Day 28

Hey Guys!

As some of you may know, tonight marks the beginning of the Islamic holiday, Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and it is during this month that Muslims everywhere participate in daily fasting, from sunrise until sunset. This abstinence from eating and drinking during the daylight hours serves to purify the soul, focus one’s attention on God, and practice self-sacrifice. Ramadan is a time for self-revaluation and peace by not only refraining from food, but also refraining from evil thoughts, words, and actions – it’s a purification process which encompasses all aspects of the mind, body, and soul.

Since I do not practice Islam, I am rather lacking in the advice department regarding how to best practice Ramadan most devoutly. However, there is one aspect of this holiday that caught my attention, and that is that during this period of fasting, many Muslims tend to gain weight.

Gaining weight while you are fasting sounds like a huge contradiction. Shouldn’t you lose weight if you aren’t eating? Well the answer is obviously no, hence why I am writing about this today.

In order to get a better idea of how this weight gain might come about, let’s look at a typical day of Ramadan:

  • The day begins with a pre-dawn meal, called suhoor, which is eaten (typically around 4:30 am!) before the fajr prayer, or “dawn” prayer.
  • Fasting begins, and everyone must carry on with their normal routine, but without food or drink.
  • At the end of the day, most families will reconvene for the maghrib or evening prayer. After, they break the fast at sunset with dates and milk.
  • Now it’s the meal everyone’s been craving all day: iftar. Typically a buffet style meal, iftar features a feast of traditional islamic dishes and most importantly, a bounty of delectable desserts.
  • The day ends with a voluntary prayer, called Taraweeh, typically around the late evening (depends on where you are, but let’s say 15 mins till 9 pm).

Here’s where some problems might arise in this schedule:

Exercise.

  • If you can’t eat throughout the day, you’re going to feel hungry, grumpy, tired and depleted of energy, and the last thing you’re going to want to do is go for a jog. And you’re probably going to be way too tired to workout in the middle of the night, especially after that big iftar meal. However, fasting can not be an excuse for laziness – if you want to avoid weight gain, exercise is going to have to happen one way or another.

What I recommend:

  • Try to embrace the morning workout. After a night’s sleep and your morning suhoor meal, you’re going to have the most energy to workout out at some point after the dawn prayer. Depending on what your day is like, you probably have some time between prayer and the start of your day since you’re up so early – instead of going back to bed try to do something to get your blood going, even if it’s low-impact yoga. A morning workout will also help give you that energy boost you need as you begin fasting for the day.

Sleep.

  • Your sleep schedule is going to get a little thrown off during Ramadan, especially if you’re the one preparing all of these meals. Some people even wake up or stay up later during the night to get a another meal in so they have their “3-square meals.” Lack of sleep or a disrupted sleep schedule can be one of the biggest contributors to an enlarged waistline. Also, you’re eating at such irregular times, or times when you wouldn’t normally eat. Disrupted sleep combined with an abnormal eating pattern can throw your body a bit off balance, which can lead to out of whack hormones and disturb your metabolism, hence weight gain.

What I recommend:

  • Get as much sleep as you can. You’re already going to be grumpy from not eating, don’t make it worse by staying up for that midnight snack. Instead of taking that lunch break in the middle of the day, take a nap! It’s not like you can use that time to eat anyway. Whatever sleep schedule you decide on, do your best to keep it consistent for the next 30 days – your body loves routine, so even though you are throwing it off it’s normal path during Ramadan, at least make your new Ramadan schedule a routine.

Binge Eating.

  • This is the big one. After an entire day of fasting, come iftar time, your body is not only going to begging for food, but it is going to be begging for two things in particular: carbs and sugar. You probably feel like you could eat an entire tray of baklava by yourself – even if you’re a “health-conscious” person, the last thing you’re going to want after fasting is a nice big salad. Nah, you’re like Pass the pita PLEASE and keep it comin’.  You’re like, I wanna make a meatball sub out of luqaimat and pita bread.

What I highly recommend for iftar:

  • Drink a big glass of water before you eat anything. After not drinking all day, this is more important than that food you want, believe it or not. It will also help take the edge off of your appetite a little so you don’t feel like you could dive head first into a pool of curry. Even though you feel like you want all of the bread and all of the sweets, do yourself a favor and have some meat. Your body needs dense calories from protein that will fill you up. It’s easy to polish off a couple dozen pieces of pita with hummus or pop a few puff pastries filled with something rich and creamy. Stick to protein and starchy veggies to fill you up – you’re much less likely to polish off an entire lamb than you are a plate of basbousa. And if you’re looking for something to snack on, go for nuts. Nuts are very calorie dense and will keep you feeling full, just try not to eat the whole bowl.
  • Slow it way down. Don’t go all Kobayashi on a plate of lamb kebobs. Eat a few smaller meals over a longer period of time – yes, this does involve a little work on your part in the self-control department, but I promise your metabolism will thank you if you eat a little bit at a time.

What I recommend for suhoor:

  • Give yourself time to eat. So many people find that they don’t have enough time to get in a proper meal before morning prayer, and so they find themselves in a panic, stuffing every last morsel of food they can find in their fridge before the call to prayer and the start of the day’s fasting. If you want to keep it healthy, you’re going to have to get up with plenty of time to prepare yourself something – it’s one of my keys to being a successful paleo, you are going to have to plan your meals, and take the time to make them. I can’t stress enough how much you should incorporate protein into your morning meal. This will keep you much fuller throughout the rest of the day. And when I say protein, I don’t necessarily mean meat, I look out for my vegans. Have nuts, beans, lentils – I know these don’t seem like typical breakfast foods, but it’s going to be your best bet for delaying those hunger pangs.

You aren’t going to like me for this one but…

  • Avoid dessert. I know I know. Desserts are a huge part of Ramadan and they are sooo good. Baklava, qatayef, basbousa, cakes, cookies – we all want like five of each. Maybe pick one special night where you treat yourself to a few of these delicacies, but if you are really worried about weight gain, say bye-bye baklava.
  • One of the reasons all of these desserts are so harmful especially during Ramadan, is that shortly after you enjoy these sugar-loaded delights, you will most likely go to bed in order to get enough sleep. Since you’re sleeping, none of this sugar gets burned off, and the body only knows how to do one thing with this sugar overload: turn it into fat.

The key to fighting binge eating is really being very conscious. It’s going to take a lot of thought and control on your part, and being very deliberate about what you put on your plate. That’s in a sense what part of Ramadan is about, being mindful – mindful of what you say and do, mindful of your thoughts- and that should translate to being mindful about what you eat even in the face of intense hunger. So take a few deep breathes when you first gaze upon that beautiful iftar feast, the food’s not going anywhere, so calm down.

Now it’s time to get into some of my own recommendations for what to eat during Ramadan to keep it a healthy, but also filling, experience.

IMG_7338One of the most filling paleo recipes I’ve made, which I think would fit right in with some of the flavors of Ramadan, was Butternut Squash and Yam Curry from The Roasted Root, which I served over a bed of cauliflower rice and topped with grilled chicken. This dish had so much flavor and was so filling, no one at the table could finish their plate. This dish has those nutrients you’re going to need after a day of fasting – protein from the chicken, and the right kinds of complex carbohydrates from the root veggies and cauliflower that your body really craves. Not to mention it’s warm and packed with such flavorful spices, it will feel like a big bowl of comfort to turn your grumpy mood right around. This needs to be on your iftar table this year.

Let’s talk couscous.

Couscous is a pretty big part of Ramadan meals. Unfortunately, couscous is made with wheat flour, and is therefore not paleo. I think cauliflower is going to be your best bet for making much healthier Ramadan meals in the form of cauliflower “rice” and cauliflower “couscous.”

Here’s some side dishes for you to try:

Paleo Mom’s Moroccan-Inspired “Couscous” Salad

Moroccan-Inspired-Cauliflower-Couscous-Salad

Note the cashews in there – these are the kinds of dense calories that are going to keep you feeling full and satisfied aka why this side dish is a winner winner iftar dinner.

Stupid Easy Paleo’s Pineapple Cauliflower Rice

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For when you want to add a little excitement to other-wise pretty plain rice.

Let’s talk meat and stew.

Some very popular meat dishes involve lamb or some type of beef stew. There’s also so many yummy stews which are filled with great veggies and spices – I’m going to make them as paleo as possible.

Definitely want to try Stupid Easy Paleo’s Lamb Kofta

dsc_0490I like that this lamb is on a stick, because that way you can hold it in one hand while you balance yourself on the elliptical with the other. Just kidding (kind of).

Stupid Easy Paleo’s Curried Beef Stew

One of the problems with many curry dishes and stews is that they are thickened using creams, flours, and broths. When making paleo stews, use full-fat coconut cream if you want to get that same thickness, and when you are picking your broth, really look at that ingredient list. Try to buy organic broth if you can, and pick the one with the least amount of added ingredients.

Borderline Paleo’s Lamb Sausage “Spaghetti” with Almond “Pangritata”

IMG_1358-1024x705Anywhere she says “ghee” I say coconut oil.

For my vegans, try some Moroccan Lentil Soup

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I would eat this as a paleo because I’m totally pro beans and I’m not gonna apologize.

Paleo Leap’s Chicken Biryani

chicken-biryani-main_lhshbxBecause lamb can’t be the only superstar of iftar.

Moroccan Fish Stew

food0081355968387

To keep this dish truly paleo, I would skip the chickpeas. If you feel it’s lacking, try adding some butternut squash or serve it over cauliflower couscous.

Let’s talk hummus and pita bread.

Paleo Pita Bread. Done.

paleo-naan

Paleo Hummus. Done. (in avocado and sweet potato flavors!)

Avocado-Hummussweet-potato-hummus-main

So now that you have pita, we can make Fattoush!

Try this recipe.

Fattoush-Salad-Recipe-7If you ask me, I think a little bit of fresh mint would go a long way in this salad.

And while we’re on the topic of salads, I think this Berry Salad would be great to combat your sweet tooth. Instead of quinoa, I would sub some avocado.

Berry-Arugula-Quinoa-Salad-4

OR this Jicama-Orange Salad

5464008580_a1da46af39Get the sweetness you’re craving from the natural sugar in fruit, not cookies.

Let’s talk I’m hungry and all I want is fried goodness.

So maybe your whole house smells like baking phyllo dough and you’re really hungry and you still only want to eat things that rhyme with flaklava.

My advice for you is to call on my good friend, the plantain.

In one of my previous posts I showed you guys plantain chips done two ways. Well, I have a feeling my cinnamon + honey plantains might help ease that sweet, crispy goodness you crave. IMG_0101

These plantains taste so good when eaten hot and fresh out of the pan, and plantains are nice and filling, so they will help keep your sweet tooth satisfied but also satisfying your tummy at the same time.

In the mood for some honest to goodness french fries? Plantains can do that too. Try these Baked Plantain Fries with Garlic Avocado Dipping Sauce.

17202832961_6e6a3a797a_zI know you’re supposed to refrain from unclean thoughts during Ramadan but those fries are just plain sexy. Mmmm.

Finally, let’s talk dates.

DSC_4027_edited-1Dates are eaten during Ramadan to break the fast. And following tradition, you can still have a nice glass of milk with your dates, just sub in either almond, cashew, or coconut milk. Or, if you’re really hungry, try these Paleo Date & Nut Energy Bars. You’re still getting your traditional dates and the added bonus of getting a little extra somethin’ with the nuts, so you don’t go busting through the wall like the Kool Aid Man to get to iftar. These would also make a great quick meal if you are in a rush when you wake up in the morning before fasting begins.

Also, if the dessert table is really getting you down, try these Raw Brownie Bites that are packed with dates. You might not feel so left out when everyone has a mouth full of cake.

brownie-bitesAlso, I want to give a quick shout out to my friend Hakeem who gave me the idea for my post today – Ramadan Mubarak, buddy!! Hope this post makes your journey happy and healthy. Or at least gives you some food pics to look at all day 😉

-Audrey

Day 26

Ya know, I really don’t know how I’ve gone on blogging for this long and havenInstasizeImage‘t talked about coffee.

I love coffee. I don’t know if I’d be where I am today without good ‘ol joe.

Now, there’s certainly a bunch of hardos out there who take their coffee black, but being someone who doesn’t enjoy drinking something that tastes like it’s burning my stomach lining, I like to take the edge off. If you’re like myself or my comrades, you’re gonna add either milk, sugar, a crap load of sugar, or both milk and sugar.

Sure, I’ve been able to comfortably cut out a lot of things from my diet, like grains and wheat, cheese, and most processed foods, but coffee was the one thing that I absolutely refused to give up. It’s not that coffee isn’t paleo, it is, but I just really couldn’t commit to drinking it black. Adding flavors is half the fun to drinking coffee.

At school, one of my go-to drinks was a caramel iced coffee from Starbucks. It was plain iced coffee, with 2 or 3 pumps of flavored syrup, and a little bit of skim milk. I definitely wasn’t at all shocked to learn that my drink of choice was setting me back about 18 grams of sugar every day. And that was just for a tall. I know plenty of people who get venti sized coffees and dump more than a couple packets of sugar or Splenda into it. Well, that’s a lot of sugar to have in just one morning.

Since I’ve been paleo, I usually take my coffee with just a small pour of chocolate almond milk. Technically there’s no dairy, so it is paleo, the problem is, there is obviously some sugar in the flavored milk, so it’s not perfect. I’m trying to work up to plain, unsweetened almond milk, but that’s going to take another month.

If you really want to cut out sugar in your life, and you’re a big coffee drinker, here’s a couple of tips:

1. Try to make your coffee at home – add either unsweetened coconut or almond milk, and nothing else.

2. If you grab coffee on your way to work, just ask them to make your latté with almond milk – a lot of coffee shops carry it these days. Also, Starbucks can make your drinks with coconut milk…I think this is new.

3. If milk isn’t enough for you and you need a little more sweetness, try adding pure vanilla or honey to your coffee, they’re great natural sweeteners! Or, if you’re looking for a fancy coffee try this honey coffee, but sub almond or coconut milk.

4. You could also make your own creamer! Check out this recipe from Stupid Easy Paleo for Vanilla Hazelnut Creamer, or this paleo Pumpkin Spice Latté.

Keep drinking your coffee, it’s good for you. And go ahead and read about this special type of coffee called Bulletproof that paleo’s seem to rave about.

I’m honestly already thinking about the coffee I’m going to have tomorrow morning.

-Audrey

Day 25

Hey Guys!

So today I got bored – kind of how most of my days start – and I actually decided it might be interesting to flip through my college’s summer edition of their magazine. Juuust as I was about to lose interest, I came across this picture:

FullSizeRender (25)

And I was like, Hey. That’s a beet. So I read on.

The first thing the article told me was that, apparently, professors actually do things in their spare time besides smoke pipes or go shopping for leather messenger bags. A lot of professors, especially the super science-y ones, spend much of their time doing research.

The article that caught my eye talked about the research conducted by Dr. Daniel Kim-Shapiro, who is now the director of the Wake Forest Translational Science Center. More than ten years ago, Dr. Kim-Shapiro was working on a study led by Mark Gladwin in which they were analyzing a compound called nitrite, who’s precursor, nitrate, is found most commonly in beets. The reason nitrite was of such interest in their study was because it gets converted into nitric oxide in the body, which acts as a vasodilator (blood vessel expander), leading to increased blood flow to various muscles, a benefit with some pretty major health implications. What these researchers found, however, was that simply ingesting nitrite might not be very good for you, but it’s precursor, nitrate, could be ingested via a decent amount of beet juice.

The scientists had one little problem: beet juice tastes nasty. You might as well just drink a giant glass of dirt.

So, Dr. Kim-Shapiro and his colleagues, in the true college fashion, set out to buy some mixers to make their drink go down a little easier. Then in 2010, with a little help from a flavoring specialist, they developed a formula for a drinkable beet juice, so yes there’s a liiitle sugar in it.Unbeetable_bottles

Today, their product called Unbeetable is sold online and in stores like Whole Foods and Harris Teeter, but currently only in the North Carolina area. Additionally, the Translational Science Center at Wake Forest University has granted Kim-Shapiro and his team five more years of support in order to explore the benefits of beet juice in patients with heart failure, stroke, and other illnesses.

Oh yeah, and this juice might be the next Gatorade

Just thought that it was pretty cool that this was all going on right in my backyard at school. Luckily, they’re sold on Amazon, so I don’t have to go all the way to North Carolina to get some.

Unfortunately there’s not beet juice in my plan today, but there is some other good food! Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.IMG_0188

Breakfast:

  • 8 oz. water
  • Turkey burger topped with spinach and an over easy egg

DRINK 16 oz. water before lunch.

Snack:

  • a peach

Lunch:

DRINK 8 oz. water before dinner.

Dinner:

  • 8 oz. water
  • Steak carnitas with sautéed peppers and onions
  • Paleo tortillas

There are so many different recipes for paleo tortillas, so if you don’t happen to have arrowroot starch or tapioca powder, just google a different recipe.

DRINK at least 8 oz. of water before bed.

I just wanna roll up inside a tortilla instead of go to work this week….

-Audrey

Day 24

Hey Guys!

Not too much for ya today! Just a couple of meal ideas. Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.

Do a handstand against the wall for 30 seconds. It will be fun, I promise.

Breakfast:FullSizeRender (24)

  • Drink 8 oz. water
  • Green smoothie (mine had bananas + cherries + strawberries + blueberries + spinach + coconut milk)

DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch.

Lunch:

  • 5 oz. can of tuna + half an avocado

Snack:whole30-141

I never knew my mom was feeding me paleo way back in the day, but ants on a log is a perfectly healthy snack for little kids and grown ups alike. Take some celery stalks, spread on some almond butter, line some raisins on top. Or you can make them red ants and use craisins. If you nanny, I highly recommend this snack – apparently little kids get really excited at the thought of eating bugs. I don’t know.

DRINK 8 oz. of water before dinner.

Dinner:

freid+rice_7738_b2I don’t know about you, but I was really starting to miss my Chinese takeout food. No fortune cookies with this one though, sorry.

DRINK 8 oz. of water before bed.

-Audrey

Day 23

Happy Friday!

Today is a really big day for Netflixers everywhere because the 3rd season of Orange is the New Black has arrived!! Well technically it was out on early release last night, but the Cavs were on, so let’s just pretend it was released today.

If you own a Netflix account and you are a girl and you haven’t seen Orange is the New Black, I highly suggest you start getting your life in order immediately, starting with season one. And don’t be shy guys, it’s a Netflix original series about the goings ons inside a female prison…you won’t be bored.

This new season is rumored to be a little “lighter” than season 2, (however light female prison can be) and creator Jenji Kohan says the themes for these upcoming episodes are faith and motherhood. Now, I’ve only watched the first episode so far, and I can definitely say it sure feels like the same old crudely hilarious and unexpectedly free-spirited show that I fell in love with in season 1. I can’t wait to start the binge.

So, no Netflix show binging is complete without cookies, so in order to pay hommage to one of my favorite unstable inmates, Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren, I made some Paleo Chocolate and Vanilla Swiiiiiirl Cookies. tumblr_mwmhi6oorY1sybaxio1_500These cookies were made with half paleo sugar cookie, smushed right up against some paleo double chocolate cookies.  FullSizeRender (23)But unlike Piper and Crazy Eyes, the flavors in these two cookies play nicely together.

Grab a nice glass of coconut milk and flick on some Netflix – just be prepared to kill a few hours and probably all of the cookies.

Here’s a little paleo food to fuel your marathon – just try to do some jumping jacks or pushups between episodes so you don’t start developing bed sores. Here’s Day 23, Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.

Want to play a Paleo Orange is the New Black drinking game? Drink a sip of water every time Crazy Eyes twirls her dreds, someone says “inmate,” Taystee does a lil’ dance, or they flashback to someone’s past. You’ll be hydrated in no time.

Breakfast:IMG_0131

DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch. Lunch:

DRINK 8 oz. of water after lunch.

DRINK 8 oz. of water before bed.

Or if you are still watching OITNB, just keep playing the drinking game.

-Audrey

Day 22

Hey Guys!

So my Day 19 posts talked a little bit about my nanny confessions – I admittedly let my kids eat like crap.

But kids are extremely picky and sometimes Mac ‘n Cheese is really the only thing they will eat. I can’t win with them.

So today, when I asked my kids what they wanted for lunch, I again wasn’t the least bit shocked to hear the resounding cry of “Mac ‘n cheese!!!!!” But this is where I thought I would try to play a few of my own cards, and instead of pulling out the Kraft with all of it’s food dyes and artificial ingredients, I made them mac ‘n cheese with all whole ingredients. I cooked noodles, added milk, butter, and shredded cheddar cheese. No it’s not a healthy meal, but I used as many whole ingredients aFullSizeRender (22)s I could.

So after whipping together this childhood-favorite substitute, I put it in front of them on the counter and eagerly waited for them to take their first bite and tell me how good it was.

Well, I was quickly disappointed when my first boy said, “Wait…this tastes funny. This isn’t mac ‘n cheese!”

“Yes it is!” I argued back, “It’s pasta with real cheese, and I made it just like Kraft mac ‘n cheese, but this one is home made!”

“Yeah well I like Kraft better! This cheese tastes funny, I like the Kraft cheese better.” he whined back.

Little did he know that I actually used Kraft brand cheddar cheese.

“I promise you it’s the exact same thing! But it should taste better since it’s homemade with real food and lots of love!” I insisted in a final attempt to keep the sinking raft afloat.

I grew worried as I watched the younger boy, a devout mac ‘n cheese enthusiast, eat his noodles in pure silence. What could he possibly be thinking I wondered. The suspense was getting to be too much.

They silently and ravenously finished all of their food, and the older Kraft-loving boy quickly fled the dinner table and disappeared into the basement. Shortly after he left, the younger brother looked at me and said smiling, “Ya know what, I think I like your mac ‘n cheese better than Kraft.”

My heart about melted. I had an overwhelming yet completely over-reactive sense of triumph as I watched him skip away after his brother. Even the pickiest little third grader knows that real whole ingredients taste better than what you get out of a package.

That was one of my bigger events for the day, sadly – so here’s Day 22, Cheers!

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.

Breakfast:

  • 8 oz. water
  • green smoothie – mine had banana + blueberries + cherries + spinach + coconut  milk

DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch.

Lunch:

  • tuna + half an avocado
  • apple

Snack:

  • cashews + almonds

DRINK 8 oz. water before dinner.

Dinner:

  • 8 oz. of water

So they were having a deal on a small crate of peaches at Trader Joes, so I decided to get one and realized I needed to start using them – so get ready for some peach-y meals over the next couple of days, starting with tonight’s dinner!

I didn’t have a grill so mine was a stove top chicken & peach salad…and I forgot the celery…but it was still amazingly good and tasted so fresh, and the chicken seasoning was probably one of the best I’ve ever had. The dressing was light but still so yummah. I definitely recommend giving this one a try, it’s a winner.

DRINK 8 oz. of water before bed

AND watch the Cavs bring home another win tonight #allinCLE

-Audrey

Day 21

Hey there!

So I recently came across an article I saw posted on Facebook by PopSugar called, “I Went Paleo and Now I Hate Everything.

Even though the article makes it sound like going paleo will rip all the joy from your life and you will never smile again, it was actually pretty hilarious.

Here’s how she describes the idea behind being paleo:

“As far as I can tell, Paleo is based off of the premise that humanoids were never sexier or healthier than when they were cavemen. Even though they had no birth control or penicillin or dental floss, and everyone was probably covered in lice, they were supercut and sexy, and that’s a lifestyle to which we should aspire.” 

She proceeds to talk about her experience with paleo and her attempts to make Carrot Cake Cookies which she calls “Pucks of Suffering.” If you’re in the mood for a good laugh, give the article a read. While I do agree with her that, yes if you’ve ever had a real cookie or anything with sugar and butter, paleo baked goods are a huge disappointment. Because they don’t have sugar and butter.

However, she also says that going paleo has made her hate everything because she can’t eat anything fun. Sure, I’ve been at restaurants or out with friends and sighed silently in contempt as I watched them order their peanut butter cup milkshakes or their fettuccine alfredo. But when it comes to going paleo, it doesn’t mean you can eat anything fun, you just have to follow what I think are the 3 key rules to becoming a successful paleo.

Rule #1: You have to cook

This just comes with the definition of paleo – paleo’s don’t eat processed things, aka things that come out of a box, aka eating won’t be as simple as pouring cereal and pouring milk. Paleo’s dont pour. We peel, and crack, and dice, and chop, and sauté. And if you don’t like to cook, then yes, trying to be paleo will be quite awful for you.

Rule #2: You have to plan ahead.

When I go to work, I have to pack my own lunch the morning before because there aren’t any paleo lunch options – at least nothing substantial enough to make a meal. So I have to plan what I’m going to eat the night before and pack it all up in a lunch box and bring it with me. Yeah this takes some time, but it’s just the time I would be using to watch another episode of Mad Men so what’s the difference? And when we go out to eat, I usually look up the menu beforehand to make sure there are paleo options. And yes, you are going to be that guy at the dinner table saying, “Can I get that without cheese? And dressing on the side? Can I get more vegetables instead of rice? Do you know exactly what is in that sauce?” Yeah it’s annoying, I know, but don’t let the waitress’s eye roll scare you.

Rule #3: You have to be creative.

cropped-headerlogo1Yes, if you constantly eat the same scrambled eggs with avocado, spinach salad with chicken, and meat and veggies at night, you are going to get bored and start hating life, too. You have to take the time to look up some paleo recipes, start pairing different ingredients together, spice things up, actually use your brain to come up with some interesting meals. Now if you’re not very keen on flavor pairings or you don’t know what spices taste good on what veggies, that’s where paleo websites are your friend! Because there are people out there who are creative, you just have to find them! I found a nice little website called Stupid Easy Paleo which has a bunch of paleo recipes organized all nice and pretty in categories for you for when you don’t feel like thinking of something to cook on your own. I know I feel like I sometimes forget that there are other meats besides chicken – this site’s got plenty of ideas to help with that!

Here’s Day 21, featuring dinner alla Stupid Easy Paleo. Cheers!

FullSizeRender (20)
yepp, this makes eggs and apples look more fun forsure.

DRINK 8 oz. of water when you wake up.

Breakfast:

  • 8 oz. water
  • 2 eggs
  • a green apple

DRINK 16 oz. of water before lunch.

Lunch: 

  • Strawberry Chicken Salad from Panera (romaine lettuce with strawberries, blueberries, oranges, pineapple, chicken, + pecans)

FullSizeRender (21)Panera is actually a pretty good place for paleos since you can substitute ingredients upon ordering. I just asked for my salad without cheese or dressing, it was very easy. You can also get a cute lil apple as a side option which I think is pretty great.

DRINK 8 oz. of water after lunch.

Dinner:

  • 8 oz water

For dinner, I thought I’d treat you to a little Stupid Easy Paleo recipe sampling, so I put together a burger and fries night:

DRINK at least 8 oz. of water before bed!

-Audrey