Going Paleo: A Starter’s Guide

There are many diet plans and programs that offer advice on nutrition and healthful eating.  Each has its own merits and drawbacks. When choosing an approach, consider your unique needs to decide what will work best for you.

A Paleo lifestyle is one of many approaches that gained popularity in the last few years. Although Paleo proponents have different recommendations about what to eat, the foundational approach is philosophically similar for this group (1). Essentially, Paleo diets focus on back-to-basics whole foods, i.e. those that our Paleolithic era ancestors ate when they relied on hunting and gathering for sustenance, before the rise of agriculture.

Thinking about trying Paleo? Use our tips to get started and stay committed.

Tip 1 – Understand Paleo foundations to guide food choices and portions

Research Paleo philosophy and be sure you agree with it before committing. We’ve listed a few references at the end of the blog post to get you started.


Paleo Essentials:

  • Eat grass-fed animals (and all their parts like liver, kidneys, intestines), fish, eggs, and organic plants, fruit, nuts, and seeds in season.
  • Avoid grains, legumes, and dairy.
  • Avoid all processed foods, especially refined sugars.
  • Paleo plate should comprise “2/3 fresh vegetables, palm-sized protein, a dollop of fat and the rest fruit.” (2)

Tip 2 – Prepare for Paleo

  • Gradually reduce consumption of foods on the Paleo ‘avoid’ list.
  • Print Paleo Shopping List to help with choices. (3)
  • Find Paleo recipes that excite you and save for easy reference.
  • Try 3 of our delicious original recipes for starters: Egg Cups, Chicken Salad, and Turkey Stuffed Peppers.
  • Modify your own favorite recipes for Paleo.
  • Create weekly meal plans.
  • Cook extra food for breakfast leftovers.
  • Make meals from scratch.
  • Be creative with replacing favorite foods. For example, use portobello mushrooms, eggplant slices, or lettuce leaves instead of hamburger buns.

Tip 3 – Get your family on board to increase chance of success

  • Educate family members about Paleo and its benefits.
  • Prepare Paleo feasts for 1 week to show its abundance and get them excited.
  • Have kids list their favorite Paleo-approved foods.
  • Involve kids in planning and preparing meals.
  • Once the family is excited, challenge yourselves to follow a Paleo eating plan for 30 days.
  • Discuss strategies for dealing with ‘avoid’ foods at school, restaurants, parties.
  • Review online menus before visiting restaurants; ask for substitutions when ordering.

Tip 4 – Seek out others who share Paleo eating philosophy

  • Share recipes and strategies with other Paleo followers.
  • Entertain at home with Paleo-based menus.
  • Bring Paleo-inspired appetizers to events and parties.
  • Answer questions about Paleo without trying to convert everyone else to Paleo.

Above all, in following a Paleo lifestyle be flexible because we live in 2017, a far reach from 2.5 million years ago! Our homes, grocery stores, schools, offices are filled with ‘avoid’ foods. Sometimes you’ll need to eat that slice of pizza that’s being served. Just enjoy it!

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References:

(1) Proponents of Paleo Diets: http://www.westonaprice.org/; http://thepaleodiet.com/; http://robbwolf.com/; http://www.marksdailyapple.com/#axzz2eS82cnmx

(2) http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/paleo-diet-craze-pt-1; http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/paleo-diet-craze-pt-2; http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/paleo-diet-craze-pt-3.

(3) Fragoso, S., Everyday Paleo: Embracing a Natural Diet & Lifestyle to Increase Your Family’s Health, Fitness & Longevity, Las Vegas, USA: Victory Belt Publishing, 2011; Ultimate Paleo Guide

General Resources:

http://www.paleoplan.com/resources/paleo-plan-food-guide/;

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paleolithic_diet

 

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Celebrate the Power of Change

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© Wuyanjun | Dreamstime Stock Photos

International Women’s Day is March 8th, and the theme for the March-long celebration this year is “Be Bold for Change”.

Typically, we don’t like to highlight or celebrate days like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and similar ones because they are too commercialized.  We do believe, however, in the underlying concept of pausing and appreciating the meaning of these celebrations.  This year’s International Women’s Day theme is particularly meaningful for fitness, nutrition and wellness:

“Be Bold for Change”

There are people who fear change, love change, initiate change, stop change, tolerate change, or experience so many other emotions with change!  The reality for every human is that change happens whether you want it or not, and it can happen slowly or quickly.  Every day our bodies go through changes that we can’t even detect as our cells renew themselves and decay.  To some degree, you have a choice about renewing or decaying your body, mind, and spirit.

Fitness and nutrition are powerful tools that make a difference so BE BOLD this month and CHANGE your bad fitness and nutrition habits into good ones.

Fitness women

©Redbaron – Dreamstime

Here are 31 some simple ways to follow through:

  1. Exercise more often.
  2. Increase the intensity of your workouts.
  3. Get more sleep.
  4. Drink less alcohol.
  5. Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  6. Eat less takeout or processed foods.
  7. Try a new resistance training program.
  8. Take a walk after dinner.
  9. Eat less sugar (added sugar like sweets!).
  10. Relax your mind by meditating.
  11. Try yoga workout.
  12. Cook at home more often.
  13. Drink less soda or sugary drinks.
  14. Drink less coffee
  15. Drink more green tea.
  16. Stop dieting.
  17. Eat more balanced meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
  18. Eat appropriate portion sizes for your body weight and goals.
  19. Sit less and move more.
  20. Stretch before and after physical activities.
  21. Workout with a partner.
  22. Join a running or cycling or skiing or swimming group.
  23. Dance with your kids, spouse, partner, friends.
  24. Walk to work or to run errands.
  25. Try spin classes or pilates or Zumba class or cross-fit.
  26. Walk the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator.
  27. Bring your home-made lunch to work or school.
  28. Cut up veggies to have handy in the fridge for snacks.
  29. Do sit ups or crunches every day.
  30. Throw out processed foods from your pantry and fridge.
  31. Keep a daily journal of your fitness and nutrition activities to challenge yourself to do better.

It’s going to be hard work.  It’s going to be frustrating and disappointing sometimes, so that’s why you need to be BOLD and DETERMINED.  

When you follow through, at the end of the month, you will see physical differences and be elated by your effort.

Happy International Women’s Month to all the wonderful women around the world.

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