One of the biggest challenges people face when starting Paleo is staying on track. When life gets hectic and busy and the lists of appointments, meetings, work commitments, trips, dinner dates and errands start to feel endless, the first thing to get left behind is new and healthy eating habits.
With spring’s arrival, it’s time to set you up for Paleo success! We’ve assembled a guide to on-the-go Paleo with meal ideas, how to prep and pack, and tips and tricks that we use on those days when we’re pressed for time!
The key to making Paleo a lifestyle, and even more so during busy days and weeks, is planning. Sometimes a double-edged sword, we all know that planning out a busy week adds another to-do on that list, but ultimately takes the stress off and helps get everything done. The same is true for maintaining your Paleo lifestyle!
To help take the thinking out of the planning stage for you here are three go-to-meal ideas to keep top of mind:
Load up on organic radicchio, kale, romaine lettuce and your favourite salad bases, then wash and drain all the leaves in one huge bowl. Add some of your favourite salad ingredients like walnuts, dried fruits (sugar-free. natural cranberries are one of my go-tos), chopped celery, carrots, green onions, and a dash of lemon juice to keep the greens bright. Try our Waldorf Salad if you need an idea to get started!
Mix all the ingredients and divide into individualized containers for three, four, or five days for easy go-to meals to grab on the go. Then, when you’re ready to head out for the day, grab an avocado along with some olive oil or Paleo dressing. When the hangry bug bites you or your kids, everyone’s set with easy, prepped meals organized for the week!
I call dinner meals that make portable on-the-go lunch options “Lunch-Ready Dinner!”
These are generally side dishes that you can double up on the recipe to have leftovers for the next day. Packed full of protein, they fill you up and are easy to eat at the office, in the car and are fun for the kids to have in the lunch box. Your lunch and theirs done in one go – perfection!
Try our delicious Paleo Diet recipe for Cherry Mint Turkey Balls to get you started!
Keep Ziploc baggies of veggies, fruit , nuts, and dried fruit for a quick nibble in your in your lunch bag or purse. Replenish daily before you leave the house and you won’t be tempted to sneak away to the vending machine.
PREP & PACK
Now that you’ve got an idea of meal ideas and what you’ll need to stock up on when grocery shopping – add 10 minutes to that trip when you get home and set yourself up for success for the week with a little prep and pack.
Wash all your vegetables when you’re unpacking and chop into small stir-fry ready pieces and in snack sized sticks (think: carrots, celery, and bell peppers).
Do the same with fruit like apples and pears and slice into bite sized pieces. Stock up on bananas, mandarins, oranges and fruits that are easy to peel and eat at your will.
Pack everything in airtight containers and put into the fridge so they’re ready to eat.
Make 6-8 hard boiled eggs and keep in a bowl in the fridge. They can be tossed in your salad to-go or the perfect protein kick, peeled and eaten anywhere.
If you do find yourself out at a restaurant or in a food court, no matter how much you’ve planned and prepped, or because a meeting or plans have led you there, keep these three simple things in mind:
- Sub the bun and bread for a green leafy option. Iceberg lettuce for your grass-fed burger, lettuce wrap instead of a tortilla, salad instead of sandwich.
- Head to a grocery store instead of a drive-thru/food court. If you’re already stopping to grab some food to-go, head to the closest market or grocery store. Pick up a grilled chicken breast with veggies and fruit, coconut water, a bag of bulk nuts or a Paleo-approved snack.
There’s nothing worse than grabbing a sugary, carb-loaded baked or fast food item. It will only satisfy your hunger for a couple hours, and wreak havoc on your digestive system. Something you definitely won’t have time to deal with on top of a busy schedule!
Keep these tips in mind when you’re rushing through a busy week and during the weekends or those slower weeks too. If you can bring your mind to remember this when life is a little steadier, it’ll become the default when there’s no time to think. Nothing is truer than leading a Paleo lifestyle, and with a little effort, and a lot of delicious foods, Paleo will cease to be a conscious dieting choice before you know it!
Sanja Jovanovic is a co-founder of PALEO WIRED – a site dedicated to GATHER the best and latest paleo recipes & information to share with you, to inspire you to EAT the deliciousness of those recipes and creations and to REPEAT each day. Because we’re all going to eat something anyway, might as well make it something that our bodies will thank us for!