Your Paleo Plate

 

 

One area where many people struggle when eating paleo is finding the right balance in their meals. On the surface eating paleo seems simple, you just opt for meat instead of junk food and you are good to go, right?

 

The answer is yes and no. Yes, eating paleo can be easy but no that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to put some thought and effort into your meals. Paleo is about balance, and if you aren’t paying attention to that balance when you are eating, you won’t be experiencing the full benefits of everything eating paleo has to offer.

 

For instance, let’s say that you ate an abundance of protein but you didn’t eat any fiber or healthy fats during the same meals when you were eating protein. While it is true that we naturally need a lot of protein in our diets, protein needs something to help push it through your system. In other words if you are eating protein but you aren’t eating anything else with it, then you are doing yourself a huge disservice.

 

So What Goes Into the Perfect Paleo Meal?

 

There are three things that you should eat at every meal:

– Protein

– Healthy Fats

– Vegetables

 

These three things are like the perfect ‘paleo triangle’. No two can stand on their own but when you combine them they will do amazing things for your body.  

 

Protein helps you to feel full. If you are getting hungry between meals it is likely because you don’t have enough protein in your system. In addition to feeling full, protein also helps everything from your muscles to your skin and nails.

 

Healthy fats are critical for variety of reasons. First, when you combine proteins with healthy fats you tend to stay full for a longer period of time. Secondly, healthy fats help to keep things moving in your system, allowing you to naturally start to lose weight. Lastly, healthy fats help to protect your body’s vital organs.

 

And then there are your vegetables. It’s no secret that veggies do a lot of great things for our bodies, but there are two things in particular that are critical for your health. The most obvious is that vegetables flood the body with the nutrients that it needs. But certain vegetables also give your body a healthy dose of natural hydration. And of course, that hydration helps every other process in your body.

 

Generally, you want to be sure that your protein is about twice the size of your palm. While there is no real limit to the healthy fats and non-starchy vegetables that you can eat, it is a good idea to make sure you have more of these items than you do your protein. Remember, your goal is to help the protein to get digested by your system.

 

So there you have it, the three things that you should be basing your meals around when you begin eating paleo. While you can also add things like nuts and paleo desserts to the mix, you do want to watch your intake of these things if you are trying to lose weight. 

 

Paleo for Kids

 

There is almost nothing scarier than the responsibility that comes with raising a child. Whether it’s getting them off to school or watching them start to date there is no way around it…parenting is hard. And more often than not we find ourselves wondering if we are making the right decision for our children and second guessing ourselves at every turn.

 

But there is one area where you can know that you are doing the best for your children. And that is when it comes to the foods that they are eating. When you have a child that is eating paleo, you have the comfort of knowing that you are doing the absolute best that you can for them. Not only are you feeding them foods that will help them to fight off colds and other ailments, but you are giving them food that is going to aid in their overall development, muscle building, stamina, and even brain power. In other words, there is no shortage of ways that eating paleo can help your child to succeed.

 

As you know, protein plays a vital part in helping a growing child. Having the right amount of protein is a critical part of promoting healthy muscle growth, boosting concentration, and helping with energy levels. All of these are things that are essential to a growing child.

 

But that isn’t the only thing that eating paleo can offer to your kids. Eating paleo also promotes eating vegetables, which will give your children a healthy dose of the nutrients that their bodies are needing. And of course, vegetables tend to be rich in fiber, which helps to ensure good digestion and gut health.

 

On the surface, it might seem like asking your child to eat all of these healthy foods will be a battle. And to be honest, in the beginning it just might be. But over time you might be surprised to find your children will start looking forward to eating their paleo meals.

 

One of the greatest things about the fact that the paleo diet is so popular is that people are getting creative with their recipes, and they are sharing that creativity with others. There was a time not too long ago when eating paleo meant eating bland meat and veggies. Even though these things served their purpose in making you healthy, they didn’t necessarily make food something to look forward to.

 

Thankfully those days are over and now eating paleo isn’t just healthy, it can be downright fun. Here are some examples of healthy paleo treats that will tame even the pickiest of eaters:

 

  • Paleo Mac and Cheese
  • Paleo Donuts
  • Paleo Pancakes
  • Paleo Fudge
  • Paleo Chicken Nuggets
  • Paleo Pizza

 

These are just a few examples of the recipes that you can make when your family starts eating paleo. Not only will these recipes help you to ease your family into a new way of eating, but your little ones might even start asking to help you in the kitchen.

 

Making the transition to the paleo diet can be hard, but it isn’t impossible. As long as you keep things light and allow your family to have foods similar to the foods they are used to, you will have a healthy paleo family in no time. 

 

Paleo Brain Foods 

 

 

One of the areas where we tend to struggle is focus. Many times we aren’t able to think as clearly as we should and we are not able to concentrate the way that we should. Sadly, for many of us we don’t even know that we have trouble with mental clarity because we are just so used to living a certain way. It’s like over time we have just learned to adapt to a lesser level of brain function. We say that we are experiencing things like forgetfulness or lack of sleep when in reality we are simply not feeding our brain the way that we should so our brain is not able to function the way that it should.

 

Sure, you can find things that claim that they can give you a boost of brain power. There is no shortage of pills and gimmicks that claim that they will be able to help you find better concentration than you had ever thought possible. But how great are these things really? And do you really trust a pill bottle to be able to give your body what it needs?

 

Believe it or not, the best way to give your brain power a boost is not found in a pill or a bottle, it doesn’t cost a fortune, and it isn’t as complicated as many people would have you think. In fact, you can boost your brain power simply by taking a trip to your kitchen. The foods that we eat serve us in a variety of ways. They can boost our immune system, they can help us to lose weight, they can even give us glowing skin. But many people overlook the way that the foods that we eat can affect the way that our brain works.

 

Think about what happens to your skin when you overload on junk food. Most likely you will not only find yourself feeling sluggish, but your skin can become congested, develop acne, and even show signs of rosacea. The skin gives you a physical picture of how the things you are putting into your body are affecting you.

 

While you might not be able to see what is happening in your mind, the effects are there as well. You know that sluggish feeling you sometimes have when you eat poorly? Part of that tired feeling comes with a loss of mental clarity and an inability to focus. You know that energized feeling you can have when you eat a super healthy meal? Part of the reason that you can get things done so easily is because your mind is able to think more clearly and focus more easily.

 

But where does the paleo diet fit into all of this? How can paleo foods give you a boost in brain power?

 

For starters, eating paleo provides you with a nice dose of nutrients and healthy fats, both of which are critical for your mental clarity. It has been said that your brain uses as much as 20% of your total calorie intake, this means that it isn’t just vital that you eat, it is vital that you are eating the right foods to fuel your brain.

 

Paleo Foods For Thought

 

Red Meat

 

Because protein is a staple of eating paleo, red meat is a big part of the paleo diet for many people. Even though too much red meat is can raise your cholesterol, you still might want to add it into your diet a few times a week. Red meat offers Vitamin B, which is essential for brain function.

 

Fish

 

You have likely heard of the importance of getting enough omega-3’s in your diet, but there is another important thing that can only be found in fish, and it is something that is often overlooked. Selenium. Even though it isn’t as talked about as omega-3’s, selenium helps your brain with everything from motor skills to cognition.

 

Gut Health

 

Because eating paleo offers a lot of the nutrients that your body needs, it supports healthy gut function. A healthy gut goes hand in hand with your brain’s ability to function.

 

It is important to remember that if you are eating paleo for gut health, you need to be sure you are consuming protein, vegetables, and healthy fats at every meal. Additionally, you should try to stick with things that will go through your system easily and offer a bit of natural hydration, (for instance, eat dark, leafy greens as your vegetable).

 

When you are changing the way that you eat it is important that you think about your brain and the impact that your changes will have on your mental functions.  

 

 

Moving for Paleo

 

Whether you have been following the paleo path for a few months or a few years if you are not working out ‘paleo style’ then you are not reaching your maximum potential. Have you ever seen the insane things that CrossFit followers are able to do? These guys are the ones that are performing box jumps, running obstacle courses, and performing feats of strength that seem impossible. But somehow it is possible, and everyone from senior citizens to children are able to do things that seem downright impossible. Many times, they are even doing it with a smile on their face.

What’s their secret? Are they just better than you? Do they just have a motivation that you don’t have? Why is it that you might be killing it at the gym and still not be able to look, or perform, quite like a CrossFitter does?

Believe it or not, their secrets aren’t anything that can’t be accomplished easily. They don’t have a magic pill and they aren’t necessarily spending more time at the gym than you do now. But they are doing one thing that is critical for their success, they are making sure that their workout is meant for their eating style and vice versa.

The paleo diet is based around eating the way that our caveman ancestors used to eat, and that means eating the way that our bodies were intended to eat. The same holds true for your workouts. While CrossFit workouts look hard, (darn near impossible even), they are designed around the way that your body is supposed to be moving. Believe it or not all of those box jumps, all of those tire flips, and all of those pullups incorporate movements that are similar to the way that the hunters and gatherers used to move.

Right now, you might be training as hard as you possibly can. You may even be getting your heart rate up and seeing those muscles becoming defined. But that doesn’t mean that you are working out to your full potential and it doesn’t mean that you are working out in a way that compliments your paleo lifestyle. Even if you are doing things like running, boxing, and weight lifting now, you are still not necessarily hitting your mark when it comes to your workouts.

CrossFit workouts work for two reasons. First, because they are designed to have you moving in a way that compliments the way that you are eating. And second, because the workouts themselves have been designed and tested by other paleo eaters who have walked this path before you.

Are you ready to start your CrossFit journey?

 

What’s So Great About Paleo?

 

Unless you have been living under a rock you have likely heard of the paleo diet. This is the way of eating that is knocking people all over the world off of their feet. Not only do people who choose to eat paleo look years younger than their age, they are also more energetic, slimmer, and more than anything they are healthier.

All you have to do is look at the transformations of paleo eaters to be blown away at all that this way of eating can offer. Even without exercise, these people tend to feel like they have found the fountain of youth. Typically they have glowing skin, an ideal weight, and a stamina that cannot be matched. More often than not, the paleo eater seems to be the perfect picture of health and happiness.

But how does it work? What is the secret? There are a lot of moving parts that make the paleo diet work, but one of the biggest benefits is the way that it naturally reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is known as a ‘silent killer’ because it can help so many deadly illnesses and diseases to occur. To make matters worse, most of us deal with inflammation even though we do not realize it.  If you find yourself getting sick frequently, feeling lethargic, or unable to lose weight then there is likely some amount of inflammation in the body, and that can pave the way for something more sinister. So while your doctor might tell you that you have developed asthma as a result of adult onset allergies, in reality there is likely inflammation in your body that is making your allergies unbearable and because those allergies are now unbearable, they may have set you up for full blown asthma attacks. So while the inflammation itself did not cause your asthma, indirectly it is the root of your medical problems. Thankfully, it is times like these when paleo comes in to save the day.

However, paleo offers much more than simple inflammation relief. It also offers  the ability for easy weight loss, and much of that comes from protein. Protein is essential to your overall health for many reasons. For starters, our bodies require protein for more than 50% of its functions. Everything from skin and nails to healthy bones has something to do with protein. But ironically many of us are protein deficient. This is another area where paleo comes in to save the day. Because eating paleo relies so heavily on the consumption of healthy meats, it will give your body a big boost in the protein department. Additionally, protein helps you to feel full, allowing you to go longer periods of time without feeling the need to eat.  

Paleo also relies on foods that are in their ‘purest form’. Whether it is your fruits and veggies, your nuts, or  your seeds anything that you eat that is paleo will have to be as close to nature as possible. This allows your body to take in and absorb nutrients like never before.

Are you ready for paleo to change your life?

Roast Duck with Winter Vegetables

The Domestic Man

Guess what? It’s getting noticeably cooler here in Virginia, which means it’s just about roasting weather. I love making roast dishes once the temperatures dip, because it’s an easy (and aromatic) way to warm up the kitchen during chilly weather. In truth, I developed this dish a few months ago, when I was working on a particular chapter for my upcoming cookbook, but decided to hold off on sharing this recipe until we had appropriate weather.

Roasting duck can be daunting. I know this because I spent the first 30 years of my life not roasting any ducks, because it seemed like an intimidating bird to cook (although to be fair, I wasn’t roasting much of anything during the first 16 years of my life). Turns out roasting duck is in many ways more appealing than roasting chicken, because a) the whole duck could basically be classified as “dark meat”…

View original post 306 more words