What Not to Buy When Going Paleo

What Not to Buy When Going Paleo

For folks taking on the Paleo diet| it’s important to know the what you can and what you can’t eat. Off-limit foods include wheat| dairy| starches| grains| and legumes. But with so many foods not allowed on this diet| you’re probably wondering what exactly you can enjoy when it comes to mealtime. If you’re taking on this big lifestyle change| here’s a shopping list to get you started!

| Fresh| Seasonal Produce

You might be surprised at some the produce you’ll steer clear of (mostly starches like white potatoes) and that you can’t snack on fruit all day long. All fruit and berries are welcome on the Paleo diet| but fruits high in sugar like bananas| tangerines| and grapes should be enjoyed sparingly u2014 especially if you’re trying to lose weight. For Paleo eaters| it’s all about approved veggies! Here are a few of the local produce staples you should have ready to go in your crisper all year long.

  • Spinach and kale (it’s all about those leafy greens!)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Purple and green cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms

Always avoid:

  • White potatoes
  • Corn

| Enter the Animals!

Yes| the Paleo diet puts great emphasis on the importance of animal protein and fat| but the way in which the animals are raised is just as important. Grass-fed and fully pastured animals are the keywords you want to look for when shopping for meat and eggs.

  • Fully pastured chicken and eggs
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Fully pastured pork
  • Wild-caught seafood

Always avoid:

  • Commercially raised meat (whenever possible!)
  • Anything that’s been treated with hormones| nitrates| or antibiotics

| The Healthy (Cooking) Fats You Need

People practicing the Paleo lifestyle put great emphasis on the importance of healthy fat in their diet. While grass-fed| organic animal sources will offer healthy fats| these are the staples I always have on hand when it comes to cooking. You’ll find these ingredients are used in many of our Paleo recipes.

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Ghee (Ghee is clarified butter| prepared by boiling butter and removing the milk solids. You should be able to find it at your local health food store| but if not| you can make your own ghee at home.

Always avoid:

  • Margarine
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil

| For Flavor Factor

Eating clean on a Paleo plan doesn’t mean you’ll be chowing down on bland food. All of these pantry staples are welcome and will bring tons of flavor to your new recipes.

  • Chicken| beef| and/or vegetable broth
  • Gluten-free Dijon-style mustard
  • Coconut aminos (in place of soy sauce)
  • Coconut milk
  • Your favorite natural dried herbs and spices!
  • Almond and coconut flours (essential for baking and any “”breading”” technique)
  • Raw honey and maple syrup (for occasional use!)

Always avoid:

  • Anything with dairy
  • Anything with added sugar or chemicals
  • Refined sugars

| Fabulous Fermented Foods

The Paleo plan welcomes fermented foods that work to support your digestive system with naturally occurring probiotics that boost immunity. I always have at least one bottle of one of these flavorful and healthy foods ready to enjoy.

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut (You can make your own or buy a raw version from the health food store.)
  • Kombucha

| In-a-Pinch Snacks

The Paleo diet is all about whole| clean foods prepared at home| but having some convenience snacks on hand is necessary when you’re always on the go.

  • Lu00e4rabars
  • Krave Jerky
  • Dried fruit
  • Raw almonds and cashews (While legumes like peanuts are strictly prohibited| raw nuts and seeds are welcome in moderation!)
  • Raw almond butter

Always avoid:

  • Processed convenience snacks
  • Anything with an ingredient you can’t pronounce!

Dieting 101: Must-Follow Healthy Eating Tips For Weight-Loss Success

Dieting 101: Must-Follow Healthy Eating Tips For Weight-Loss Success

Got weight loss on the mind? Arm yourself against your expanding waistline by following these essential weight-loss tips.

Source: Thinkstock

| Set Realistic Goals and Celebrate Them

You might have the large goal of losing 40 pounds| but in order to stay motivated| it’s best to break it down and say| “”I’ll lose four pounds by the end of next month.”” You’ll be psyched rather than let down if you surprise yourself and lose it even sooner. Be sure to attach a reward to that goal so after you drop| for example| five pounds| you treat yourself to a new fitness tank top or a massage. Of course you don’t want the celebration to undo all the good you’ve done| so avoid high-calorie food rewards.

| Have a Plan

To avoid mindless grazing or feeling so ravenous you grab the first unhealthy food you can get your hands on| you must have a plan. On Sunday morning| set aside 30 minutes to map out every meal and snack for the seven days| and then hit the grocery store to grab all the ingredients you’ll need to make it happen. Here’s a plan for a workweek of healthy dinners to try.

| Don’t Skip Breakfast

Skipping the first meal of the day seems like an effective weight-loss tactic| but eating breakfast can actually jump-start your metabolism and help you lose more weight. Choose high-protein foods such as whole eggs or Greek yogurt to reduce sugar cravings later| and make sure your meal is also high in fiber to satiate your hunger and flatten your belly| like these breakfasts made with whole grains. Short on time? Make this apple cinnamon quinoa bake the night before.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

| Measure Your Food Every Time You Eat

The best way to ensure you’re eating appropriate serving sizes is to be scientific about it. Keep measuring cups and spoons ($20-$50) handy when it comes to everything you consume. Don’t just eyeball half a cup of granola or freely pour marinara sauce over your pasta u2014 chances are you’ll overestimate. The same goes when you’re cooking. Measure out two tablespoons of olive oil instead of just pouring it from the bottle. For items that are difficult to measure| such as meat| chicken| or fish| use a food scale instead.

| Keep Track of Your Calorie Intake

You must burn or cut out 3|500 calories from your diet each week in order to lose one pound. That breaks down to 500 calories per day| and the best way to keep tabs is to write down what you eat in a food journal. If that’s too mundane for you| there are also plenty of free apps like Lose It! to help keep track of your calorie intake. Can’t remember what you ate that day? Take photos of all the food you consume to help you remember more accurately. It might also make you think twice about reaching for that second cookie.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

| Fiber Is Your Weight-Loss Friend

In your quest to lose weight| you can decrease your portion sizes at every meal and snack| but this strategy can leave you feeling hungry. Fill up on low-calorie| filling foods| and you’ll lose weight without suffering through the pangs of hunger. Include these top 10 fiber-rich foods to keep you full longer| which prevents unnecessary snacking.

| Ditch the Liquid Calories

A can of Coke here| a latte there u2014 all those liquid calories really start to add up. Stick to nature’s beverage| and sip water throughout your day not only to stay hydrated| but to help you feel full. Plain water too boring? Spruce it up by squeezing in some lemon or lime juice| brew some herbal tea| or enjoy sparkling water instead. And while fresh fruit juices are healthier than a soda| they’re still high in calories. You’re better off eating an orange or slices of fresh pineapple to get your fruit fix as well as some much-needed fiber.

| It’s Just a Snack

A snack is a small meal| which means it should be kept around 150 calories. Here are photos of 150-calorie snacks you can easily pack and eat on the go| and if salt is what you’re craving| check out these 15 salty snacks under 150 calories. In the mood for something sweet? Whip up a batch of these cherry almond coconut protein balls to keep in the freezer u2014 one is just 78 calories.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

| Keep Healthy Snacks Close By

Premake some healthy snacks| and keep them close by either in the fridge| your desk drawer| your purse| or your gym bag. It’s also a good idea to keep easily accessible precut veggies in the fridge so you’re more likely to reach for them over a bag of chips.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

| Downsize Your Plates

When dishing out your meals| downsize to smaller salad-sized plates and cereal bowls u2014 the less food you can pile on| the fewer calories you’ll consume. Makes sense| right?

| Take Time Away to Eat

Eating while doing other things like watching TV| driving| or working at your computer means you’re not paying attention to what’s going in your mouth. Within minutes| you could end up inhaling two pieces of pizza without your brain realizing| which means you’ll still feel hungry and want to reach for something else. For all meals and snacks| take time away from distractions to fully enjoy each bite| which will prevent mindless eating| leading to fewer calories consumed.

| Prepare Your Own Meals

Going out to dinner or meeting a girlfriend for brunch is always fun| but even if you go to the healthiest restaurant on the block| you can’t always trust that every dish is going to be diet friendly. Hidden calories come in the form of added fats and sugars| so it’s hard to know exactly how many calories you’re consuming. The majority of your meals and snacks are best prepared at home to help you keep track of your caloric intake. On Sunday night| pack salads for the week or make a big pot of one of these 300-calorie soups. Prep snacks for the week too| and when it comes to dinner| whip up one of these healthy recipes instead of ordering takeout.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

| Indulge a Little

It’s obvious that stuffing your face with bars of chocolate and pints of ice cream won’t help you lose weight| but it doesn’t mean you have to give treats up entirely; in fact| it’s better to indulge a little. Don’t go overboard| but allow yourself a small nibble of something you have your eye on to satiate your cravings and prevent an all-out binge. Here are some 150-calorie desserts you can make yourself.

Photo: Jenny Sugar

Vowed to Run a Marathon This Year? Let Hedy’s Success Story Inspire You

A new year is a time to swear off unhealthy habits or start healthy ones, but don’t let scary stats ¡ª like the fact that only eight percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions ¡ª discourage you. Instead, be inspired by real people who came, saw, and conquered their goals. Like POPSUGAR copy editor Hedy Phillips, who decided that 2014 was the year she finally conquered a half marathon. Check out her inspiring New Year’s resolution success story below!

POPSUGAR Fitness: What was your resolution, and why did you make it?Hedy Phillips: My resolution for 2014 was to run a half marathon. I’ve wanted to do it for many years, but it was officially a resolution for this year. I’ve basically always hated running but saw it as an exercise that fit and healthy people did, and I am really trying to be a more healthy person. I have a friend who likes running who got me to run the San Francisco Giants 5K with her last summer, and that was my first official race. I pretty much sucked but decided I wanted to get better from there. I signed up for and ran five 5Ks this year, a 10K, and two half marathons. I gradually got better at running as time went on and am hoping to continue to improve.

PS: What were the factors that helped you be successful? HP: What really helped with my success was the support I had. I’ve had friends to run with, which made it so much more enjoyable. And my parents and fianc¨¦ were always asking me how it was going and telling me how proud they were.

PS: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is making the same resolution this year?HP: My advice is simple. Just get out there and do it. Even if you think you can’t. You have to try. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be able to run 13 miles. I’m the one who complained while running the entire mile in high school gym class during the fitness test. I loathed running. And when I finished my first half marathon in October, I actually cried at the finish line, because holy crap, I actually did it. It was amazing.

Check out another inspiring New Year’s resolution success story here!

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Vowed to Run a Marathon This Year? Let Hedy’s Success Story Inspire You

A new year is a time to swear off unhealthy habits or start healthy ones| but don’t let scary stats like the fact that only eight percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions discourage you. Instead| be inspired by real people who came| saw| and conquered their goals. Like POPSUGAR copy editor Hedy Phillips| who decided that 2014 was the year she finally conquered a half marathon. Check out her inspiring New Year’s resolution success story below!

POPSUGAR Fitness: What was your resolution| and why did you make it?Hedy Phillips: My resolution for 2014 was to run a half marathon. I’ve wanted to do it for many years| but it was officially a resolution for this year. I’ve basically always hated running but saw it as an exercise that fit and healthy people did| and I am really trying to be a more healthy person. I have a friend who likes running who got me to run the San Francisco Giants 5K with her last summer| and that was my first official race. I pretty much sucked but decided I wanted to get better from there. I signed up for and ran five 5Ks this year| a 10K| and two half marathons. I gradually got better at running as time went on and am hoping to continue to improve.

PS: What were the factors that helped you be successful? HP: What really helped with my success was the support I had. I’ve had friends to run with| which made it so much more enjoyable. And my parents and fianc¨¦ were always asking me how it was going and telling me how proud they were.

PS: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is making the same resolution this year?HP: My advice is simple. Just get out there and do it. Even if you think you can’t. You have to try. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be able to run 13 miles. I’m the one who complained while running the entire mile in high school gym class during the fitness test. I loathed running. And when I finished my first half marathon in October| I actually cried at the finish line| because holy crap| I actually did it. It was amazing.

Check out another inspiring New Year’s resolution success story here!

Image Source:

New Year’s Motivation: You Won’t Believe What This Woman Learned to Do at 24

A new year is a time to swear off unhealthy habits or start healthy ones, but don’t let scary stats ¡ª like the fact that only eight percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions ¡ª discourage you. Instead, be inspired by real people who came, saw, and conquered their goals. First up: POPSUGAR’s own Maggie Eisenberg, who made it her mission to learn how to swim. Check out her inspiring New Year’s resolution success story below!

POPSUGAR: What was your resolution, and why did you make it?

Maggie Eisenberg: My resolution in 2012 was to learn how to swim. I made it for three major reasons. 1. Safety: it’s just not smart to only doggie paddle, especially when I’m a sailor. 2. I wanted to have a healthy activity to do for the rest of my life. 3. A lot of my friends swim for a fundraiser called Swim Across America and I didn’t want to be a land volunteer again.

PS: What were the factors that helped you be successful?

ME: My sister helped me sign up for swim lessons and kept me motivated even when I was on the side of the pool learning how to blow bubbles. Oh yeah, I found out my swim instructor was actually an ex-Olympian. An ex-Olympian had to teach me to blow bubbles. I can’t get over it.

Two women at my gym, also sisters, kept tabs on me throughout my training. They held me accountable for the morning swims and when I didn’t show up, they’d tell me that if women in their late 60s could jump the water a few mornings a week, a 24-year-old better be able to do the same.

PS: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is making the same resolution this year?

ME: Stop being embarrassed and do want you want to do. I didn’t learn how to swim for so long because I didn’t want anyone to see me struggle in the pool. When I cared more about the goal rather than how I looked or what people thought of me, everything changed. I actually think it is pretty cool that I learned how to swim at 24 and did an open-water swim in the San Francisco Bay at 25. It also doesn’t hurt to have friends and family put money down on you for a fundraiser. That is a good way to avoid quitting!

Congrats, Maggie! If you have a healthy New Year’s resolution success story to share, message us on Facebook with a bit about your goal. We may feature you in our series!

Image Source:

New Year’s Motivation: You Won’t Believe What This Woman Learned to Do at 24

A new year is a time to swear off unhealthy habits or start healthy ones| but don’t let scary stats ¡ª like the fact that only eight percent of people stick to their New Year’s resolutions ¡ª discourage you. Instead| be inspired by real people who came| saw| and conquered their goals. First up: POPSUGAR’s own Maggie Eisenberg| who made it her mission to learn how to swim. Check out her inspiring New Year’s resolution success story below!

POPSUGAR: What was your resolution| and why did you make it?

Maggie Eisenberg: My resolution in 2012 was to learn how to swim. I made it for three major reasons. 1. Safety: it’s just not smart to only doggie paddle| especially when I’m a sailor. 2. I wanted to have a healthy activity to do for the rest of my life. 3. A lot of my friends swim for a fundraiser called Swim Across America and I didn’t want to be a land volunteer again.

PS: What were the factors that helped you be successful?

ME: My sister helped me sign up for swim lessons and kept me motivated even when I was on the side of the pool learning how to blow bubbles. Oh yeah| I found out my swim instructor was actually an ex-Olympian. An ex-Olympian had to teach me to blow bubbles. I can’t get over it.

Two women at my gym| also sisters| kept tabs on me throughout my training. They held me accountable for the morning swims and when I didn’t show up| they’d tell me that if women in their late 60s could jump the water a few mornings a week| a 24-year-old better be able to do the same.

PS: What one piece of advice would you give someone who is making the same resolution this year?

ME: Stop being embarrassed and do want you want to do. I didn’t learn how to swim for so long because I didn’t want anyone to see me struggle in the pool. When I cared more about the goal rather than how I looked or what people thought of me| everything changed. I actually think it is pretty cool that I learned how to swim at 24 and did an open-water swim in the San Francisco Bay at 25. It also doesn’t hurt to have friends and family put money down on you for a fundraiser. That is a good way to avoid quitting!

Congrats| Maggie! If you have a healthy New Year’s resolution success story to share| message us on Facebook with a bit about your goal. We may feature you in our series!

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