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Paleo Meal PrepIt is no surprise that a busy schedule tends to lead to poor eating habits. According to Time Magazine, research has found that more than 50% of people resort to unhealthy eating habits when their schedule becomes hectic. Picking up a pizza or ordering takeout Chinese food might seem like an easy way to get a nightly meal on the table, but doing so can too often lead to weight gain, poor nutrition, and an overall unhealthy lifestyle. While the Paleo Diet® life might seem time-consuming, your health should come above everything. Thankfully there are a few easy ways to fit Paleo into even the busiest of schedules.

Prep your veggies in advance

Slicing, dicing and cutting up vegetables might seem like a simple enough task, but when you’ve walked in the door at 7 pm, and you just want to eat, the process of getting the prep work out of the way can be a massive roadblock. To make mealtimes more manageable, consider prepping all of your vegetables ahead of time.

When you bring home your produce from the grocery store or farmer’s market, immediately clean, peel and cut what you’ll need for the week, store everything in separate containers. You don’t have to cook the vegetables ahead of time if you don’t want, but steaming kale and spinach in advance can make your weeknight meals even more accessible. Once everything is cut up, it is super easy to grab what you need for whatever meal you are putting together.

Plan your meals and freeze the extras

Meal planning is essential if you have a tight weekly schedule. Take one day out of your weekend and find recipes that interest you. Plan a week’s worth of dinners and lunches based on what each day of the week looks like in terms of your schedule. If you know your Monday evening is busy, but you have Sunday free, consider cooking up a big batch of a Paleo-approved meal for Sunday and freeze the extras for later in the week.

By freezing individual portions and planning your meals in advance, you take the guesswork out of dinner time. You can do the same for lunches and even breakfasts. The further you get into the lifestyle, the easier it will be to portion, prep, and plan.

Keep a running grocery list

Many people fall into poor eating habits when they run out of food in their fridge. Instead of running to the grocery store, it might seem easier to just stop for some quick takeout. To avoid this pitfall, because, let’s be honest, eating out on a Paleo Diet is a challenge, keep a running grocery list on your phone.

By keeping tabs of what is in your fridge, you can make smart decisions about what you will be eating when you finally arrive home at the end of the day. It will also make grocery shopping and meal planning for the week easier. If a running list isn’t for you, consider taking a photo of your refrigerator each day. When you are zapped for ideas, take a peek inside, so you know exactly what is ready to eat.

Avoid stale eating habits by changing things up

It is annoying to eat the same thing every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to spend time each day prepping a new meal. You can meal prep while keeping things fresh by using different spices on individual meals. If you have a huge package of chicken, section it out and prepare it in different ways ahead of time. If you want to enjoy a stir fry one day and a Greek-inspired dinner another, you can simply season individual portions separately and cook.

Once everything is cooked, place your meals into individual storage containers. Not only will it ensure you are eating something different each day, it will make getting dinner into your body almost effortless. To excel at this, it is best to purchase proper storage containers.

Finally, if the same six or seven meals are feeling stale, check out our recipe section for more great Paleo ideas!

 

Paleo Diet Guide to On-The-Go | The Paleo Diet

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!

MEAL IDEAS

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:

SALAD BATCHES

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!

LUNCH-READY DINNER

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!

Think dishes like sweet potato patties, baked veggie chips, Paleo chicken fingers, tuna bites or chicken/turkey sliders.

Try our delicious Paleo Diet recipe for Cherry Mint Turkey Balls to get you started!

PURSE SNACKS

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:

    1. Always opt for a gluten, grain, and dairy free option. With today’s food trends, almost every restaurant has a meat or fish and steamed vegetables option – make it yours!

 

    1. 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.

 

  1. 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

@PaleoWired
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Sanja JovanovicSanja 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!

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