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Do’s and Don’ts of Cooking Paleo

Part of the Paleo Cookbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Paleo cooking do and don’ts are pretty straightforward. These easy guidelines make your Paleo cooking easier by making sure you don’t accidentally do something to sabotage your Paleo lifestyle. From cooking ahead to stocking your cupboards, this list is your blast into Paleo.

  • Do keep yourself organized by batch cooking. Pick one or two days a week to prepare as many staple or convenience foods as you can. Prepare hard-boiled eggs, cut and chop veggies, precook some meats, or mix up dips or sauces.

  • Do stock your kitchen with Paleo foods: quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fats and oils, small amounts of fruits, nuts, and seeds. If you have non-Paleo foods in the house, you’ll be tempted to cook with them.

  • Do incorporate healthy fats. You may be inclined to skip cooking with fat because you’re afraid of getting fat, but consuming healthy fats in the right quantities actually helps you lose weight. Animal fats such as bacon fat (lard), duck fat, chicken fat (schmaltz), beef fat (tallow), and lamb fat are all natural fats that you can cook at a high temperature and they remain stable. Coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and ghee (clarified butter) are all excellent choices as well.

  • Don’t overdo natural sugars. Raw honey, maple syrup, whole dates, fresh fruit juice, dried fruit, and even mashed bananas are the best natural sweeteners to use in baking or for a dash of sweetness, but they’re still sugars. Don’t use their “natural” label as an excuse to go to town on these sweets.

  • Do avoid all grains (including whole grains), legumes, soy, refined and processed foods, liquid carbohydrates (like sugary drinks), and dairy products. (Some people — about 20 percent of the population — can tolerate dairy, so you can revisit that restriction after the first 30 days as you get in touch with what your body can handle.)

  • Do find your way back into the kitchen to make Paleo work long-term for you. Start cooking the basics such as stir-frys and slow cook meals and slowly work your way up to more advanced recipes.

  • Don’t be scared off by Paleo superfoods like bone broths, organ meats, sea vegetables, and fermented foods such as kimchi and sauerkraut.

  • Do stock up on the wonderful Paleo pantry foods available, such as coconut aminos, canned coconut milk, canned fish in water, olives, pumpkin puree, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, canned chilies, tomato sauce, almond flour and coconut flour.

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