This is the part of going Paleo where the rubber meets the road, where your commitment will come smack up against your current eating habits. It’s not that you won’t be able to fill your pantry and fridge with a great selection of Paleo-friendly foods. It’s just that in order to do that, your first need to eliminate the foods that aren’t part of the Paleo diet.
Get started by finding a sturdy cardboard box or some of your larger recyclable grocery bags, as you want to be able to pack up the intact packages of foods you won’t be needing anymore and easily take them to a family member, friend, of your local food pantry.
Start with your pantry. You want to remove any grains, rice of any kind, pasta, noodles, quinoa, oatmeal and so forth.
You will also want to purge your shelves of any foods that include sugar. Read the labels if you are uncertain as this includes and artificial sweeteners, as well and there are many of them. Some of them ore common saccharine, aspartame, sucrose, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.
Next, remove any containers of processed oils, vegetable oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are some of the more popular. Anything that is hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated has to go. Don’t worry: fats are a necessary part of a Paleo diet and good health, and there are several on the “must-have” list. While vegetables are a major component of the Paleo diet, legumes are off limits, as they contain, anti-nutrients and contribute to digestive distress and bloating. Legumes include most types of beans including kidney, garbanzo, pinto, fava, and soy. You may be surprised how many legumes you have in your pantry, as they are staples in soups, stews and even salads. Fortunately, legumes that are more pod than pea can be included in the diet (more on those later).
Move on to your fridge and freezer. Say goodbye to dairy-milk, butter or margarine, cheese, yogurt, ice cream. Say goodbye to bottled salad dressings, deli meats, juices, and anything that contains nitrates, sweeteners, artificial ingredients, or other non Paleo ingredients, as mentioned above.
To summarize , here is what you want to get out of your kitchen:
Now, heed this advice. Take away the foods you have removed immediately! You do not want to be tempered by any of them!
Once you have removed the no-no’s, its time to stock up on what will become the staples of your new healthier diet. Besides referencing, the list here, browse through my recipes and take note of ingredients that sound especially good. Remember, one of the reasons that a Paleo diet can be so healthy for you is that it is focused on fresher, more easily digested food sources. When considering what to stock up on, always think fresh.
Be forewarned: Your body will go through cravings for foods you once took for granted, especially those with sugar, and you will want to be sure you have the makins of something really tasty so you can feel good about your decision and stick with your commitment.
For the Cupboard
Stock up on:
These are all kinds of spice combinations on the market today, and almost all are fair game for Paleo cooking. Just be sure they don’t contain artificial sweeteners or preservatives.
Oils and Other Staples
Your pantry will look woefully bare without cans and jars and containers of beans, jams, cereals, pasta, spaghetti sauces and snacks. Yikes, right? Time to move in what’s Paleo approved:
Proteins comprise the bulk of the Paleo diet, so its important to shop smart for what is healthiest. For meats like beef, lamb, and pork, you want to be sure you’re purchasing grass-fed, organically raised sources. Poultry should be free range. The best fish is wild-caught, and cold water, oily fishes like herring, anchovies, mackerel, salmon and sardines are the highest in Omega 3 fatty acids.
The most economical way to stock up on meats and fish is to buy in bulk if possible. Find a farmer at a farmer’s market whose meats meet with your approval, and talk to him or her about purchasing a side of an animal. It may be worth investing in a freezer to accommodate this quantity, but it is definitely more economical in the long run.
The Paleo diet includes high-quality sources of:
Remember too, that organ meats (liver, kidneys, brain) were true Paleo staple (and often the highest-prized cuts), so be sure to keep these in your freezer. Slow cooking is a great way to mellow out some of the pungency in these cuts, making them as tender and flavorful as traditional cuts.
There are three words to describe stocking up on this part of the Paleo diet: Go for it!!!!
The only items you’ll need to avoid in the produce section of your grocery store, or at the farmer’s market are corn and white potatoes. So whether your tastes run to leafy greens, crunchy carrots, zucchini, squashes, cabbage and Brussel sprouts, asparagus, beets, even artichokes, indulge in them and enjoy.
Fruits and Berries
As you transition to Paleo, if you have been used to ending your meals with a sweet treat, the sugar monster will haunt you. It will seem like everywhere you look there are sweet foods that you can’t eat, from a decadent fruit-topped cheesecake to an ittybitty dark chocolate chip.
To help to beat back the sugar monster, be sure you have fruits and berries with you at all times. Keep a small bag of dried fruit in the car or in your desk drawer, and treat them like dark chocolate chip you would allow yourself mid-day. If you crave something soft and sweet , turn to a ripe banana which you can get almost any time of the year.
Like the abundance of availability of vegetables, the same can be said of fruits and berries. You can enjoy oranges, apples, tangerines, strawberries, raspberries, peaches, pineapples, grapes, melons, even watermelon.
Sauces and Dressings
There is no need to go without ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, or satay sauce just because store-bought varieties aren’t Paleo. These sauces and dressings aren’t made in the slow cooker, but they are helpful to know how to prepare so you can make your Paleo meals even tastier.
Are you ready? Let’s start walking the road towards a healthier life together!