Yes, you read that title correctly. For a week in December I went cold turkey on the grains and threw myself full-force into the Paleo Diet. This post is all about my experience on it and how Prep Dish helped me to successfully (and happily!) make it through the week.
You might remember a few months back when I worked with an awesome meal planning program called Prep Dish. For the post I followed their gluten-free meal plan for the week and shared some of my meals and highlights from actually taking the time to prep my meals.
I thoroughly enjoyed the meal-plan so I was thrilled when Allison asked if I wanted to try another one. This time I decided to tackle one of her Paleo meal plans.
Just to recap, Prep Dish is a healthy meal plan service which is delivered directly to your inbox once a month with weekly meal plans for the entire month. There is always a gluten-free and paleo meal plan option so it’s great for people following either of these diets. Prep Dish was developed by Allison Stevens who is both a dietician AND a trained chef so as you can imagine the meals are both delicious and nutritious!
Each weekly plan comes with recipes for 4 entrees, a salad recipe, a breakfast recipe, a dessert recipe and a snack recipe and it is meant to serve 2. If you’re on your own you will find you have more than enough food, but if you live with a very hungry boy like I do then you may need to fill in the pieces here and there.
My decision to complete the paleo meal plan this time was simple: I have a lot of paleo friends and readers so I wanted to get a better understanding of their lifestyle and also see how my body would feel if I stuck to it.
I completely get that it takes time for our bodies to adjust to different diets and miraculous changes shouldn’t be expected in a week but considering I eat a lot of grains and certain foods (like my beloved potatoes!) that aren’t part of the paleo diet, I was curious if I could a) survive without them and b) actually enjoy it.
Before I started I wrote down all of my thoughts. Here’s a taste:
-Why am I doing this?
-Am I going to die without popcorn, potatoes and wine?
-I’m like basically paleo (minus the quinoa, rice, oatmeal, bread, potatoes, beans and soy).
-I hate spaghetti squash.
-I’m down with eating bacon.
-There goes my grocery budget…
I think that gives you a good sense of my state of mind. Nevertheless, I tried to keep an open mind and actually stuck to the meal plan with the addition of some of my favourite paleo recipes from THM. Let’s have a look at my meals:
Breakfast: Hard Boiled Eggs & Cuties (clementines). You really can’t go wrong with classic HB eggs and clementines. I’ve been a clementine fiend lately so I was totally on board. This wasn’t quite enough food to start my day so I also added in my Paleo Banana Muffins and a new pancake recipe coming your way on Friday. I definitely noticed the benefit of starting my day with a solid protein source like eggs.
Snack: Pears and Almond Butter. I always forget about pears and typically go for apples. I’m so happy I was reminded to change it up! This is a snack that isn’t far off from my usual and never gets old.
Entree #2: Almond-Crusted Catfish with Collards. Admittedly, I didn’t love this meal. I was worried the catfish might taste a little bland so I threw in some spices with the almond meal and I’m glad I did. I also needed some sort of carb to fill it out. Luckily I had some sweet potatoes on hand so it was all good.
Entree #3: Spaghetti Squash w/ Beef & Mushroom Tomato Sauce. I, Davida Kugelmass gave spaghetti squash a second chance. And you know what? I kind of liked it! My issues with SS in the past was that it gave me really bad digestive problems (I’m guessing from all the fibre?) but I decided to give it another go and I ended up being totally fine! Maybe it was the hearty and delicious sauce it was paired with, but my stomach was a-okay. Another hit recipe!
Entree #4: Sun-dried Tomato & Spinach Stuffed Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Loved it! The chicken was cooked perfectly and with a side salad this turned out to be a scrumptious meal that was ready fairly quickly.
Salad: Mixed Greens w/ Beets, Shaved Fennel & Walnuts w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette. This became my unofficial lunch for the week. I ate it with leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I always forget about fennel!
So as you can see, I ate VERY well all week. My grocery bill was slightly higher because I insist on only buying quality meat and fish from The Healthy Butcher and the meal plan was quite meat and seafood heavy but it wasn’t as excessive as I thought it would be.
I felt pretty great all week. I wasn’t hungry or low on energy. I also didn’t have insane energy and see the Whole30 light. I felt pretty much the same as I always do when I stick to clean, real food.
More than anything, it got me out of my food rut. I was reminded to grab things like collards and fennel and that I don’t need grains or beans to feel full. So here are my thoughts AFTER completing the week:
-I am so happy I did this.
-You don’t need popcorn, potatoes and wine to survive.
-I am so not paleo but I am open-minded to eating this way.
-Spaghetti squash is great! I actually have one in the oven right now.
-There wasn’t any bacon on the meal plan. So paleolites eat food besides bacon?!
-My wallet didn’t experience as much damage as I thought (see above)
All in all I had a really positive experience following the Prep Dish paleo meal plan and can totally see why my friends and readers love eating paleo. My body feels good when it eats things like quinoa and oatmeal so I’m not about to jump on board but I like that I now know that I don’t need to depend on these foods to eat a complete diet. Now where’s my popcorn…
// GIVEAWAY //
If you’re thinking of trying out the paleo diet or eating gluten-free or already follow either of these and want to try out Prep Dish, then I have an awesome giveaway for you! Prep Dish has been kind enough to gift one lucky THM reader a FREE month of meal plans! You’ll be sent both the gluten-free and paleo meal plan options and can pick which one you want to follow. Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Winner will be picked on Sunday January 11, 2015.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Prep Dish. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to fulfill my dream of running THM as a business.
Do you follow the paleo diet? What are your thoughts on paleo?
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