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Easy and Delicious Paleo Meals: From a Newbie

easy and delicious paleo meals

Easy and Delicious Paleo Meals from a Newbie

If you are a regular reader of this blog you already know that my husband, daughter and Mom are highly sensitive to gluten. Since this is the case, almost every recipe we post on this blog will contain a gluten free version of the recipe.

While I have known about the Paleo diet for a long time, I didn’t know a lot about it. I knew it was more restrictive and extreme diet than just being gluten free. So I didn’t research further into it. 

Last month I was really in a reading mood and kept looking for a good book. All of the e-books I wanted to borrow from my library’s website were all on a waiting list. I finally decided to read a book called: The Paleo Primer by Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore. I decided to read it just for fun and to learn more about this diet that I kept seeing all over Pinterest. It’s a short and easy read. I finished the book the very same day I borrowed it. I don’t know exactly what made me decide to start eating a Paleo diet, but the very next day I started on one.

The most basic explanation of a Paleo diet is that you avoid: gluten, grains, sugar and processed foods of any kind. You do eat lots of fruits, vegetables, meat, eggs. I found dairy was a bit iffy. Some people say it’s okay while others say to avoid it.  

Since most of our meals are Gluten Free to begin with, stepping it up to Paleo wasn’t difficult. The hardest part was refraining from snacking on junk food like chips and ice cream. Avoiding coffee creamer was nearly impossible. 

So why would I put myself through this? Here are the positives I have experience and why I am continuing this diet:

  • Lost four pounds the first week (I was so shocked! I have never lost weight that easily or quickly!) 
  • Lost four pounds the second week!
  • Food taste better and sweeter, even though I’m not eating any sugar. I noticed this change happening during week number three. Fruit taste so much better once I had detoxed from sugar. Store bought yogurt doesn’t even taste good anymore because there is so much sugar added to it (33g per serving!!). 
  • I have discovered many new healthy and delicious recipes that got me out of my typical food rut I had been stuck in for years. 
  • It’s a diet where you still get to eat bacon–I mean come on, that’s a good diet to be on! 

I’ve been on this diet for a month and I’m hoping in time I’ll start seeing clearer skin as well. 

*I have found that Paleo diets tend to be admit in saying that you should (always and forever) only eat free-range, steroid free, 100% organic everything. While this concept is ideal and the best for your body, it isn’t always available or affordable. My family of five lives off of one income. I buy normal meat from the grocery store. If the organic stuff is on sale, I’ll buy it then. After all, I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that if you can’t buy organic meat/produce then you might as well go ahead and eat a frozen pizza. Eating any type of meat/produce is still going to be healthier than eating processed food.

Breakfast

I used to skip breakfast or eat a bagel– both were definitely making me fat. I think switching to eating eggs, sweet potatoes, and/or avocados for breakfast helped me lose weight. 

One of my new all time favorite breakfast is a Sweet Potato Skillet recipe from Food Apparel! My husband requests this several times a week. We even eat it for supper sometimes. It is very filling and sweet potatoes are now considered a normal breakfast food in our house. 

sweet-potato-skillet-3

If I’m not in the mood for eggs and want more of a sweet breakfast I make Paleo “Tortillas” from Stupid Easy Paleo. I add vanilla and cinnamon. Then I top those with maple syrup and Fried Bananas from Rachel Schultz. 

paleo tortilla

fried banana

Another great pancake recipe is this simple and fast 3 Ingredient Pancakes from Recipe by Photo. It’s just one banana, two eggs, and a pinch of cinnamon. These definitely have a banana taste to them so if you like bananas then these pancakes make a great breakfast!

3 ingreident banana pancake

Coffee creamer was one of the most difficult things to cut out. I have to have coffee in the morning. I’ve tried lots of combinations using honey, coconut milk, almond milk, coconut sugar, coconut oil, butter, vanilla, cinnamon, even pure maple syrup. All of these were alright but nothing tasted quite as good as actually dairy creamer. After a month, I’m finally adjusting to drinking black(ish) coffee. 

Speaking of almond milk, I found out how to make my own and it’s very simple! Homemade Almond Milk by Natures Nurture Blog. Plus you can use the left over almond pulp to make homemade almond meal/flour. 

homemade almond milk

If I need a pick up in the afternoon I’ll usually make this Iced Vanilla Coffee from Against All Grain. It is very good! 

Iced_Vanilla_Coffee-006Lunch/Supper

This is where I really broke free from my normal food rut. The following recipes are now some of my go-to recipes when I’m tired of steamed fish and vegetables. These are almost too good to be healthy. 

These Paleo Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes from Paleo Newbie made me very happy! I can’t believe how well sweet potatoes go with Sloppy Joes; it was like they were made to be together! I add mustard and pickles to the top of mine and are fabulous as left overs! 

PaleoNewbie-Sweet-Potato-Sloppy-Joes-2-1266x850These Cheese Cauliflower Breadsticks from Jo Cooks also tasted too good to be healthy! I have also used this same recipe to make a normal pizza. My husband said it was the best gluten free pizza he has ever had. I do believe this was the first time my 3 year old daughter has ever had cheese sticks. She loved them 🙂 

cauliflower-pizza-crust-1-11

 

This Baked Honey Mustard Chicken from http://damndelicious.net. It isn’t from a Paleo Blog, but just happens to be Paleo. I discovered it while trying to do something new with chicken thighs. I was a little nervous making it but was surprised how good it was. I currently have some chicken thighs in my fridge waiting for this recipe to be made again! 

honey mustard chicken

Snacks and Desserts

This was by far my biggest struggle. I was in the habit that every time my kids took a nap or went to bed at night I would break out the junk food! I always had a stash of the good candy hidden for stressful days (ahmm moments throughout every day). 

I’ve replaced chips with fruit, almonds, and cashews. I still desperately miss BBQ chips. 

One of my new favorite snacks is 3 Ingredient Energy Bars from The Kitchn. These are made from dates, dried fruit, and almonds. She used dried cherries so that is what I used and I highly recommend that combination.energy bar

For dessert I often make this Chocolate Orange Avocado Pudding from Food Doodles. At first I really wasn’t that crazy about it, but I found I kept making it over and over again. Once I became more sensitive to sugar this tasted much better. I always add fresh fruit and almond slivers to this pudding. I usually make this once a week now.

chocolate avocado pudding

I’m still super new at this whole Paleo thing and I would love to hear from you in the comments. Are you on a Paleo diet? Have you ever considered Paleo? What are your favorite recipes? 

We would love to connect with you so please remember to ‘Pin It’ so you can come back to this post and follow us on Pinterest to get our latest project pins. Also, be sure to like us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Bloglovin. 

Anna 

 

About the author: Linda and Anna are a mother-daughter team that enjoy cooking, crafting and sharing advice with each other. Here they enjoy sharing all their new recipes and ideas with their readers.

{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Daren February 9, 2017, 8:18 am

    love it

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 9, 2017, 8:47 am

      Thank you!!!
      Anna

  • Claudia Gonzales January 16, 2017, 3:57 pm

    Am so ready to try it

  • Kate November 11, 2016, 2:01 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I have made several variations of the 3 ingredients banana pancakes. This one is good too. I made a couple changes and instead of making them like pancakes i made them like crepes and Oh My were they delicious! Thanks for sharing that recipe.

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy November 11, 2016, 2:25 pm

      Hi Kate,
      Making crepes is a great idea! So glad you were adventurousness and modified the recipe and tried something a little different.
      Thanks for sharing and for dropping by and leaving us a message.
      Have a great day!
      Linda

  • Katina Scott October 1, 2016, 8:50 am

    My daughter loved these pancakes. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy October 1, 2016, 9:27 am

      Hi Katina,
      That’s great! We love them too!
      Enjoy!
      Linda

  • Laura September 18, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Thank you! It was a great read . As you I’ve been seeing a lot about paleo the last couple of years but never really tried it. Now after reading this is have to say ,you have inspired me to give it a try. I also fallow a gf diet but the most difficult would definitely be giving up sugar! Adding sweet potatoes and bananas would be helpful. I’m going to seriously give it a try. 7 years ago I weighed 350pounds, I lost 100pounds eating gf and trying to stay away from dairy. The last several years I’ve just stayed the same weight even though I should lose another 80 pounds. I’m sure the paleo diet would do the trick. I’ve suspected sugar was the reason why I haven’t lost the rest of the weight. Thanks so much for your nudge
    Sincerely Laura!

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy September 18, 2016, 3:25 pm

      Hi Laura,
      Thanks so much for your comment! That is amazing that you have been able to lose so much weight by watching what you eat!
      Anna

  • Eli March 20, 2016, 7:32 am

    Hi there!
    I enjoyed reading your post (and getting some new ideas)! I just wanted to add that I don’t think paleo blogs (or any bloggers recommending organic meat) are trying to be snobs. There is a very good reason for their recommendation. Confined animal feeding operation (CAFO – also called factory farmed) meat is so poorly treated and can really do damage to our health. A quick Google search for CAFO meat/factory farmed meat can give lots of good resources.

    We also are on one income – my husband is a teacher and I stay home with our three kids. We make sacrifices in other areas to purchase meat, eggs and milk locally. For us that just means eating less of it.

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy March 21, 2016, 7:30 am

      Hi Eli,
      Thank you for your comment. I wrote this specifically for people who are new to eating healthy. If someone is going from a typical “SAD” diet to a Paleo or healthier diet then the sticker price for healthier food (not to mention organic) can come as quite a shock and might deter someone from making the switch. I know we never would have made the switch to a gluten free diet if it hadn’t been medically necessary for my daughter because everything is much more expensive. So yes! Organic is better! I know that. But a non-organic chicken doesn’t have quite the sticker shock and is still healthier than a frozen boxed meal. Then once someone gets used to eating healthy they can gradually take it up a notch and eventually be all organic. That was my point. I’m sorry for using the word “snobbish” I’ll change it :). Thank you for your comment.
      Anna

  • Tarrian February 14, 2016, 12:07 pm

    The pancakes look super good. I recently found a recipe for pancake muffins. Do you think these would turn out if I baked them in mini muffin pans? Thanks ☺

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy February 15, 2016, 6:27 pm

      Hi Tarrian,
      I’m not sure if they would turn out as I have never tried that. But if you do give it a try please let me know how they turn out!
      Anna

  • Dena November 22, 2015, 9:45 am

    Hi! Thank you so much for sharing these recipes! I’ve already made a couple of these recipes and love them! My kids love the chocolate pudding (we dip apple slices in it!) I’m just starting out on the paleo diet and still get confused on what is considered paleo and what isn’t. As far as the cheesy cauliflower breadsticks (those look amazing btw), but isn’t cheese considered non-paleo?

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy November 24, 2015, 10:56 am

      Hi Dena,
      Great question! Here is a link that talks about this: http://www.paleodietfoodlist.net/2012/10/is-cheese-paleo-substitutes/
      Quote from this link: “So is cheese paleo? Is there paleo cheese substitute? Dairy is a very heavy grey area on the paleo diet; strict adherents forbid it completely whereas moderate followers make concessions for occasional allowances. If any, butter and aged cheeses may make an appearance on the paleo menu but in extreme moderation. As far as true paleo goes, dairy has no place on the diet. This means no drinking milk, consuming milk products or indulging in the goodness of any dairy. However, even by paleo gurus, it has come to be understood that dairy can have beneficial effects too.”
      Hope this helps!
      Linda

  • Sarah UmmYusuf March 5, 2015, 9:18 pm

    Great list you have here! And thanks for including my almond milk post as well. 🙂
    Sarah UmmYusuf recently posted…Taking a Break…My Profile

    • Blessed Beyond Crazy March 5, 2015, 9:26 pm

      Thank you Sarah and thanks for such a great recipe! We appreciate you letting us share it with our friends 🙂
      Have a great day!
      Linda

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