When you first embark on the Paleo diet, it’s likely you’ll need to throw away most things in your pantry. The golden rule of living a Paleo lifestyle is to avoid processed foods at all cost. While this may seem easy, processed foods account for roughly 70 percent of the average American diet. The Western diet heavily relies on convenience, speed and efficiency. For many, the dietary solution for their busy lifestyle is to indulge in packaged and processed foods.
As I began my journey into the Paleo diet, I realized my eating habits would never be the same. To truly maximize the benefits of living a Paleo lifestyle, you must eliminate processed foods, but if your life is as busy as mine, this alteration seemed almost impossible. That is until I discovered these four Paleo-approved “processed” foods.
#1 – Canned Meats for Ultimate Protein Convenience
Meat is the heart and soul of the Paleo diet. Our bodies rely on protein to support the health and functionality of every bodily system. Yet, for the average American, tending to fresh meats is often too time-consuming. This is where canned meats come into play. Canned meats, such as tuna, salmon and sardines, provide a host of health benefits with the convenience offered by traditionally processed foods. When selecting canned meats, choose BPA-free packaging and make sure fish are grown in environmentally-friendly areas and are fed a diet free form chemicals.
#2 - Pre-Packaged Veggies for the Win!
When living a Paleo lifestyle, you’ll eat a lot of veggies. By a lot, I mean tons. Fresh, organic vegetables act as the frame of the Paleo diet and fill your body with essential vitamins and nutrients required to live a healthy, long life. Unfortunately, we don’t always have time to prepare freshly picked veggies. Pre-packaged organic veggies provide the convenience of processed foods without its damaging effects on your body.
#3 – Frozen Fruit to Chill Your Hunger
There aren’t many fruits you can’t eat while following the Paleo diet. In fact, many Paleo experts recommend eating a serving of fruit at each meal. Fruit helps make you feel full, injects a massive amount of antioxidants into your body and offers a much-needed sugar fix.
Again, to truly succeed on the Paleo diet, you must work with your habits. Frozen organic fruit satisfies your need for convenience without the undesirable chemicals and compounds found in traditionally processed fruit. Make sure you don’t go overboard with your fruit intake, and try to only eat fruit that’s relatively low in sugar.
#4 – Sunflower Seed Butter for Creamy Satisfaction
I love peanut butter. But because peanuts are legumes, I had to leave this love behind. Thankfully, sunflower seed butter satisfies this craving without breaking Paleo guidelines.
As always, make sure this nut butter is organic and free from artificial ingredients. Want to enhance your apple? Spread a thin layer of sunflower seed butter on chopped apples for a truly decadent snack.
The Convenience of Paleo Via “Processed Foods”
Although the foods listed above aren’t “technically” processed, they do offer the same convenience of their harmful counterparts. My secret to Paleo diet success is working with my hectic schedule, not against it.
How do you make your Paleo lifestyle more convenient? Let us know in the comments and be sure to share this article with your friends and family!