When I discovered that some of you are making multiple meals to deal with different allergies or food choices, I realized how lucky I am that my entire family follows the Paleo diet. It’s so much harder to switch to this lifestyle when people are eating wheat bread or snickers in front of you so I wanted to share some tips for how to eat paleo when your household doesn’t.
Take it slowly
If you are just starting out on the Paleo path, and you live with non-paleo eaters, you may find it easier to move into the lifestyle in stages. This will give you a chance to see how your health improves and will allow for some time to find recipes, products, etc. that can be best implemented. Once your family sees the changes in your health and notices how Paleo can be added into life in a way that isn’t overwhelming, they may come on board with you.
Keep the pantry stocked
Any time you change your eating habits, it takes a bit more planning for a while. Make sure to keep all types of staples in the house, including the ingredients you need to make some of your new favorite comfort foods. If something you planned doesn’t sound good before you cook it, you then have the ingredients necessary right there to make what does sound tasty.
Focus on why you are doing this
When you are tempted by non-Paleo foods around the house, stop and remember why you made this change. Consider how your health and life have improved. Think about all you have gained, rather than what you are missing out on. Focusing on your health and the things you can control will help shore you up during difficult times.
Don’t imagine everything is sabotage
So much of our eating in this society is unconscious that you may find your family offering you non-paleo foods or bringing you home “treats.” Try not to get defensive. They may be just trying to do something nice for you or they may not be consciously aware that offering you these foods is testing your willpower. One sure way to ensure they will not join you on your new journey is if you get defensive and angry whenever they ask you if you want an ice cream sundae with the rest of the family.
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, and eating the same things all of the time can cause you to start feeling deprived. Shake things up by trying new recipes, new vegetables, new spices and new cooking methods. It will keep life interesting and give you something to look forward to. Trying new things will also add to your new favorites, which is psychologically beneficial.
Keep Paleo snacks in the house
You will have cravings, especially in the beginning, and when these hit at the same time that your family is eating non-Paleo foods that you love, the temptation can be overpowering. Keeping snacks you can eat and feel good about can save you during these tempting times. To make sure that you aren’t dipping into these snacks daily, try freezing individual servings that you can pull out when you feel your resolve failing you.
Make up a lot of meals at once
One of the most challenging aspects of this lifestyle is the pace in which our world moves. There will be times when you don’t or can’t cook fresh meals. Plan ahead to deal with these times by making up extra portions of the Paleo meals you make and then freeze the leftovers. That way, when you have a busy schedule, you won’t be tempted to “cheat.” You may also want to make up your meals on the weekend for the coming week, which will keep making meals each night for your family easier.
Make some of the meal paleo and substitute
Find recipes that are at least partially Paleo-friendly to cut some of your cooking time down. For example, you can make a sauce that all of you can eat, but make pasta or rice for your family while you pour the sauce on a Paleo substitute. Utilizing this method will make everyone’s life easier.
Get a support system
This is especially important if your family isn’t. You can find all types of forums and groups online that you can join in on for free (and you should keep coming back to this blog for more great stuff!) A little support from others dealing with the same issues can go a long way towards strengthening your determination when you are finding living with non-paleo eaters challenging.