At the beginning of the year we decided to go “paleo” – cutting out all grains, dairy, sugar and other processed goods. I have briefly chatted about the changes that we have made here.
Changing what you eat is hard. So very hard. It’s so hard that I have had many people ask me how we have managed to make the change to cutting out so many different things from our diet and still continue to do it months later. Also, how on Earth we do it with the kids. And because I always aim to please, I put together a 10 things that we have done to make the change easier for us. I hope that it might make it easier for you too!
- Do it for a reason – If I didn’t have to look at my blotchy red face every morning, I will admit that making this change would be harder for me. For Seth his reason is managing his skin cancer better. Both of these things are severely impacted by what we eat. Maybe your reason is to get rid of your leaky gut or lessen your risk of a life threatening disease like cancer or diabetes or maybe you just want to be healthier so that you can be around longer for your children. Whatever the reason, I think it’s important to have one. For me “losing weight” is not a good enough reason – only because once you have reached “your goal weight” one tends to revert back to old habits. You need to be committed to being healthier for the long haul.
- Do your research – Don’t just believe every weirdo sprouting crap over the internet, it’s important to look it up and investigate it yourself. It doesn’t help that someone else is convinced that this new plan is better for you – YOU need to be convinced. Knowing why the food is bad for you and what it actually does to your insides makes it so much more real every time you put that type of food into your mouth.
- Do it together – Thankfully both Seth and I are committed to being on this journey together. I know I would have struggled if he was still eating burgers in front of me. In fact, he is the total opposite, refusing to eat anything that doesn’t fit in the plan. Which means making a meal that contains any food that we can’t eat is totally pointless. It can be annoying when I don’t feel like cooking but it means that we eat right 90% of the time. Try and get everyone in your household to make the change with you then hold each other accountable.
- Get rid of the things you can’t eat – Do you know why I have failed at every other change of diet that I have ever had? Because I have still kept the “bad food” in the cupboards – so in a moment of weakness I can just eat that chocolate or devour that ice cream. Not having it means no temptation. We do not have any grains/pasta/bread/rice/ice cream/chocolate/sweets/fizzy drinks in the house so that we are not tempted.
- Find healthy snacks – I love to snack. I freaking love it. Not being able to have a chocolate after supper or quickly munch a slice of toast after work was the worst. Yes, there’s fruit but sometimes I want something that’s chocolate. Because, chocolate. I regularly make these chocolate balls and these chocolate bar as an alternative. We also have a lot of nuts and raisins. Sometimes we still have pop corn – not paleo, but at least it doesn’t have gluten in it.
- Be prepared – Stock up on fresh veg/fruit/meat at the beginning of the week so that you have no excuse to order takeaways. Having the produce in the fridge is a huge motivator not to let it spoil and waste money. On a Sunday we pop into Woolies and stock up on a range of different things, then I use what will go off first at the beginning of the week and then work my way through to the end of the week. I don’t work well in trying to force a meal plan on myself, but if that works for you then that is perfect!
- Find inspiration – Getting ideas for new healthy things to cook is important, otherwise getting stuck in a rut of roast chicken and veg may be in your future (it was very much in our past). I regularly trawl Pinterest for ideas, if you are looking for some ideas check my “I Want To Eat That” board (warning: there is a lot of chocolate) or check back here every now and again – I’m trying to post tried and tested recipes when I find good ones.
- Make good choices – Once you have changed to eating better you assume that you will never be able to eat out again. That is not necessarily true. If you have a good amount of self control there are nearly always healthier options on the menu. Instead of the bacon and egg sandwich, have the bacon, poached eggs with tomatoes and mushrooms or at the Spur, instead of the cheese burger have the chicken breasts with vegetables. (I’ll admit that I have potatoes because they don’t have gluten and I love them).
- Have a good breakfast – Flip, I suck at my own tips, but I know that when I have eaten well I am less tempted than when I am starving and suddenly there is cake in the office or I can smell the Steers wafting down the road. Making sure your tummy is full goes a long way. Making extra supper to take to work for lunch is also really helpful.
- Find a good dealer – I’m not going to lie, this change has been a little bit expensive. I have often felt like giving up because the budget is tighter than it should be (thanks interest rate). Also most recipes call for almond flour or coconut flour and coconut oil and and and. So I found a dealer that I can get those things from for so much cheaper than the shops – let me know if you want the details (they are based in Durbanville but deliver to the whole of SA).
So that’s what’s worked for us – let me know if you have any other helpful tips 🙂