Finding the right meal plan can be difficult, especially when you have just undergone weight loss surgery. An easy meal plan to follow after weight loss surgery is the Paleo diet. Let’s discuss what this entails and why it can make life a little bit easier for our patients.
Paleo…What exactly is it?
If you have heard about the Paleo diet, you may have heard it referred to by several different names, such as the caveman diet, primal diet, or possibly the stone-age diet. Eat like our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Essentially, what it is, is grass-fed meat, fruit, healthy fats (think avocado, nuts, and seeds), and vegetables. The general idea is to distance yourself from processed foods. You might be asking yourself, “We aren’t cavemen, so why should we eat like them?” Great question! “By following these nutritional guidelines, we put our diet more in line with the evolutionary pressures that shaped our current genetics, which in turn positively influences health and well being,” says Loren Cordain, PhD, professor of health and exercise science at Colorado State University. When it comes to living your new life post surgery, nutrient consumption is key. When consuming strictly meats, veggies, fruits, and healthy fats, you eliminate many of the empty calories typically dictating the American diet. Nutrients are key! Just a little tip for trying your new Paleo plan is to try to limit the starchy vegetables. For example, a great alternative to those heavy mashed potatoes is cauliflower mashed potatoes, not to mention these will allow you to enjoy some of your old favorites while still following the weight loss program set up by Dr. Rosen and Nutritionist Megan Wolf.
Sounds easy…But how much of my time and money will it take?
Two of the most common concerns with the Paleo diet are costs and time. You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of meat, and guess what? Meat is EXPENSIVE.” Here are a few general tips for shopping for the Paleo plan:
- Shop for ingredients, not just an easy product. You will eat through that product soon, but those ingredients will allow you to make the same dish, sauce, etc. multiple times.
- Try the slow cooker. You can buy a slightly cheaper, tougher piece of meat and turn it into a tender masterpiece. Not to mention, the slow cooker will become your best friend for weekly meal prep.
- Try going meatless. No, you will not offend the Paleo guides. This is a perfect time to break out those eggs and get creative. Veggie omelets, anyone? What about turning that sweet potato into a stuffed dream?
- We encourage stocking up on some frozen veggies for a quick dinner or snack.
- Embrace the seasons! Typically, the produce in season will be cheaper and more nutritious.
- Buy in bulk. Initially, there may be a slightly higher investment, but long term you will save money because things like a huge jar of coconut oil or almond butter (two best friends you will make on this new adventure) will last close to a year. Go ahead, and grab the big cart to check out the nearest bulk store.
- Here is a BIG one: organic, grass-fed, free-range, and local only when you can. If you can swing it, great! If not, well, it does not change the diet.
- Meal prep for the week! You can decide based on your schedule whether this means breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three! Not only will you save money by not dining out, but you can get creative and know you are living out your new weight loss program every day without the stress of having to cook every meal when you might need time to relax instead.