There are so many incredible foods to share with you on the “approved foods” list, which might sound funny to some of you, since you first hear that you have to omit all processed foods including grains, sugar and dairy and think “what the hell am I going to eat then?”
The truth is, MyPaleo diet focuses on fresh, healthy and delicious foods which we can build upon to help adapt to the way of life we’ve grown accustomed to. So instead of feeling as though we’re living without, we can get back to enjoying whole (unprocessed) foods in a way that is similar to what you’re used to now. The major difference? You will be preparing the foods yourself, rather than buying them pre-made in the stores. So in other words, you can save up your Good Karma Food points, and spend them on your cheat day, and enjoy a muffin, cookie, pizza, pasta, etc. The key is to still stick with the good benefits you’ve learned from the Paleo lifestyle, which is to make those goodies with coconut oil, rather than any other processed oils, to replace sugar with coconut sugar or stevia, to use raw cacao instead of milk chocolate, etc.
The trick to loving MyPaleo is to adapt it to suit your specific needs, and in a way that makes you feel most comfortable. Don’t get me wrong, this wont be easy at first, and you will definitely go through phases of withdrawal, especially if you’re a hard core processed food guy or gal. But remember, this is a lifelong journey that you’re about to embark on, and one that you have to be committed to.
So ask yourself:
Am I ready to reverse the damage that this current unhealthy American diet I’m on has caused?
Do I want to look and feel younger than I can remember feeling?
Do I want to have more energy? Lose weight? Potentially prevent cancer? Stop worrying about words like obesity, diabetes, fatigue, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc?
I’m guessing yes, otherwise you wouldn’t be here! So while I will continue to post thoughts about why we live the MyPalelo life, how to start, how to stay focused, and most importantly, what it means to store your good karma points, read on for the initial list of foods you can love while living the Paleo life.
Here’s a quick review of the No List again for review:
- Processed foods
- Added Sugar
- White potatoes
- Vegetable oils
Now, here’s what you CAN eat:
- All animal proteins
- All vegetables, except as listed above
- All fruits (in moderation)
- Quality fat sources: coconut products, olives and olive oil, avocados
- Nuts and seeds (in moderation)
Recommended Fats and Oils:
- Coconut oil – organic and virgin
- Red palm or palm kernel oil – organic and virgin
- Animal fats – lard, beef and lamb tallow, chicken/duck/goose fat
Safer Fats for Cooking (stir-frying, sautéing, low heat):
- Olive oil – unfiltered, organic, extra virgin
- Avocado oil
- Macadamia nut oil
- Sesame oil
The Paleo diet allows meat from all animal sources, including more exotic meats like bison and venison. Avoid processed meats such as cold cuts, hot dogs and sausages, and be sure to focus on grass-fed meats, rather than the more commonly found grain-fed meats to avoid the harm from grains which the animals had consumed. Yes, it’s true that you eat what they ate, so be clear and dedicated to your grain-free life by eating grass-fed meds whenever possible.
Eggs are a great source of protein, and whole eggs are recommended for the Paleo diet; because of their higher nutrient content, eggs from free-range chickens are recommended over those from caged chickens.
So now that you have a complete list of what you CAN eat, remember to start off by cleaning out your pantry and give yourself a fresh start, with as little temptation as possible. If you’re not avoiding certian foods due to food allergies, then you may be more likely to be tempted by those processed foods that your spouse or child might still want to have around. So until you’re all following the Paleo life together, stay strong and avoid the pantry. Besides, all your foods will be healthy and fresh, so the fridge and freezer will be your best friends.
Oh, and one helpful tip for those with allergies or on a special diet – set aside a cupboard for yourself! Keep only those allergy-free versions or Paleo approved foods and spices which you can enjoy so you don’t touch any other cupboards. Just a little trick to help keep you on track.
Speaking of helpful tips, here are a few more:
1. Set aside a separate pantry just for you (just covered it but worth repeating!)
2. Select a food prep day and use that to make your meals ahead of time.
3. Get a really good Paleo cookbook for inspiration: I recommend WellFed by Melissa Joulwan (she’s local to Austin and I hope to meet her one day cuz I LOVE her book: http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/wellfed/ )
4. Don’t get stuck in a rut – that can lead to eating too much fruit, or not enough calories and both can be problematic. Explore all the wonderful varieties of foods, and if you’re not much into cooking, try a prepared food company which are offered in some areas. Or find a buddy you can test recipes with. And don’t forget #3 – get a really good Paleo cookbook to make your life easier while you adjust!
5. Relax. Smile. Breathe – the moment will pass, and when it does, you will be siting prettier, thinner and feeling better and younger than you can ever remember feeling. Take it from me – I’m well into my 30’s but feel better than I did in my 20s 🙂