I love to eat, but when it comes to cooking I am clueless, and with a husband that could eat for days. And sometimes when it comes to cooking, I can get full on, pull my hair out, pace back and forth stressed out! Add trying to make it healthy and I just want to crawl in bed and cry.
But, through all my panic inducing meal planning I have found some pretty amazing things that have helped our little house hold eat healthy and it doesn’t require me losing my hair from stress.
Meal Planning in itself has helped us/me out quite a bit, you can read my first post about it here, but since Andy and I started Crossfit, we have tried to change how we eat entirely, which is where Paleo enters. I can already see your eyes rolling, yes, Andy and I jumped on the Paleo wagon, but I have to tell you, it really does work.
Now, I will be honest with you. We follow Paleo about 80/20, Andy still drinks beer and I love quinoa so… we aren’t perfect, but we both sleep sounder, have more energy, and all around just feel better. Me especially with all my crazy medical problems. If it’s intimidating, I’m here to help! Because if can do it, so can you!
To start on this journey, I really needed a good blueprint to follow and I am excellent at following directions. The simpler the better and if you add amazing pictures, I’m sold. So began my hunt for the best Paleo cookbooks.
The Paleo Kitchen is by far my favorite cookbook I own. Written by Juli Bauer of Paleomg.com and George Bryant from Civilized Cavemen (both of these blogs are amazing and have great recipes). It is packed full of delicious recipes that are super easy to make, colorful photos, and everything comes out tasting amazing.
Check out the Lemon Raspberry Muffins, Banana Chocolate Bread, and the Honey Lemon Glazed Chicken. Those are our favorites!
Well Fed is second on that list; again, full of delicious recipes, great photos and even places for notes if you wanted to change anything. My favorite part of this cookbook is that is had a Mediterranian flare and taste. Melissa Jouiwan, is the pretty face behind The Clothes Make the Girl, and the author.
The Paleo Cookbook is my go to, need a quick and simple dinner plan book. It has 300 recipes (no, I haven’t tried them all) and are simple to make. There aren’t any pictures (I feel like an idiot writing that) but it’s not aesthetically enticing but they are great recipes.
If you are also feeling like you don’t know where to start in regards to grocery shopping, here is my starting Paleo grocery list:
- Coconut aminos- for cooking, marinades, it tastes like soy sauce and so much better for you
- Coconut oil- for cooking
- Coconut four- I use this for baking, I just made amazing Lemon Raspberry muffins with it.
- Bacon- We eat a lot of bacon! Make sure it’s nitrate free, Applegate makes some great bacon.
- Organic Eggs- for eating, cooking with, we also hard boil some just for quick snacks and a good protein boost for crossfit.
- Sweet Potatoes- I use these for salads, main courses and even chips.
- Veggies- We buy peppers, asparagus, lettuce, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, etc.
- Spaghetti Squash- We love this veggie because it’s good for replacing pasta with (it won’t taste the same but it can be a great substitute).
- Cauliflower- I love this veggie because you can make mashed cauliflower and it’s like mashed potatoes, you can also make cauliflower rice, I’m not kidding, and it’s so much better for you!
- Any type of Stone Fruit (raspberries, blueberries, etc.) because they are also low glycemic meaning less sugar.
- Sunflower and Almond Butter- for spreads but also for cooking, I also use a tablespoon of Almond Butter in my smoothie each morning, it makes it creamy and has lots of protein.
- Almonds for snacking.
- Raw Cashews- I’m not kidding, raw cashews when prepared right give recipes a cheesy flavor! I made homemade “creamy” vodka marina sauce with blended raw cashews and it tastes amazing!!!
- Hormone Free Chicken, Beef and Pork
So to help with all these wonderful cookbooks and meals, I designed a Meal Planner that would help me plan out the week in meals, and on the side of the planner, a place to write all my groceries for the week and an extra place for notes. It makes the week meal planning so easy and I tell you what, we now eat at home probably 4-5x a week. That is probably a 50% increase! Hooray!
It’s a 52 page notepad (one page for every week) and is 8.5 x 11 in size (about the size of computer paper). You can see more pictures of it here in my Etsy store.