Tips for Successful Paleo Living: Meal Prep

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Roasted-Squash

 

Many things about paleo eating are actually much easier than you might think. The first question I usually get when explaining this lifestyle to people is – so what can you eat?! My response – cutting out grains, dairy, sugar and processed foods actually opens your eyes to a wide variety of interesting foods (particularly vegetables and roots) that we otherwise ignore. I’ve become a much more creative cook as a result.

The next hurdle is finding time to cook. Eating paleo means you’re most likely going to have to cook a lot – because that’s the best way of making sure you know what’s in your food (and what’s not!). These are busy times and even for me, the thought of coming home from a full day at work and hours of commuting to cook a nutritious meal is not something I can realistically sustain day-in day-out. It’s easier to grab some greasy take-away or throw some grains in some boiling water and top them with something out of a jar or can.

To successfully sustain a paleo lifestlye, you need to be prepared. You need to make it hard to reach for the unhealthy options. Enter meal prep. It’s as simple as it sounds: taking some time to prepare several meals in advance. Lus and I do this at least once a week. If you plan it well and get several things on the go simultaneously, in 2 -3 hours, you can have a variety of meals cooked to cover you for at least half of the week, if not more.

In this post I share some photographs from a recent meal prep afternoon. On the menu:

 

  • Roasted sweet mama squash
  • A mustard green and onion frittata (cut in rectangles and voila – breakfast!)
  • Korean beef stew (add raw courgette noodles when you’re ready to eat!)
  • Cassava (aka yucca) cooked in coconut milk and cardamom, with some red and yellow peppers
  • A whole roast chicken
  • Chard sauteed with onions and garlic

 

You’ll notice minimal vegetables here. Vegetables are so quick to steam or saute and indeed, many are great raw so, we tend to leave a lot of them out of meal prep and prepare them on the day.

See the ‘related’ links at the bottom of this post for more information on paleo eating, my journey and recipe ideas.

 

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Baked-Eggs

(Frittata with mustard greens and onions – without the potatoes. Image at top of post: squash roasted with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper)

 

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Beef-Stew

(Korean beef stew. I use this recipe and leave out the soy sauce and sugar)

 

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Coconut-Cassava-Yucca

(Cassava/yucca in coconut milk with cardamom and peppers. A recipe I learned from my mother, inspired by East African coastal cooking. Details to come …)

 

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Roast-Chicken

(A very easy, tasty and comforting roast chicken)

 

Paleo-Meal-Prep-Chard

(Chard sauteed with onions and garlic)

 

Bon appetit! What’s on your menu this week?

 

Photos by yours truly, with a little VSCOcam love. Search ‘#mealprep’ on Instagram for some more, mostly paleo inspiration. And follow me while you’re there – ‘lulukitololo’

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Related:

 

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Paleo Meal Ideas and Templates (+ Results from my Health Reset Challenge)

Paleo-Meals-Egg-Salad

 

A week ago Wednesday marked the end of my Health Reset Challenge. The mission had been to complete a Whole30 – 30 days of strictly paleo, as well as regular exercise and at least 8 hours of sleep daily.

 

Unfortunately

I was not consistent with keeping to my exercise and sleep goals, mainly due to me prioritising working on my fortune. As I’ve gotten into the groove of the new year and put in motion the game plans to achieve my 2014 goals, I have a more realistic picture of where I can make time for exercise and how I can develop a consistent and sufficient sleep pattern.

 

Fortunately

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13 of your Favourite Afri-love Posts in 2013

13-Most-Popular-Afri-love-Posts-of-2013

 

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you all for reading these posts and engaging with me. I'm so happy that this blog has given me a platform to meet so many incredible people; to be continuously inspired and; to share the sometimes tough, but always enlightening, lessons that business and life in general throw my way. I look forward to more great discoveries and learning, new relationships and further exchange in 2014!

For this year's round-up, I've decided to do things a little bit different and feature the posts that were most popular each month. Enjoy.

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New Pinterest Board: Paleo Recipes

In an effort to continue experiencing the amazing results I did during my paleo Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol experiement – and to show people just how exciting food can be, even especially when you’ve cut out grains, sugar, legumes, dairy and processed foods – I’ve created a specific ‘Paleo Recipes‘ Pinterest board to go alongside my ‘Going Paleo/Primal‘ board.

 

 

Today marks the start of a Whole7 which I’m doing with a friend who finds the 30-day committment too daunting. The hope is that after 7 days, 7 more will seem a little more doable … and then 7 more and then …

This board is inspiration for you Alli. Some of the recipes I’ve tried and I look forward to testing out the rest. Everybody – please share any others you recommend. Bon appetit! 

 

PS I finally started reading It Starts with Food last week and it presents the science and biology behind paleo eating in a very accessible way that will compel you to reevaluate your food choices pronto. I’m still in the ‘science-y’ bit – will report back when I’m through.

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Related posts:

 

Don’t miss an installment – different ways to get your Afri-love delivered. You can also stay up to date by liking the Afri-love Facebook page or following Afri-love (@afrilove) on Twitter or on Google+

Check out my many Africa-related Pinterest boards covering the arts, design, music and more.

Subscribe for monthly updates with Afri-love highlights and developments, as well as info on interesting events, must-reads and more for you to check out elsewhere.


Amazing Results from My Whole30 + Autoimmune Protocol Experiment

Whole30-+-Autoimmune-Protocol-Results

From February 20th to April 1st of this year, I did the best thing that I’ve ever done for my body and my health. I completely gave up grains, sugar, legumes, dairy, eggs, alcohol, seeds, nuts, seed-based spices, fruits and nightshade vegetables (i.e. potatoes, all kinds of peppers, eggplants and tomatoes).

 

So what the hell did I eat?

When sharing this list with people, many thought I’d gone completely mad and were wondering what I could eat. The truth is, there are a huge variety of vegetables and this adventure actually pushed me to discover and try out new things which, in my books, is one of the joys of living!

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9 Acts of Kindness

9-on-Afri-love

In consciously exploring how to be kinder to myself, I observe again and again, how forgetful I can be when it comes to remembering what’s in my best interest. To help evade such unkind amnesia and to encourage you to share your experiences and ideas (and because I love making lists), I’ve decided to keep a running list.

So here are my Acts of Kindness, #1 – #9 (in no particular order):

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Going Primal/Paleo: Blogs to Support your Diet and Lifestyle Transformation

Paleo Primal Butternut Squash Pudding

You may have heard about the paleo, primal or ‘caveman’ diet. You may have read about some of my own primal adventures on this blog. More than just a diet, the paleo/primal approach is about challenging conventional (and often commercially-driven) wisdom and living a healthier life in all respects. It starts with food but also integrates efficient movement, sufficient sleep, stress management, play and more.

You may know someone who’s had great success with this lifestyle. I have a friend who’s embracing it after 16 years as a vegetarian (with the majority of that time being vegan) and has never felt better. My still-vegetarian brother has limited his grain intake and among other benefits, it’s kept his asthma in check. A friend of his is playing squash again for the first time in years now that his joint pain has gone away, thanks to eliminating grains.

I myself have never felt better. I’m currently approaching the 4-week point of a Whole30 + autoimmune protocol. In short, I have not been eating grains, sugar, dairy, eggs, fruits, nuts, seeds, seed-based spices, soy products and nightshade vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, all kinds of peppers). Believe it or not, it’s not as restrictive as it seems! I’ve been enjoying plenty of diverse vegetables, herbs and quality meat and fish. It’s an elimination diet where I’ll slowly start reintroducing these foods (except the grains and sugar which will be reserved for very very very rare and special occasions) and hopefully determine whether there are any that my body doesn’t like.

I’ll blog properly about that experience soon. For now, I wanted to share some of the resources that have served to enlighten, educate, inspire and support me along this transformation over the past couple of years. A lot of people have been asking me about it lately so I thought I’d compile this list.

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Going Primal: Why and How (and What I’m Eating)

Going-Primal-Afri-love

I’ve been going primal/paleo for a little over a year but in the past couple of months, I’ve become more and more determined to make a more committed transition. I’ve been discovering more and more blogs on the subject, reading more inspiring success stories and experiencing more positive results (and negative ones too when I slip off-course). You may have read a couple of my posts on the subject already – I thought it would be good to preface any future posts with a little more background.

 

Why

To be healthier (that was easy hey?). In terms of losing weight. In terms of getting stronger and fitter. In terms of strengthening my immune system and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and a host of other all-too-common diseases and ailments.

 

How

Primarily through changing my diet. There is so much more to this lifestyle including exercise (but not how you’ve been led to believe is ideal), sleep, upping your vitamin D and play but, diet is the cornerstone.

I have a sweet tooth. I love desserts. I also love bread! Both these food types are serious no-nos and I am working on weaning myself off these addictions (I do not use the word “addiction” lightly). By training my body to become a fat-burning rather than sugar-burning machine, I will achieve these goals.

Some people get discouraged because the cost of “clean food” seems too high. Here’s a great post from Paleo Lifestyle Magazine that helps to put things in perspective: “Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have To Be Expensive So Stop Whining About It

My boyfriend and I have an account with Riverford Organic Farms – they deliver meat, veg, dairy (and occasionally wine) to our doorstep each week for what I think is quite a reasonable price. I just discovered Well Hung Meat and will be trying them out (they insist animals be grass-fed).

 

What I’m Eating


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My 21 Days without Grains and Sugar & 21 Reasons to Try it

Afri-love-Health

The man and I recently undertook a challenge to go 21 days without eating grains or sugar (except in fruit form).

The initial couple of weeks were much easier than expected, perhaps because we’ve been trying to eat this way in general for a while. It did get tougher towards the end, particularly in the form of sugar cravings.

On the 20th day, due to poor preparation, we gave in. We had gone to an Olympics football match (2 games, 5 hours) and after a heavy breakfast, we thought we’d go the distance. Alas, the mid-match munchies got the best of us and, as you can imagine, suitable snacks were extremely elusive! Stodgy sausage roll it was (which, to my satisfaction, was unusually difficult to eat – could it be that I had succeeded in changing my taste for such?).

As you do, we decided to write off the entire day. Later on we had cake which was again, very hard to finish – it was sickly sweet to our taste buds.

As a forfeit for falling short of our 21 day goal, we added an additional 4.

Since the period ended, I’ve attended a baby shower, a wedding and been away on a pseudo-holiday (i.e. still working but in a very different environment: the Welsh countryside). These occasions have not been very conducive to a no-grains no-sugar diet. It’s also the week of my 30th birthday – another excuse to indulge! I do worry that I’m undoing any fat adaptation that I may have acheived and one of my gifts to myself will be to get back on track starting Monday.

I need to consider what is sustainable in the long-term. In The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris, he advocates having a “cheat day” – an entire day to go crazy with the indulgences. The man and I have tried this and felt terrible (physically so!). Instead, my goal will be to allow myself ONE “offensive” item each week.


21 reasons to try going without grains and sugar


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