If you're looking for a lifestyle change and you want to start a Paleo diet plan, there is a lot of information to absorb! With a quick Google search, you can find tons of information about the Paleo diet, but it can seem a bit overwhelming at first and the information is scattered all over the place. With these tips, you can read through and take notes to help you start your Paleo diet!
Read ten different sites on the internet and you'll find minor differences of what is and isn't okay on the Paleo diet plan. Whenever someone asks me what Paleo means, I say it's a healthy way to eat by removing many foods that cause problems for a large group of people.
When they ask what isn't allowed, my answer is “No soy, no grains, no refined & artificial sugar, no dairy, and no legumes.” Which normally leads to the question “What CAN you eat?” That's easy: real food! We eat a ton of vegetables, meat & fish, nuts & seeds, and fruit.
Things are a little interesting when my whole family gets together for Sunday dinner since we have more food restrictions then. Both my sister and I can't have almonds. I am sensitive to chicken, squash, and tuna.
My brother and sister can't do coconut. Our mom can't have nightshades or apples. It requires a bit of planning but we manage to come up with some delicious, filling recipes the whole family can enjoy.
How to Start a Paleo Diet Plan
1. Rid your house of all the “bad” food!
Start by going through your pantry and getting rid of all the processed food. This will probably be the bulk of the cleaning out that you'll do! Of course, rid the fridge and such of all the processed food as well! Getting that food out of the house will keep you from being tempted to eat it, and it will help as you turn over your new leaf to a paleo diet plan!
Trying to go paleo in a house full of foods for the standard American diet is setting yourself up for failure. Try to get your entire family on board – in my case, I do the shopping & donated what we wouldn't be eating anymore to family & friends.
2. Find some recipes you like.
Finding recipes you like is crucial to the process! This will ensure your success on a paleo diet. You can scour Pinterest for great Paleo recipes. After you've tried a few that you know you like, keep them on hand so you can refer back to them easily!
Paleo involves a lot of cooking and meal prep so you'll want easy access to your recipes! You can also pick up a few Paleo cookbooks to help you out. Practical Paleo is one of my personal favorites! I also love One Pot Paleo to cut down on dishes and Make-Ahead Paleo to stock up the freezer with easy, delicious Paleo dishes!
3. Do some research.
There's a lot of differing opinions on the paleo diet, and with that comes a lot of conflicting ideas. It's best to do your own research and make your own judgments based on what you think is best for your situation, your lifestyle, and your body.
You can read testimonials from people who have successfully changed to a paleo diet as well as reading some books that are written by doctors who study the paleo diet. It's all up to you how you research, but make sure you're going into this educated and open-minded!
4. Make sure your kitchen is stocked.
Paleo isn't much about calorie counting, but instead filling yourself with foods that are great fuel for your body! Eat when you're hungry, and make sure you are staying energized. By keeping your house full of delicious Paleo food, you'll never be strapped for snacks and tempted to eat unhealthy convenience food!
5. Get yourself some decent kitchen tools.
You'll definitely want a great set of knives (even if you don't end up doing Paleo) to get you through the weeks. A great knife set can make a world of difference for someone who cooks frequently. Along with knives, you'll want some nice cutting boards, pots and pans, and maybe even a mandoline slicer to cut down the food prep time!
6. Plan out your meals in advance.
The hardest part of Paleo for me was not having my easy fallbacks (like spaghetti, tacos, calling for pizza, etc) for busy nights. Having a meal plan all laid out (and having Siri remind me to thaw meat) made a big difference.
Prepping veggies in advance helped too! If you need meal ideas, check out my Paleo Meal Plan Mondays! Make sure you plan out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and don't forget snacks! You can use a website like PlanToEat.com, a pen & paper, or a spreadsheet. I've done all methods, but have been using a Google sheet lately.
A Paleo Diet Plan doesn't have to be difficult to begin. These are the top 5 tips I have to begin your new journey to better health. In no time at all, you'll wonder how you ever ate any differently.