Cutting out things that may currently be a staple in your diet (bread, pasta, cereal, oatmeal, etc.) may seem overwhelming. I used to eat oatmeal or granola for breakfast, hoagies or sandwiches for lunch, and pasta, potatoes, and rice as a third of my dinner. But when I found out about Paleo, it seemed so obvious that if I replaced all of the processed carbs I was eating with vegetables that I would be eating healthier. I felt like my eyes had been opened and was babbling all the new information to Dave until he was sick of listening. He was a little resistant at first, but he supported my efforts and got on board. We weren’t very strict, still grabbing hoagies for convenient lunches, enjoying Dave’s mom’s decadent desserts, and oh yeah, there was beer and maybe even some mixed drinks. But Dave started losing weight, it was falling off him, it really seemed like he was down another pound every day. He lost 25 lbs over a few months and looked great! He was a believer.
For some people, it’s best to dive in head first! The Whole30 is a great way to see quick changes in your body and understand why you would want to eat this way, but it’s also intense and can be intimidating for a beginner. However, even making small changes in your diet can make a big impact on your health. Here’s a few tips to help you start out!
1. Replace your rice/pasta/potatoes with another veggie!
I used to eat a meat, a veggie, a starch for dinner just like conventional wisdom told me I should. An easy step towards eating more Paleo is to replace your starchy side for another vegetable. A side salad, some roasted cauliflower, grilled asparagus, steamed spinach, even steam in the bag veggies from the freezer. Get creative with new-to-you veggies, google some recipes or buy a cookbook, bust out of your iceburg salad, plain boiled vegetable rut!
2. Just say no to buns!
Plain grocery store bread, bagels, hamburger buns, etc. don’t really taste good. A fresh crusty bread from a bakery… ok, that tastes good but the majority of bread products that people shovel into their mouths only taste good because of the sauce, spread, meat, spices, veggies, etc you put on top if it. So why not just eat more of the good stuff?
- Order your burger without the bun, you can try a lettuce wrap or just eat it with a fork (easier to load up unlimited toppings of sautéed onions and mushrooms, avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickles… and bacon!)
- Skip sandwich bread and make a lunch meat roll up! Lay out two pieces of lunch meat, overlapping the edges of them. Layer cheese, your condiment of choice, lettuce, tomatoes, whatever you want and roll it up! I recommend two or three and you can make them all different!
- Make a lettuce boat! Skip tortillas and shuttle buffalo chicken into your mouth using a nice piece of romaine lettuce.
3. Get rid of your sugar bomb breakfast!
Breakfast seems to be a frenzy of juice, cereal, oatmeal, granola, and baked goods, but this just leads to a blood sugar rollercoaster and you’re probably hungry before you even make it to lunch. Loading up on protein and veggies will keep you full and keep you slim. Make a green smoothie or cook up a veggie omelet. If you don’t have time in the mornings, make some egg muffins, a frittata, or some hard boiled eggs ahead of time for a quick grab and go breakfast for the week. Or *gasp* eat dinner leftovers for breakfast. You can eat anything at any time, so if you’re struggling for breakfast options, make extra at dinner.
4. Eat whole foods!
Try to eat things that don’t have an ingredient list (meats, veggies, fruits, nuts). If they do have a list, the fewer the better! If you can’t pronounce something on that list, then how do you know what it’s doing to your body?!
Hope this helps, let me know if you’re thinking about Paleo and want to know more
Do you have any Paleo eating tips?