Going Paleo: WEEK 2 Meal Plan

Week 1 Results

My first week of paleo is complete! I didn’t expect to see significant results, but I was pleasantly surprised that even 7 days could make a difference. Although I (stupidly) didn’t weigh myself before starting paleo, I could tell this morning that I appear to be significantly less “plump.” My face went from being round like the moon to being nice and angular, my arms look slimmer, my stomach is flat and light. I wasn’t chubby to begin with, but I definitely looked like I need some toning. After week 1, I would say I look like I’ve toned up quite a bit. I haven’t even started working out (other than light yoga), so I think the improvements is due entirely to paleo. I would say I lost between 2-3 lbs in week 1 (this is just an estimate since I didn’t weigh myself – won’t make that mistake next time!).

Week 1 Challenges

There were tough times, like when I craved sweets and breads and dairy, even though normally I barely have any sugar or milk. Sticking to my paleo meal plan really helped. It’s impossible to slip up when you know what you should be eating, have all the ingredients to make it, and no excuses not to.

Lunch can be hard if you don’t have last night’s leftovers. I assumed that I would find something “paleo” at the cafeteria at work, but that wasn’t always the case. Most of the time, there’s always a salad, but who wants to eat cold, flavorless salad every day for lunch? This week, I will try to plan lunches better.

The foods I missed the most were definitely carbs and starchy sides. I was so used to eating protein and carbs for dinner, that imagining a plate without a pile of pasta or mashed potatoes seemed impossible. Also, eating breakfast without bread. That’s a huge challenge for me. But I learned that there are many substitutes in the paleo world that can easily replace those foods with much healthier ingredients. For example, spaghetti squash and zucchinis are wonderful replacements for pasta. This week, I plan on baking paleo bread, which should help me with those situations when I just don’t know how to approach something without bread.

Eating out was another challenge. My boyfriend (not paleo) wanted some take-out and I spent about 40 minutes looking through the menus on GrubHub, trying to find something that would be acceptable as paleo. I found the only place that had relatively paleo-friendly foods was a Japanese hibachi restaurant. It wasn’t cheap, but it was delicious.

Favorite Meal

My favorite food from week 1 was the Crock Pot Beef Bourguignon – a hearty and delicious, french-y beef stew that happens to be very healthy.

Week 2 Meal Plan:

Saturday

Breakfast: Eggs with bacon and Paleo Bread

Lunch: Cucumber Sliders (cucumber slices with turkey, sliced cherry tomato, onion, and some dijon mustard in between)

Dinner: Man-Pleasing Chicken with Tomato Zucchini Noodles

Sunday

Lunch: Beef, Carrot, Sweet Potato Soup with Paleo Bread

Dinner: Pot Roast with Garlic Thyme Butternut Squash

Monday

Lunch: Leftover Beef, Carrot, Sweet Potato Soup w/ Paleo Bread

Dinner: Coconut Chicken Strips

Tuesday

Lunch: Cucumber Sliders (cucumber slices with turkey, sliced cherry tomato, onion, and some dijon mustard), hard boiled egg.

Dinner: Easy Chicken Spinach

Wednesday

Lunch: Turkey Wraps, Veggies, Hard Boiled Egg, Fruit, Nuts

Dinner: Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles

Thursday

Lunch: Turkey-Cucumber Roll-Ups

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Carbonara With Chicken

Friday

Lunch: Leftovers Spaghetti Squash Carbonara With Chicken

Dinner: Kielbasa, Onion, Pepper, Potato Hash (replace potato with sweet potato!)

Paleo CrockPot Beef Bourguignon Recipe

My first week of paleo is going rather well and I wanted to share with you a great recipe from Paleo Leap, that – I can already tell – will become a staple in my new paleo meal routine: Paleo Beef Bourguignon.

Beef Bourguignon is a classic French beef stew made with vegetables, mushrooms and a wine broth. The paleo version of it excludes flour and starches. This recipe is typically rather time-consuming and requires a dutch oven (which I do not have). So I decided to simplify it and make it in the crockpot! It turned out great – the meat was incredibly tender and flavorful. I also ended up cooking the bacon differently and tweaking some things to suit my taste. I had a lot of leftovers and took them to work for lunch.

For me, the hardest part of paleo so far is parting with bread. But this stew is flavorful and filling enough to keep those carb cravings away. I hope you try it out sometime as an easy and delicious dinner!

Paleo CrockPot Beef Bourguignon

Original non-crockpot recipe here: Paleo Leap

Ingredients

3 lb stew beef

4 slices of bacon

1 sliced carrot

1 sliced onion

2 cups of high-quality red wine

2.5 cups natural beef stock

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

thyme

1/2 lb organic mushrooms, sliced

10 pearl onions, peeled

salt & pepper

Cooking Instructions

1. Place bacon on a pan and fry on a low-medium heat, turning occasionally, until the bacon is golden and crispy. Remove and place on a plate with a paper towel to dry and absorb the fat.

2. Using the same pan with the bacon fat still on it, sauté the beef until it is slightly brown on all sides. If the inside is still red, don’t worry – it’ll cook in the crock pot. Transfer the browned beef into the crockpot.

3. Use the same pan to sauté the vegetables: carrots, onions, and garlic. Sauté until they are soft, and add to the crockpot.

4. Once the bacon has cooled, break it into 1-inch pieces and add to the crockpot.

5. Add mushrooms and pearl onions and season with salt & pepper.

6. Pour in the red wine and beef stock. Add a couple teaspoons of thyme and a bay leaf.

7. Cook on high, stirring occasionally for 3-4 hours. You could also cook it on low for about 6-7 hours.

Enjoy!

Going Paleo: WEEK 1 Meal Plan

paleo diet meal plan

All my friends have gone on a low-carb diet, and I definitely need to as well… it’s been a cold winter and I’ve been sitting indoors, munching on comfort foods, living the life! It’s time to pay the price and make a better choice for my health and weight. Since the Atkins and other low-carb diets are just a bit too extreme for me, and since I want to lose no more than 10 lbs, I decided to finally try out the paleo diet.

What is Paleo?

Paleo, or the Paleolithic Diet, is a diet designed to imitate the daily nutritional intake of our ancestors who lived during the Paleolithic era, when they ate truly clean foods, before the introduction of food processing, agriculture, and refined sugar. The diet is believed to be the healthiest for human beings, because our bodies have been adapted to this type of eating for over 2.5 million years. Our metabolism hasn’t yet adapted to the introduction of new foods and processes, which is why obesity, heart disease and diabetes are so common today.

The diet requires you to eat protein (red meat, poultry, seafood), and a good amount of fiber (as long as it doesn’t come from starchy foods or legumes). You should avoid dairy, grains, legumes (beans and peanuts), processed foods, refined sugar, and trans fats. The foods you exclude are similar, but not limited to, those of a low-card diet.

Paleo promises to help you lose weight (some people have lost 100 lbs!), improve your cardiovascular health, keep you more energized throughout the day, and improve your overall well-being. Paleo is definitely a long-term, safe and healthy diet. Paired with some light excercise it becomes a complete lifestyle change.

Paleo Meal Plan WEEK 1

Paleo is not cheap, because you will be paying a lot for grass-fed meats (optional, but recommended), and a lot of fresh organic produce (again, it doesn’t need to be organic, but that’s recommended) that can get costly. However, paleo is definitely not an expensive diet either, most of these foods you are already buying, and since you will be excluding many items, it might actually be cheaper than your average shopping trip. Paleo does involve a good amount of cooking, since processed foods are, quite literally, off the table. Luckily for me, I get catered lunches twice a week at work, so I will not have to come up with a lunch on those days. I go shopping on Fridays, so my weekly meal plan starts on Saturday:

Saturday:

Breakfast: Zucchini and Sweet Potato Frittata

Lunch: Avocado Tuna Salad with Lettuce

Dinner: Beef Bourguignon

Sunday:

Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon

Lunch: Leftover Beef Bourguinon

Dinner: Paleo Spaghetti

Monday:

Lunch: Leftover Paleo Spaghetti

Dinner: Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Tuesday:

Lunch: catered

Dinner: Balsamic Salmon w/Cherry Tomatoes and Spinach

Wednesday:

Lunch: Avocado Tuna Salad with Lettuce

Dinner: Red Wine Roast Chicken with Sweet Potato

Thursday:

Lunch: catered

Dinner: Tuscan Chicken Skillet