Now that you are starting to figure it out, we want to set you up for a successful remainder of the Challenge. The most important thing you can do to succeed, is to be prepared. Having food in your fridge and recipes to make each week is extremely important. You need a plan. The best day for that is usually Sunday or another day during the week that you have off from work. Sit down with your favorite Paleo/Zone cookbook or at the computer and visit a few of the preferred Paleo/Zone sites and come up with a plan for every meal of the week, including snacks. Make a list, go out and purchase everything on it and then do as much meal prep as possible.
I have found that it works best for me to cook a meat dish (protein) about every two or three nights and to make new vegges (carbs) almost every night. I eat the leftovers for lunch, mixing and matching for variety. I also have go-to snacks that I can grab in a pinch if I have to run out of the house and don’t have time to cook. If you are zoning, Sunday is the day that you need to weight and measure out as many things as possible. If you bought a rotisserie chicken, weigh out one block portions (or maybe two or three blocks if you know that you never eat snacks less than this) and divide them into separate zip-loc bags. There are veggies like cucumbers and carrots that you can cut up and bag and they will be fine for a few days. If you make something like baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli or sauteed veggies, you can measure out blocked portions and stack them in separate Tupperware containers. If you are as busy as the average person seems to be these days, everything needs to be ready to grab and go every morning. That way, even if you are running late, you can still be sure to have balanced and healthy meals. Not being prepared can never be an option because that is the time you will be most likely to make an unfavorable choice and eat something outside of your plan. If you prepare at the beginning of each week, you should have very little prep to do each night for the next days lunch.
Additionally, if you have not already done this, you need to throw away everything in your house that does not fit into your current nutrition plan. Don’t even think about keeping it around. Throw those Thin Mints in the trash. Wash that soda down the sink. Get rid of it all. There are no acceptations. If you are the cook in the house or the one doing the grocery shopping, you have every right to subject all family members to your nutrition plan. Who knows, they may see some positive benefits from your tough love!
Below is a typical Sunday shopping list for me. Since a few of the items are processed and dairy products are included, I would say its more Zone than Paleo. However, I do tend to eat as much fresh foods as possible and minimize the processed ones.
In closing, I would like to add that this is what I have found works for me. Each of the trainers have their own systems and ways of eating that works for them. To be completely honest, I have been Zoning and eating “my-kind” of Paleo for so long that I rarely measure my portions. I know that I would see better results if I was stricter with measuring and weighing. However, it is easier for me to work it into my daily routine when I don’t over think the details and simply focus on eating good quality foods in a balanced way, keeping in mind to select moderate portion sizes. I highly recommend that everyone weigh and measure for this five week Challenge if you have not done so before. If after this Challenge, you want to change it up and bend the guidelines to fit your lifestyle, then do it.
Mallee’s Shopping List:
Low moisture sliced cheese (low-fat)
Turkey or chicken sausage
Greek yogurt (non-fat) – most of the flavored Chobana and Fage Greek yogurts are Zone balanced in carb and protein. So, just add fat.
Cantaloupe or other melon
Heavy whipping cream – its for my coffee and its my one cheat!
Other items I buy on occasion:
Salmon, shrimp or other fish
Other pantry staples – buy as needed:
Steel cut oatmeal