I definitely made that food pyramid up there…cool right! lol So I have been asked a lot about grocery shopping, what to get, how to eat, and of course, is it expensive? There is no real simple answer for any of this. I mean, is Paleo going to be more than the Top Ramen and Macaroni and Cheese diet? Of course! If you have a somewhat balanced diet, going Paleo isn’t going to be much of a difference on the grocery bill. I have found people usually end up spending the same amount. This is because, when you go to the store without a plan, or buy whatever you are in the mood for, you tend to spend more. The chips, cookies, baked goods along with all the boxed meals, plus your meats and produce, it comes out to be quite a bit and its not healthy either. Even the S.A.D. diet and all the quinoa…that stuff isn’t cheap! I saw it yesterday at the grocery store for $4.79 for this small box. You spend so much more for whole wheat and so-called “healthy” grains, when you could be spending less on whole natural foods. Cutting out the junk, only buying the good stuff, and sticking to a list…it will help your health and your budget! So below are my tips…I hope you find them useful!!
Step 1 – Creating a Plan
The most common mistake when doing any kind of food shopping is going to the store when you’re hungry and without a plan. This is something I used to do, but I made sure to stick to the plan and now, I feel lost in the jungle if I don’t have my grocery list lol. Make sure you sit down and plan out your list before you do your shopping. I know time is lacking for most people, but you do have time to make a grocery list. Once you get used to it, the task will be much faster and much easier.
Get a notebook just for meals and grocery lists. Write down the days of the week you are shopping for, and what you and your family will be eating for each meal, including snacks, for those days. Then you will be able to create your list based on the meals you will be eating. If you create your list in groups, for example all produce together, it will be easier and faster to shop. Organization is important when you are trying to save time.
This was one of my grocery lists and meal plans a couple weeks ago. I do not always write down snacks anymore, I just grab a few extra pieces of fruit and veggies for snacking, but when you first start out, try planning out your entire day with food.
Step 2 – Getting your Family on Board
When going Paleo for Weight Loss you really need to clear your house of the junk food. I always hear “well my husband (or my kids) like it, so its in the house and I end up eating it too”. You guys….tough love….I did this too! Trust me…I did this! A lot! The fact is, if you are thinking of going Paleo, it’s because you want to be healthy, right? So why not enforce this lifestyle on your kids and husband too? They deserve to be healthy after all, and you want to give your children good eating habits. They can still enjoy their favorite foods, just a healthier version. Do not use your family as a reason to why you cant be healthy.
It is easier to get your kids on board than your spouse at times. The world is filled with picky kids like I have never seen before. We enforce the “if you are hungry you will eat it” rule. Many people do this, it’s not because we want our kids to eat food they dislike. It’s because you can train your taste buds. This is a fact. I used to hate veggies, and I was also 100 lbs overweight. I forced myself to eat ALL veggies, and now I love them! My daughter will eat everything, she loves salmon and broccoli, she will eat whatever is put in front of her. My son though, he knows better, and hes 11 (my daughter is 2)…so sometimes he complains if he doesn’t like something, but he always eats it. He has gotten a lot better with everything though. He used to always complain, didn’t want the veggies, or wanted junk on a daily basis. Now, he likes certain veggies and when I make the grocery list, he gets to pick one meal a night, and its always something healthy. Do they get the occasional candy truck or ice cream trip? You bet, but it isn’t frequently.
Spouses can be a struggle at times, especially if they aren’t on board. Get them on board lol….I don’t know what to tell you about stubborn spouses. I personally don’t think grown adults should be picky like children. If you are, I apologize, but like I said, you can train your taste buds to like things you didn’t like before. You cannot live on 5 different foods or only 2 food groups…it isn’t healthy. My husband was skeptical at first, but when he gained 30 lbs while I was pregnant, he was on board to lose it. He did, in 6 weeks, no working out either! Men…they lose weight so fast lol. However, he has his moments. When he wants junk, he goes and gets it and its just enough for that day. He doesn’t go out and buy a ton of cookies or ice cream. If your spouse wants to do this, that’s fine, just make sure they keep their cheats for that day rather than a big tub that will tempt everyone in the house for weeks to come. Plus, there are the paleo sweets that are better than refined sugar and wheat treats. If you can bake the paleo treats for your family instead, they will be less likely to get the junk at the stores.
That is one of the hardest obstacles…getting the family on board. I hope those tips help you. Having to enforce tough love and overall health and good choices among your family will be worth it in the end.
Step 3 – Where to Shop
This is an easy rule, and a short one. Depending on where you live, sometimes finding certain things can be tricky. I live in Germany right now, and it took a little while to figure it all out, but I think I have it down now.
Most towns have a Farmers Market where all the local growers get together and sell their produce. If you are lucky, there will be a meat and fish vendor too. The local grown organic produce and grass fed meats/ wild caught fish will be great options to get at your Farmers Market. Plus you know its fresh as can be!
If you can’t get to a Farmers Market, or do not have access to one, shop at your local health food store. They will always have the foods you need, especially paleo friendly ones. If you have a Whole Foods or Sprouts nearby, those are awesome stores.
If you do not have a health food store, your local store is fine. Even the local stores have organic produce and good meats. I know we don’t always want to go to several stores, but if you need to go to 2 in order to get what you need, that’s OK. Just do what you can.
Step 4 – What types of foods to buy
Now, down to it, what do you buy? Here are the different food options and what to choose over other foods. You see my Food Pyramid above…I made that for you guys for an easy visual.
Meats – Ideally, all your meats will be grass fed. If you live in the United States, this is an easy find. It can cost a little more, but its worth it. Grass fed meats are hormone free and antibiotic free. If you cant buy grass fed meat, get the organic option. If you have a meat grinder, use that rather than buying meat already ground. You can also ask the butcher to grind the meat for you. The already ground meat contains the scraps…body parts from several different animals. I have heard companies use up to 80 different cows for one batch of ground beef. You never know what condition those animals were in. You also want to know what you are eating. If you can buy the chunk of meat, and have the butcher grind it, that is healthier.
Fish – Your fish should always be wild caught rather than farm raised or imported. The Farm Raised and Imported options are loaded with hormones and toxins. Your local fish market should have wild caught seafood options. I know tilapia was the big thing for a while, mainly because its a mild fish, but tilapia is farm raised and probably one of the worst fish options for you.
Chicken and Eggs – Chicken and eggs should also be organic and free range, hormone and antibiotic free. If you haven’t had an organic free range egg, you need to try them! The yolk is almost orange rather than pale yellow, and they taste so much better.
Produce – Your produce should always be either local grown or organic. I have seen articles that say organic is no different than regular produce. That is true if you don’t care about toxins. Does an organic apple have the same vitamins as a non-organic apple? Sure. Does an organic apple have the same toxins and preservatives that a non-organic apple has? Nope, not at all. Your best options are fresh, in season and local organic. Imported produce is loaded with chemicals as well. When you are Paleo for Weight loss, your fruit consumption should be low. Try to stick to berries and lower sugar fruits, rather than a ton of fruit every day.
Nuts – When you go paleo, you can eat all nuts except peanuts. Did you know peanuts are NOT nuts? Crazy right! People get confused because its always in the nut section of the store, and its called a peaNUT, but its a legume, not a not, and not Paleo. This means, no peanut butter as well. Nuts should be in moderation, they are not a free food. You can go above and beyond your carb and calorie count FAST if you sit and finish a can of nuts. I have done this with Cashews before, and Cashews are high in calories and fat. You can also make nut butters as a peanut butter alternative.
Grains, Gluten and Legumes – These foods no longer exist in your world. If it is processed, in a box, can, jar, frozen, bag, or any other form of factory manufactured food, it is off limits. Unless it is marked Paleo at your health food shop, it probably has preservatives, wheat or gluten in it. Legumes are also off limits (these are all beans).
Dairy – Dairy is also avoided on Paleo. If you are going more “Primal” then you can have some dairy. This would be in the form of whole dairy products. Kerry Gold makes cheese from grass fed cows so its better than regular cheese. Whole fat organic cheese and milk is better than products from treated injected animals.
Sugar – This also doesn’t exist in your diet anymore. Refined sugar is just terrible for you. When you do need a sweet treat in your life, make it yourself, and use RAW honey or Swerve.
Flours – Flour is part of the grain/gluten family so it is off limits. However, you can make bread and baked goods with paleo-friendly flours such as Almond Flour, Hazelnut Flour and Coconut Flour.
Cooking Oils – You want to always avoid vegetable oils…..always. Stick to Coconut Oil and organic grass fed butter for cooking. Kerry Gold makes grass fed butter, just a tip. You can also use olive oil, but it holds its nutrients better before you cook it, so its great for salad dressings! You can also use avocado oil and macadamia oil.
Condiments – This is usually a grey area for some people. Yes, you CAN buy Mustard, Mayo and Ketchup. Are they Paleo? Nope, but its not the end of the world either. I never expect my busy challengers to go home and make their own condiments because its just not always possible. If you can, GREAT! If you cant, its not that serious. However, you would be better off getting your condiments from Sir Kensingtons. Just know, ketchup and mayo are so so SO easy to make…just make a batch and keep it in the fridge. You can find a great Paleo Ketchup HERE and you can get a great Paleo Mayo recipe HERE. Avoid store bought condiments as much as you can, but I do understand if you need them in a pinch…just try and stay as organic as possible.
Please note, these are the basics behind these food groups. There are books you can read for a more in-depth description of each food individually. These are your main guidelines though, and perfect rules to follow when starting out!
Step 5 – How to get Paleo Meal Plans and join a Challenge Group
Do you want free meal plans to help you get started with Paleo for Weight Loss? Do you want accountability and support along the way in a Challenge Group? Email me and ask me how to get started! As of today, there is a challenge group starting July 28th. If you are interested, you will get a clear at-home workout schedule, 30 days of nutrient-dense Shakeology, low carb paleo meal plans and access to the group! My email is FoodIMakeMySoldier@yahoo.com. You can also reach me on Facebook and send me a private message!
The BEST of luck to you with your new Paleo lifestyle, your weight loss and your overall health journey ahead! If you need any help at all, please contact me! I would love to help you out! <3 nbsp="" p="">
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