You’ve decided to change your life for the better and follow the Paleo/Clean Eating diet. So now what? How do we get started?
People perform “closet cleanses” all the time. It is a way to reset, refresh and weed out unwanted clothes so that you can start with a clean slate. Let’s reset and refresh your kitchen, a “kitchen cleanse”, to get rid of food that does not conform to the Paleo diet. Grab a hefty bag and let’s get started!
Empty out everything from your pantry and freezer/refrigerator and set on your kitchen table. The first items to purge are sauces, dressings and marinades. They are evil! Most, if not all, contain an insane amount of refined sugar and carbs in just one teaspoon. Spice up your life instead! Go to the store and stock up on spices of all kinds! Once you cook with spices, you’ll never go back. Spices are savory, flavorful and loaded with health benefits.
Next, purge all dairy products. When I had gut issues years back, my gastroenterologist told me that we are the only animals in the animal kingdom that consume milk/dairy over the age of two. It is not needed. It is full of saturated fat and sugar contributing to diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease. Luckily, we are living in a day and age where you can get your dairy fix out of tree nut based milks, yogurts and cheeses. Just be sure to buy the substitutes, like yogurts, with few ingredients and opt for plain instead of flavored, as those contain high amounts of refined sugars.
Processed foods are the next to go into your hefty garbage bag. These include: pastas, breads, T.V. dinners, snacks, cereal, cookies, granola bars, frozen pizzas—you get the idea. Rule of thumb, if there are ingredients you can’t pronounce or understand- it’s not Paleo. Remember that we want to simplify our foods with as few natural ingredients as possible. There are always conflicting views on diets. Which is better than the other? However, one thing all healthy diets will agree on is that refined sugar and highly processed foods are BAD. They do not provide any health benefits. These foods are filled with preservatives, additives, extra sugar, sodium and plenty of calories leading to obesity, cancers, heart disease and dementia. Instead, fill your refrigerator and pantry with eggs, fish, meat, chicken, fresh fruits and vegetables, tree nut butters, mixed raw nuts (free of sugar and/or added salt). Substitute white flour for almond and coconut flour and refined sugar and cane sugar for raw honey and maple syrup.
Homemade food and snacks are always the best. The fun part of being Paleo is finding a way to make bad foods good. My favorite pre-Paleo dinner was loaded with dairy and gluten but I have found a way to make it taste even better and all Paleo. Want to find out what it is? The recipe to this mystery favorite food is on my next post.
Now that your kitchen is clean and Paleo, let’s get cooking!
Lisa A. Bloom resides in New York with her husband and three wonderful daughters. She graduated from the University at Albany with majors in English and Psychology and received her law degree from Hofstra University. When she isn’t working, Lisa enjoys spending time with family, writing, hot yoga and cooking Paleo. You can follow her on Instagram @Paleoworkingmama