Toughest thing about the Paleo diet, or indeed any kind of high protein/low carb regime, is that you have to Be Prepared! If you’re used to coming downstairs – or going across – to the kitchen and just shoving a piece of bread into the toaster which pings as the kettle boils, or pouring out cereal into a bowl, you need a major change of plan.
This, for me, was the hardest part about switching to Paleo. Well, that and doing without milk and sugar in my tea and coffee which (BIG CONFESSION) I haven’t entirely managed to do.
Cook it ahead of time
I know all the celebrity chefs tell you to do this but it’s true. It works. Get it ready ahead of time. Sounds bit tough for breakfast, perhaps, but I really do believe that the biggest obstacle to succeeding at Paleo is lack of preparation. So easy to just fall on a slice of toast, bowl of cereal, muesli, croissant or brioche. Rather lovely too… anyway, can’t go there so, instead I always try to have a few cold cooked sausages lying around or frozen mini omelette. Easily warmed up and there you have it, cooked breakfast with same effort as required for a high-carb start to the day.
Sausages in particular take forever to cook. They are wonderfully filling but not best to hang around cooking them in the morning, especially if you have to get out the house to drive to work or catch a train or bus. So do them the night before or at any free time you have. Do them in batches. Never cook a couple of sausages when you can cook 12 or however many fit onto your grill or frying pan. Also useful to take to work if you want to avoid the sandwich run.
Bought myself a really cute mini frying pan in Marks the other day. Only four quid and it’s non-stick. Perfect for one-egg omelettes or one fried egg. I also bought myself a muffin cake tin before I began this diet. Realise that sounds weird for a Paleo diet but I didn’t buy it to make myself muffins. No. It’s for mini omelettes that you can cook up in batches of 12 and then freeze. They microwave in minutes and taste delicious. Put whatever you like in them. Need about six to eight eggs (depending on size) for an entire muffin tray. Go well with warmed-up sausages.
Have to report that contrary to my fears that this diet would have me wolfing down butter because it’s allowed in whatever quantity I like, I am actually getting through a good deal less of it! Yes, I use it for cooking. But I use a lot less now I’m not spreading it lavishly and thickly on warm slices of toast. And a little butter goes a long way. If you aren’t on Paleo but dieting in a more conventional way, I do urge you not to bother with any low-fat spreads or marge. Go for butter. Just go for less of it if you’re on a low fat regime.
I’m almost at the halfway point now. At the weekend I couldn’t wait for the 14th day of the diet, and the 14th, as would mean I was halfway through high proteining and low carbing and maybe I could carb up again when it finished. Don’t feel like that now. Happy to carry on. Think it’s working but won’t know till we get to the end; well, the end of the first 28 days. Got a long way to go yet. But breaking it down into bite-size chunks (useful food metaphor) is the way to achieve anything that can feel too big, too momentous.
Today began with a sausage – yes, just the one – and some chestnut mushrooms, all cooked in one pan with butter and then eaten straight out the pan. Oh don’t scold! There’s only me here to mind. Lunch was a couple more sausages with mushroom soup. Ever wondered how you can have soup on this diet with no bread to dip? Simple. Have sausages instead.
And tonight will be chicken cooked in red pesto sauce served with green vegetables. Getting used to having protein sans carbs!
More later in the week. Hope it’s working out for you too. Thanks for listening.