7

votes

Does Paleo ever become less time consuming?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created February 06, 2013 at 1:16 AM

A few weeks into starting Paleo... so far it takes a long freaking time. I spend most of Sunday afternoon and into the evening putting together and roasting Chicken, making Pumpkin pancakes, and other stuff to get me through the week. And even during the week a bunch more time to put together food than when it's all in a box or a bag. And I haven't even begun to try out all the amazing SWYPO recipes at againstallgrains or in Practical Paleo to make this thing more tolerable, but I'm sure that will take time.

I spend all my spare time making food and basically have no time to relax! I am totally committed to this from a health perspective but I see my daughters' softball season coming and now I will have even less time... and I don't know how I'll make it work

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

@Mandy - exactly right on family as well. A lot of Paleo and other related stuff seems to pretend your eating on your own planet with no other people.

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 10, 2013
at 02:26 PM

No. .

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:00 AM

Is this a joke?

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:59 AM

I know food processors aren't paleo, but they sure do save a lot of time.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 06, 2013
at 03:16 PM

Unless you do reenactment Paleo, starchy tubers of any kind are fine.

217fc6ef1b76bf244bcb22b3e5c5841c

(178)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:49 PM

Aw thanks! It's great for homemade baby food too!

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:44 PM

mashed potatoes -- is that paleo?

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:43 PM

ice cube trays = f'ing brilliant!

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Thanks for the tips. Pumpkin pancakes is from Practical Paleo. Here's my deal -- if I don't have *some* things around I enjoy eating I will fail at this... perhaps not everyone has the willpower to go 100% "paleo lifestyle" but can still enjoy the benefits of paleo nutrition.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Simple meals (meat + steamed veg/salad) and preparing a bunch of meat at once and putting it in the fridge/freezer is how I do it too. Get my foie gras at a Bistro though. +1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Simple meals (meat + steamed veg/salad) and preparing a bunch of meat at once and putting it in the fridge/freezer is how I do it too....+1

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:21 PM

@Kyle - I need a bigger crockpot!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:18 PM

Who said she isn't willing to cook at home? Yes, it gets easier. You sound pretty organized, you'll get more efficient at it. I agree with poster below who mentions collecting your favorite recipes. Another tip is to always double your recipe and freeze what you can. I make and freeze a meatloaf a couple of times a month and freeze it flat in a freezer bag. Thaws easily that way. Can you get your spouse or kids to help you? Anyone can make a meatloaf.

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:17 PM

Spot on. I buy large batches of meat, pre-washed organic carrots, and random other vegetables. Put it all in a big crockpot, leave it on overnight. Heat it up the next 3 mornings and eat leftovers. 5-10 minutes of prep time for 4 days worth of breakfast.

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:15 PM

My tummy is not ready for huge amounts of raw food yet. I'm trying to fix my IBS issues and too much raw veggies makes me feel like I'm going to explode from gas :(

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:14 PM

For some people, cooking is required in order to keep meals exiting and palatable for a family who might not be used to eating this way. Pumpkin pancakes might be a substitute for Eggo waffles. Not necessary, but a nice replacement when you have kids who are transitioning.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:05 PM

This is great advice!

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:02 PM

This is what I have found too. I eat 2 meals a day. THe first is either an omelet with veggies or beef with broccoli and potatoes. That takes 15 minutes to make. The second is a standard dinner... I steam some shrimp, make some sort of starch, and a veggie or I'll make a huge salad. Maybe 30 minutes there max... just like a non paleo dinner would be. I don't find it time consuming at all.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 06, 2013
at 12:39 PM

Oh boy, Ray Peat trolls are back?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 06, 2013
at 12:36 PM

Post question, add comment and answer functions were a little wonky yesterday. Hopefully it's been fixed (appears so). It coincided with a new popup they were implementing it appears (stop begging for emails...)

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 06, 2013
at 10:25 AM

you know young ray...i have no idea what you are talking about, but +1 for trying. please try & make your future answers relate to the question being asked (or edit this one), cheers

3327924660b1e2f8f8fc4ca27fedf2b2

(2919)

on February 06, 2013
at 07:11 AM

You will never be healthy unless you're willing to cook some stuff at home.

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16 Answers

6
1f9527e79d0378418c6db93384e3d929

(154)

on February 06, 2013
at 01:11 PM

I only noticed one decent answer to this question, so I'll add my 2 cents. First off, YES it does get easier. Much easier. With experience. You don't need to spend a lot of time to gain the experience, just some planning. Here's how I made it easy for myself (it also felt hellish hard for me in the beginning btw)

  1. Collect 5-10 recipes that are easy, quick, and delicious. Get really good at making them. By quick I mean 15 or max 30 min quick. For instance I hate cooking in the morning and my husband is really terrible in the morning too, so the only thing I do is make sure we have each morning around 4-5 eggs (for both of us) which I fry (in coconut oil) or boil, and put 2-3 vegetables next to it (cucumber, tomatoes, broccoli/celery sticks). Simple and it takes 10 minutes max to put everything together. And for some fat mayo (made the night before) or raw fresh cream (we tolerate dairy). If he's still hungry, a few cubes of good raw cheese or avocado.

  2. When I make meat for the week, I never make for just 1-2 meals. I make enough for half the week. I either boil lots of beef for 5 meals (then make soup with it or put it in salads or lettuce wraps) or put a whole chicken and some extra wings in the oven to roast (it takes 5 minutes to prep it, and the oven does the rest for me) or make lots of steak at once. If I made too much and get fed up with it, I freeze it to make sure I have lots of food for when I'm too tired/bored/sick to cook. So I never throw anything away.

  3. Planning. Sure I also allow some freedom, but when I shop, I know I need the following minimum:

    • eggs and 2-3 vegetables per day for breakfast (sometimes we eat leftovers from the previous evening)
    • vegetables to make lunch salads (lettuce, celery, tomatoes, red/green peppers, radishes, etc) for the whole week (we do variate on what we put in each salad)
    • fats and products to use as sauces ( fresh cream, stuff for mayo, lemons for lemon juice, olive oil)
    • meats for lunch salads (I prefer drier less fatty meats like chicken breasts or not-fatty beef, ham)
    • meats for dinner (which can be the same ones as for lunch, but I like variety so I usually have different ones)
    • veggies for cooking for dinner
    • a few stuff to use as snacks ( kale chips, ingredients for hot cocoa either with milk/coconut milk, 96% dark chocolate).

This way I basically use a about 2 hours on Sundays for making all the meats for the whole week, and I only have to make eggs in the morning (10-15 min) and put together a salad for lunch (10-15 min). Dinners take me more like 20-40 min, unless I already cooked the meats. I dunno about you, but to me this is fairly decent. And if you have more people home, you can get them to help out with small tasks.

Good luck!

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:05 PM

This is great advice!

5
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 06, 2013
at 01:29 PM

If you avoid the grain substitutes it is a LOT easier.

Try cooking simple things like burgers/steak and sauteed greens or scrambled eggs with saut??ed veggies.

And make lots of food that freezes well, like p??t??.

My DH steams enough greens for the week, so we can just take what we want & add it to our meat/eggs/seafood. Same for mashed potatoes. Not everything needs to be cooked fresh for each meal.

Make friends with leftovers!

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:44 PM

mashed potatoes -- is that paleo?

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on February 06, 2013
at 03:16 PM

Unless you do reenactment Paleo, starchy tubers of any kind are fine.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Simple meals (meat + steamed veg/salad) and preparing a bunch of meat at once and putting it in the fridge/freezer is how I do it too....+1

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:25 PM

Simple meals (meat + steamed veg/salad) and preparing a bunch of meat at once and putting it in the fridge/freezer is how I do it too. Get my foie gras at a Bistro though. +1

4
217fc6ef1b76bf244bcb22b3e5c5841c

on February 06, 2013
at 02:37 PM

I love to cook, so I don't mind lots of preparation, but I think you need a new approach if it's taking up all of your free time. Even though I am a newbie to paleo, I am a food writer and experienced cook. I highly recommend freezing. Freezing sauces and pestos (I freeze them in ice cube trays). Sauces are really the most time consuming thing, since the flavor is affected by how long you cook it and how high the heat is. If you pre cook sauces once a month, then you can just chop up some chicken, drop in a couple of cubes of sauce and you're good to go. It also immediately makes it easy for you to vary flavors/meals. At any given time I have tomato sauce, pesto, indian curry, thai curry, roasting sauces, etc.

217fc6ef1b76bf244bcb22b3e5c5841c

(178)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:49 PM

Aw thanks! It's great for homemade baby food too!

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:43 PM

ice cube trays = f'ing brilliant!

4
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on February 06, 2013
at 07:26 AM

It becomes less time consuming when you realize one day that all those fancy preparations are not necessary.

It takes 20 minutes prep time to do the bone broth.

It takes 3 minutes to peal a cucumber (if it is not organic). If it is organic, it takes 20 sec to wash it. Same with carrots.

Meat takes less than 15 minutes to make. Believe me - I cook it every day. Keep it rare.

When you stop chopping, peeling, cutting and go for as little prep as possible - you learn that Paleo is the easiest thing ever. Watch Jack Lalanne videos - he cooks very very little.

Why being bothered with pumpkin pancakes if you can have a raw carrot instead? Why make roasted chicken when crock pot will make a perfect batch of chicken soup?

And for fermented foods - all it takes is to open a jar. Since you don't need that many, one jar will last you half a month.

I am not even talking about fruit. I think it is a crime to cook fruit.

Stop cooking. Enjoy real food the way nature intended us to have it.

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:21 PM

@Kyle - I need a bigger crockpot!

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:17 PM

Spot on. I buy large batches of meat, pre-washed organic carrots, and random other vegetables. Put it all in a big crockpot, leave it on overnight. Heat it up the next 3 mornings and eat leftovers. 5-10 minutes of prep time for 4 days worth of breakfast.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796

(2022)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:14 PM

For some people, cooking is required in order to keep meals exiting and palatable for a family who might not be used to eating this way. Pumpkin pancakes might be a substitute for Eggo waffles. Not necessary, but a nice replacement when you have kids who are transitioning.

2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:02 PM

This is what I have found too. I eat 2 meals a day. THe first is either an omelet with veggies or beef with broccoli and potatoes. That takes 15 minutes to make. The second is a standard dinner... I steam some shrimp, make some sort of starch, and a veggie or I'll make a huge salad. Maybe 30 minutes there max... just like a non paleo dinner would be. I don't find it time consuming at all.

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:15 PM

My tummy is not ready for huge amounts of raw food yet. I'm trying to fix my IBS issues and too much raw veggies makes me feel like I'm going to explode from gas :(

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

@Mandy - exactly right on family as well. A lot of Paleo and other related stuff seems to pretend your eating on your own planet with no other people.

3
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on February 06, 2013
at 11:52 AM

Almost all of the time-consuming activity you mention isn't necessary for paleo.

I spend most of Sunday afternoon and into the evening putting together and roasting Chicken

All you need to do is put some meat in the oven and you've prepared days worth of meat.

Pumpkin pancakes

I've never heard of a pumpkin pancake, but it's surely not necessary to a paleo lifestyle. Preparing a pumpkin/squash/etc. just requres putting a pumpkin in the oven.

Cook the pumpkin/squash/sweet potato or whatever in the oven alonside the meat and you've made multiple meals. Conversely, if you want to cut down on the cooking time you can just fry meat and vegetables together.

A83848dfff3363c53f93831f2e03710c

(50)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:33 PM

Thanks for the tips. Pumpkin pancakes is from Practical Paleo. Here's my deal -- if I don't have *some* things around I enjoy eating I will fail at this... perhaps not everyone has the willpower to go 100% "paleo lifestyle" but can still enjoy the benefits of paleo nutrition.

3
3eca93d2e56dfcd768197dc5a50944f2

(11697)

on February 06, 2013
at 01:29 AM

Hunter and gatherers spent a lot of time on finding and cooking food (when not consuming it raw). It's normal to take quite some time to cook, it's part of trying to stay healthy. Since the food industry doesn't give healthy options to us, we have to do it ourselves.

Stir-frys are the fastest ones to do btw: veggies, sliced meat/fish/shellfish, tamari soy sauce, and in 5 minutes you're done. You can vary between different veggies or spices, so it feels like a different recipe every time.

[Meta] I have had problems posting too btw. It only happens on my Chrome, it works on Firefox.

1
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on February 06, 2013
at 07:34 PM

Yeah, this is where paleo makes you appreciate the idea of old fashioned things, like marriage and the division of labor that used to exist. If you really want to eat nose to tail, well, you need somebody at home doing the work to bring that to the table.

Technically, you can make it easier, if you throw more money at it and/or compromise a bit and buy canned stuff (often it is hard to know whether or not the stuff is bpa free). Even so, shopping and cooking approach full time job status, and then I have go make money elsewhere. Quality of life most assuredly has gone down.

1
F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:23 PM

Just gotta plan better. Simple Recipes, use the oven and crockpot more. Make huge batches of things, store leftovers, heat them up. etc. I spend 5-10 minutes of prep time total for 4 days worth of breakfast. Put meat and veggies in crockpot, leave in overnight, heat up the next 3 mornings.

You could make huge batches in the crockpot, store in pyrex for lunch, you could bake meat, very little prep time and delicious.

Just gotta be efficient.

1
49f777ab647b4b1cdd811e8b37beed74

on February 06, 2013
at 02:36 AM

One of the things I like about doing paleo Ray Peat style is that in one of those days when you don't have time you can just consume 3 quarts of milk, 1 quart of OJ, 2 eggs, and maybe some coconut oil and carrots.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on February 10, 2013
at 08:00 AM

Is this a joke?

4bd4e2fe6a095663f80c69656936e487

(744)

on February 10, 2013
at 02:26 PM

No. .

0
26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

on February 10, 2013
at 07:58 AM

I cook every day but I am usually too lazy to make paleo recipes with all kinds of substituted ingredients... I eat eggs for breakfast, and meat or fish fried in a pan with veggies fried in the remaining fat for dinner. 10 minutes out of my day, not including washing my frying pan. I use a crockpot a fair amount to make, portion and freeze larger amounts of food. 'Paleo' is only as hard as you make it. Of course, I don't mind having a simple diet.

I also eat lunch and snacks every day but I usually just eat at work (I have my carbs there, so I don't have to make them myself). And I carry around easy stuff like nuts, kefir, jerkey, Thinkthin bars, etc.

0
C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on February 10, 2013
at 07:41 AM

I was just bringing this up with my SO today. I spend so much time in the kitchen I consider it a part time job. Just today I was in there from 1030 am till 630pm and I do that a few days a week! I make giant vats of chili and soup, roasts and roasted chickens regularly and the bone broth is never ending. I have only been really cooking for a year or two so my knife skills really arent that great. The time sink is in the processing of stuff for sure. Mountains of veg to be chopped or root veg to be peeled. Not to mention that I get all of this stuff at the farmers market in the city, which I then carry home on public transit to where I live an hour away. There are salad dressings to be made and chilis to be ground into powder for each dish. Everything from scratch.

I seriously wish I could go back to just coming home and making a simple boring dinner. You know the same 3 animals and the same few vegetables. Or something out of a box or frozen. Maybe squirt some salad dressing out of a bottle etc. But its too late I now know about what is out there. The sheer variety of it all! I dont see anything in a package as food anymore (with some exceptions).

Im starting to wonder if its not just paleo thats the problem but becoming a total foodie snob in the process along with the high maintenance diet. Just wait till we have a house and I want to grow/raise everything. You know thats the most logical step. ugh.

26b7615ef542394102785a67a2786867

(7967)

on February 10, 2013
at 07:59 AM

I know food processors aren't paleo, but they sure do save a lot of time.

0
9efdc26405fdcd8f952f440154b1b445

on February 06, 2013
at 07:08 PM

i agree with the above post; stir fry is an efficient option that is quite delicious. it offers versatility in that you can change vegetable and meat combinations. keep the vegetables and meat as rare as possible to preserve nutrient content.

just keep it simple: raw vegetables, grilled meats, and snack on some fruits. keep the fancy pumpkin pancakes for the days that you have more time and can put pleasure into making them. stay positive.

0
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on February 06, 2013
at 02:52 PM

I make a chili or a stew on Sunday, enough to feed me for a week on off-days. On training days I either cook every day, or prepare another meal that I eat over a few days (usually chicken). On weekends I also make paleo/primal ice cream that'll last ma week. The bone stock I make in two large pots lasts me weeks.

Well Fed (the book) has further tips on how to minimize cooking and prepping time; some covered already in responses here.

0
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on February 06, 2013
at 11:47 AM

I had Chicken wings, then ground beef, steamed spinach, potatoes with dairy (milk,butter,cream) and salt for dinner tonight. We're talking 5-10 min prep and 22 or so minutes for everything to cook. So I guess, yes?

-1
8ff764074eebd35fd897267e95197680

on February 06, 2013
at 03:34 AM

you can all hate on the ray peat dieters and down vote our posts but don't hate because it could help someone else out and change their life like it did for us! after all, we all have one common goal...Health!

543a65b3004bf5a51974fbdd60d666bb

(4493)

on February 06, 2013
at 10:25 AM

you know young ray...i have no idea what you are talking about, but +1 for trying. please try & make your future answers relate to the question being asked (or edit this one), cheers

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on February 06, 2013
at 12:39 PM

Oh boy, Ray Peat trolls are back?

-1
Ba0268a02c02863642b1394852566ab6

on February 06, 2013
at 03:25 AM

BINGOOOOOOO ANON HITS IT BIG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

in all seriousness...paleo was sucking more out of me than i was getting from it in terms of health.....when i switched to ray peat style diet with a focus on cheese, milk, fruit i could go a whole day w/o cooking! and if i do cook its like ground beef once a day, or eggs in the morning...when i adopted the paleo diet i didn't see this lifestyle as a longterm solution....but ray peat style i can stick to the diet much more easily....it's an intangible aspect to dieting...being relaxed and not stressed about preparing meals constantly...and best of all IT WORKS!

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