7

votes

How to fit paleo into a busy schedule

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 17, 2011 at 2:46 AM

Normally I eat a paleo/primal diet, but lately I've been so busy that my source of energy is becoming less food-like and more along the lines of protein powders/bars, multi-vitamin pills, omega 3 / cod liver oil, canned fish, health optimizer bars, and whatever raw vegetable I can grab....

It feels like I'm not really eating food at all.

Just a bit of background. I have an office day job and a startup on the side, I also train 2-3 times a week in thai boxing, I'm on the bike an hour everyday, and sometimes I do a bit of running(5k) and hot yoga on the weekends. I'm trying to safely cut 5-10lb before a fight in August and it's been really tough with all the stress / lack of sleep. Right now I'm at 20-21% bodyfat(yes, I'm female). A month ago I was at 23% and I think I can definitely go lower.

If anyone has any tips on how to optimize a paleo-diet for a busy lifestyle I would really appreciate it.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 18, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Thanks for the great suggestions and the link. Being able to get that lean quite an accomplishment. I'm not sure if biking is affecting my progress. I bike to commute to work (30 min easy cruise each way), which doesn't really tire me out.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 18, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Alright, thanks for the advice. :) And yes, I bike to commute.

00e1e1336057b674a84468a386d3b46b

(0)

on June 18, 2011
at 01:27 AM

Is there something wrong with canned fish? Sure its not entirely fresh but its an awesome way of keeping on track with a busy schedule. 5 days a week I have a tin for breakfast and one for lunch.. Taking a box of 10 cans to work sorts me out for the week.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 17, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Spam is NOT paleo.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:11 PM

I use that method to at least keep lunches ready to go for my wife. Cook for 3.5 people every night, even though only 2.5 people eat (my 3 year old son is the .5, btw). I eat much more boring fare for lunch - I'll fast through it, or eat a can of sardines or tuna, or if the catering company at work is serving an acceptable gluten/sugar/oil-free protein, I'll indulge in that.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Sorry, modern life tends to get in the way of any fantasies about how one's schedule ought to be.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Ask a xfit box or put a post on Craig's list.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 17, 2011
at 03:43 AM

I like your suggestion about participating in CSA's, I always spend forever at the groceries picking out healthy food. Never heard of co-op cooking before but I'll look into it. Unfortunately I don't know many people who share my diet.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 17, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Check out all the reviews you can on places like Amazon.com for the toaster oven. When I researched years ago, I was prepared to shell out the extra for the Kitchenaid, until I read the reviews. I opted for a much less expensive Oster convection model (around $80) which had better reviews. Look for ones that can hold a 9" plate (meaning you can use cake/pie pans to cook meats) and go the extra for convection. Yes, it's just a fan, but makes a huge difference! I do salmon in mine all the time!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Obvouisly not someone who has a lot of commitments. Good call Shirley.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 17, 2011
at 03:18 AM

Thank you. The oven toaster is a great idea. It beats babysitting an oven for a teeny slice of salmon to cook. I'll look into getting a crock pot as well. I'm already eating hard-boiled eggs, but I find them tasting so much better when fresh!

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 17, 2011
at 03:09 AM

When you can explain this into details that fit the context of a modern life, you might just have something to post about. Until then...

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9 Answers

7
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 17, 2011
at 03:02 AM

I would look at your training schedule (or other free time, as in time not obligated to anyone but your own choices) and think about how many hours of that you could convert to kitchen time which you could use to make some do-ahead dishes, or at least plan for how you could simplify fresher foods. Also, a lot can be done in a nice low-heat crock pot with simple ingredients while you are at the gym or work, and very easy to clean - one cutting board, one knife and one pot if you're careful about doing it all in order.

I've also found a good convection toaster oven is great for me, since I can make meats or veggies or anything else in small portions quickly, without heating up the whole kitchen or feeling like I am making some big production.

And if you're into hard boiled eggs, make a dozen of those before your week starts and you work them into all kinds of things!

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 17, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Check out all the reviews you can on places like Amazon.com for the toaster oven. When I researched years ago, I was prepared to shell out the extra for the Kitchenaid, until I read the reviews. I opted for a much less expensive Oster convection model (around $80) which had better reviews. Look for ones that can hold a 9" plate (meaning you can use cake/pie pans to cook meats) and go the extra for convection. Yes, it's just a fan, but makes a huge difference! I do salmon in mine all the time!

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 17, 2011
at 03:18 AM

Thank you. The oven toaster is a great idea. It beats babysitting an oven for a teeny slice of salmon to cook. I'll look into getting a crock pot as well. I'm already eating hard-boiled eggs, but I find them tasting so much better when fresh!

5
77f83ec328459dce702216709762e202

(571)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:40 AM

I am employed full time + 3 kids under 5 and a husband. I train 4-5 days a week (Crossfit mostly), 2 work outs per day maybe twice a week plus all the kid insanity. I think it's all about planning ahead. I try to cook a big batch or two of something on the weekend or whatever day things are marginally less busy. Usually paleo chili, stew or something similar. I boil a whole bunch of eggs, make sure I have bags of paleo friendly trail mix (mostly jerky with nuts and maybe some dried fruit cut up into smaller pieces) and if I'm super motivated I'll throw a big green salad with chicken breast into multiple tupperware containers so that if things are getting really hectic I'll at least have some veggies and protein to hold onto. I also make egg cupcakes - check out the everydaypaleo blog.

I also try to scope out the restaurants wherever I'll be - usually looking for a breakfast place since it's hard to mess up eggs and meat so if I don't have something with me, at least I'll get some eggs in.

If I don't prepare in advance I fall off the paleo wagon hard - mostly in the form of sugar. Don't get me wrong, I fall off the wagon a fair amount. It's hard to be super organized and get all this together, but on the weeks that I do, I eat super clean all week.

Finally - this is just a random thought, do you think all the time on the bike might affect your body fat? I dropped from 20+% body fat to 11% just eating paleo and doing Crossfit. I'm not saying that 11% is the place to be by any means, just wondering if less cardio and more intensity would help drop the fat.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 18, 2011
at 03:49 AM

Thanks for the great suggestions and the link. Being able to get that lean quite an accomplishment. I'm not sure if biking is affecting my progress. I bike to commute to work (30 min easy cruise each way), which doesn't really tire me out.

4
Da4badc775f5cb8153476683b80877de

on June 17, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Stick with the thai boxing training and the yoga. Cut the running, cut the biking (unless it's your mode of transportation). This will allow you to sleep better which is totally key for me when leaning out. High stress and little sleep is going to send your leptin through the roof, making your body hold on to fat. For me and other female friends, getting lean is about 40% diet, 40% sleep, 20% exercise.

Totally crockpot for the win.

Good luck! I'm with you on the busy schedule. :)

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 18, 2011
at 03:34 AM

Alright, thanks for the advice. :) And yes, I bike to commute.

4
B3e7d1ab5aeb329fe24cca1de1a0b09c

(5242)

on June 17, 2011
at 05:36 AM

Cook BIG! Eat BIG.

It takes about the same amount of time to cook 6 - 10 serves as it does 1-2. Freeze the left overs into meal size packages. If it wasn't for this strategy some weeks I just wouldn't have time to eat.

Don't have time to eat real food? Fast and eat bigger later. I generally eat twice a day, leaves more time for a busy schedule.

Use healthy paleo happy snacks as a crutch - jerky, nuts (macadamias for me) coconut milk,, fruit.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:11 PM

I use that method to at least keep lunches ready to go for my wife. Cook for 3.5 people every night, even though only 2.5 people eat (my 3 year old son is the .5, btw). I eat much more boring fare for lunch - I'll fast through it, or eat a can of sardines or tuna, or if the catering company at work is serving an acceptable gluten/sugar/oil-free protein, I'll indulge in that.

3
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:16 AM

Oh great question... meal planning is key. But so is not putting stress on yourself. When I travel I always make food for the plane and I always scope out restaurants. Its good to contact a xfit box in the town you're visiting to see if they have restaurant recomemdations. I have two kids and work a lot....making food in advance helps. CSA 's are great because You can pick up the veggies every week and bypass the grocery mart. Steaks and burgers in the broiler or George foreman rock. If you have people who share your diet, hit them up to do cooperative cooking. A few people sign up to cook and you all share your meals.

These have worked for me...2 kids, single mom, tons of work, outside projects, exercise...it can be done.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 04:27 AM

Ask a xfit box or put a post on Craig's list.

345000db1cc301a64bc3814197e2f116

on June 17, 2011
at 03:43 AM

I like your suggestion about participating in CSA's, I always spend forever at the groceries picking out healthy food. Never heard of co-op cooking before but I'll look into it. Unfortunately I don't know many people who share my diet.

2
Fe33d1321dad116f6fedd60266d0498b

on June 17, 2011
at 04:40 AM

Crock pots are great- I'll make up a big batch of chicken thighs for the week over the weekend, pop them in the freezer, and bam, lunches (or snacks, or whatever). There are tons of recipes out there- the Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook has some good ones, though not a paleo book.

Making stuff ahead is key. Someone else mentioned hard-boiled eggs- those are great. You can make little mini-quiches in a muffin tin. Little things like that.

Also- check and see if there are CSAs near you that are still open. There are meat CSAs as well as the traditional veggie CSAs, and in my area, we even have a place called Harvest Kitchen (http://www.harvest-kitchen.com/), which is a prepared foods CSA, that also (and most importantly...) sells their surplus from a storefront. It's locally-made, locally-grown, premade/frozen meals. Not all paleo/GF/etc, but still, there may be something like it in your area that you can take advantage of.

1
306905a32e76b5c0764a663ea7e88426

(1072)

on June 17, 2011
at 06:06 AM

Miss one gym session...

In a couple of hours in the kitchen you could knock up the aforementioned boiled eggs, make a big frittata you could cut up and keep in the fridge over the week and a caveman sized batch of paleo chilli you could freeze in individual portions.

[Blend down a cauliflower head and keep in an airtight container for rice.]

Make a Big Ass Salad to keep in the fridge, enjoy a glass of Cab Sav, and relaaaax. :)

And good luck with the startup, in the middle of one myself [and beginning to wonder why].

h

-1
C029fb3c7c1f1ed4a004390bef728e2d

on June 17, 2011
at 03:01 AM

You got it all wrong - you're not supposed to have a busy schedule.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on June 17, 2011
at 03:09 AM

When you can explain this into details that fit the context of a modern life, you might just have something to post about. Until then...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:27 AM

Obvouisly not someone who has a lot of commitments. Good call Shirley.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098

(7970)

on June 17, 2011
at 01:08 PM

Sorry, modern life tends to get in the way of any fantasies about how one's schedule ought to be.

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 17, 2011
at 03:33 PM

I know a lot of folks who don???t eat eggs (they???re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here???s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on June 17, 2011
at 10:01 PM

Spam is NOT paleo.

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