I’m not going to tell you that Paleo is easy

Living fully paleo takes some work. You will have to shop. You will have to cook. You will have to read labels, and be that annoying person at restaurants who makes special requests. But no matter how you handle it, everyone likes to hear how others have overcome their difficulties. Here are a few examples from my personal paleo journey.

1. I am not a morning person. I have no desire to move, converse, or even eat until about 10 am. I do understand the importance of a good nutritional start to my day, but when trying to eat paleo, “quick” breakfasts are hard to come by. Fruit is acceptable, but usually gives me a tummy ache if that’s all I eat. Eggs and bacon never fail, but I usually don’t give myself enough time to cook. I posted the recipe for the fritata that just needs to be warmed up, but sometimes, I really just need something more grab-and-go. So I came up with this recipe which I adapted from this site: http://www.againstallgrain.com/2012/02/10/dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-granola-bars/

This recipe is paleo, but because of the honey and chocolate chips, it is not Whole30 approved. This is my adaptation.

1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup natural unsweetened almond butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
(2 cups of any raw nuts will do. Mix however you want)
5 dried unsweetened apricots
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/4 cup chocolate chips, Enjoy Life brand (allergen-free)

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Combine honey, coconut oil, and almond butter over low heat. While this heats, grind nuts, seeds, and apricots into a fine meal.Mix in coconut shreds and chocolate chips. The online recipe recommends waiting and sprinkling the chocolate chips on top. I like them mixed in. Combine liquid ingredients with the nut mixture. Scoop mixture into a Saran wrap lined pan (I use 8×8) and press the mixture out to fill the pan evenly. Freeze. I have this nifty tool called an ulu that I used to cut the bars after they’re frozen.

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A pizza cutter could work, but it won’t get the edges. I’m sure a heated butter knife would be fine. I put Saran overtop of the dish in the freezer so they don’t get freezer burn. Yummy grab-and-go breakfast/snack.

2. I have always liked pasta. Never LOVED it, but liked it. With paleo, sometimes meat and veggies doesn’t feel like enough. It is, don’t get me wrong. It’s just the mentality that I grew up with ingrained in me that a complete meal is meat-veggies-starch/carb. So when I’m really craving starch, I have a few little tricks.

  • Cauliflower and celery root puree – half a head of cauliflower and half a chopped, peeled celery root boiled until soft and blended with clarified butter, salt & pepper, and garlic. It’s like mashed potatoes, maybe even better.
  • Squash and zucchini – these veggies have a more starchy feel to them, but are way more nutrient-dense than potatoes. Sweet potatoes are allowed on the paleo and Whole30 plans, but I don’t like them.
  • THIS is the lifesaver. Miracle Noodles - http://www.miraclenoodle.com/ They are allergen-free and take on the taste of whatever you cook them with. They look like pasta, feel like pasta, but they are made of shirataki which comes from a tuber called a konjac yam. The noodles are very low carb, gluten-free, and nearly calorie-free. Their sole purpose is to make you feel like you’re not deprived!

3. Always be prepared with paleo snacks. The fridge where I work is half full of my stuff. I stash it everywhere. I carry a little baggy of my grain-free granola bars, a bag of raw almond, or… my favorite paleo snack in the whole world: baby carrots with fresh-ground almond butter from Whole Foods. HEAVEN. I have another favorite snack that most people think is gross. It’s fresh sliced cucumber with vinegar and pepper. Like a quick pickle. A QUICKLE!! I dunno, it’s just delicious. Get up off my back about it. To make this more palatable, some people dilute the vinegar with a little olive oil, add tomatoes, and make sort of a salad. But that seems like extra work.

4. Get your sleep 7-8 hours. It makes cravings so much more bearable.

5. Tequila is paleo. –> http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/norcal-margarita-recipe/

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