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Don't give into snacking temptations and blow your paleo diet

Don't give into snacking temptations and blow your paleo diet

One of the most important things to successfully living a paleo lifestyle, is to be prepared. We can control our food options within our cave (aka-home), but once we venture out into the real world, filled with fast food, mini marts, and food courts, we risk the possibility of either passing out from hunger or being forced to make a not-so-paleo food choice, unless we are prepared.

Without some preparation it’s easy to succumb to airplane snacks (mini pretzels and butter cookies), vending machines, and who knows what else when hunger hits!


Do

Do pack a snack bag

Fill a Ziplock bag with portable foods such as:

Lara Bars – These are completely paleo friendly, except for the peanut butter flavors. Peanut butter is a paleo no-no.

Stevia – This is the only paleo approved sweetener other than honey or maple syrup, but it’s not commonly stocked at coffee shops or restaurants. Travel with individual size packets to add to coffee or iced tea.

Almond Butter – The individual size travel packet from Justin’s is perfect to compliment an apple or banana, which could make a filling breakfast or a satisfying in between meal snack.

Trail Mix – While it's not too difficult to find pre-packaged trail mix, make your own combination of cashews, almonds and organic dried cranberries, and other paleo goodies.

Fruit strips – These satisfy a desire for something a little sweet and a little chewy. Be sure to look for ones that have no added sugar or sweeteners.

Jerky – This is a great source of protein. So many have fillers and sugar so again, look for those that don’t. Wellspring has a variety of flavors that are all natural and no nitrates or MSG.

Do keep snacks in your car

There are days when you might spend hours in the car and where hunger hits often. Keeping a few easy-to-grab snacks in the car will allow you to curb the hunger until you can actually have a meal. The best car snack is raw almonds. Just a few will satisfy you and prevent you from stopping at a convenience store!

Do get a small cooler for food

One of the best investments you can make is an insulated cooler you can tote around with you. This enables you to keep things like hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, or deli meat with you as quick snacks, even during the summer!

Do have a protein, carb and fat with every snack

One of the things that Paleo teaches is to eat macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbs – with each meal. A snack is a mini-meal so it shouldn’t lack in substance. A great snack combination is an apple (carb), almonds or almond butter (fat) and some deli meat or jerky (protein). Think of the different combinations of these three macronutrients for your snacks and then pack those in your snack bag or cooler.


Don't

Do not wing it

What this means is that to eat well, you must be prepared. It’s not that staying paleo is hard, but it does take planning. There aren’t apples and nuts in most vending machines so you are going to need to bring your food with you in most cases.

Do not assume it’s paleo

Just because something says “natural” or “no additives” doesn’t mean it’s good for you. So many foods have hidden sugar under different names so you have to read labels. Also, look for hidden soy proteins and soy sources.

Do not be afraid to ask questions

If eating out or grabbing a snack somewhere, ask about ingredients. Hidden dairy sources such as whey or casein are common in protein drinks and soy is often used as well.

Do not get over-hungry

If you go too long between meals without a snack, you will eat anything that comes your way. The best way to stay on track with your Paleo diet is to keep snacks nearby to stave off hunger until mealtime. Paleo snacks are usually hearty mini-meals, so you can make good choices at meal time.


Summary
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Eating a Paleo lifestyle can do miracles to the way you feel and to your body. But it’s a lifestyle that takes planning and preparation to have the foods available that you want. Snacks can be simple and at your fingertips by using a few of these strategies at the start of every day. No need to grab foods that will make you feel terrible later on when you have your snack bag and cooler packed.


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Amy Volk, RNRegistered Nurse, Blogger

An RN turned writer and blogger, Amy co-owns CaveMamas.com, a Paleo and CrossFit resource for women. ...

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