My Paleo(ish) Trial – Menu Plan*

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Happy New Year!!

I can’t even believe that December is already over–it was a whirlwind month of laughter, family, service and food… oh, the food. Unfortunately it was not a month of running, but I’m back on track now. It was so hard trying to find time to squeeze in a run in the short window of daylight I had, especially when I had so many other things demanding my time.

But, c’est la vie.

I want to get 2015 off on the right foot. I was able to get out running three times last week despite the cold and snow, and I ran my first 5km race of the year on New Years Day. It was a chilly, hilly route with crazy wind resistance, but I ran the whole thing and felt great when I finished.

(And then a bad man-voice cold set in the following day… but let’s pretend the two aren’t related.)

One of my goals for 2015 is to clean up the way that I eat. I finally feel like I’m getting this exercise thing under control, and fixing some of my bad eating habits is the next step on my road to a healthier life. I’ve been thinking and reading about Paleo diets for some time now, and I finally feel ready to put a toe in the water and see what it’s like. I know I eat way too much sugar and processed carbs and I like how the Paleo diet strips everything down–basically if you can’t hunt it or gather it, you shouldn’t eat it. It’s jokingly called the “Caveman Diet” for good reason.

A few of my friends have tried it and loved it, and after a long chat with my brother about his experience with it, I decided I was ready to try it out. After a bit of reading, I threw together a week-long meal plan to see what it’s like. I’m calling it my “Paleo-ish” trial as I’m not going hardcore with this–I still plan to include a little dairy, legumes and quinoa–but otherwise I’m cutting out the crap for the next seven days. Here’s a little glimpse of what I’ll be cooking this week:

Monday*
–Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and vegetables, with salsa. Orange
–Lunch: Cucumber & avocado salad. Handful of nuts
–Dinner: BBQ Salmon, brussel sprouts & asparagus

Tuesday:*
–Breakfast:
Poached Eggs, with a baked apple
–Lunch: Tuna & lettuce wrap. Berries & greek yogurt
–Dinner: BBQ burger (no bun), roasted sweet potatoes and carrots

Wednesday*
–Breakfast:
Fruit smoothie with almond milk
–Lunch: Leftover burger & veg
–Dinner: Ground beef stir fry with vegetables. Some berries

Thursday*
–Breakfast:
Fried eggs and an orange
–Lunch: Leftover stir fry from the night before. A handful of nuts
–Dinner: BBQ chicken, with sweet potatoes and broccoli

Friday*
–Breakfast:
Fruit Smoothie with almond milk
–Lunch: Cucumber & avocado salad. Handful of nuts
–Dinner: Cauliflower soup & oven roasted carrots

Saturday*
–Breakfast:
Bacon & eggs with an orange
–Lunch: Leftover soup
–Dinner: Chili

Sunday*
–Breakfast:
Fruit Smoothie with almond milk
–Lunch: Leftover chili
–Dinner: Roasted chicken wings with vegetables

I’m nervous, but also excited. I think the meals look delicious and truthfully, they aren’t that far off what I would normally make. It’s really just a matter of adjusting how I prepare the dishes and what I serve them with.

The biggest change will be cutting out my unhealthy snacks. There will be no sweets, no chips, no juice, no handful of Ruby’s crackers, etc. My snacks for the week will include:

–Greek yogurt with granola & berries
–Banana with crunchy peanut butter
–Apple slices
–Nuts
–Cucumber slices with hummus
–Slices of cheese
–Fruit (kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, clemetines)
–Hot lemon water with honey

I’m hoping I can be disciplined enough to do this. I’m aware that some of these foods aren’t considered “Paleo”, but I just want to dip a toe in the water and see how hard this is. I really don’t want to be eating some of the foods I do, most of the time I grab junk out of habit, or because I’m bored, too tired or too lazy to make something better. I want to feel better and have more energy, and I feel like this is a good place to start.

So, there we have it. Any advice for me? Or better yet, try this with me! There’s strength in numbers… ;)

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