Welcome to the Paleo Challenge! This is a 30 day challenge I’ve put together for the month of January 2014. By committing to the challenge you’re not being asked to convert to Paleo. I am sharing one Paleo recipe with you each day to try. All you have to do is make and eat it.
We are always on the look out for new meals to cook for our family. The Paleo meals I will be sharing offer just that, meal ideas to try and variations of family popular meals that I’m sure many are already cooked in your home. This challenge is not about starving you on a fad diet, giving you a full meal plan that can be hard to stick to, or crazy meals that you have to sit by yourself eating while you watch your family still enjoying your favourites. These are unrealistic and hard to maintain. Just like those popular diets that you bounce on and off of.
This is about you trying a lifestyle, not a diet. Putting clean food into your body that will fuel it rather than just sustain it. So, what is Paleo?
Paleo is short for the Paleolithic diet (also known as the Caveman diet). It’s based on a nutritional plan mimicking what our prehistoric ancestors would have eaten; wild plants and animals, anything that they themselves could have foraged or hunted for. More recently the diet has been described as allowing fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
This is a great guide for what you CAN eat from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo from the blog Balanced Bites:
But you also need to know what you shouldn’t eat. With a Paleo diet you should be avoiding dairy, grains, processed food and sugars, legumes (including peanuts), starches (including potatoes), and alcohol.
What are the reported benefits of following a Paleo diet?
- Balanced energy throughout the day
- Clear skin and better teeth
- Burn off stored fats
- Stable blood sugar
- Reduce allergies
- Improved sleep patterns
- More efficient workouts
Its now even being researched into to assist with diabetics, autism and mental health issues.
Now I make no guarantees with these suggestions, but they are some of the benefits that people following a Paleo lifestyle will attest too. I myself am not a doctor, nor a nutritionist (though studying it) and I am not a chef. I’m a wife, mother to two active kids, who loves to cook and is very keen to live a healthy full life. I myself have lost weight, while actually eating more food on a day to day basis. I have also done away with the afternoon blood sugar drop I suffered each day and have clearer skin than I have had since my tweens. I have managed my digestive issues that I have been tolerating for the majority of my life. As the sugar was taken out of my system I no-longer crave like I used to and therefore don’t snack or graze. I feel fuller and more content with my eating for the first time in my life.
So who’s in?
Please include a comment below if you intend to take part in the challenge. If you miss a day, thats fine. These recipes are on offer for you. They are free to try and come back to whenever you wish. The type of diets that never succeed are the ones we feel pressure to conform to. Here I am offering you recipes as tools to assist you in looking at what and why we eat what we do. This should be considered a lifestyle and not a diet. Our habits should be to reach for the right fuel for our bodies, not the easiest convenience food.
For those of you taking part and whipping up these delicious meals, I’d love you to send me photos of the recipes you’ve tried. Please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or share them on the blogs Facebook page. Each week I will share some of them on the page to inspire others. You can ‘like’ and follow along posts on the page here or click on the ‘Follow’ button on the right menu bar to have each post emailed to you directly.
Here is the shopping list for the first two weeks to help you get started Paleo Challenge Wk 1 & 2 Shopping List. I’ll supply week 3 and 4’s list in week 2 for you.
Later today I will share my first recipe post. I look forward to seeing and hearing how you enjoy the recipes.