Templates Are Best For Getting Started

When starting a new eating style the entire process can seem daunting.  One of the appeals of systems like Weight Watchers is that literally everything is planned for you.  There are actually similar meal services for people that want to eat particular eating styles like veganism, Paleo, et cetera.  Those services are incredibly convenient but also incredibly expensive.  For your more everyday experience a good way to get over the hump on these sorts of transitions is to find a book with a series of meal plans that you can follow.  If difficulty doesn’t get you then monotony will.  A book that has laid out meal plans for a few weeks can be indispensable in overcoming that initial transition.

My go-to book for that when it comes to the Paleo Diet is Diane Sanfilippo’s Practical Paleo book.  I don’t want to call it a cookbook because it is far more than that.  Yes, there are tons of recipes in it.  I have tried several of them and for the most part I think they are pretty solid. However it’s the stuff before you get to the recipes that really make the book more useful as a Paleo encyclopedia than a cookbook.  The very beginning of the book is all about the ins and outs of why aspects of the Paleo diet are believed to work.  There are also really convenient guides on “how to” Paleo or what to avoid when trying to eat Paleo.

After the run through it goes through a series of various different Paleo-specific 30 day meal plans for the different reasons why people may be trying the diet out.  There is of course a “Squeaky Clean Paleo” meal plan, but also ones for people that are doing this to take care of a range of issues from diabetes to auto-immune problems.  The two that I’ve been looking at using to kick start my Paleo phase are the “Athletic Performance” and the “Squeaky Clean Paleo” plans.

The difference between the two are actually pretty minimal.  I’ve looked through the entire month of meals and on first glance they look identical.  What one finds in the athletic performance plan that isn’t in the squeaky clean plan is mostly a few extra carbs here and there and some differences in recommendations for supplementation.  While the plans specify what to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s not practical for me to be making stuff for lunch regularly.  I enjoy grabbing a bite with coworkers, and I’m not going to be hauling my food for reheating with me.  I’ll therefore fall into a standard paleo-friendly lunch routine and concentrate on these meals for dinners.

With 120 recipes to try in this one book alone, hypothetically I shouldn’t be able to fall into too much of a rut.  With the other half dozen cookbooks specifically designed for the Paleo diet along with recipes that just naturally are “Paleo” I should be able to make quite a lot of headway in having a diverse Paleo experience.