Before you begin worrying about portion size and protein/carb/fat requirements I recommend one simple and difficult step: focus first on food quality and moderation. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. Buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat. Buy enough fruits, vegetables, berries, and greens to last 3-4 days. Do the same with deli and fresh meats. Next, hit the dairy section...yes, Paleo-Dieters, I recommend eating dairy. While Paleolithic cows may have been some strange and vicious creatures, I assure you that my Paleolithic ancestors were some bad Homo Erectus mf'rs, and they caught the cow! String cheese, cottage cheese, natural yogurt (not the sugar-enhanced Yoplait and Dannon yogurt) are great protein and healthy fat choices, if your body tolerates dairy products. Finally, buy eggs...strong people eat eggs...and eat the yoke! Buy frozen vegetables and meat when you must and only venture down the aisles for a few select things like nuts, beans, canned tuna, olives, coffee, etc. The aisles are generally one big, processed, nutritionally worthless carb-fest.
Here's a little mind-blowing fact: Healthy food is perishable. Ponder that for a moment. Real food–organic plants and animals that our bodies are built to consume– spoils. If it doesn’t spoil, then you probably weren’t meant to eat it. Sure, exceptions exist, but for the most part this is a basic litmus test. Food spoilage is essentially the breakdown of organic material in the presence of oxygen once that organic material is no longer alive and able to fight off the process. Therefore, if something doesn’t spoil what can we surmise?
A note on moderation...be smart...you do not need to eat until you are stuffed like that turkey you just ate. Eat slowly and moderately. It takes about 20 minutes for your body to realize that it is full. A good practice is to eat several small meals throughout the day so that you are not feeling starved and eat too much. Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day will help you process your food better as well as assist in eating moderately. Cheat meals/snacks...you can have your cheat days, snacks, or whatever, just don't do it all the time...it's about moderation!
Finally, here are some excellent resources for you to consider for your meal planning, healthy snacking, and teaching your kids. There are so many more resources for you...just let Google do the work for you. :)
- CrossFit Journal - Nutrition http://journal.crossfit.com/nutrition/
- Sweet Cheeks: http://sweetcheekshq.com/
- Jamie Oliver: http://www.jamieoliver.com/
- Eat Like A Dinosaur - Gluten Free Kids Cookbook, available on Amazon
- Constantly Varied Kitchen: http://www.paleonick.com/
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