Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Get it together! Handy little Paleo guide

FINALS.ARE.OVER.... I leave for Italy in 8 days and take the National Comprehensive Exam in a little over a month, neither of these things am I anywhere near ready for. If I wasn't overwhelmingly busy, I wouldn't know what to do!

We were lucky enough to get a break from life this past weekend, and take a last minute trip down to gulf shores. For the most part, we ate Paleo(ish). We took our own food and were somewhat picky about what we ordered when we ate out. BUT, then we ended up at LuLu's and the jalapeno hush puppies and the jet ski killer (an oh, so yummy & sweet drink) definitely won the battle! They were amazing, but I did pay for it later. For us though, this is how WE see and approach the Paelo lifestyle, with a matter of give and take. Basically, I do not have enough self control (yet) to realistically say I will never eat anything bad, ever again and if I were to completely limit myself, I would begin to resent everything I "had" to eat and eventually end up leaving the Paleo world. I also know myself well enough to understand, it's easier to avoid the situations that tempt me. NO, this does not mean you have to be a recluse and end your social life - stop being such a negative Nancy - it means asking the waitress not to bring the warm, gooey, gluten filled bread or the crispy soy bean oil soaked chips. OR, if you are with a non-Paleo group, I try to sit at the end of the table (not being in the middle of all the temptations being passed around) and keep a conversation going (I have no trouble yacking away 'till my food arrives!)
Another tip I can offer that has worked for me, if you know what restaurant you will be visiting, look their menu up online before you leave. Have in mind a few options (and what substitutions) you can order, then never look back. This way you don't take 5 hours trying to cipher through what you can eat (I hate being that girl,) you know what questions you may have for the waiter, and you are not as tempted to "cheat"

Summer is fast approaching (feels like it's arrived in Alabama) and many people will be taking vacations and getting out of their normal routine on occasions. This is not an excuse to defer going Paleo, actually I don't think there is any acceptable reason, it's simply the fact that you just aren't ready. YOU HAVE TO BE READY. Seriously, your head has to be in the right place and you have to go at the change with a "no turning back, this is for the better me, I can do this" mindset. It took us a year to be ready, and about a month of conversing, researching and planning for it. I still think it is one of the best decisions we ever made and regret taking so long to finally "come to the dark side." My personal take - I could not have started this alone. I advise you have a Paleo Partner. I'm lucky enough to live in the same house as mine so I do not have non-Paleo food hiding out in my pantry. If your not so lucky and have to share your space with a "not so Paleo" pal, divide the pantry. Keep your temptations out of site until you have built some control. Find a Paleo partner and hold each other accountable!
It's time for YOU to start planning..... and yes, at the beginning, it takes a LOT of planning. You may want a night you can set aside, while watching T.V. or unwinding that you can plan out your meals and snacks for the week, research any questions you may have come across (i.e. can I eat _____) and make your grocery list. I try to have my list done and store conquered by Sunday night so I can get all of our snacks and things made for the week. It sounds so tedious, but once you are in the habit, it's second nature and gives you such a sense of accomplishment!
While getting your mind right, keep this chart handy so you can re-train yourself how to think.

Change your approach on food, more specifically your approach on fat. It's not a bad thing. Fake is bad, clean and fat is good! 
  While updating your thought process, you may also want to update some of your kitchen essentials. At this point, I do not know how I ever lived without a food processor. You obviously do not have to own a food processor to eat Paleo, but trust me - it will make your life so very, very much easier. I got a Cuisinart 9 cup (sold here on Amazon) and have enjoyed it so far. I have found myself using the mandoline slicer (This is the one we have) more and more (well, actually I have avoided it since my little finger incident, but it is a very useful tool when used correctly!) You definitely need some good sharp knives and we use our oven safe wire rack (Here is an example sold on Amazon  - make sure it's oven safe!) to bake sweet potato chips,fries and chicken tenders. I have also used our waffle iron more than you would think, don't go getting rid of anything thinking you won't use it anymore!
So, really - what's stopping you? You give me an excuse and I'll give you a rebuttal. (Don't even try the whole it's too expensive line. It can be, if you let it. OR you can take the 5 extra minutes and take advice from people like Paleo On a Budget and shop the sales.) It's possible. So get it together and let's do the dang thing :)

You may not really be what you eat, but what you eat can really affect what you are.

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