I often chose blog topics based on questions, comments and suggestions I get from readers and clients. Just the other day, I received one such blog topic request, asking for some “good” Paleo guidance and advice about the basic challenges all those who are new to Paleo have.
What a timely request, at the start of the new year!
Here are five basics to keep in mind, whether you’re new to Paleo or just need a refresher.
- Keep it simple. Build your meals as follows: start with some veggies (the leafier the better), then add some lean protein followed by some good fat.
- Also take the uncomplicated approach to choosing which foods to eat. If it’s a piece of grass-fed lean meat or wild fish, a bunch of organic leaves or some fresh fruit, go for it. If it’s something that came in a box or can, skip it, with very few ‘in a pinch’ exceptions.
- Don’t over think how many grams of protein you need at each meal or number of calories. Yes, you can guestimate, but you must let your body’s hunger cues supersede numbers on a piece of paper. If you went on an epic hike all day Sunday, and had randomly decided you need to eat 2,000 calories per day, there’s a good chance that on that Monday, you’d likely be in a deficit and may need more than that arbitrary number. It may take some getting used to, but sooner than later, if you pay attention, your body will let you know how much of each of the fresh, whole Paleo foods you need at each meal.
- Include variety, but don’t feel overwhelmed about having completely different foods at every meal. The big picture is what’s important. If you prepare a whole roast chicken and a large pot of steamed broccoli and buy a giant avocado and pick off of those for a day or two, and then move along to your next batch of baked salmon, raw kale and olive oil, that’s a completely acceptable, not to mention far more efficient than thinking you have to allocate three hours per day to do a gourmet prep in the kitchen.
- Plan. Always have a plan. Plan ahead for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plan your shopping list for the grocery store and plan what you’re going to eat at your business dinner next week by taking a peek at the menu online and calling ahead to ask if the chef can prep any of the dishes soy/gluten/dairy etc. – free.
In the most basic terms, remember this, something I’ve said many a time before:
Eat food, don’t eat anything that isn’t food, and move.