Wednesday, March 9, 2011

10 Tips for Eating Paleo

“Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that support exercise but not body fat.”

1. Enjoy eating paleo. Enjoy what you eat. If you are unhappy with what you are eating you are unlikely to continue to keep eating that way, and once the nutrition is gone, staying fit and healthy becomes much harder. I stick tried and true to my favorite recipes and try to shake something up each time I make it.

2. Pre-cook food. Spend a few hours at the beginning of the week and cook big batches of food. This will allow you to minimize the amount of time that you have to spend cooking during the week. I generally like to cook at least for two days when I cook during the week, since I work all day, then wod, then finally make it home and don’t necessarily want to cook every day.

3. Cook more that you need. This is similar to the previous tip, the idea being that if you cook more than you need for one meal then you can eat it later, or the next day. Plus, depending on your workout that day, you may be hungier than you realize and without enough food, there’s that tendency to stray!

4. Rather than cutting yourself off from all of those foods which you enjoy that aren’t 100% paleo friendly, simply eat smaller amounts and be moderate. Remember, you’re trying to fit paleo into your life the best that you can, you don’t necessarily have to be 100% strict while you’re getting used to the diet. Just do your best, that’s all you can ask for. And remember that it’s okay to have cheat days, you can’t be perfect every day.

5. Do not keep junk/unhealthy food that you know you shouldn’t eat, in the house. For most people, if it is in the house they will eventually eat it. When I recently moved last year, I ended up throwing out all my pastas and other non-paleo foods as I went through my cabinets. If it’s there, I know I’ll have a bad night and want to attack the cabinets!

6. Do not run out of food. This is horrible. Do not let it happen to you. Always keep a package of bacon and eggs available just in case, it’s always something to fall back on! I like to make a weekly ground beef mixture with onions and peppers that’s easy to heat up quickly if you don’t feel like cooking and is delicious as a salad protein.

7. Try planning out your meals for a week. This comes easily to type one personalities, for the rest of us it can be a nuisance. Though this has the benefit of ensuring you know what you need in the house for the week, and eliminates that time wasting period during which you try and figure out what you should cook for dinner.

8. Keep a handy meal replacement shake/can of tuna in your car/office/desk/bag for a paleo friendly snack in case plans change. Protein, protein, protein, you can never go wrong. I like to keep almonds or almond butter around, just be careful not to overdo it!

9. Learn to use spices; this will do wonders for you and will offer variety and different flavors to your meals. I’m slowly making my spice collection a little bigger, picking up one more thing every time I go food shopping. It makes a world of difference, especially with regards to #1. The same exact meal can taste completely different using italian seasonings instead of sage. In regards to salt, I choose to use only sea salt and that’s sparingly. There’s a good amount of salt-free seasoning mixes out there, I used to use Mrs. Dash a lot, but I’m going to try out a few other brands.

10. Eat lots of vegetables; try and eat a good variety with many different colors. And if you can, try to eat for the season and locally. It not only helps out your area’s economy, but you’re getting fresher fruits and vegetables that aren’t picked unripe and then ripen during transport. Every few months, you’ll have new choices to pick from!