Eat real food. Simple, right? Well, it should be but in today’s society it can be a massive challenge. It’s unfortunate, but thanks to the internet it’s getting easier and easier as the truth get’s out to the world in an efficient way.
The following quotes are tips that people like you left for this giveaway. What follows the tips are my commentary. Feel free to leave your thoughts by adding a comment below – they are all greatly appreciated. If you disagree with a tip or with my commentary then I’d love to read about it. No one has all the right answers. We can all learn from each other if we try.
1. Don’t stress about organic
Organic produce is important, but if you can’t afford 100% organic everything, make sure the produce you don’t have to peel is the stuff that is organic.
A rule of thumb is that when there is a thick skin, there is a lesser of a chance of pesticides entering the “meat” of the fruit.
2. Experiment with foods you’ve never tried before and be open-minded
Experiment with new foods and recipes! I HATED coconut before I “went paleo” and now I can’t get enough of the stuff. You may find a new favorite you never considered. It also keeps things new so you aren’t bored eating the same meals all the time.
For the first 21 years of my life I HATED seafood. All of it. The smell of it. The thought of consuming it terrified me. Then one day I decided to open up and throw my crazy fear in Lake Michigan. I ate some white fish at a wedding about 4 years ago and, well, it was OK. I then ate a little seafood now and again for the next year. I continued to eat a bigger variety as time went on. Today I love it all, including Mahi Mahi, raw oysters, scallops, eel, lobster tail, squid and even octopus. I also love fish eggs with sushi. Escargot (snail) is not seafood but the dish I enjoyed on the cruise I went on recently was awesome too.
With open-mindedness, the number of foods that you enjoy will only go up.
3. Understand that perfect does not exist
There’s no law that states you must be 100% from the get-go. If ditching breakfast cereal is a huge change for you, start with that and work up to everything else gradually.
Ditch breakfast cereal immediately. You know, that crap you buy in a box. Do you have any idea how it was made? Don’t be afraid of oatmeal though. I ditched it for nearly 3 years but am back to eating it again. My body enjoys it. Paleo is a great eating template but realize that legumes, dairy and grains are real food. Well, grass-fed butter is real while skim milk from Wal-Mart is far from real. There is a difference.
4. Cook with a slow cooker
A slow cooker is a fantastic help to the paleo eater. How does pot roast sound? How about pulled pork, turkey chili, or chicken curry? All of these can cook while you’re at work.
Slow cookers not only allow for easy meals but inexpensive meals too. Roasts from grass-fed beef do not cost that much! They are way less than steaks but the meat ends up oh so juicy and tender. Do you not own a slow cooker? This one is only $49!
5. Local food wins
Take the time to research your local meat/seafood CSAs. I had no idea what a huge difference having quality protein could make. The taste alone will make you convert, and if you do enough research you can probably find one that doesn’t cost too much more than buying the same products at your local grocer.
6. Strict Paleo is not the best for everyone
There are different opinions and ideas about what a healthy paleo diet is. Be discerning. Experiment and find out what works for you. What things can you eat? Which ones cause problems for you?
Every single individual has their own unique opinion on what “Paleo” is. You should have the world’s greatest smile right now. It’s a great starting point but realize that strictly avoiding grains, legumes and dairy is NOT the healthiest way to eat for every individual – I’d say most individuals. Definitely eat butter. Or ghee at least.
7. When you eat, eat
Take time to eat. Breathe. Relax. Love your food.
Chew your food. When you eat, eat. No need to be perfect. If you feel stressed then take a moment to breathe. This may prevent a binge! This is important – don’t eat food that you don’t love. This does not mean you shouldn’t experiment and try new stuff! Just don’t force feed yourself anything.
8. Toss that guilty feeling in the ocean
Don’t sweat it. If you ate something that you are not supposed to it’s fine, don’t cry over the spilled milk and move on. Your body is going to tell you it sucked anyways.
In other words, eating something you think you should not have eaten and then feeling guilty about it will likely lead you to eating that food again. As the above tip says, love your food!
9. The yolk is better than the white
Embrace the whole egg! Not just the whites.
Duh. Don’t we all know this by now? Not so fast. Most Americans still believe that the white is better than the yolk or the entire package. Well, when it comes to vitamins, the yolk dominates. Tossing your egg yolks in the trash is kind of like buying a multivitamin, stripping the vitamins from it and then tossing them into the trash. No one in their right minds would do this. So eat the damn yolk!
10. Focus on the foods your body loves
Focus on the foods you CAN eat and ENJOY!
This is huge. Let’s say you give up soda pop. If you continuously think about how you “can’t” have it, then you will want it more and more. So stop thinking about it. Instead, think about the drinks you can have. Why not enjoy iced tea with a few splashes of lemon or lemonade if you don’t have lemons on hand? I personally love coconut water and kombucha. Or how about just water? Or a glass of wine. I personally love my wine.
11. Meat is real food but so are plants
Paleo/Primal isn’t just meat, meat and more meat, make sure to eat lots of veggies.
A BIG misconception with many folks is that Paleo is all about eating meat. No. Plant foods are glorious. Eat them. You may do better eating more animal foods and less plant foods. Or you may be the complete opposite. I believe we all need a mix but just because plant foods have anti-nutrients does not mean that they are evil. They are full of nutrients.
12. Don’t let nuts trick you
Don’t go crazy on the nuts.
Nuts and seeds are similar to grains. What amazes me is how, for the strict Paleos, all grains are off limits while nuts and seeds are great foods. For best digestion, all nuts and seeds and grains need proper preparation. Most nuts are loaded with omega 6 fatty acids too. And if you are trying to eat like a hunter-gatherer then you would definitely not eat many nuts. Think about what it takes to get to the nut after finding them! In short, pay attention to how you feel after eating nuts.
13. Think about what your (great) Grandparents ate
Think about your grandparents (or maybe great-grandparents) – what foods did they eat? Remember the stinky sauerkraut your grandma used to fix with sausage? It was/is good for you! My grandfather used to talk about milking the cow and waiting to get a taste of the wonderful cream on the top. During the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s he was told that was awful – and he should instead eat plastic like margarine. Go back to the basics! Find an old cookbook from the ’30s.
I love this advice! You don’t have to go back 10,000 years to know what was healthy. We continue to get sicker and sicker at a rapid pace but it was not too long ago when we were pretty damn healthy! And our great grandparents still enjoyed white flour and sugar. It was less than today but they also enjoyed muscle meat, organs, a variety of plant foods, whole raw milk, etc.
14. Visit your local farmers market
Start buying your fresh fruits and veggies at a farmers market.
If it’s been a long time since you have visited a farmers market then just make it a goal to go one time. No need to make it a goal every week. Just go once. If it’s a good market then you’ll want to come back weekly. And that’s what matters. A fresh, local strawberry actually tastes like a strawberry while the one that is shipped from thousands of miles away does not. Same with tomatoes and many other produce items!
15. When you “cheat,” enjoy it
An occasional cheat is NOT a total derailment. People give up so easy with one little mistake. Admit the cheat, move on, and heck, an occasional cheat is no big deal…just don’t go overboard!
When you cheat, enjoy it (better yet, don’t think you just cheated because you didn’t). Even if you feel terrible the next day. We live in a world where eating real food 100% of the time is simply not feasible. If it is for you without stressing out then I’d love to hear how you do it! When you are at home, cook real food and then simply do your best when away from your home, but do not stress! You need to live life and move on if you “screw up” and feel like crap after eating something that you know you should not have eaten.
What are your thoughts on the tips discussed above? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter!