, just stay away from the dressings and ask for (olive) oil and vinegar. Or get a lettuce wrapped burger and honey sriracha brussels sprouts.

Don’t let perfection get in the way of good

You may not eat Primal all day everyday. Don’t let that stress you out. Shoot for perfect but just know along the way, throughout the week, things might get complicated. Just accept it and move along and pick it up the next meal or the next day. The very fact that you’re thinking about eating Primal and moving more puts you miles ahead of the rest of the population.