Starting February 1st my box will be putting on a 30 day Paleo challenge, where members can win a free months membership in exchange for their weight loss accomplishment!
About a year ago I challenged myself to stay true and clean to the Paleo way for 30-60 days, and I was honestly amazed by the changes my body went through. The first 7 to 10 days of the diet was by far the hardest, my energy levels were lower than ever and I was experiencing crazy headaches. Once I got past this point I felt absolutely amazing! My energy was balanced and consistent through out the day, and I was no longer having crazy cravings for sweets like I usually do. If you’re considering to take part in this challenge or one of your own, I put together a list of things to expect, ways to prepare and tricks to keep you on track along the way.
THE PALEO DIET
First things first, you have to educate yourself! Read books, follow blogs, talk to people or just turn to trusty ole’ Google. Your first question may be, “What is Paleo?” The answer in the most basic form is…… Eat like a caveman. If a caveman wasn’t able to get his hairy hands on it back in the day then it’s probably on the DO NOT EAT list. Meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional fruits and vegetables are going to be your new best friends! Say goodbye to your old friends pasta, cheese, candy and processed foods. If there is an item that may be questionable to you, read the ingredients, if you cannot pronounce half of the words on the list, this is a clear indication it’s just processed CRAP! Stay focused on eating nutrient rich food in their natural form.
Here’s a simple chart to follow along in your journey.
FOOD PREP (GROCERY SHOPPING & COOKING)
Clean up your kitchen, sharpen your knives and dust off your pots and pans folks, you’re going to be doing a whole lot of cooking! Dining out while on the Paleo Diet is extremely difficult. The amount of butter and salt that is added to food in the restaurants kitchen is absolutely insane! Save yourself from the unnecessary temptations that may surround you in a restaurant environment.
If you’re a 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday kind of employee then set aside your entire Sunday to prepare for the week ahead. Be prepared to shelf out more cash than usual at the grocery store. It may be discouraging at first, but remember your grocery store dollar is going a lot further than your restaurant dollar. I’m able to make four meals at home for the same price I’m paying for one meal at a restaurant!
Before you head out to the grocery store be sure to clean out your cabinets and refrigerator to get rid of the junk and make room for the good stuff. Don’t step foot into your grocery store with out a plan, you’re setting yourself up for disaster. Pick out your recipes for the week and make a list. You’ll most likely have to make two separate trips: One to your local wholesale store like Costco or BJ’s, and the second trip to your regular grocery store. If you want to save money, buy your protein in bulk. I’m talking about chicken, steak, fish, eggs, bacon, etc. Set aside your meat for the week and freeze the rest. Some other items I like to buy in bulk are coconut oil and almond butter. Costco also has a great selection of organic items that are staples in my kitchen like frozen broccoli, apples, avocados, and free range – cage free eggs.
When shopping at your regular grocery store stay along the perimeter aisles where you’ll find your meat and produce. Try to steer clear of the inner aisles that are full of processed junk! Again, have a plan and stick to it!
Cooking & Meal Prepping:
Everyone is different in this department. Personally I prefer to prepare all of my side items and snacks on Sundays, and cooking my protein the day of so it’s fresh. Sometimes left overs skeave me out, so the fresher the better in that department. I’ll roast or boil a big batch of sweet potato’s , steam a ton of cauliflower to make a mash, and clean and chop fresh veggies to munch on for snack time. Cooking in the crock-pot is also a great way to make a large batch of food and it usually tastes even better a couple days after when all the flavors had time to sit and marinate together. I love making pulled chicken/beef/pork in the crock-pot and using it for lettuce wraps, yummmm-o! So in a nut shell, stock up on your tupperware and make room in your freezer. Write down each meal/snack for each day on a sheet of paper. It’s easy to lose track of your plan when your refrigerator is over flowing with food!
Most importantly don’t forget to be creative with your meals. Eating clean and strict does not mean your food has to be bland, boring and tasteless. There are tons of great Paleo recipes out there! Here are a few of my favorite Paleo Bloggers:
WHAT TO EXPECT
Again this can differ form person to person, everyone’s bodies respond differently. It’s very common to experience headaches, cravings, and a dip in your energy level within the first week or two of starting the diet. If and when you decide to cheat (we are only human) allow yourself one cheat meal not an entire cheat day.
Hide your scale. Don’t pay attention to the number you see, it’s more about how you feel. How are clothes feeling on your body? Do you like what you see when you look in the mirror? Is your energy high or low? Do you feel sluggish? Exercise is a huge element to any diet so don’t forget to stay active during your challenge.
Phew, that was a whole lotta knowledge that just came out of me. My brain hurts, OW! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out. Leave a comment below or email me directly at Becky.LOTB@gmail.com. I’d love to hear how your Paleo journey is going for you!
Good luck! 🙂
If you’re more of a visual learner: