“I’m Paleo, except…” “I eat mostly Paleo, but…” – does this sound familiar?
You know you’d feel so much better if you could dive in 100%, but there’s just one little sticking point that you can’t find an answer for. Take a look at 5 common culprits, and and how to work around them.
5. What can I Bring for Lunch Without a Fridge?
Work lunches without a fridge can be tough, but they’re not impossible and you certainly don’t have to revert to PB&J. Some suggestions:
Get an insulated lunchbox: it’ll keep your lunch at a safe temperature until you’re ready to dig in. This series of posts from Nom Nom Paleo has some fantastic ideas for school lunches that keep safely in insulated lunchboxes and taste delicious (just scale them up from child-size to adult-size if you’re making lunch for a grown-up).
Get a thermos bottle and bring a hot soup or chili for lunch.
Pack a lunch that doesn’t require any refrigeration. Some foods that you might include:
- A can of fish, like sardines or salmon. If fish is getting boring, you can also get cans of chicken and ham; just watch the labels carefully for hidden soy.
- An avocado.
- A piece of fruit.
- Hard-boiled eggs (they’ll keep fine for half a day).
- Chopped fresh vegetables, like carrots or peppers, with a dip.
4. What do I Eat Post-Workout?
You know that protein powder isn’t great for you, and that it’s so much better to get protein from whole foods, but you don’t have an hour after every workout to lovingly prepare an omelet or a fillet of salmon!
Here’s the good news, though: getting in a huge whack of protein right after your workout isn’t as crucial as we used to think. It’s more important to get in enough protein over the course of the day, not all at once as you’re walking out of the gym. (If you want the science behind this, this article is a good place to start).
So for purposes of muscle growth, you actually don’t need to bring a special post-workout protein bomb. But if you just get ravenous right after, here’s a quick solution: at the beginning of the week, bake a big batch of chicken breasts (or hard-boil a dozen eggs) and whip up a batch of potato salad. Then just divide it all into separate containers and grab one for the gym bag every time you need a quick post-workout meal.
3. What's a Good Grab-and-go Breakfast?
No time to cook in the morning? No problem! The secret to easy Paleo breakfasts is to cook ahead. Half an hour on the weekend can get everything set for all the workdays to come, so that all you have to do is grab it out of the fridge. Here’s one suggestion: cook up a batch of mini frittatas (you can put different vegetables and meat in each cup, to keep it interesting). Stock up on 5 pieces of fruit, and throw as many mini-frittatas as you want into a tupperware with a piece of fruit. If you’re really that rushed, you can even eat these in the car, since it’s all finger food.
2. What can I Drink if I Hate Water?
Has your fluid intake slowed to a trickle since getting rid of sugary sodas? Just can’t stand to drink plain H2O? Here are some tips to help you out:
- Get seltzer water and add a squirt of lemon or lime (or your favorite flavoring)
- Try a Paleo lemonade (or maybe you like it with strawberries)
- Drink herbal tea (hot or iced)
- Eat more watery foods, like cucumbers or celery. Cucumbers are 95% water by weight, and it’s all the same to your body! A big crunchy cucumber salad for lunch can rehydrate you just as well as a glass of water.
1. What do I Put in My Coffee/Tea?
Coffee can be a precious morning ritual, a chance to sit down and slowly get ready to face the day. Or maybe it’s the little pick-me-up that gets you through the middle of a hard day of work.
Either way, coffee certainly arouses very strong preferences for taking it one way or the other – some people can’t stand anything but black; other people won’t touch it without sugar; others can’t stand any sweetener but won’t hear of a cup without some heavy cream.
Fortunately, there’s a Paleo option for all of the above:
The sweet tooth: you might find that after a few weeks of Paleo that sweet tooth dies down considerably, and your once-pleasant mug of sugar becomes cloying and sickly-sweet. But if you still want a little sweetener, you might consider Stevia or a sugar alcohol (xylitol or erythritol). Or alternately, just use a small amount of sugar: one teaspoon of sugar in a day is not going to hurt you if the rest of your diet is dialed in. Consider it the 5% non-Paleo indulgence that keeps you on the straight and narrow the rest of the time.
The milk-lover: some people can handle dairy just fine, but others aren't so lucky. Love the creamy flavor of a good latte but hate what it does to your stomach? Try…
- Bulletproof coffee (coffee blended with butter and/or coconut oil): it’s creamy and frothy, packed with healthy fats, and completely dairy-optional.
- Coconut milk: if you just want something to lighten your cup, a tablespoon or two of coconut milk is a stomach-friendly alternative.
- Dairy-free Paleo creamers: yes, they exist! Here’s a recipe for Paleo coffee creamer to get you started.