Paleo Alternatives for the Beginner.

As I have previously posted, my Grandfather passed away very suddenly and unexpected on the 2nd September 2015. For a few days after that I barely ate, grief became too much for me and my body’s natural reaction to stress and sadness is to stop having any appetite or incline of when is the time that food is required to function.

Due to this I decided to stop with the Paleo Diet temporarily, and to eat whatever and whenever I wanted. My thoughts being that as long as I was eating something then perhaps it could kickstart my appetite and I would get back to eating properly.

Now I am back to eating properly, I have noticed that that my IBS has reared its head due to eating copious amounts of bread and pasta. I feel like my stomach is about to burst due to the excessive bloating and I just feel crappy.

From today I am going back to my Paleo Diet and I am looking forward to more meat, less carbs and a slimmer tummy!!

There is one problem I have found when sticking to the Paleo Diet and that is that my husband loves his chips and pasta and spaghetti hoops therefore he although willing to eat what I eat, he is not happy when I remove his chips and replace with sweet potatoes.

With the above in mind and for ease of cooking when I have been at work all day, I have been researching Paleo alternatives that can be easily swapped, such as a previous meal where I cooked Venison Steaks, chips and vegetables where I had sweet potato chips instead.

For those that are in the same boat as me I have found the following:

  • Alternative to Butter/margerine is Ghee:- I have removed the use of butter all together when seasoning though , I used to cook anything in boiling water with butter, or leave it to melt on top of things in the oven. I have not missed this at all but that may be me overcompensating with my new found love for herbs…… Oh I love herbs whether it be cumin, paprika, rosemary, thyme, oooooo it makes me warm on the inside hahaha!!
  • Alternative to Vegetable Oil is Coconut, Olive or Avocado Oil:- I always used Extra Virgin Olive Oil to cook food in so this is a healthier option however I use Coconut Oil if cooking alone as the husband hates coconut.
  • Alternative to regular flour is Coconut or Nut Flour:- Nut Flour is basically ground almonds. You can also use chestnut, sesame and tapioca flout. The later acts like a gluten and binds ingredients together. I have found it impossible to find coconut flour in England and when baking it is recommended to replace the amount of it with additional ground almonds (can you tell the only type of flour replacement I have used so far???)
  • Alternative for Pasta is Vegetable or Kelp Noodles:- I have not tried this as for now I am slowing adjusting to the Paleo way of life and unfortunately with my IBS *cringe* I can be sensitive to a change of diet, however I have been using Cous Cous which is a healthier alternative than conventional Pasta, but it really does not go with Bolognese I can tell you that now!! I felt like I was eating two separate meals!
  • Alternative for Rice is Cauliflower Rice:- Apparently if you add the florets (the flowery bits) into a food processor and pulse you get some rice! Then dip it into boiling water or roast in an oven you get a carb-free meal! (My diet used to consist of rice, pasta or potato so this is like a heavenly alternative I just HAVE to try this week!!! Keep an eye out for my post in which I will let you know how I found it.)
  • Alternative for Peanut Butter is Almond Butter:- As I am sure you are aware from this and previous posts, I harbour an inner fat girl who loves cake, chocolate, and I actually used to enjoy eating sugar cubes dipped in tea as a snack…. Therefore to find an alternative to Peanut butter made me thank the Lord! There is almond, cashew and hazelnut butter which spread onto grain-free crackers is my lunch FOREVER!!
  • Alternative for milk chocolate:- DARK CHOCOLATE WOOHOO! The darker the better (aim for a minimum of 70% cacao Solids)
  • Alternative for cow’s milk is Coconut or nut milk:- Alpro is the most common brand for this, I currently have a container in my fridge unopened and once I feel better this will be put to the test with my many cups of tea that I have =]

There are many alternatives out there but the above are what I would say the beginner Paleo’ers should know to get to grips with the Diet. I do feel that the route to a successful “diet” (not in the lose weight but just a healthier intake of foods) is to make a slow transition. If you remove all the carbs, dairy and other foods out all at once, not only could it be a shock to the system, but it can also put someone like me off as it is too much work too soon and the easy convenience of sticking food on the hob/oven for 15-20 minutes is so much easier than cooking from scratch after having a 12 hour day.

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