This post is sponsored by Puritan's Pride.
I've been Paleo for almost 5 years now and I know first-hand that going Paleo can seem pretty daunting in the beginning. With a strong focus on real, whole foods Paleo does require a bit more planning and preparation than other ways of eating. However, with just a few simple tweaks and additions to your weekly routine it can be a breeze.
Whether you’re making a permanent Paleo lifestyle change or gearing up for a 30 day Paleo challenge, set yourself up for success with these tips:
- Get good information. First things first, I always recommend people get good info on Paleo before starting. As Paleo gets more popular I'm seeing a lot more conflicting, wishy-washy, confusing stuff out there. I cannot stress enough the importance of getting good information from the start. I recommend reading: The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf or Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo (and of course their corresponding websites). For a quick Paleo Cheat Sheet check out my post: What is Paleo?
- Commit. Commitment is key. Past experience and conversations with readers, friends, and family have taught me that going “a little bit Paleo” doesn’t work well. Especially not in the beginning. Commit to going all out and jumping in for a full 30 days of strict Paleo to start. Then, you can tweak from there and find what works best for you.
- Gather recipes. Boredom is the enemy of any healthy eating plan. If Paleo is new to you definitely take the time to gather plenty of Paleo-friendly recipes. Peruse Pinterest, blogs, and Paleo cookbooks for ideas. Be sure to find a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes to suit your tastes. Don’t forget snacks too!
- Meal plan. Many of us rely a lot on quick-fix frozen, boxed or packaged meals (or take-out), especially on busy weeknights. With Paleo this isn’t really an option. The best way I’ve found to keep my weeknights running smoothly is: meal planning. It is a complete lifesaver for my family and I believe a must for succeeding with Paleo. Check out my post on Paleo Meal Planning for a complete how-to.
- Make a complete shopping list. Don’t set off for the grocery store unprepared! Take your weekly meal plan, check what you have on hand, and then make a complete shopping list. A little time spent planning ahead will save you time and money at the store.
- Stock up. As I said, boredom is the enemy. Make sure to stock up on a variety of Paleo foods. Especially spices and Paleo-friendly snacks; these are easy to forget, but hugely important in succeeding on a Paleo eating plan. Nothing is worse than going to the cupboards and finding nothing Paleo-friendly to eat!
- Take time for weekly food prep. Weekly food prep is another must for me. A little time on Sunday afternoon is priceless in streamlining your week and setting yourself up for successful food choices all week long!
- Cook too much and plan to eat leftovers. Many will find that cooking becomes a bit more time consuming on Paleo. Get the most bang for your cooking time buck by cooking too much when you do cook. Double or even triple recipes and plan to eat leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Leftovers are a complete lifesaver for me and I work them into my meal-planning.
- Carry snacks with you! When you’re out and about it isn’t always easy to find Paleo-friendly fare. Plan ahead and keep Paleo-friendly snacks at your fingertips at all times. Make your own trail mix and carry it in your purse, diaper bag, or glove box. Take nuts and seeds with you. Some people even go so far as to carry a mini cooler stocked with things like chopped veggies and boiled eggs. Whatever works best for you, just be sure to never find yourself needing to reach for a candy bar in the checkout line!
- Find support. Support is so important for succeeding with any life changes. Let your friends, family, and co-workers know you’re trying out Paleo and ask for their support. Reach out to any Paleo friends or family you may have. Find support online. Join a Paleo Challenge group. There are tons of groups going on all the time online or at certain gyms. Also, try searching the #Paleo hashtag on Twitter or Instagram to find accounts to follow.
What did I miss? What would you add to the list?