Beginning with the day we arrive on the planet and ending when we make our final exit, our lives evolve in stages. Our first years can be characterized by a complete dependency on other human beings, without whom we could not survive. As we grow and develop from childhood through most of our teens, we are constantly discovering the world around us, making decisions about who we are and finding our unique identity in our families, communities, and the world in which we live.
During these years of adolescence we are developing food choices as well. It is inspirational to hear from teenagers who have adopted a Paleo Diet and become passionate about living a healthy lifestyle. Once high school years are behind us, most of us move away from our family homes for the first time.
Along with the excitement of becoming independent, comes the many challenges of taking care of our personal needs. Nutrition choices play an important part in this process. A few tips from our team may be helpful as you begin this exciting stage of your life.
The first thing to keep in mind is you are now in total control of the food you eat. If you grew up in a household following a Standard American Diet (SAD), from this point forward, no one will be telling you to clean your plate, drink your milk, or eat your cereal.
This new found freedom is filled with possibilities and culinary adventures. As you journey out for your foraging experiences, remember that the vast majority of Paleo Diet friendly foods can be found around the inside perimeter of most grocery stores.
Start in the produce aisle, followed by the meat and seafood section. Because you’re only cooking for one, be sure to avoid buying too much. It’s better to visit your grocery store a little more frequently during the week to ensure you are getting the freshest foods. Most people starting out on their own are working with a limited financial budget and having to throw away food is like throwing away your hard earned money.
When cooking your meals consider your needs and plan ahead. If time is of concern and your days are busy, prepare extra today so that you can feast on the leftovers tomorrow. This takes some practice, but is a great approach to having prepared food ready when needed. Taking a salad for your work day lunch break prepared with last night’s salmon and some fresh greens and veggies is much better than having to swing by a local restaurant or grocery store for a pre-made version and will save you money in the long run.
The best part of being single is that when you control the food that comes into your home, you will be developing lifelong eating habits that will ensure a long and healthy life. The world awaits you. Fly the nest, you are the master of your own destiny!
All the Best,
Lorrie Cordain, M.Ed., Co-Author of The Paleo Diet Cookbook