You’ve decided to give this whole Paleo thing a try, but does the thought of eliminating bread, cheese, candy, and all of your other favorite foods seem impossible? If so, you're not alone. Transitioning to a new way of eating can be very challenging. Notice I called this "a new way of eating". I hesitate to use the word "diet" because there's an association there with restriction and deprivation. Eating Paleo is anything but! Paleo is about eating real food, not fake food imposters found in boxes, bags, and other packages with labels. Real food is what our bodies are designed to process. It fuels us to operate at our optimal potential. So when you think about Paleo, shift your mindset from thinking of it as a diet to thinking of it simply as a way of eating real food that supports your body to perform at its best. That's the first step in starting out on this Paleo journey. When I talk to our amazing Pete’s Paleo customers, they say that they love this way of eating because they’re losing weight, eliminating their sugar cravings, and managing or reversing their health issues as a result of changing the way they’re eating. But getting started on any new eating plan isn't always easy, so today I want to give you three tips to help you get started.
Tip #1. Ease into It GraduallyIf the thought of jumping into a brand new way of eating overwhelms you, consider taking the more gradual approach. Start by eliminating “non-paleo” foods one by one instead of all of them at once. Alternatively, you can start adding in healthier foods like vegetables and healthy fats, which will crowd out the less healthy foods from your diet. Take some kind of action, no matter where you’re starting out. Feeling overwhelmed makes it difficult to get started, so choose just one thing you can start doing today. If you drink soda regularly, start by eliminating it for a week. If you currently don’t eat vegetables, start by incorporating them into just one meal per day. Then continue adding more of these little goals as you accomplish them.
Tip #2. Keep it SimplePaleo doesn’t have to be complicated. When you’re just starting out, don’t feel pressured to follow complex recipes that contain 30 ingredients.
- Breakfast can be a simple smoothie or eggs with veggies.
- Lunch can be a salad chock full of your favorite veggies and topped with leftover animal protein from the night before.
- Dinner can be a bun-less burger with a side of veggies.
If you’re not feeling too adventurous with spices, some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder can add plenty of flavor to an otherwise bland meal. Want to add some heat? Sprinkle a little cayenne pepper. Experiment with different ways to prep your veggies so you don’t get bored, such as steaming, mashing, sauteing, or roasting.
Tip #3. Plan Ahead
Sticking to any eating plan is even more challenging when we’re unprepared. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead so you can set yourself up for success:
- If you aren't quite ready to delve into all this cooking and you need a jumpstart, order a week or a month of ready-to-eat meals from Pete’s Paleo to get you on the right track.Spend a couple of hours on the weekend to prep your food for the week. Get a slow cooker which will save you time and provide you with enough meals for the entire week.
- Portion out your snacks. Get a small baggie or container and fill it up with nuts or sliced veggies.
- Make your smoothie the night before, so it’s ready to go in the morning.
- Use your freezer. Make large quantities of burgers, soups, curries, and chili (bean-less) to freeze. Put them in the fridge the night before to defrost and simply reheat when you’re ready to eat them.