It seems like there is a huge focus right now on paleo challenges in the CrossFit and paleo communities. While many of us claim to be paleo, we are usually paleo plus something. I, personally, am paleo plus wine...and maybe a spoonful of ice cream here and there. Then there are the cheats--or treats. Whether its baked goods with a touch of honey or a little maple syrup on your almond flour pancakes, the treats tend to sneak in here and there until, before you know it, you are not eating so clean after all.
A 30-day paleo challenge (according to me!) is 30 days of no baked goods, no foods trying to mimic their non-paleo counterparts--yes, that means the almond flour pancakes will have to wait. It's 30 days of whole foods, real foods, delicious foods! My definition of a paleo challenge is 30 days with NO cheats, NO treats, NO baked goods, NO plusses, and NO excuses. It's only 30 days, and each of us is in control of what we put in our mouths. The point of a paleo challenge is to reset your body, clean it out, curb your cravings...change your life. If you feel like you want a change, there's no time like now!
I am currently reading "It Starts with Food" by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, the creators of the Whole30. It's a great book--very interesting and easy to digest. One thing that struck me about the Hartwig's approach is that they look at food--all food--as either good for you or bad for you. It's black and white. There is no middle ground. Do you have questions about sugar substitutes, seed oils, red wine, nuts, dairy? Just open this book for very well researched, science-based answers in language that is easy to understand.
NOTE: I encourage you to purchase the book through my Amazon store. Just click on the link to the right to see "It Starts with Food" and many more items that I recommend. I earn a very small commission for each purchase you make through my store link, so shop away--and thanks for supporting Paleo Table!
If you are up for the Whole30 or a more general paleo challenge, I encourage you to adopt the Hartwig's black and white viewpoint as well. It makes your decisions a lot easier! The whole9life.com offers a plethora of information free of charge. I've posted many key links below, but if you need a little extra motivation, for a small fee you can subscribe to their Whole30 Daily Service.
If you would like more information to help you conduct your own Whole30, check out these links for some excellent information:
Whole30 Program Overview
Whole9 Shopping List
Whole9 Tips for Shopping on a Budget
Whole9 Seasonal Produce Guide
Whole9 Meal Planning Template
Whole30 Gym Guide
Here are some of my favorite quick and easy recipes that meet the Whole30 Criteria, along with a list that will help you navigate through the grocery store this week. Even if you aren't doing a paleo challenge, this meal plan offers an easy prep week that anyone can appreciate. Enjoy!
Shopping List for This Meal Plan
Blackened Salmon on Asparagus with Chunky Avocado Salsa
Pesto Roasted Chicken with Fresh Spinach
Shortcut Spaghetti and Meat Sauce