Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Guest Blogger-Paleo

This is written from my friend Tiffany Sanderson. She gives some great advice on how to eat this way, while living in the real world. Enjoy!

Is eating paleo becoming a pain in your (somewhat smaller) behind? Do you find yourself stumbling over what was supposed to be a simple way of eating?! Are you bored with your selections of food, and desperate for the “good old days,” when variety felt easier? My name is Tiffany Sanderson. I’m so excited to share with you some insight I have gained over the course of my learning to eat the Paleo way. It’s a very different way of eating, and there is a big learning curve, so I thought I could share my best tips and tricks, and save you all a little time. That way, you can put your blood, sweat, and tears into your workouts, where they should be, instead of your meal-prep!

Cave conundrum #1: “I spend too much time in the kitchen! Paleo cooking is way too time consuming.”

-Keep meals simple. Bone-in meat can be thrown in the crock pot or oven in five minutes or less. A side salad or some steamed green beans slathered in butter make it a complete meal with hardly any effort.

-When you make a meal, make a TON! Double recipes whenever your budget allows. You can throw the leftovers in the fridge for lunches later in the week, or in the freezer for a quick meal when you’ve had a rough day.

-Experiment with the tools in your kitchen. Why spend 10 minutes chopping zucchini, when you can use your cheese grater and have the job done in seconds?! Drag the zucchini long ways down the grater, steam it, and you’ve got yourself a very tasty pasta replacement in seconds. Make paleo mayo in under a minute, in your blender. (I use olive oil instead of canola. It still tastes great!) The sky is the limit, and there are no rules!

-Invest. If you have the money, go looking for cool gadgets to save time on food prep. My favorites are my Vitamix blender, which I use for nearly every meal I make, and a little french-fry dicer that I use to make sweet potato fries.

-When you prep all your food from scratch, a big time-consumer is clean up. My solutions are: lots and lots of (recyclable) paper plates, turn up some music and have a dance party while I clean, and when those fail me, I make my kids do it. I am not above slave labor!

Cave conundrum #2: “Real food is so dang expensive! I miss my cheap pasta.”

The bummer, here, is that you are going to spend more to eat real food. But, if you are resourceful, you can make paleo work on any budget. Plus, you’ll most likely spend less on medication and health care over time, so it totally balances out. Right?!

- Meal Plan. No, seriously, plan the heck outta your meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Every day. This will help you stay on track, and away from junk, and will really save you money.

- For Utah cave-folk, it’s all about foraging at Winco. Their bulk section saves my life, and my wallet. (I am not affiliated with Winco in any way. I seriously just like shopping there.)

- If you have a big family: Costco for produce, butter, eggs, and many quality meats. The membership will pay for itself in the first month.

-Shop online. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how affordable this can be. Especially when I’m buying unusual things. Like arrowroot powder.

Cave Conundrum #3: “I eat away from home a lot,and staying on track is really hard when I’m not in my own kitchen calling the shots.”

-Bring food along to share at gatherings. My family is huge, and we get together a lot. Every family gathering is heavy laden with all kinds of carbalicious fare. I have learned to bring something to share to every party. Usually, I bring a salad or veggie tray, to go with whatever protein we’re eating. I also like to bring along a paleo-ish treat, so I don’t feel tempted to indulge in sugary desserts.

-Snacks on the go. It’s all about hard boiled eggs. Fruit with a small portion of cheese. Carrot sticks. A can of tuna or chicken. Look for portable snacks that pack a punch of nutrition! Nuts as a snack are very portable, but not as nutritious as these other choices, and can be less-than-ideal if you’re trying to lose weight.

-Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be out of the house at meal time, grab some left-overs from the fridge, or eat before you go. Choose restaurants that will be easy to customize to your needs.

Cave Conundrum #4: “Paleo eating was interesting at first, but it is getting a bit boring. I feel like I always eat the same foods.”

May I just take a moment to point out that most of us felt that way when we were eating grains, too? The solutions are the same now as they were, then.

-Try a new recipe. There are loads of Paleo blogs out there, all with amazing recipes. My favorites are zenbellyblog.com (Try the plantain tostadas. Super easy, and ridiculously good),  http://www.primalpalate.com/ (I love the nut crust for pies on this website. I use it as a base for fruit pizza. Yummo!), http://nomnompaleo.com/ (she’s all gourmet and stuff, but the recipes always come out great!), and http://www.tgipaleo.com/ (most of my favorite paleo-ish treats are on this site). There are loads and loads of blogs, all great.

- Which brings me to “paleo” treats. I consider myself discriminating, when it comes to dessert. I don’t want sugar-flavored cardboard, I want the REAL thing! I discovered almond flour desserts a few months ago. Oh, the angels sang! They are yummy. Glorious. Amazing! Just like eating real desserts!! They are made out of healthy-ish things. They are as easy to make as any other baked or frozen treat. And, they are STILL treats. Extra sugar, extra calories, extra fast-burning fuel. Consume them too often, and your waistline will let you know. If I’m not convincing enough, here is a great article on the subject. Keep things interesting with paleo-ish desserts and breads, but do so sparingly if you want to keep your weight in control! Side note: avoiding grains completely will keep your cravings for sugar at bay.

- Peruse the produce section at the store, and try something you’ve never eaten before. I like to pick up a new fruit or veggie each trip. Persimmons were delightful. Pomelos, not so much. Both were fun to try. Who knows? You might love Pomelos.

-Learn and/or master a new cooking technique. My husband and I are trying out lacto-fermentation. Think yogurt, and Sauerkraut. Not alcohol. It’s fun. It’s yummy. It’s interesting. It’s incredibly good for your gut. There’s even a recipe in the book we got, for ginger ale! Yo.

There you have it. Now go use these tricks to save yourself from the time spent reading my novelette. Happy eating!

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