Sunday, March 31, 2013

Paleo for dummies

Getting started is hard. Most of you know I did this slowly over the past year and then went whole hog in January for the Whole30. Originally, it was because after hearing 15 years of tummy complaints, college bff Heather suggested I give up gluten. HOLY LIFE CHANGE. And interestingly enough, now she is trying Paleo after her doc suggested it as a healthier eating option :) So that inspired me to share a few of the things that made this transition a bit easier for me.... b/c one year ago when I joined crossfit and heard about the paleo crazy, I thought there was no way on the planet I could give up pasta. But apparently, I can, I did, and I don't think I'll go back (although when it Italy....)

These are my go-to cookbooks. Not only do they have yummy recipes, most contain tips on meal planning, eating out, exercise, or general health (science-y stuff) information.

Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan- this is a basics book. How to prep for the week; how much to buy; how to cook ahead to virtually make anything during the week (she calls them "hot plates"- basically mixing up pre cooked veg + meat + spices).

Paleo Comfort Food by Julie & Charles Mayfield. I live in the south now... and let me tell you, a girl gets used to southern soul food. This cookbook has really good paleo-fied recipes of some favorites like fried chicken, creamed spinach, and a couple dessert recipes!

Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo- this is a cliffs notes version of It Starts With Food; basically a nutrition 101 (for science idiots like me, its understandable). And I haven't tried a recipe I didn't like. Yet.

Everyday Paleo by Sarah Fragoso- my first purchase. Exercise 101 (especially for the crossfitters) and paleo basics. Some of the recipes are hit or miss, but a lot of good info in here.

Kitchen Basics

Pantry items I can't live without: coconut oil, sea salt, honey, coconut aminos (good sub for soy!), ghee, EVOO, coconut cream (TJs brand).

Cooking utensils I can't live without: food processor (mine just broke...argh.), measuring cups (courtesy of Leigh I have like 800 measurement options), measuring spoons, spatula, tongs.

Wish list: XL wooden cutting board (I got one for Xmas but still waiting on sister to send....)
Better knives/sharpener

Hints to survive that first month:

Make yourself some treats. Paleomg's granola or a paleo-fied muffin will definitely do the trick when you need something sweet or crunchy or just something that feels indulgent. In the beginning, I found it easier to ween myself off my old diet by including some treats.

MAKE YOUR FOOD ON SUNDAY. Or whatever day works, but plan ahead. You will hate yourself if you don't (believe me, you will dive headfirst into cheating if you do not have good choices on hand. that or you will get extremely sick of eating eggs for dinner b/c its the fastest thing you've got going in your fridge).

When I started, I let myself eat without limits (counting calories, etc). No need to be feeling the burden of tracking your food and restricting it!

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