Paleo Magazine

This has been an indispensable tool for me.

Paleo Magazine is the ONLY print magazine dedicated wholly to the Paleo lifestyle. It has articles on ancestral health, farming and ranching your own food, the benefits of the paleo life, profiles of business that cater to the Paleo lifestyle, profiles of athletes who maintain a Paleo lifestyle exercises, recipes and advertisements for all kinds of new, nifty Paleo things you didn’t know you could get. Recipes take current trends into consideration, so you’ll find recipes for sous vide and Instapot.

I generally try one or two (maybe three or four) recipes. You can get into a rut of just eating a meat, a veggie, a fruit, etc. each meal, but you’ll find some new recipes with Paleo Magazine. They come through the mail six times a year and you also have access to the online magazine.

Understand, this is not a health and lifestyle magazine that includes the Paleo lifestyle. This is a magazine DEDICATED to the Paleo lifestyle. Nothing is going to be confusing. It’s not going to make you wonder if this is the route you should be taking. If you’re getting Paleo magazine, you’re already on your way.

While I get Paleo Magazine primarily for the recipes, I do get a lot out of the articles, particularly those dealing with autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (I have osteoarthritis). I have gotten insight on foods that might not be as Paleo as I thought (like agave nectar), products that will help keep me on plan in the somewhat transient lifestyle I live, and vitamins or supplements and in what foods I can find specific nutrients.

Sometimes you just need a little assistance to keep up with what you’re doing, and Paleo Magazine definitely provides that assistance. Not every issue is a goldmine, but there is always something.

Jimmy’s Cookies

I’m always looking for noshy, munchy things, and I found these cookies while I was shopping at Walmart one day. They were in the freezer section with the gluten-free and paleo foods, and I was instantly intrigued, thought it took me a while to try them. There are, to the best of my knowledge, two varieties — Chocolate Chunk, pictured here, which are pretty much just chocolate chunk cookies, and Pecan Chocolate Chunk. They are both very tasty.

There are a few cons with this product. One is that they are expensive. A tub of 18 costs $9 at Walmart. The second is that they stay frozen and have to sit out for an hour before you can eat them.

There are a few pros with this product. One is that they are expensive. A tub of 18 costs $9 at Walmart. The second is that they stay frozen and have to sit out for an hour before you can eat them.

Yeah, I know the pros look exactly like the cons, but the fact is, at that price, I’m not going to sit and eat the entire tub, and with the need to thaw them, I’m not going to eat them impulsively.

These are great for stashing in your freezer for a rainy day. You just take two out and put them on a plate while you make yourself a nice bowl of soup. Then, after lunch, you can make a cup of tea and have your cookies.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate

When I was young, I would have told you that I’ve always liked dark chocolate. Now, of course, I know the difference between Hershey’s Special Dark and good dark chocolate.

Chocolate is important to me. It has some great health benefits and yes, it’s Paleo, if you use it right. The darker the chocolate is, the better, and I’ve had 100% cocoa. I usually have my chocolate at bedtime with a little black coffee, kind of a non-alcoholic nightcap. This is not something where I sit and eat the entire bar. I have a square. Usually, I buy the bag of Ghirardelli squares so eating one at a time is simple.

I find that a square of dark chocolate is all I need, and I love Ghirardelli’s Intense Dark line for the flavors I can get. A lot of other companies pair their flavors with semi-sweet chocolate and ruin the value of the dark chocolate altogether. These bars, though, come in raspberry, cherry, sea salt, and my personal favorite, Cabernet, which has blackberry and blueberry undertones. The chocolates are very rich, and I don’t feel like I’m short changing myself on a “diet” rather than enjoying something I’m allowed to eat.

GoGo Squeez

Another favorite that comes from my homeless days is GoGo Squeez by Materne North American Corp. These are little applesauce pouches that are designed to appeal to kids and are perfect for lunch boxes. They’re a great mix of applesauce, a veggie (sweet potato and carrots are the most common, but there is also one with butternut squash) and a second fruit like peach, pear, mango, banana, strawberry, etc. You can see the entire lineup here.

I was concerned about being able to get things like fruits and veggies that would keep if I was living in my car with no room for a cooler. Canned fruit is inconvenient and full of sugar, but these pouches are all natural, 100% fruits and veggies with no added sugars. I could pick them up at Walmart for a song, and I’d get them three or four boxes at a time so I had a variety to choose from. Even after I finding a place to live, I carry these to work to have on a long shift or if my BG level drops. The lid makes them great to carry, because you can close it and don’t have to eat it all at once. There are other versions of this in the canned fruit aisle and the baby food aisle, but GoGoSqueez remains my favorite for both taste and cost. And, FYI, the Boatin’ Banana, left in the trunk of the car on a mild winter day, makes a great half-frozen treat. Not that you’d ever find yourself in the position, but, just saying’…

RX Bars

I was technically homeless when I started my Paleo-ish lifestyle. I spent my first two weeks at my daughter’s while she was in England, but moved into my car when she came home. I was unwilling to undo everything I’d worked for over the previous two weeks because I didn’t have a kitchen, so I started to think about portability, things that keep and were cheap.

I had actually discovered RX Bars when I was an Uber/Lyft driver. I would be in my car 15 hours a day, and, depending on how the day went, I didn’t necessarily have time to stop and eat. I would pick up these bars at a 7-11 that sold them 2 for $5, and I’d buy $20 of them at a time.

I don’t usually like nutrition bars, but I am really impressed with these. They are just what they say on the front of the package. The egg gives them a little more staying power than, say, a Lära Bar, which is another favorite of mine, and they are more of a meal bar than just something to deal with my sweet tooth. They can be a little pricey — a box of 4 is $6.50 at Walmart, more at other stores —but they are so worth it, particularly when I’m on the road. They come in some great flavors: chocolate chip, chocolate sea salt, coffee, mixed berry, blueberry, chocolate coconut, and, even though they aren’t paleo because of the peanuts, peanut butter and peanut butter chocolate.

Izzy

I’m not going to lie — this is a big one for me.

I was a soda drinker. Usually Coke and then it was Cherry Coke if I could get my hands on it. I occasionally strayed to other flavors, Orange Fanta if I didn’t want the caffeine, Sprite if my stomach was upset and various flavors of Mt. Dew for my migraines.

Now that I’m Paleo, I don’t really miss the soda…except sometimes. On a hot day, I will miss the Coke. If I’m having a burger or pizza, I miss the soda. And I only miss it for one reason.

I’m totally addicted to the carbonation.

Okay, not totally addicted. I go without more days than not. But there are times I have this thirst that jut won’t be quenched by water or coffee.

Enter Izze.

Izzes are just fruit juice and carbonated water. Yep, that’s it. They aren’t dry like some sparkling waters. They are just as soda as you can get, but they fit a Paleo diet.

So, if I want something light, like Fanta, I drink a Clementine Izze. Something tart? There’s Grapefruit Izze. If I’m really wanting a Coke, I’ll drink a Blackberry Izze.

They’re a little on the pricy side, but so worth it when you want to stay on plan. They come in a four-pack, but I have seen larger bottles (usually at Panda Express) and smaller cans. They’re absolutely perfect for that carbonation itch.

Tessamaes

I eat a lot of salads as part of my Paleo diet, but, it generally goes without saying that salad dressings are NOT on plan. Many are full of sugars and other gunk that is unnecessary. The problem is that I hate to eat a salad without at least a little dressing. Not to mention I use some dressings as marinades and to mix things like egg salad and tuna.

I found Tessamae’s dressings in the produce department of my local Walmart. They’re organic and yummy and come in several great flavors that keep me from missing regular salad dressing too much. I will admit that I’m not that wild about the Ranch dressing, not because it doesn’t taste good — it does! — but because it’s more like a dill dip than a Ranch dressing.

The Honey Vinaigrette is a staple in my fridge. It gets drizzled on salads, meats and scrambles or mixed into egg salads, caprese salads and tuna. The Lemon Garlic makes a great piccata marinade as well as dresses a nice summer salad.

I haven’t had a chance to check out all the flavors. It seems like every store I walk into has something different, I just have to start buying more of them and trying them. But the ones I do buy are essential to my everyday meal plan.

Honey Sticks

The first time I saw these, I was visiting a bug house with my kids. There were several different flavors, and the honey came from the bees kept by the organization that ran the bug house (Ok, Butterfly Pavilion, but they definitely had more than just butterflies). As my kids got older, and we didn’t go on as many outings, I kind of forgot these existed unless I happened upon them somewhere else, or one of the kids would bring me one because they remembered I liked them.

If you’re counting calories, be aware that these are not low-cal. They are, however, a naturally low-glycemic pick-me-up or a quick taste of wholesome sweetness during in a moment of need. Mom has a cup full of them sitting on a hutch in her kitchen, and I just snag one on occasion when I need a little something but I’m not really hungry.

The sticks we have are lime, peppermint and cinnamon, because that’s apparently the only kind that WinCo carries, but, over the years, I have also had huckleberry, orange, strawberry, mango, cherry and grape. I do occasionally pick one up that’s unflavored, and different types of flower can influence the taste and texture of the honey as well. They’re easy to pack along, and the plastic tubing keeps it from leaking all over your purse or backpack.

Bolthouse Farms

When I first discovered Boathouse Farms, I was drinking their Mocha Cappuccino. It was several years ago, before I went Paleo and before I knew I was allergic to milk. Along the line, though, I started drinking these smoothies.

These are great. They’re perfectly Paleo and just handy. They start cold and stay cold, and you can find them in the produce department of most grocery stores. When I was homeless, I would walk into a Walmart, buy two hard-boiled eggs, and one of these bottles of smoothies, and it was all I needed for breakfast.

Berry Boost is probably my favorite, but there’s also a blueberry-based juice, strawberry banana, and mango. Their C-Boost is also excellent, and, since finding them, I’ve discovered I like drinking carrot juice.

I don’t have to worry about added sugars, additives, or any other nasty stir-ins. It’s just good, pure juice.

Lära Bars

One of my carry-along staples, even now, is a Lära Bar. These are date and nut bars that come in a variety of flavors. These are not meal replacements but more of a candy bar replacement. They’re sweeter than RX Bars and Epic Bars that have egg in them. Those tend to be heavier, if that makes sense.

I always have one of these in my purse. If I need a little something, it’s enough to take the edge off of hunger without filling me up if I have a meal shortly. They’re great to have at work for that reason. They’re also my go-to if everyone around me is munching on candy bars.

They’re pretty straightforward — no refined sugar (except for the minuscule amount if there are chocolate chips in a bar), no grains, no dairy. Just dates, nuts and possibly some other kind of fruit depending on the flavor of the bar.

My go-tos tend to be the Almond Butter Chocolate Chip and Coconut Pie. In a good Whole Foods, Alfalfa’s or Sprouts, there selection is a little better and you can find a huge range of flavors, but there are some good basics in Walmart.