Healthy Diet Secrets: How To Go Paleo

You keep hearing about the Paleo diet, but do you know how to actually follow it? It’s not as scary as it might seem. Here’s how to go Paleo in a few steps.

When you first heard about people going Paleo, maybe you thought it was all about meat. The stereotype is that followers of the Paleo diet tend to eat like dinosaurs or cavemen – all meat, all the time, not much else.

But that’s not actually the case. The definition of the Paleo diet? Eating more protein and fiber than you are probably used to and getting healthier in the process.

In other words, you eat super healthy food in its whole state that you already know is really good for you, from protein to beef, chicken and fish to produce to healthy fats (think avocado and almond butter and olive oil).

You’re taking the whole gluten-free thing a whole step further and you’re not going to eat any grains whatsoever. And you’re definitely cutting out the typical junk food you’ve been used to eating.

If you want more energy and to just generally feel amazing every single day, which you probably do (because who wouldn’t?), then you definitely want to follow the Paleo diet.

But if you’re sad about saying goodbye to gluten-filled treats and sugar, don’t be. You might just find this whole Paleo diet is just what you need. Here’s how to go Paleo.

1) Throw out processed food

The first rule of going Paleo? You definitely overhaul your cupboard and fridge and throw out any and all processed foods. That goes for sugar, too.

You probably know that you shouldn’t eat processed food on a regular basis, but if you truly want to follow the Paleo diet, then you have to walk the talk.

Why do you want to avoid this stuff? Because processed food has tons of ingredients that you really don’t want to put into your body, from sugar to way too much salt.

The thing is that when you go Paleo, you have to rely on your own kitchen and your own cooking skills since you can’t exactly just heat up a box of processed tomato sauce and make a pot of pasta and call it a night.

But it doesn’t have to be hard. Make easy meals based on simple components like salmon, a sweet potato, and some broccoli and you’ll be good to go.

2) Rethink what you eat for breakfast

When people first go Paleo, they’re super confused about what to eat first thing in the morning. After all, you’re probably used to eating a pretty standard breakfast, from toast with peanut butter to a bowl of granola and milk.

But a Paleo breakfast is much different. It’s got more protein and healthy fats and less refined carbs (aka white bread). But don’t worry, you can definitely make a Paleo breakfast. Think eggs and steak or bacon with some sweet potatoes and greens. Easy.

If you think that you’re going to feel much better starting the day off this way, you’re absolutely right. And since you know you need breakfast to function and focus, that’s music to your ears.

3) Eat more protein

If you think that the Paleo diet is about protein, well, you’re totally right. But it’s about choosing the right proteins. A true Paleo diet plan includes a variety of protein sources from chicken to fish to beef, and the idea is that the beef should definitely be grass-fed (aka the animals feed on grass, not grains).

If that’s out of your budget, though, don’t worry – it’s generally believed that it’s okay to start smaller and buy what you can.

4) Focus on fat

Raw salmon steak and vegetables for cooking on a light wooden background in a rustic style

Unfortunately, we’ve been pretty terrified of fat since the 1980s. It’s like we’re all living in a horror movie and fat is the evil demon everyone is running from.

But we don’t have to be afraid of fat anymore. In fact, fat is totally your BFF. Go for avocado, nut butter (peanuts aren’t Paleo so you want to get into almond butter), nuts, and good quality oils like olive oil. Salmon counts too. As long as you include a fat source at each meal and learn the proper portions, you don’t have to worry about going overboard.

So why should you eat fat? You will not only feel better and have a great time focusing right now but the long-term health effects are pretty awesome, too: you can stop yourself from getting anything from dementia to mental health problems and heart disease.

5) Don’t forget carbs

The stereotype is definitely that following the Paleo diet means not eating any carbs at all. That couldn’t be more wrong.

Yeah, you’re not going to eat bread or pasta, but it turns out that veggies actually have carbs. Yes, really.

Potatoes (both white and sweet) totally count as healthy carbs, and Paleo people definitely go nuts over plantains and all kinds of squashes.

You can also work apples, blueberries, and bananas into your diet. Compare these stats: one sweet potato has 26 grams of carbs, one banana has 27, and 1 cup of blueberries has 21 grams.

Experts definitely agree that you need carbs in order to be healthy, since they help you with sleep and they keep you in a good mood and they help your thyroid, too.

But everyone is different so the best way for you to follow a Paleo diet is to see how many carbs work for you. You’ll know when you feel really good and energetic and just feel like it’s all working well.

6) Believe in the lifestyle

Beautiful young woman with organic carrots in a vegetable garden

Going Paleo is actually all about following a new healthy lifestyle. It’s not all about steak and bacon and eggs (although, of course, those foods totally are a part of it, too).

The idea of the Paleo diet is that you have to make it work for you. So that means there are tons of gray area foods, from dairy to rice. If you can eat those foods and feel good, then you should definitely eat them.

If you find they make you feel sick, then cut them out. Basically, listen to yourself and you’ll never be steered in the wrong direction.

Following the Paleo diet also means making sure you get enough sleep every single night. The cool part is that all these things totally work together.

So once you cut out the sugar and junk food from your diet and start eating whole foods that are really good for you, you will definitely naturally see a difference in your energy levels and how well you sleep.

But another huge part of being Paleo? That would be learning how to deal when you have a stressful time at work or something’s going on in your personal life.

Making a change in your lifestyle is always tough and tricky at first. You question whether you can really handle it or if you should go back to your old gluten-eating and pizza-loving ways.

But you can absolutely handle the Paleo diet because you can make decisions that work for you. And the truth is that once you see how great you feel, well, you won’t ever want to look back.

Do you follow a Paleo diet? Have you ever wanted to try it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!


6 Quick And Easy Ways To Enjoy Avocado

If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll be thrilled to learn that avocado and sugar are a great combination; and if you’re not, salt goes just as well with avocado!

1. With salt or sugar


Add some sugar if you have a sweet tooth and salt if you prefer things more savory.

Here’s how to do it: Cut your avocado into two halves. Remove the seed. Cut the flesh from the two halves into smaller pieces, then put the chopped pieces in a bowl and sprinkle approximately half a tablespoon of sugar on them. If you opt for salt over sugar, add a bit of black pepper as well. When everything is ready, simply grab a spoon, sit back and enjoy your snack!

2. As a base for baked eggs

baked eggs in an avocado

For a heavier snack, you can try “baked eggs in avocado.”

Here’s how to make it: Slice an avocado in half, remove the seed and scoop out a bit of the flesh from each half to make some room for the egg. Then, break an egg into each half. Afterwards, place the avocado halves in a small baking dish. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and let the avocado halves bake for 20 minutes. When they are ready, season them with salt and pepper, and dig right in!

3. In a vegetable salad

avocado salad

I’m not a huge fan of salads, but I figured that adding avocado to them would make them more appealing—and it worked! My current favorite is avocado, lettuce and tomato.

Here’s how to make it: Along with one diced avocado, I use one or two diced tomatoes and 80g of shredded lettuce. Mix these in a bowl, and add a bit of salt, lemon juice and olive oil just to give it a bit of flavor. For the days when I’m a bit hungrier than usual, I add pieces of fried chicken to the mixture or eat the salad with three or four baked chicken wings. Yum!

4. With salmon

avocado and salmon on a toast

Salmon is another of my favorite healthy foods, and nothing goes better with it than avocadoes! When preparing my avocado and salmon meal, I start by cooking the salmon.

Here’s how to make it: First, I season my salmon fillet with a mixture of curry powder, ginger, paprika and flour, then shallow-fry it on the cooker or bake the coated salmon in the oven for about 15 minutes. While the salmon cooks, I slice my avocado into thin slices and sprinkle some salt, black pepper and olive oil onto the pieces. To complete the meal, I make a small cup of rice to go with it; when I want an alternative to rice, I have some roasted potatoes instead. This meal makes for a very tasty and filling lunch or dinner. Try it for yourself and see.

5. As a sandwich filling

poached eggs and toast

One of my favorite things about the flesh in an avocado is how soft it is. This makes it easy to mash, which means that it can be used in other ways, too.

Here’s how to use it: One of the easiest ways to use mashed avocado is as a spread for a sandwich! Forego your usual margarine one morning, and spread mashed avocado onto each slice of your bread instead. If you want a heavier sandwich, you can add a slice of ham, some salami or slices of boiled egg to your avocado sandwich as well. Wash it all down with a cup of tea or coffee afterwards.

6. As Guacamole


Guacamole is another favorite of mine simply because it can be enjoyed with a wide range of things. Whether it’s a snack like tortilla chips or a heavier meal like burritos or fajitas, guacamole is one of the tastiest sides to go with it. It’s also quite filling, which reduces the number of tortilla chips I eat with it or the amount of other fillings I put in my burrito and fajita wraps; it also reduces how much I eat afterwards.

Here’s how I make my favorite guacamole recipe: I mix mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, lemon juice, salt and black pepper together. For something a bit spicier, I add some paprika or salsa sauce to the mix.

How do you prefer to eat your avocados? What are your favorite avocado recipes? Share them below to give other queens even more ideas on how to enjoy avocados.


5 Healthy Smoothies You Need To Try

It’s never been easier to be vegan now that everybody seems to be doing their bit. Here are five vegan smoothies that are both tasty and cruelty free!

There’s no denying that many people are beginning to face facts about where their food actually comes from; people are waking up to the shocking truths behind the meat and dairy industry and are now making the switch to a vegan lifestyle.

There’s also no denying that many people are starting to eat more healthily and be kinder to their bodies. The good news is you can do both with these delicious, dairy-free smoothies.

Not only are smoothies a great way to get some extra goodness into your diet, but they are also refreshingly cool on a hot day and make a great on-the-go snack for busy queens!

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (I use coconut or almond.)
– 1 TS Peanut Butter (heaped, smooth or crunchy)
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Handful of Kale/Spinach (Optional)
– Ice (Optional)

Health Benefits: Peanut butter is high in protein and fiber, and contains healthy fats. The kale and spinach add extra goodness without altering the taste of the smoothie. In particular, kale is a superfood that is full of antioxidants, low in calories, high in fiber and contains no fat.

Drink when… you need an extra energy boost, substituting a meal for a smoothie as it fills you up or as a post-workout snack.

The Great Green Smoothie

The Great Green Smoothie

– 1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened) / Coconut Water
– 1 Big Handful of Kale (washed)
– ½ Medium Avocado
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Handful of Grapes (peeled if possible)
– ¼ Cucumber (sliced)
– Ice

Health Benefits: This is just about the healthiest smoothie you can drink! Kale is full of fiber and antioxidants. Avocados contain healthy fats; they lower cholesterol and are also full of fiber (and have many other health benefits).

Bananas are full of potassium, which helps to keep your heart healthy, and chia seeds are great little seeds of goodness providing energy, protein and omega-3.

Drink when… you wake up to start your day off right.

Red Berry Smoothie

Red Berry Smoothie

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk / Coconut Water
– 1 Big Handful of Raspberries (frozen)
– 1 Big Handful of Pitted Cherries (frozen or fresh)
– 2 Handfuls of Strawberries
– 1 Banana (chunked)
– Ice
– Chia Seeds (Optional)

Health Benefits: This smoothie has four different. Raspberries are quite low in sugar, and they are full of vitamin C. Cherries contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds and have been shown to aid sleep as they contain the natural sleep aid melatonin.

Drink when… you’re craving a mid-afternoon snack, or you’re struggling to fit in all of your recommended daily fruit.

Refreshing Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

Refreshing Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

– 1 Cup Almond Milk (unsweetened) / Pineapple/Mango Fruit Juice
– 1 Banana Broken (chunked)
– 2 Large Handfuls of Mango (frozen)
– 1 Large Handful of Pineapple (frozen)
– 1 Handful of Papaya (frozen)
– Ice (if using fresh fruit)

Health Benefits: Mangoes are known to have an abundance of health benefits, so why wouldn’t you want to put them in a smoothie?

They help to keep cholesterol low, contain lots of vitamins C and A, help to unclog pores—which means clearer skin—and they can even help with poor concentration.

Mangoes and bananas both contain potassium, which helps to control blood pressure and maintain a healthy heart.

Drink when… you want a refreshingly cool snack on a hot summer’s day.

The Classic Strawberry and Banana

The Classic Strawberry and Banana

– 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk / Coconut Water
– 1½ Bananas (chunked)
– 5-10 Large Strawberries (to taste)
– Ice
– Grapes (peeled if possible, optional)
– Chia Seeds (optional)

Health Benefits: Bananas are full of potassium, which is good for a healthy heart. They are also a wonderful source of energy, while strawberries are a great source of vitamin C. This smoothie is also low in fat and relatively low in calories.

Drink when… you want a snack, or when you’re craving a strawberry milkshake but would rather have a healthier, dairy free alternative.

Has anyone tried any of these? What did you think? Do you have a favorite non-dairy smoothie recipe not featured on this list that you’d like to share? Leave a comment!

credits: youqueen

7 Reason To Go Vegan Today

Do you think that veganism is not exactly the type of diet for you? Check out these 7 reasons to go vegan and why switching your diet could be your best decision ever!

Like most women, you probably try your best to live a healthy lifestyle. You go to yoga on a regular basis, you eat kale, quinoa, and sweet potatoes and you make time for the gym. You still consume eggs, meat, and cheese, though, because that’s just the way you’ve always eaten.

There are so many diets out there, from Paleo and gluten-free to alkaline—how are you supposed to figure out which one is right for you? Maybe you have friends who are completely committed to the vegan lifestyle, or perhaps no one you know has taken the health food plunge yet.

If you’ve been wanting to change up your diet, you might want to think about going the vegan route—and no, you don’t have to eat tofu.

1. It’s simple

going vegan

No doubt about it, cooking can be hard—especially after a long day at the office. That gets even tougher when you’re cooking with meat. You have to decide if you want chicken, fish, beef or pork so you can build your meal around your chosen protein.

You also have to pick a cooking style (bake, saute, grill, fry, etc.). As if that’s not enough, you have to make sure that your meat is cooked properly so you don’t get sick.

Going vegan eliminates the need for all of that. You can build simple meals around protein like beans or grains, and add some green veggies—like spinach or kale—and some healthy fats like an olive oil salad dressing or some avocado. Dinner is done.

2. It’s healthy

going vegan

If you turn vegan, you automatically eat so many more vegetables—it just works out that way—but you’ll also want to build your meals around veggies since they’re extremely filling.

When you swap out meat for healthy protein/carb combos like quinoa or millet, you’re getting all those nutrients, and you’re definitely stocking up on vitamins and minerals from all those veggies you’re learning to like.

3. It’s trendy

going vegan

Okay, so you don’t always want to do something just because it’s popular as that would definitely get you into some trouble. However, becoming vegan is trendier than ever right now and that is exactly why it might be the right choice for you.

Vegan cookbooks like Angela Liddon’s The Oh She Glows Cookbooks are topping the bestseller lists while bloggers like Ella Woodward of are creating amazing recipes, going on book tours and even coming up with their own food products.

When something becomes trendy, it becomes a lot of fun and veganism is no different. These famous vegans make you want to be part of the whole community. Suddenly, eating oatmeal with banana, nut butter, and chia seeds or a great big green smoothie for breakfast seems so much cooler than your typical eggs and toast.

4. It’s creative

going vegan

When you take meat out of the equation, you can do so many cool things with food. Vegan bloggers and chefs are getting creative in the kitchen these days, making dishes like cream sauce made from cashews and jam with chia seeds. You can also make some awesome desserts like chocolate pudding using avocados.

You can follow recipes or come up with your own—either way, you’re bound to succeed. After all, you’re using ingredients that are foolproof: it’s hard to overcook kale or mess up a grain salad made with quinoa and fresh veggies.

If you’ve been in a food rut and eat nothing but grilled chicken and broccoli for dinner, this might be the right way to switch up your healthy eating.

5. It’s logical


If you want to be as healthy as possible (which you probably do—no one really wants to live off take-out chicken wings and french fries), then you know that fuelling your body with real, whole foods is the way to go.

That, of course, means trading gluten-filled toast for a protein powder-packed green smoothie for breakfast, your typical sandwich for a huge salad for lunch and making any number of fun dinners (from vegan chili to stews to grain bowls).

Eating whole foods makes sense because you’re literally eating something with one ingredient list. It’s a sweet potato and that’s it. There are no weird chemicals or fillers.

6. It’s empowering

going vegan

If you make the transition to a plant-based diet, you’re going to feel immensely proud of yourself. You’re going to have to learn to cook, too, because there’s really no way around that. Say goodbye to the days when you grabbed quick take-out on your way home from work. You’re not going to be relying on prepared foods anymore.

Learning to take care of yourself and your body is an empowering thing. Your confidence will soar (along with your energy levels) and you’ll want to keep learning how to cook. You’ll also want to keep going on your healthy journey. What’s better than that?

7. It’s inspiring

going vegan

When you turn vegan, you’re doing something great for yourself and the environment. Giving up meat means you’re not causing pollution in the world or in your body—you’re reducing your heart disease risk, too.

Sometimes, it’s really cool to feel like part of a bigger community that believes in something, and you will definitely get that if you become a vegan. Going vegan is definitely a big step, but it just might be a lifestyle change that will change your life for the better.

Are you a vegan? Would you ever consider it—even for a month trial period? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!