In remembrance of our ancestors who ate what was in season without modification, the Paleo diet focuses on a variety of nutritiously rich, raw foods. This actively cuts out foods that tend to cause harm to the body, like preservatives, artificial hormones, pesticides, and processed sugars, grains, and meats. Some followers fully cut out dairy as well.
The Paleo diet is a great guideline to eat by because it encourages sticking to real foods without dangerous deficits or starving tactics. It can provide a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Having that variation of nutrients leads to more energy, less fat storage, and potentially lowers the risk of disease.
Planning time to cook fresh meals can save a lot of frustration and help you stay on track with your choices. If you’re thinking about going paleo, here are 25 dinner recipes to smooth the transition!
1. (Beef) Stuffed Peppers
This is a fun dish that families love to share. You can use a seasoning mix or create your own with unique spices, and fillings like vegetables, pulled pork or chicken.
This recipe also uses coconut oil, a great source for healthy fats. The total prep and cook time is about 45 minutes to create 4 servings with 33 grams of protein.
2. Garlic & Herb Lamb Chops
If you have an herb garden at home, this dish is the perfect use for your rosemary, mint, and parsley. The preparation calls for some extra time, about 30-45 minutes, to marinate the meat, though the actual cook time is fairly quick.
You can utilize the time to prep some fresh veggies like the recipe recommends, perhaps some grilled or baked sweet potatoes. It creates 4 servings with 23 grams of protein.
3. Steak Zucchini Boats
If your kids don’t like veggies, this may be a fun way to sneak them in. With a total prep and cook time of 40 minutes, the dish is also relatively fast to make. Each servings contains 24 grams of protein and 14 grams of carbs.
4. Butternut Squash Lasagna
This clever twist on traditional lasagna uses squash instead of pasta to keep your mind clear and your waistline happy!
While the recipe sounds delicious as it is, you can always supplement additional veggies or create a totally meat-free version.
You’ll need about an hour to complete the entire recipes, making up to 4 servings with 51 grams of protein and a rich portion of (healthy) carbs and fats.
5. Sweet Chili and Ginger Ribs
Turn up your weekend barbecue with this finger-licking-good favorite! The ginger heats up the meat a tad, but not enough to be “spicy.”
You will need some extra time for these to get the smokey flavor- 4 hours to be exact. One serving contains 68 grams of protein and pairs well with grilled asparagus, sweet potatoes, or bell peppers.
6. Pork Loin with Pesto Sauce
Personally, pesto is one of my favorite things to make at home. Fresh Basil has many health benefits including anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. This recipe can also be used for chicken, steak, or eggplant if you prefer a veggie option.
7. Apple-Cinnamon Pork Loin
This warm and inviting dish is perfect for any season.
You could pair the pork with apples as in the recipe below, or substitute them for fresh summer peaches. All that’s left is some lightly sautéed green beans or carrots! Each pork serving contains about 46 grams of protein and only 15 grams of fat.
8. Slow-Cooker Meatballs
If you’re short on time, these homemade meatballs can be prepared in 15 minutes and ready by the time you come home work. If possible, try to use grass-fed beef to gain the healthiest benefits and rich protein.
The recipe makes 24 meatballs so there is plenty for a few servings, leftovers, or to bring for a snack at work.
9. BLT Burgers
Another go-to if you’re short on time, this recipe takes about 30 minutes to complete 4 servings. You could use lettuce leaves for buns to stick to a lower carb version.
A meat-free version can be created with substitutions like mushroom burgers or black bean and mixed veggie burgers, and swapping in vegan bacon.
10. Chicken & Pork Stuffed Squash
As we get ready to welcome fall, this recipe may be one of your favorites to make ahead.
Squash is a great source for vitamins, helps calm the digestive system, and it keeps you satisfied for longer. You could also use smaller squash to create an appetizer platter and make a great impression at any get-together.
11. Chicken Korma with Cauliflower Rice
Chicken Korma hails from Asian-inspired roots and uses beautiful, immune-boosting spices in a way that takes the edge of their somewhat bitter flavors.
Cauliflower rice is more nutrient-dense than traditional white rice, although brown or wild rice can be paired just as well with this recipe.
The total prep and cook time will take about an hour, and creates 4 servings with 47 grams of protein.
12. Country-Style Chicken & Mushrooms
My grandmother used to make this dish almost every week, though she used heavy creams in her traditional southern style. This recipe uses coconut milk, fresh herbs and mushrooms (not from a can!). Fresh Mushrooms contain strong probiotic properties and can help balance natural bacteria in your digestive tract.
13. Chicken Nuggets with Avocado-Cilantro Dipping Sauce
Perfect for kids and adults alike, homemade chicken tenders are a winner in any household. With an alternative breading and dipping sauce, this dish is guilt-free and waistline friendly.
These are super easy to pack for work snacks or in the kid’s lunches. They require under 40 minutes to cook 4 servings, each with 48 grams of protein and 21 grams of fat.
14. Chicken & Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
With only 10 grams of fat and 31 grams of protein, this recipe is great for those working hard on a calorie deficit for weight loss or for those who need to monitor their fat intake carefully.
Sweet potatoes are high in vitamins and provide digestive comfort. Fresh Cranberries are packed with vitamin C and help to cleanse the kidneys and urinary tract.
15. Balsamic Chicken Drumsticks
Another sweet and savory dish that’s perfect for party appetizers or prepping for small meals. Balsamic Vinegar contains natural detoxing properties and adds a tangy edge when baked or grilled into meat. It pairs well with crisp greens or fresh tomatoes.
16. Keto Salmon Chopped Vegetable Salad
Look no further for a light meal packed with vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and hydrating ingredients. You only need about 20 minutes to prepare this recipe and it’s an excellent option for preparing meals ahead.
You can keep leftover salmon separate and mix and match different veggies with dressings as you like.
17. Fried Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are fun and perfect for anytime of the year. If you don’t particularly like cabbage, you can try fresh cucumber, basil, papaya, and mango to create a fresh fruit salsa. Simply chop them together and add a bit of olive oil.
18. Tuna Burgers
These burgers only require about 30 minutes for 4 servings, with 34 grams of protein in each.
The recipe also calls for fresh tuna, which is far better for you than that from a can. Fresh and sustainably caught tuna provides healthy fats and protein. You can use lettuce leaves or grilled mushrooms instead of white bread buns to keep it on the leaner side.
19. Spicy Tuna & Cucumber Bites
If you enjoy making your own sushi or you haven’t quite gotten it down, these will give you a similar experience without the frustration.
Fresh Cucumber hydrates the body and helps cleanse your body on every level. You can complete this recipe in under 20 minutes and make as much as you’d like to snack on through the week. Each serving has 18 grams of protein with only 5 grams of fat.
20. Garlic Shrimp With Zucchini Noodles
Paired with fresh shrimp and rich garlic, each serving contains 54 grams of protein and only 5 grams of fat. For those of you who want to impress a special someone, there’s an option to use white wine for a little more romantic flavor.
21. Jalapeno Poppers
These are deliciously dairy-free and made with almond cheese. You can also use bell peppers if you are not really a fan of spicy peppers. Poppers make perfect to-go snacks, sides, and appetizers.
22. Beet & Tomato Soup
Beets and tomatoes both contain amazing health benefits like cleansing of the blood and detoxing the digestive tract. If you are fasting or pursuing a cleanse, this is a great option that provides a full and satisfied bang for your buck.
23. Brussel Sprouts With Balsamic & Cranberries
Honey-Balsamic is a great way to dress up the brussel sprout for a dramatic flavor that’s fresh, rich, and delicious. When roasted or baked, the brussel sprout is not nearly as bitter as it is when eaten raw. This side pairs well with just about any meat or can be made ahead and taken to-go or lunch.
24. Garlic-Butter & Spinach-Stuffed Mushrooms
This simple recipe is great for sides and healthy snacking on-the-go. You can create a variety by also stuffing the mushrooms with pesto, salsas, or mixed veggies. Each of these featured servings contains 9 grams of protein.
25. Apple Vegetable Stir-Fry
The apples add a bright crunch to the traditional stir-fry veggies and the homemade organa-ginger sauce can be made in bulk for extra meals, dipping sauces, or salad dressings.
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.