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Paleo is more than meat and vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds. It is about food quality and consciousness and about avoiding exposure to toxins (they are so not paleo). You can go to McDonald’s and order a Big Mac sans bun, but is this paleo? On the surface it appears to be meat and vegetables but it is far from the paleo spirit.
Discover Local Food
There is an abundance of amazing food grown practically right in your backyard. Get to know your local farmers and move some of your food dollars away from the gross-ery store and into the pockets of your neighbors who truly care about providing healthy food and being good stewards of the environment. We call it Farm to Table. Getting to know your local farmers helps you know the story of your food and creates a more meaningful relationship with it. I take great pride in knowing that my hard earned dollars were spent here in the local community and that in turn, I provide nourishment to my family that was consciously cared for, fed the food it was designed to eat, raised in its natural habitat in a low stress/high love environment. Another extremely valuable aspect of buying local is that you can actually visit the farm! You can have a conversation with the farmer about his/her farming philosophies and values. You can observe the health and happiness of the animals. You can see with your own two eyes if they are grass fed cows or pastured birds.
I highly recommend South Mountain Creamery and Hometown Harvest. Not only are they both local and amazing quality, but they deliver right to your door! Prices are comparable and in some cases, cheaper than the super market. Between these two resources, you never have to go grocery shopping again! Now tell me your excuses! Other great local options can be found at Eat Wild for grass fed meats and Local Harvest for local vegetables.
Preparing vs cooking.
Now that you have your amazing, nutritious, fresh local food, its time to eat! If you don’t know your way around the kitchen, don’t worry. The beautiful thing about eating whole foods is that preparing a delicious meal is a breeze. I prefer to call it just that – “preparing” – not cooking – because there’s no need to mix or measure. Here are the basics:
1. Choose a meat (pastured poultry, wild caught fish, grass fed beef)
2. Choose a vegetable or two or three (organic). If you typically include pasta or grains, add more veggies!
3. Choose a fat for cooking (tallow, ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil are all pretty stable and good options for med to high temp cooking. Olive oil is best for low-med temp cooking)
4. Choose a seasoning (sea salt, herbs, spices, etc)
5. COOK. You can cook the meat and vegetables all together for a stir fry or cook them separately.
No need for recipes or kitchen gadgets. As you explore and discover new things, you’ll naturally learn as you go.
Think Ahead – Don’t Get Caught in a Food Desert
Plan ahead! Be in control of your food destiny and don’t get caught in situations where all you have is crap processed food. Cook on Sunday night so you have meals for the week. Cold leftovers make great salads, so have some greens on hand such as spinach, arugula and kale. If you are traveling, take food with you that is easy to pack and doesn't require refrigeration. Wild Mountain Paleo is a great resource for finding paleo friendly foods for on the go.
All In vs Baby Steps
Finally, find the right implementation strategy for you. Some find the All-In, Cold Turkey approach to be the best, while others need to take it one step at a time. As a general rule, we want to see at least 80% compliance to paleo to get the best results. Personally, I started with eliminating grains which was overwhelming enough for me at the time. Then the more I practiced, the smaller and smaller my 20% got without even trying.
What are some of your time saving tips or questions for preparing paleo meals? Share in the comments!
Don't forget to join Grant in the Monument Dash next month! Team up with your friends to race the monuments in this special event.
Grant is the founder and CEO of MyBootcamp and also teaches group classes at Revolve DC. Visit the MyBootcamp website for more information. Follow Grant on Twitter and like him on Facebook.