Article appears courtesy of My Mostly Healthy Life.
My name is Sarah and I’m the author of My (Mostly) Healthy Life. I’ve been a big advocate of the paleo diet for the majority of this year (I’m still a “newbie”), and recently I’ve had a lot of questions about it. Most recently I’ve had people asking how to get started and how to get motivated to eat paleo (or be stricter about it if they already kind of have the concept). Whenever anyone asks me this, one of the first things I always say is that I’m not perfect, and I don’t eat paleo sometimes. Sometimes I cheat (aka McDonalds) but I always end up feeling like ass when I do. I make it very clear that there are many people much stricter about it than I am, but I can definitely give some helpful tips because of the research I’ve done on it.
The next thing I always recommend is purchasing the book The Paleo Solution. I don’t think it’s good to dive into something when you’ve done zero research on it. Robb Wolf is the author of this book and he’s one of the leading experts on the paleo diet, and he knows EVERYTHING about it – I’m not even kidding. I can tweet him when I have a random question and he gets back to me every time… It’s unreal! He’s amazing. The book not only explains the paleo diet, but it also gives a meal plan for 4 weeks of meals that you can easily attempt (it includes leftovers so it’s not like you’re spending a million dollars making a new recipe for every meal you eat). I would highly, HIGHLY recommend reading this when you start on your paleo/eating clean journey.
The second thing I would recommend is researching some paleo recipes. There are apps on iPad/iPhone with tons of paleo recipes, and I’ve used my app on multiple occasions to get recipes. My mussels recipe, my chicken divan recipe, a chicken thigh recipe, and I think a few more I’ve done have come from the app. Check it out – it will totally get you motivated and in the right mind set for eating paleo!
There are tons of resources for eating clean/eating paleo. Charles Poliquin, Tosca Reno, Dallas & Melissa Hartwig are just a few I can name off the top of my head. I’m a huge fan of all three! You can check out Charles on his blog, Tosca has 15 books you can get and read (If you’re just starting on your journey to eat clean, I’d recommend The Eat Clean Diet Recharged), and Dallas & Melissa Hartwig have a book that I’m currently reading called It Starts With Food. You can find ALL of the books I mentioned online!
Next on my list would be to suck it up and go through your cupboards, fridge and freezer, and get rid of ALL processed foods, foods with sugar, foods with wheat/gluten and foods that contain dairy (with the exception of butter). I know, I know… this sounds crazy right? It’s probably quite a few dollars’ worth of food that you’ll be throwing out, but trust me…. Out of sight, out of mind. I experienced this whole thing today. After work and before volleyball, I ventured into the convenience store below my building because C needed advil. No problem… except I also bought a pack of Skittles. Seriously. In my head I said “it’s totally fine, I’ll eat perfect tomorrow”. NO – don’t tell yourself this!! Once you’ve made the decision to eat clean, JUST START NOW! I had 15 minutes to spare after I got ready for volleyball so I read a few pages from It Starts With Food, and how processed sugary foods trick your mind and causes your body a lot of stress, and I went over to the bag with the Skittles in it and threw them away. Ugh – there goes $2 for no good reason.
One thing that is so, so important when eating clean is to stop being lazy and preparing your food in advanced. Just like how I bought a ton of food to take to Wasaga with me, you need to do the same in your everyday life. You need to break bad habits of buying your lunch every day from the restaurant at work, and bring food that you’ve cooked, and only food that you’ve cooked. I find that most people don’t mind cooking dinner, so I always recommend making a little bit more at dinner, and taking it for left overs for lunch. It’s a perfect set up – no prep in the morning, and it’s no different than making dinner. Make sure you have enough Tupperware to hold all of your leftovers! I also recommend veggies and fruit because let’s face it, you can eat almost any veggies raw, the only prep those need is being chopped up, and fruit basically comes in its own packaging anyways. How easy is it to throw a whole orange in your purse and not worry about it? How much less work is possible!?
I love learning about food and nutrition more than anything, so if you ever have nutrition or clean eating questions, please ask!! If I don’t know the answer, then I will find out and let you know and then I’ll get to learn something new as well! I hope that my advice on here helps you get a start on eating clean. I really do think this way of eating will help so many people feel so much better physically and mentally. It’s such an ego boost when someone comments “wow… you eat so healthy!” and it’s so motivating to feel just so great and full of energy. I promise, even if you crave carbs like crazy for the first few weeks it will be sooooo worth it once you get past that part. So cheers to clean eating and getting started on the rest of your life!
Let me know if you’ve just started eating clean/paleo – what’s been the hardest part for you? Or if you’ve been eating clean/paleo for a while, what’s been the biggest difference for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts/opinions! You can contact me on twitter @sarahohm, on Facebook at facebook.com/mymostlyhealthylife or on my blog at www.mymostlyhealthylife.com. I can’t wait to hear from you!