Thursday, January 31, 2013

Things Not to Do While Eating Paleo

We've been eating the "Paleo plan" or "diet" or whatever you choose to call it (it's not a diet, it's a way of thinking about food, but I won't get on my soapbox) for almost a month. I know that somewhere out there ("beneath the pale moonlight...") there's someone wondering about Paleo and what to avoid while doing it. Well, here's what I've learned so far.

Avoid missing meals
If you've ever had the "low blood sugar blahs" then this is 500x worse. At least at our house it's like someone's Bringing Cranky Back in full swing. Your frontal lobe of your brain which controls good decision making, tact, and what facial expressions to make just doesn't work well on no food. So carry snacks and listen to your body (as opposed to a clock that says it's lunch time).

Don't forget prep time
Take into account prep time for meals. Many of us came to eat Paleo from The Fast Food Nation. "We are hungry and want it now!" Well, it doesn't work that way when you're using real and fresh ingredients my friend. There is nothing (except maybe veggies) frozen here. So plan on prepping and cooking for at least 30 minutes if not more. Again, keep snacks for while you wait. We like beef jerky and celery with almond butter (instead of peanut butter). Also, if you want you can chop up often used foods (like onions and garlic) ahead of time to cut some of the prep time. We keep them in the fridge in storage bags and just take out what we need.

Don't expect it to be cheap
Starting a Paleo pantry can be expensive especially if you come from The Fast Food Nation. There are spices, types of flour (see the next section), and meat to be purchased. Lots of meat. And vegetables. Lots of vegetables. And a food processor would be super helpful (we just got ours today and it roooocks!).

Don't expect to find recipe ingredients at your local market
Unless you live in Awesome Land (and I don't even know where that is), you may not find all that you're looking for at one store. For example, I found almond butter, coconut flour, and almond flour at H.E.B. The almond flour was $12.99 for a 1 lb bag. No joke. I found 1 lb bags of almond meal (just fine thank you) at Trader Joe's for...wait for it...$3.99 each. I had to go to Whole Foods for cashew butter. Still haven't found clarified butter (ghee) anywhere. I only found flaxseed meal at Trader Joe's. So it's kind of a crap shoot as to where you'll find what you need (and then what you'll pay for it). So there's more planning involved. You can't just run to Wal-mart to get your shiznit.

Don't forget lunch
Daddy and I both work outside of the house and are at work for lunch time. It can be hard to put together something for lunch. Again, it takes pre-planning (damn that pre-planning). Leftovers from the night before are an obvious one, but eating Paleo typically makes one not feel full for as long as other foods do, so we end up eating the leftovers later most nights. A lot of times I just cruise the fridge and throw a bunch of stuff in a cold bag and go. But you have to make sure when you're shopping that there's portable things that don't require large amounts of cooking at work. Tricky tricky. In a pinch there's always a salad at a fast food place, but I've even had experiences where I open a salad and I'm thinking, "There's stupid tortilla chips on my salad!" Try picking those out during a lunch meeting. Super professional (with the cape on and all).

I'm sure there's more and I'll post them when I think of (or experience) them. What have your experiences been?


  1. You can make clarified butter, it has to do with heating it, and removing the fat that floats. Details that would be helpful I don't have. Good luck!