When we first started eating a Paleo Diet, we did it purely because of Superman’s health issues. I felt completely overwhelmed at the prospect of eliminating grains, dairy, refined sugar and pretty much all processed foods and snacks. What was I going to use as “fillers” for our kids? How was I going to survive without quick sandwiches for lunch or pasta for dinner or crackers for snacks? Surely it wasn’t possible. And even if it was possible, it would most definitely be miserable.
Boy, oh boy, was I surprised. I had no idea I would experience such drastic improvements in myself. I didn’t even realize how bad I felt until I realized how good I could feel. Within a few weeks, my morning stiffness and joint pain (which had been diagnosed as osteoarthritis), that I had experienced for at least 15 years, disappeared. I had been told there was no treatment and that the only “help” would be take Aleve daily. The neck pain that had plagued me for years and years went somewhere…I have no idea where. Maybe to some other poor soul. I hadn’t had a “regular” monthly cycle in at least 10 years, and all of the sudden, I was like clockwork. My afternoon slump, fogginess and the feeling that I just couldn’t quite “get the thought” that I was looking for gave way to mental clarity, consistent energy and the realization that I was actually smarter than I thought!
So, it was worth all the initial pain. During my quest for recipes and help, I came across a few Web sites that shared “staples” for getting started with this life change, and they were immensely helpful. So, I’d like to share them with you!
The first is HERE at the Paleo Plan.
Another is HERE at the Primal Toad.
Personally, here are a few of my staples:
A variety of nuts–I buy almonds, macadamia nuts, and shelled pistachios at Costco
An abundance of veggies–broccoli, celery, carrots, leafy green veggies, etc. (I usually buy these at Costco as well, but get some of the “dirty dozen” at Whole Foods.)
Almond butter (I get mine at Costco–it’s pure almond butter and salt, nothing else)
I like to keep a loaf of almond bread on hand in case I’m in need of something quick and filling for the kids. You can check out my grain-free bread HERE.
Here are some snack ideas that are quick and easy:
Celery or apples with almond butter
Handful of almonds or macadamia nuts or pistachios
Almond bread (see Elana’s Pantry above) with any topping, or just by itself
Sweet potato with ghee
Olives (only in water and salt, nothing else)
Sweet potato chips (recipe HERE)–make a big batch and use them for the week!
I know how overwhelming it can be to make this change. Having 5 kids made it seem almost too overwhelming at times. But I promise, once you get through the initial phase of trying to figure out what works for your family, you’ll love it. That’s not to say you won’t ever stray or that you’ll never eat sugar or dairy or wheat again (or maybe you won’t!), or that you won’t have moments of craving those ol’ foods, but you will realize just how much better you feel soon after you make this change!
The key to success in this lifestyle is planning and preparation. Planning weekly meals and having snacks on hand at all times so you don’t find yourself in a pickle is vital. I keep a tub of almonds in the car just in case my kids are starving while we’re out, but you could do whatever you like. Something high-protein and high-fat will keep you full the longest.
So, I hope this helps! Let me know if there is something specific you’d like answered that I didn’t cover!