One of the easiest ways for you to set yourself up for the Paleo diet lifestyle is to get yourself into the habit of planning your meals. This made such a difference to our budget and our ability to stick to the diet until just became habit.
Yes I know – paleo is a lifestyle not a “diet” and while that’s true any major change to the way you eat is going to take some effort and we are not always going to want to do it. After all most of us a human and succumb temptation. And often I think it’s a case of convenince more so than we really want that bucket of KFC. But I digress.
One of the biggest hurdles and time when we fail at changing our eating habits is when we get hungry – it is that simple.
As soon as those insulin levels start acting up and your stomach starts to growl you will instinctively grab for the first thing that will stop those hunger pains. This is why planning your meals is so important, so that no matter what time of day you get hungry you will already know what you are going to eat and you will already be in a position to eat it.
When you know the right way to plan your meals your hunger won’t control you, you will control your hunger.
If you are stuck trying to find new ways to plan your meals, here are a few easy tricks to get you started.
1 – Pick a certain day and time for meal planning
When you have some downtime in your week, get into the habit of spending an hour or two to go through your Paleo diet books and pick out some recipes that look good to you.
I’ll confess – we actually do this Saturday mornings – propped up in bed, with our matcha or turmeric lattes, before our morning run. The cat is less impressed with the cookbooks all over the bed!
Plan your meals for the next week, (making sure that you have enough meals to cover you until you go back to the grocery store again), and figure out what you are going to have for each meal of the day.
You don’t just want to plan your breakfast, lunch, and dinner either, you also want to plan ahead for any snacks and desserts you will want to eat.
Another good tip is to try to plan ahead for your busy days. For instance if you know that the kids have after school activities on a certain night and you won’t get home until late, plan to make a double portion of dinner the night before so that you can have leftovers on the night that you will get home late.
2 – Make a notebook with all of your favorite recipes
In order to make your planning easier, try to keep a notebook of all of your favorite recipes. This way instead of wasting time searching through all of your recipe books to find that one recipe that you really liked you will have all of your favorite recipes in one spot. Not only can you take your recipe notebook with you wherever you go but you will have one place to store all of your favorite recipes for those times when you are in a pinch to make something.
3 – Whenever possible, make things ahead of time and in bulk
This one has been an absolute god send for us. We don’t waste as much food and on nights when we are late back from training dinner is almost ready to go. Sunday is crazy weekly prep day in our house – when all ofthe veggies are cut up – the slow cooker goes on and it’s food production central. It’s kind of a nice routine now.
Here’s some tips
- An easy way to take the stress out of making meals is to make as much as you can ahead of time. The only things that you want to make ahead of time are those things that you know can sit for a few days before starting to go bad.
- If you are into making big salads you might not want to cut up the avocado until the day that you are going to eat it. But you can still make some hard boiled eggs, bake some chicken, and make some homemade salad dressing and store them all in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat.
- If you are making a Paleo dinner you won’t be able to do much with the meat beforehand but if your side dish has carrots, sweet potatoes, or squash you can always peel and cut these items days before you actually need them.
- If your meal is going to require you to grind up nuts or to shred anything, throw it into your food processor a few days ahead of time and simply store it until you are ready for it.
No matter what kind of a meal it is that you are making, if you look closely you are bound to find some way that you can make part of that meal ahead of time. Pick one day a week and make all of these ‘ready made’ items to have on hand. You will be glad you did.
Following these easy tips you will be able to enjoy a healthy Paleo lifestyle, even during your busiest weeks.