1. We need accountability in a big way! Keeping you accountable will help keep us accountable. We're going to walk through this with you side by side every step of the way.
2. We want you to have a chance at changing your life. Mike and I's life has forever been changed following the Paleo Lifestyle. We do these challenges because we want to pass on what we've learned and to help others heal their bodies through food.
3. We personally have been on a paleo roller coaster for way too long. We're ready to get back at it and share with others this lifestyle again.
Yesterday we hosted a Facebook Live event for our paleo challengers. You can find it on my Facebook page: Food is a Drug #Paleo. It was interesting to say the least. So much to say so little time and for some reason I was a bundle of nerves. We plan on hosting these once a week through the challenge. There were so many additional things I wanted to say, I thought it would be better in a blog post.
Paleo Challenge Ready!
1. Meal Plan
The first thing I did was meal plan for the week. This seems easy enough but it does take a minute to take a peek at your families schedule, what's on sale, and bring it all together. We generally use Emeals for meal planning but don't always use 100% of what they offer for the week. I also know it's important to think through what I want for lunch too. After dinner we almost always have leftovers but as the boys get older that's not always 100% guarantee. I have 3 lbs of burger thawing for dinner tonight. That was the only way I knew I'd have leftovers for tomorrows lunch. I post our meal plan on the refrigerator so my family knows what to expect. I then make my grocery list for the week.
2. Clean it out
I started with my refrigerator. Luckily, I had time and made it a priority on Saturday morning to work on getting paleo ready. So this time I took everything out and cleaned all the shelves and drawers so that we could start fresh. I only put things back in the refrigerator that were paleo friendly or that my kids would consume in the next 30 days. Then I moved on to my pantry which was for the most part ready to go. Just a little reorganization wiping down shelves and it was ready to go. When we did our first paleo challenge I also took things like canola oil, vegetable oil, sugar, flour, etc and put it in the back of a cabinet I don't use often. Once we adopted the lifestyle long term, I gave it away to a friend. When your kitchen is organized and ready to go following this lifestyle is easier.
3. Paleo Shopping
With my grocery list on hand, I headed to the grocery store. I've come a long way in paleo grocery shopping. I remember in the beginning my shopping trips took me entirely too long. Some of that is because I didn't know where to find things and another part is I needed to look up what some fruits and vegetables looked like. Pre paleo I had never bought leeks, parsnips, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, bok choy, etc. I would literally be standing in the produce section googling pictures of things on my list.
4. Washing and prepping
I think this part is so important. I've heard many times from people that they found the prep and even cooking things ahead a time a valuable lesson for the paleo journey. Sometimes Mr. and I will refer to this as a cooking WOD (workout of they day). This weekend I washed all my fruits and put them in bowls at eye level. With my kids being home all summer, my goal is when they reach into the fridge it's easy to pull out a snack so they don't go on the hunt for junk or something unhealthy. Mr. also grilled a family package of chicken thighs for us to have for lunch and snacks this week.
5. Condiments ready
We also spend our cooking WOD time getting condiments ready. Paleo mayo was made for our burger bar tonight but we've also been know to whip up a batch of paleo ketchup or barbeque sauce as we are getting ready for the week.
6. Grab and go breakfast
Since you'll likely kick off your paleo challenge with breakfast, it's my experience that you make this as easy as possible. There are lots of great paleo egg casseroles just a google search away. Some of our challengers will make egg mixture in muffin tins so they can pre package them for the week. It makes getting out the door and kicking off your challenge easier if you aren't used to eating a hot breakfast.
7. Lunch ready
After we're done with dinner every night and are cleaning up I package our leftovers for lunch the next day. In the morning, the process getting out the door is simpler because we can just grab our leftovers for lunch and head out the door. We have some challengers that make soup or paleo pizza casserole and they eat that for lunch all week. I like this idea because they use their cooking prep time to prepare, cook, and package their lunches for the upcoming week.
8. Dinner Prep the night before.
As time allows, I like to do as much dinner prep as I can the night before. Sometimes that just mean getting the meat out of the freezer to thaw. Other times, I'm able to cut up veggies or precook meat. Whatever I can do to make the process simpler for the evening meal, I do.
There's a common theme in these 8 steps to being Paleo challenge ready and it's planning! Planning and prepping is key to a successful paleo challenge. Now go get yourself ready. We kick off in 2 days! Food is a drug #Paleo