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Eating Healthy is a Choice
If you know your food choices plays a significant role in your well-being, then why wouldn’t you invest in making the right food choices. When I originally heard about Paleo Diet, I thought it was just another diet trend. It is usually referred to as the “Caveman diet”, which sounds outrageous! I definitely had no intent of trying something known as the “Caveman diet”. However, what I realized is that the word “diet” is definitely misleading. The premise of Paleo is to eat similar to our ancestors who lived on meat, fish and plants. The Paleo diet is not about a quick fix to weight loss, but it is a way to optimize healthy eating by changing one’s eating habits. Yes, the focus is about eating high-quality protein, fats, and healthy carbs!
Transition to a Healthier Choice
It is pretty easy to slowly transition into this lifestyle instead of going cold turkey. There are hundreds of recipes available online that require basic ingredients and can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. I can recall my very first Paleo dish. A coworker brought in a batch of brownies. I was reluctant to try it when she told me the brownies were Paleo and she did not use flour or sugar. However, by lunch time, I caved in and tried one of her brownies. I could not believe how delicious the brownie tasted. I knew I wanted to try to replicate the recipe to see if it was the real deal. The brownie recipe called for almond butter, eggs, raw honey, vanilla extract, dark cocoa, sea salt, baking soda, chocolate chips, and banana. Sure enough, it took only 10 minutes to mix the ingredients and 25 minutes to bake it in the oven. For the full recipe, then go to Paleo Brownies. If you want no bake brownies, then check out the recipe at Paleo Grubs.
After realizing how easy it was to make brownies, I began to experiment with other recipes. My weakness is sweets and I wanted to find a way to substitute an unhealthy snack for a healthier one. There are tons of delicious dessert recipes, so don’t think sweets are off limits. The key is that many of these recipes do not require traditional flour instead; coconut flour, coconut flakes, almond flour, or almond butter serves as a great substitute. I’ve made strawberry banana bread, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, and banana nut bread. Now, you are probably wondering what else can you make beyond sweet treats!
You can definitely eat meat, seafood, vegetables, and even some carbs for dinner. A honey garlic glazed chicken dish can be made in less than 30 minutes with just a few ingredients. Check out the recipe at Damn Delicious. If you want to add a carb, then consider a sweet potato. You can easily slice a sweet potato into wedges, top it with rosemary and Italian seasoning, then roast it in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Looking for a quick Friday night dish, then try Spinach Cilantro Turkey Burgers. The recipe is simple, the recipe makes about 5 burgers, and only takes about 20-30 minutes to prep and cook. How about adding a little Mexican flavor to the menu, then try shredded beef tacos with homemade tortillas by checking out the recipe at Pinterest. The great thing about Paleo is that it provides a variety of dishes, so you never have a dull meal.
You have to be mindful that when you change your eating habits to make sure your body is still getting all the same nutrients. For example, since this is a dairy-free diet, there it is important to take dairy supplements to make up for the loss of dairy in your diet. Lastly, if you are not eating certain foods, then you may want to consider taking a multi-vitamin to replace the nutrients you are not receiving through your food. That should be the case for any diet you are considering. If you don’t replace those nutrients, then there can be a nutrient imbalance. It is important to take supplements in addition to eating, so you can make up for the nutrients your body is not receiving through your food intake. It is important to monitor your progress throughout the process to determine what works for you. This is not a one-size fits all diet!
Budget for It
Now that you are leading a healthier lifestyle you may notice a change in your grocery bill. Fresh foods cost more than canned or frozen foods, so it is important to shop around to find good deals. When shopping around for ingredients, make sure to take your time to know where to find the best deals. Don’t freak out, because you don’t have to buy all your ingredients from the Organic grocery store. More and more traditional grocery stores are selling a mixture of the same foods you can find at an organic grocery store at cheaper prices. Last time I visited Target, and I noticed they are now stocked with almond flour and coconut oil; two ingredients that I use quite frequently. Also, make sure to check out your local farmer’s market. It is worth the time, energy, and cost to shop healthy, because of the long-term cost savings in health care. Eating right reduces the risk of health problems and increases longevity!
Don’t get me wrong, this change in lifestyle does not happen overnight. I still continue to explore options to make sure I have the right meal plan to meet my needs. Once I found what works for me, I could not believe how easy it is to reduce grains, legumes, and dairy and increase my intake of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By doing so, I noticed improvements in my energy level, weight control, and skin conditions. For example, I have a severe case of eczema. Since I have changed my eating habits I noticed I am experiencing less eczema breakouts.
It is important to find a meal plan that helps you to change your perspective on your eating habits and lifestyle. I choose this one, because it is all about eating clean without strict rules and plenty of variety.