A Paleo Meal Planning Guide to Keep You on Track All Week
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Meal prepping in advance can always be a challenge—adding a special dietary approach like paleo can be the thing that pushes you over the edge. But eating paleo can actually make meal prepping easier, since you have fewer types of foods to worry about (no grains, for example). That means you can use the same amount of time to create more variety, so the result of your meal-prep time can feel more rewarding.
Use this guide as a jumping-off point to help you streamline shopping, chopping, and everything else that goes into meal prep. You’ll end up with shortcuts to super-healthy, satisfying meals and snacks you can whip up all week, even on the nights when you get in late and your inner caveman is screaming for dinner.
When buying condiments or anything packaged, check labels to make sure there’s no added sugar, preservatives, gluten, or soy. They lurk in all kinds of products, even ones that are organic or seem healthy.
Only buy vegetables you want to eat; it sounds obvious, but so often our choices are influenced by what’s trendy. You don’t have to like kale, and if you don’t, don’t buy it.
When buying fresh herbs, get ones you like (e.g., flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, mint, oregano, sage, thyme), and only buy what you’ll use in a few days. If you find you have lots of herbs that are about to go bad, combine them into a mixed-herb pesto or compound butter.
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Chop some of your roasted vegetables and sauteed mushrooms; warm in a medium skillet with avocado oil over medium heat. Beat 6 eggs; add to skillet with any fresh herbs you like. Let cook undisturbed until the edges start to look firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to oven; cook for 10 minutes, until center is cooked through. Wrap and refrigerate leftovers for lunches. Consider it a template, too; you can make a frittata with nearly anything you have on hand and need to use up.
Cook a slice or two of bacon. Toss greens with vinaigrette. Top with blanched green beans, a chopped hard-cooked egg, crumbled bacon, ¼ chopped avocado, chopped steamed beets, a bit of your pulled chicken. Drizzle with more vinaigrette. Done.
Bentgo 3-Compartment Salad Container, $14.99 on Amazon
Pack your salad components separately to keep everything fresh until lunch time.
Saute cauliflower rice in avocado oil until tender (about 5 to 7 minutes), adding a squeeze of lime and some chili powder. Place in a bowl and top with some of your pre-prepped vegetables, salsa, and some of your pulled chicken. Mix cashew cream with hot sauce; drizzle on top. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.
This is quick and easy to make, and it’s neutrally flavored, so you can turn it into different things. By itself it’s a great swap for cream sauce. Divide it up into a few portions and flavor each differently; e.g., add hot sauce and drizzle on a taco bowl; add curry and lime juice and drizzle on sauteed chicken and vegetables; stir in lemon juice, garlic, and paprika and spoon over a baked sweet potato.
Weck Jelly Jar, set of 6 for $23.78 on Amazon
They may be called jelly jars, but these containers are perfect for storing any of your paleo-friendly sauces.
The secret to this flavorful sauce: Jarred roasted peppers and almond butter. Pro tip: Put a spoonful on steak—the vitamin C in the peppers makes the iron in the steak more bioavailable (plus, it tastes amazing).
Slice bananas, dip in chocolate, top with something crunchy, freeze, and enjoy—these little treats couldn’t be simpler, they’re kid friendly, and you get plenty of minerals from the bananas and chocolate.
Turmeric is uber-trendy, and no wonder, with its amazing anti-inflammatory power. Combined with coconut milk, ginger, honey, and cinnamon, it gives golden milk its beautiful color—and in this recipe, turned into ice pops, it’s a perfect hot-weather good-for-you treat you can make ahead to have on hand whenever your sweet tooth strikes.