Here’s How To Make Every Paleo Meal Deliciously Simple!
So you’re thinking about giving the paleo diet try. You’re certain you’ve got the willpower to kick refined sugars and grains to the curb. But…there’s just this one little thing keeping you from making the leap – paleo sounds like a heck of a lot of work!
If that’s what’s holding you back, you’re not alone. I hear it from Paleo Newbie website visitors all the time…and it’s one of the big reasons why most of my Paleo Newbie recipes are super-simple.
But I’m going to be honest with you here: Yes, it does take a little more time and effort to eat paleo.
Now here’s the good news – putting together a simple and tasty paleo meal is not nearly as difficult as you might think.
Sure, you can’t just toss any old pre-packaged meal into the microwave or pull into a fast food drive-through on your way home if you’re paleo.
But there is a very simple formula you can use to quickly figure out all your paleo-approved meals…
The 4 Ridiculously Simple Steps to Successful Paleo Meal Building:
1. CHOOSE A PROTEIN
What sounds good to you right now: eggs, chicken, beef, seafood, pork?
You’ve got lots of choices here and already know what you like.
Just go for the highest quality protein you can find/afford – naturally raised and minimally processed.
If you’re concerned about portions, the protein on your plate should be about the size of your fist – more if you’re really active.
2. PICK 1-2 VEGETABLES
OK, maybe a little tougher choice here because with paleo you should skip the white potatoes, rice, beans and peas.
But once again, there must be at least a few veggies you like on the paleo A-list.
How about sweet potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, asparagus, all leafy greens, carrots, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, celery, zucchini, squash, bok choy, onions, beets…and the list goes on.
A good rule of thumb is to choose one green vegetable, and you can make your second one more starchy if you like. But if one of your paleo goals is to lose weight, take it easy on the root and tuber veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes.
If you just can’t come up with a second vegetable, go with some fruit instead.
Avocados are actually a fruit and offer lots of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
Other good paleo fruit choices are any kind of berries, and cherries, melons, peaches or apricots. Once again, if you’re trying to drop some pounds, avoid the fruits with higher sugar content such as apples, mango, pineapple, grapes, pears, bananas and dried fruit like dates and figs. That said, any fruit is still better than a bag of chips as a side dish.
And as far as portions, you ideally want your two vegetables (or veggie and fruit) to be about the size of two fists on your plate. Again, dish up more if your physical activity demands it – or if you’re just really hungry today.
3. SELECT A HEALTHY FAT
Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat – that’s usually the handiwork of too many carbohydrates and not enough exercise.
Fat actually helps keep your energy levels up, makes you feel satisfied longer after a meal, plus it supports body fat reduction.
So for your paleo meal building, choose a healthy fat to enjoy along with your meal.
Some good fat examples include olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, lard, tallow and full-fat coconut milk. No refined vegetable oils including margarine, canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and flaxseed oil please!
Cook with it, drizzle it on your veggies, make a salad dressing out of it, or you can even put a spoonful of coconut oil in your morning coffee.
4. ADD HERBS AND SPICES
As wise as your choices have been so far, your paleo meal is going to be a little bland without some tasty seasonings to liven things up.
As far as I know, all pure herbs and spices are paleo approved – and no, a shaker of sugar and cinnamon is not a spice.
So go ahead and load up your meal with wonderful flavors.
Some of my paleo kitchen must-haves include garlic, onion powder, chili powder, chipotle, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground pepper, parsley, dill, mint, chives, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, oregano, nutmeg, basil, ground mustard and cumin.
This simple, four-step formula will always help you create a well-balanced and perfectly paleo meal – whether you’re following someone’s recipe or winging it on your own.
3) Fats, and
– paleo meals are easier than you thought, right?