Food for thought encourages readers to step out of their comfort zone. As a fierce lover of cheese and carbs, I left my comfort zone when I pledged to go paleo for a week.
The paleo diet is nicknamed caveman diet because you can only eat what cavemen had access to. That means no grains, dairy, beans, refined sweets, or processed foods. I’ve hunted and gathered three paleo recipes that take less than an hour to create.
Recipe #1: Two-ingredient paleo pancakes. 10 minutes.
Bananas and eggs are the two necessary ingredients, but I added chopped walnuts and used coconut oil. These are gluten-free, flourless and only 49 calories. Fans of banana bread will be thrilled with these pancakes. The chopped nuts gave texture, and the coconut oil added moisture. I enjoyed this breakfast with a fresh mango and bacon, and it held me over way into lunch.
Recipe #2: Sweet potato hash. 30 minutes.
Hands down this was my favorite meal of the week. This bacon, sweet potato and onion hash with eggs baked into it epitomizes savory. The sweet potatoes melted in your mouth. Paired with salty bacon it tasted like I was indulging, not dieting.
Additionally, sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. The super food also regulates blood sugar and reduces the risk of blood clots.
Recipe #3: Shrimp salad. 20 minutes.
Dinner time is where I usually turn to a comforting bowl of pasta. This time around, I made a hearty salad with bell pepper, red onion, avocado, salad mix, shrimp and a zesty lime dressing.
When I went to cook the shrimp I automatically reached for butter and garlic. Remembering my non-dairy restriction I opted for olive oil and salt and pepper. When my salad was complete I stared proudly at a vibrant masterpiece.
Overall, my stance on paleo (and frankly any diet) is that there are pros and cons.
Pro #1: Filling meals—one benefit is that the diet is rich in proteins and fats, which curbs cravings.
Con #1: Time—planning my meals for the week took hours of researching recipes and putting together a shopping list. If you’re not one to plan ahead, paleo may not be for you.
Pro #2: Cleansing—I went a week without eating additives, hormones, preservatives or any artificial flavors. The result was a happier healthier me.
Con #2: Limiting—while this was doable for my own home, the diet poses too many restrictions to be practical in everyday life. For example, restaurants would likely be hard to order from.
Have any paleo recipes of your own? Share them in the comments.