Posts

six ways to stick to paleo diet hard to stick to paleo network-min

6 ways to make sure your paleo diet is not hard to stick to

A common response to the idea of eating a paleo diet, is that surely it must be so difficult to stick to. All the changes, all the cooking – it seems impossible to keep up, long term, right?

Well, I think once you’ve established a few habits and patterns, it would be harder not to stick to it.

Here’s six ways to make sure it’s not hard to stick to a paleo diet, but becomes an easy part of your life

six ways to stick to paleo diet hard to stick to paleo network-min

1.       Know why it makes sense

If you’ve researched and read about paleo and why it works, it becomes so much easier to stick to

2.       Try it, properly

If you can stick to a strict version of a paleo diet religiously, for 30 days you’ll have the chance to see what difference it makes to you. You’ll observe how differently you feel in terms of energy, skin, sleep, mood and specific health issues. Knowing that eating paleo can significantly improve your health will make it much, much harder to go back to your old way of eating.

3.       Support

Support can make the world of difference. Paleo has got so popular, you’ll hopefully have someone in your life following it too. But as time goes by and people see the changes in you, they’re more likely to give it a try too. If you don’t have any real life support, check out meetups in your area, you’ll find local support and encouragement will make all the difference to your sticking power.

4.       Organisation

A lot of people waiver from their paleo diet due to lack of organisation. You overslept and missed breakfast, or got home too late to cook. One non-paleo meal becomes two, then before you know it you’re more 20/80, than 80/20. I find batch cooking at the weekend helps a lot with this, making sure my freezer is stocked with paleo meals that just need to be reheated. A paleo emergency stash at work (of nuts, jerky and even tinned fish) can ensure you’re not caught hungry with no options. If you know you’re going to a social function that’s likely to have poor food choices, plan in advance and either take something along, or even eat before you go – this way it won’t be hard to stick to paleo.

5.       Work out alternatives

You’re not going to be eating bread, or pasta on your paleo diet. But if you can come up with alternatives and substitutions, you’ll be ready to deal with situations where you’d have eaten those foods. Used to take sandwiches to work? Try taking wraps instead (made with lettuce, or nori). Used to have spaghetti Bolognese every Friday? Try it with zucchini noodles instead. Not so hard to stick to anymore!

6.       Be realistic

It’s important to avoid being too “all or nothing”. It’s easy to slip and have one small non-paleo thing, then tell yourself it’s all ruined, you might as well write the day/ week off. Instead, take a more flexible approach. Maybe agree with yourself to be 80/20 paleo. That is 80% of your diet is paleo, and you’re ok with up to 20% “not paleo”. If you strive for 100%, but achieve 80% you won’t be disappointed with yourself.

How easy do you find it to stick to paleo? What tips would you give to others finding it hard to stick to a paleo diet?

Why you need big freezer deep freeze frozen Paleo Network-min

Why you need a big freezer

I’m lucky to have a fairly big freezer, and I can’t recommend it enough, for so many paleo reasons. Here’s why a good size freezer could transform your paleo diet

Why you need big freezer deep freeze frozen Paleo Network-min

Once a week cooking

I’m a huge fan of batch cooking – if you’re going to go to the effort of cooking dinner, why not make 8 dinners out of it? Whatever I’m making, I always at least double up the ingredients. I freeze individual portions in large freezer bags that I lay flat. This means they’ll defrost far quicker than if you freeze them in a big lump.

Grass-fed meat in bulk

So many farmers will sell amazing quality grass-fed beef – but only if you’ll buy a whole cow, or even just a quarter. This is great to share with friends – it’s far cheaper, you get some great cuts you might otherwise overlook. But it will need a lot of freezer space. With a big freezer, you could get all the meat you need to last for months and months in one purchase.

No wastage

If you’ve had a big harvest of home grown veggies, just freeze it for fresh home grown produce, all year round.

Smoothies always ready

Fruit is another great reason to have a good size freezer. Grad a handful of berries and add to your blender mix for an instant ice cool smoothie.

Paleo ice cream

Who needs an ice cream maker when you can make your own paleo ice cream and have it waiting for you in the freezer!

Budget conscious

A freezer is the best way to eat on a budget. Whenever you find special buys of meat or produce – buy and freeze!

 

How far can $50 a week go – cheap veggies

I told you about my $50 weekly food budget and I thought I’d share with you how I’ve been achieving it. As I mentioned, I shop around between my local independent green grocers, Aldi and Coles supermarket. Whilst I find some good specials in Coles and Aldi, I almost always find the green grocers to be the best bet for cheap veggies.

My other reason for liking the greengrocer as well as it being cheap, is that almost everything is from local farms – and it’s pretty much all seasonal, rather than expensive imported produce.

I eat a lot of veg and use it to bulk out all of my meals. I pick veggies roughly based on their nutrient density – I’m going to buy kale and spinach over iceberg lettuce.

So, here’s what I selected the other day at my greengrocers….

Greengrocers-50-Paleo-Diet-Primal-Challenge-Frugal-Vegetables-Veggies-min
Spinach (silverbeet) $0.99
Kale $2.00
Butternut Squash $3.00
Brussels Sprouts $2.49
Broccoli $1.97
Onions $1.49
Cauliflower $2.49

Total Veg Spend $14.34

I compared the cost to what I would have paid in my local Coles supermarket (see below)

Greengrocers-Coles-Woolworths-Shopping-50-Paleo-Diet-Primal-Challenge-Frugal-Vegetables-Veggies-min

Buying the exact same produce would have cost over double in the supermarket – $31.07, leaving less than $20 for meat for the week!

What did I do with the produce?

I made a huge batch of butternut squash and carrot soup (I had a few carrots left over from my previous shot)

I used the cauliflower to make an experimental new pizza base

I made a greens & beef stir fry with the silverbeet, kale, sprouts and broccoli

It’s cheap – but is it organic?

Unfortunately it’s not all organic. Of course I’d love to eat everything organic, but on a tight budget it’s just not feasible. However – one good trick I’ve found, is that not may people seem to buy organic where I live. This means the organic produce is quite often reduced to less than the conventional produce, as it approaches it’s use by date. So keep a look out.

I’d love to hear your tips for eating well on a budget – how do you do it? Share in the comments below!

Recipe paleo egg muffins-min

Recipe: Paleo Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins are a win for quick and easy breakfast options. When I make them I make a big batch and keep them in the fridge.

I use whatever vegetables I have left over, so you can go as plain or complex as you like.

Paleo-Recipe-Egg-muffins--471x1024-min

Recipe: Paleo Egg Muffins
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Ingredients
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Large spoon of coconut oil
  • Broccoli, diced
  • Handful of Mushrooms, sliced
  • Large bowl of spinach
  • 6 Eggs
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Handful of grated cheese (if primal, completely optional)
Instructions
  1. Fry the onions in some coconut oil over a medium heat
  2. When the onions soften, add in the broccoli, then the spinach
  3. Meanwhile beat the eggs and season
  4. Arrange the muffin cases and spoon the vegetables into the bottom of each case
  5. Add a pinch of grated cheese to each case (if desired, otherwise leave out)
  6. Spoon in the egg mixture
  7. Bake in the oven at 175C (350F) for about 45 minutes
  8. Enjoy or store in the fridge to enjoy for breakfast tomorrow

 

Recipe paleo Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew-min

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew

Despite having bought a far too small slow cooker (seriously, why make enough for one meal, when for the same effort you could have enough for several freezer meals?), I’ve recently been using my slow cooker a lot more. I love being able to put in a bit of effort in the morning, then coming home to smell a delicious dinner ready and waiting. I’ve found with this one it’s best to wait until right at the end of cooking to add in the coconut cream, but even so, it’s still next to no effort to have a nutritious dinner cook itself for you!

Serves 4 (but if your slow cooker is big enough make as much as you can and save the extras for later!)

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 3 organic free range chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 500g (1 lb) celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) minced fresh ginger
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) curry paste*
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground turmeric
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) ground chilli
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock
  • 200ml (7 floz) coconut cream
  • Chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and cook the chicken until brown and cooked through.
  2. Put the parsnips, celeriac and carrots in the slow cooker
  3. Meanwhile, add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan, and cook for a further five minutes, stirring until they soften.
  4. Into the pan, stir in the paste, turmeric, chilli and seasoning.
  5. Add the stock to the pan, and bring it to the boil, stiring occasionally.
  6. Transfer the contents of the pan into the slow cooker, and with the lid on, cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours.
  7. In the last hour add in the coconut cream to add the creaminess to the dish
  8. Just before serving, add the coriander garnish.
  9. *This is so easy to make instead of buying – I’ll type up my recipe and link to it – watch this space!

Recipe paleo Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Veggie Stew-min

Paleo diet primal weekly planning meal planning recipes-min

What Sundays Are All About

With a bit of planning and organisation at the weekend, the entire week of Paleo meals can be planned, ingredients bought and almost all of the cooking done, leaving your weekdays easy and stress free.

Being organised like this is not only a far cheaper way of following your Paleo diet, but it also ensures you won’t come unstuck in the week – when a lack of time and imagination would otherwise make it far harder to make the right food choices.

Step One: The Weekly Planner

Are you going to be home every evening? Do you have friends over? Have you been invited out to dinner? Write out a plan of the upcoming week and work out how many breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks you will need.

Now it’s time to hit the recipe books for inspiration and decide what you would like to eat everyday! Bear in mind if you cook a large portion of a dinner recipe, you can either freeze the remainder to enjoy another day, or you can use it for lunch, or breakfast the following day.

If you have cooking facilities at lunchtimes, it’s a great idea to do some batch cooking, so you can have a quick, hot Paleo meal every lunchtime – with no cooking required

Paleo diet primal weekly planning meal planning recipes-min

Step Two: The Ingredients

Once you’ve decided on your weekly Paleo meal planner, you can make a list of all of the ingredients you need to buy and head to your local farmers market, butchers and grocery store/ supermarket to buy everything you need. No more shopping required for another week or two! It’s good to be flexible and prepared to swap ingredients, for example where certain vegetables are in season or on sale.

Step Three: Cooking & Preparation

Once you have your Paleo ingredients, recipes and weekly planner on hand, it’s time to get cooking! You can cook up big batches of one-pot recipes, such as soups, stews, casseroles and curries as these will freeze easily, ready to be reheated when you need them for lunches or dinners.

Many breakfasts, such as egg muffins can be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for a quick grab and go breakfast.

You can also prepare vegetables in advance, ready to blanch, eat raw or throw in the steamer for the week’s dinners.

Step Four: Overcoming Potential Difficulties

This is also a good opportunity to call ahead any restaurants you may be visiting next week – or looking up their menu online. This way you can work out which Paleo options are available, or contact the restaurant directly and see how they can help.

What is your weekly routine? Do you spend time at the weekend planning for the week ahead?

Paleo diet chicken stock bone broth how to make recipe-min

Chicken Stock

I had a big cooking session at the weekend and thought I’d use the leftover chicken I had to make some Chicken Stock.  When I have the time to cook I like to make things like stock or bone broth, as I can freeze large amounts and use them as the basis for many dishes over the next two or three months.  Stock forms the basis of so many meals, such as soups, sauces, stews and curries.  I always separate the stock into small batches before I freeze so I can just defrost the amount I need.Bone Broth Recipe Book Chicken Beef StockThere seem to be a lot of different ways of making stock and bone broth.  I like to keep mine as uncomplicated as possible as I’d rather add herbs and spices into the meal I use the stock for – not be limited by how I made the stock.

Out of interest, I had a look at the ingredients in the ready-made supermarket Chicken Stocks.

Campbell’s Real Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock (97%) (Water, Chicken, Herb Extracts), Glucose, Salt, Yeast Extract (Contains Barley), Natural Flavour.

Continental Stock Pot Chicken

Concentrated chicken stock (67%) (vegetables (onion, carrot, garlic), water, chicken, herbs, spices), salt, flavours (contain wheat), sugar, vegetable fat, yeast extract, thickners (xanthin gum, locust bean gum), natural colour (carotene)

Massel Chicken Stock

Water, Maltodextrin (Corn), Sea Salt, Natural Vegetable Flavours, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Red Bell Pepper), Vegetable Proteins (Soy), Sugar, Yeast Extract, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Black Pepper.

Coles Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock* (97%) (Water, Chicken, Onion, Carrot, Celery, Bay Leaf), Natural Flavours, Yeast Extract, Sugar, Salt, Vegetable Powders (Onion, Garlic, Sweet Corn), Black Pepper, Vegetable Extract Powder

*Reconstituted from concentrated stock

The shop-bought varieties have so many more ingredients than my home-made version.  I can’t understand why sugar and flavours need to be added to stock, never mind “vegetable” fat, soy and colours (dare I ask what colour is it before they add the colouring?)  I might be wrong, but I’d be surprised if the manufacturers went to the same lengths I do to get good quality free ranged chicken…

I much prefer making my own as it uses up leftovers that could otherwise be wasted – and as it pretty much looks after itself, it isn’t much effort to make at all.

Chicken Stock
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Left over roast chicken carcass
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. I had already roasted a chicken and had a few other pieces left over, so I broke it up and put it in my largest pan.
  2. I roughly chopped up a couple of carrots, a couple of onions and some celery – without peeling them.
  3. I added a couple of bay leaves to the pot and added water until the pot was almost full.
  4. I then bought it to the boil, before reducing the heat to a simmer and then I reduced the heat further.
  5. Every so often I skimmed the top with a spoon to get rid of any residue that rose up.
  6. I let this continue for three or four hours whilst getting on with the rest of my cooking, adding water as required.
  7. I then strained the mixture and discarded the bones and vegetable remains, leaving the stock.
  8. I cooled this quickly by putting the pot in a sink of cold water before refrigerating it.
  9. Once cool I separated it into individual sized portions to freeze until I need them.

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU THIS RECIPE?

Enter your details and check your email!

I’d love to hear how you make stock and what you use it for?

Paleo diet chicken stock bone broth how to make recipe-min