Read all the way to the bottom to get ANOTHER free 21 day fix-approved + paleo mealplan!
Let's start at the beginning. If you are curious about what Paleo is and how you can do it with the 21 Day Fix, then check out my Guide To Going Paleo With the 21 Day Fix.
Paleo is, in short, eating like the paleolithic humans did. So you cut out all modern convenience foods (aka anything processed), refined sugar, all grains, dairy, alcohol, and caffeine. I know it may sound extreme if you are used to eating a Standard American Diet, but it's actually not that hard to do once you get used to it. And using the 21 Day Fix's (or 21 Day Fix Extreme's) colored container nutrition plan makes it sooooo easy to transition into this way of eating in a balanced and healthful way.
The Paleo Problem: When I first heard about "going paleo" it was from a male friend of mine who was doing it along with a group of his guy friends and he explained it to me as they were basically just eating protein for a month. I gave him tons of grief about how ridiculous it sounded and wrote off the whole idea as a fad diet creating as an excuse for guys to eat burgers and bacon all the time. HA! Yes, there are people who say they are "paleo" and eat really poorly. That's actually the problem- that misconception. Paleo is not synonymous with protein. You don't just eat meat 100% of the time. In fact, my meat consumption did not go up at all when I made this transition. It's so important to really understand the what and why of the Paleo Template before you start so that you can avoid getting stuck in an unhealthy routine of all meat all the time.
The 21 Day Fix Solution: The reason why the 21 Day Fix is so genius as a tool not only for losing weight but also for transitioning into the paleo way of eating is because it helps you eat in balance. The program comes with a set of colored containers, each color corresponding to a food genre (protein, carbs, veggies, fruit, healthy fats, nuts/seeds, oils) and based on your height, weight, and goals, you are assigned a specific number of each container each day. Your goal is to eat all your containers. So you mix and match to make your meals. You fill each container with it's corresponding food and measure your portions that way. No crazy macros. No counting calories. It's genius. And if you are going paleo it helps you to make sure you aren't just eating meat all day but you are still getting your other food groups.
Okay so how about some answers for your inquiring minds! I get a lot of questions from my first blog post so I figured I'd publicly answer a bunch of common inquiries. Hopefully this helps those of you who are in the research phase trying to figure out if you can/should do this too!
Q: Should I try doing the 21 Day Fix/ 21 Day Fix Extreme Paleo?
A: It's really a personal decision. Going paleo is not a fad diet meant to help you drop some pounds, it's a lifestyle choice meant to improve the function of your body and lifestyle. If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity or have Hashimotos, it might be worth a try to see if it helps you feel better like it helped me!
Q: I have Hashimotos, should I be paleo?
A: I'm not a doctor or a nutritionist. So take this with a grain of salt. If you have Hashimotos, odds are that you should at least be gluten free. Since gluten can make your hashimotos worse because your body starts attacking the gluten then attacks anything that looks like gluten which, oddly enough, your thyroid cells resemble. That sets off a domino effect of bad symptoms. If your doctor hasn't told you about this I suggest looking for an integrative doctor that will take your nutrition into account and have a more "big picture" mentality about your diagnoses. For me, gluten free wasn't enough because cross-contaminations are so hard to avoid. Cutting out ALL grain was the missing link for me and paleo helps me avoid accidentally getting gluten.
Q: I don't normally eat a lot of meat, is paleo a good fit for me?
A: I found that using the 21 Day Fix's nutrition plan helped me to eat in balance across all the food groups and my meat intake did not really go up at all. It is super important though to pick really high quality meats. Grassfed beef, good quality eggs, good quality ghee, hormone-free, free range etc. You don't want to be eating stressed out or sick animals. Invest in this, it's worth it.
Q: What do you do for your yellow containers if you are paleo?
A: This is a slight tweak you will need to make to the 21 Day Fix plans if you are paleo. Here's how I do it. I count the almond milk in my smoothies as a carb (as categorized by the program) so that's how I get 1 serving a day. For my 2nd serving a day I will count a starchy vegetable like sweet potatoes or plantains. See? It's not hard!
Q: Can I drink milk or eat dairy products?
A: That's another personal decision. Some paleo people do. Other's say it's a strict no-no. I fall somewhere in between. I limit my dairy but still eat some cheese here and there. If you eat dairy, usually you fall into a different dietary category called "Primal". Google it if you're curious.
Q: Can you do the 21 Day Fix Extreme paleo as well?
A: Yes! It's actually a little easier I think since that plan is stricter than the original 21 Day Fix. Ha!
Q: Is this sustainable long term?
A: Absolutely! I eat by this template now! As long as you are making sure to eat balanced there's no reason why you can't keep this up long term! That's where the 21 Day Fix's plan really makes a difference.
Q: Will going paleo help me lose weight?
As promised... here is ANOTHER free 21 Day Fix Approved Paleo Mealplan! (You can view my first free paleo mealplan in this post). I hope it helps you see how you can break it down each day for yourself and see that you are absolutely not limited! It's so much food! You will definitely feel satisfied each day! Let me know how you like it!
If you want to give this a try, the 21 Day Fix and 21 Day Fix Extreme are both on sale for the month of November for just $10 when you buy them with Shakeology in something called a Challenge Pack. Click my SHOP tab to get them for yourself! Then shoot me an email and I'll get you plugged into our private online accountability groups so you can connect with others doing the same thing, share recipe ideas, and be encouraged!