GUEST BLOG POST: P is for Paleo

Monday, May 20, 2013

Everyone, meet Ashley. A wife, homeowner, dog owner and volunteer – Ashley always finds a way to keep active in her busy lifestyle. One of the biggest things I admire about Ashley is her dedication to everything she does. When Ashley says she’s going to do something, she keeps her word. Her will power and commitment  is something I wish I could one day possess, especially in regards to eating habits. Ash, you look amazing and all of your hard work is paying off. I’m so proud of you!  




What is Paleo? 
“Paleo” is short for Paleolithic, but the name is actually less important than the power of the overall approach. Whatever name you choose, the “Paleo” way of eating is simple: Mimic our ancestors, who suffered from fewer chronic diseases than modern populations. This doesn’t mean that you’ll recreate a caveman’s food landscape, of course. Our food supply and our environment are different from our ancestors, so we must adapt as new information comes to light.
The Simple Breakdown is :















Why Paleo?! 
To be honest, I was heading to Jamaica in March and wanted a quick & easy way to shed a couple pounds before the premature bikini season started. I reached out via Facebook to see if anyone knew anything about  ‘Paleo’ and if they could give me any tips. I got some great information from one of my old softball friends who had been living the‘Paleo’ lifestyle for quite some time. She gave me great websites/tips that I will share below (Thanks Laura!) . I presented this 30 day Paleo challenge to my hubs - the 100% Italian man that he is ,was clearly skeptical but he so nicely obliged!

The first week was pretty much torture.. it was my body’s way of detoxing. I had no idea that my body was so heavily dependent on sugars and processed foods. I missed Pizza.. and beer..but after the initial detox feelings wore off.. I felt absolutely amazing. My mind was clearer, I was sleeping better and I had more energy for workouts. The first week came to a close and I had lost 5 pounds… in ONE WEEK! Hell Yeah! In that week, my personal self-absorbed goals had been met but I figured ya know what I committed to a month I might as well see it through.

I would truly recommend this method for everyone – give yourself 30 days to follow the ‘Paleo’ life style and see how your body feels. It will truly shock how much of a transformation you can go through. Of course there were some ‘cheat’ meals, more like some ‘cheat alcohol’ for me, but I always stuck with the gluten free rule. I even tried gluten free pizza… don’t do it to yourself! After those 30 days were through, I had lost 10 pounds and my hubs lost almost 20! We decided that we were going to make ‘Paleo’ our lifestyle not just a fad diet. It is an easy lifestyle to follow; sure sometimes you can’t resist a soft pretzel or cheesesteak, but my body always reminds me after I eat something that isn’t ‘Paleo’ why I don’t on a regular basis anymore.

My biggest tip is: figure out what works best for you. If you can tolerate creamer in your coffee, lucky you, go for it! ‘Paleo’ is about finding your bodies balance and listening to how you feel after you eat something.  Below I have listed some of my favorite recipes, blogs and personal tips.

Breakfast  
I love baking in general and I love a good baked good for breakfast. Zach (my hubs) eats eggs with a side of breakfast meat every morning. I’d rather sleep then cook breakfast every morning so I usually grab a baked good for the road. Sometimes I will pair it with a couple slices of bacon – I mean bacon is considered Caveman Candy!
Banana Bread ( http://paleomg.com/banana-bread-3-ways/)
Bacon Sweet Potato Hash (http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com/2013/04/26/paleo-bacon-sweet-potato-hash-is-where-its-at/)
Banana Vanilla Bean Pancakes with Mixed Berry Compote – These are incredible & taste just like ‘real’ pancakes (http://paleomg.com/banana-vanilla-bean-pancakes-with-mixed-berry-compote/)

Lunch
When Zach isn’t super hungry at dinner – we usually have leftovers which get us through lunch! We both also frequently eat salad, WOMP, I know how boring! BUT if you go crazy on veggie or protein toppings – they can be quite yummy. When you begin ‘Paleo’, I suggest you stick with olive oil & balsamic as your dressing… I won’t lie to you though I cheat with a creamy salad dressing sometimes!
Chicken Sausage
Burgers minus the bun can be easily heated up and quite satisfying for lunch – especially if you add some Caveman Candy (bacon).
Balsamic Pulled Pork * Sub Honey for Brown Sugar. This is great to make on a Sunday and have throughout the week. (http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2013/01/slow-cooker-balsamic-pork-tenderloin.html)

Dinner 
I have tried WAY too many ‘Paleo’ dinner recipes to post – but blogs & Pinterest are your friend! You can also look into making some of your favorite non- Paleo dishes into Paleo by making easy substitutions!
Blackberry Glazed Pork Chop ( PaleOMG Cookbook ) with Roasted Cauliflower
Asian Glazed Salmon (http://www.againstallgrain.com/2013/04/21/asian-glazed-salmon-with-roasted-broccolini-and-asparagus/)
Taco Tuesdays – Make your own seasoning – Get Creative! –Substitute the shells for lettuce wraps. Skip the sour cream and use guacamole!

Sweets & Treats 
Paleo Nut Butter Cups  (http://cleaneatingwithadirtymind.com/2013/04/08/i-cant-believe-its-nut-butter-part-i-attack-of-the-cups/ )
Paleo Cookie Dough Bars – These are beyond amazing!! Make a double batch and your own almond flour! (http://makingtheworldcuter.com/2012/10/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough/)
Hard Boiled Eggs are great on the go snacks!
I have made homemade trail mix by buying raw nuts (NO Peanuts) seasoning them with olive oil, rosemary, salt, then roasting them in the oven until they brown! Super Easy & Super Yum!
Veggies & Fruit are all fair game and really easy to have with you throughout the day in case you get hungry or have a craving.

Favorite Tips & Blogs
Olive Oil Myth - Olive oil isn't very heat stable (the fats break down very easily at low temperatures and can become rancid and cause inflammation in the body)...so I just use olive oil as a salad dressing. I never heat olive oil since it breaks down at such a low temperature. I use either coconut oil, butter, or bacon fat when I am cooking with heat.
Robb Wolf – He is the ‘Paleo God’ – Check out his book for everything you could ever need to know about Paleo. He has a great website as well (http://robbwolf.com/)
Practical Paleo – She has a great website/ recipes (www.balancedbites.com)
Every Day Paleo – Great recipes (www.everydaypaleo.com)
FAVORITE Blog – PaleOMG – She is absolutely hilarious.. she has a potty mouth and comes up with amazing recipes. I just downloaded her first book on my iPad. Everything has been beyond delicious from her! (www.paleomg.com)
You don’t have to be Paleo 100% of time every day of your life – you will go crazy – If you cut out the big things like sugar, gluten, legumes and grains, you will see and feel instant results!


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