Meal Planning Tips That Make Paleo Eating Easier
A little planning now can lead to hassle-free, delicious dinners later. Yep, your ancestors would definitely approve.
Living a paleo lifestyle takes *serious* commitment. From hunting down the best prices on grass-fed meat to deducing what you can order on date night, eating foods only from the Paleolithic era-fresh and seasonal vegetables, meat, seafood, some nuts, and fruit-is not always easy. Yes, you'll learn to overcome your cravings for pizza or pasta, but the lifestyle doesn't need to be hard. Meal planning in advance and making healthy, delicious meals at home can help you stick to the lifestyle and even save money in the process. So stop stressing and plan meals like a pro.
Embrace Kitchen Confidence
Imagine this scenario: You get home from work, grab sausage, shrimp, and an assortment of veggies from your fridge, and whip up a nutritious and completely paleo 20-minute skillet meal without even a moment of hesitation. Sound good? If so, say hellooo to meal planning. This little tip is especially helpful when embracing a specific diet. Because eating unprocessed, local, and seasonal foods is rewarding-but it can also be hard to stick with when you're hangry after work.
Whether you're new to paleo and not sure what to cook or an expert looking to add variety to your meals, letting meal planning services like eMeals do the dirty work for you can give you a boost of added courage to live the life with ease. eMeals provides customizable weekly meal schedules, grocery shopping lists, and step-by-step instructions, so you get all the good-food benefits minus the planning work up front. Ideal situation? Hells yes.
Choose theme nights like Taco Tuesday to help preset a few days of the week with guaranteed meal ideas and make planning a snap. Switch up your main dishes from time to time, though, so you don't get bored. (As if it were even possible to get tired of tacos...) Try rotating chicken burritos wrapped in lettuce with beef taco salad, or make cauliflower "taco" shells and top them with pork smothered in zesty homemade taco seasoning. Mix things up even more by trying fish entrées like chipotle shrimp tacos some night. And invite your friends over to dig in with you-trust us, even your non-paleo friends will enjoy.
Love Your Leftovers
Making a little extra when cooking dinner to take for lunch the next day is both financially smart and a real time-saver. Hate the idea of leftovers? Set aside ingredients while cooking and switch up the recipe a bit for your lunch portion-you might not even notice that you're eating basically the same thing. Turn that extra grilled skirt steak from last night into sizzling fajitas that will make the whole office jealous. Or toss it on a bed of greens and veggies for a salad that's anything but boring. Brown-bagging your lunch will make it easier to stick with your plan when lunchtime rolls around-plus you'll save loads of money when you don't have to eat out every day.
You don't necessarily have to live in ancient times all the time. Try what some experts call the 85/15 rule: 85 percent of your meals should be fully paleo, while the other 15 percent can be splurges (cheese, anyone?).
Ready to take your cooking skills to the next level? Try these baked maple chicken breasts and bacon-wrapped sweet potatoes from eMeals for a dinner that will please everyone, paleo or not.
Baked Maple Chicken Breasts
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 6 (6-oz) bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, combine 3 tablespoons oil, garlic, vinegar, and syrup.
Add chicken and toss to coat, then set marinade aside.
Coat the rack of a roasting pan with leftover oil and place chicken on top.
Season with lemon pepper and salt, then bake 40 minutes.
Boil marinade for 1 minute (don't skip this step!) and serve with finished chicken.
Bacon-Wrapped Sweet Potato Wedges
- 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 12 bacon slices, cut in half
Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a rimmed baking sheet, combine sweet potatoes and oil and toss to coat.
Season with garlic salt and pepper and toss to coat.
Wrap each wedge with 1 piece of bacon.
Bake 30 minutes, or until wedges are tender and bacon is crisp.
Full Meal: Prep: 15 minutes | Cook: 1 hour and 10 minutes | Total: 1 hour and 25 minutes
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