Design Your Exit Strategy
Every exit is an entry somewhere…
Think of this week as one long graduation ceremony. I’m giving you what you need to continue succeeding and cheering you on. You’re stepping into the real world in style.
1. Create your own food pyramid
Since we reintroduced so many foods, you can identify which of those items belong in your permanent food pyramid. Think about how often you’d like to include those foods according to your goals and reactions. Oftentimes, adding some of these foods back makes your own ‘paleo diet’ more sustainable and easier to stick with. Create your own 80/20 rule, too. Eighty per cent of the time you could follow the paleo diet, and for the remaining twenty, you can include your favourite non-paleo foods and treats.
You will find many healthy, non-paleo recipes on this blog that reflect my own 80/20 approach.
2. DIY Meal Planning Like A Boss
There are no new meal plans or recipes for next week, which means that it is up to you to design your own, healthy, well-balanced meal plan for the following week. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Download your own blank meal planning template here.
As you know by now, we need a range of nutrients to stay healthy, and ideally, most of them should come from real food. Variation equals balance so when you plan your weekly menu (and you should!), here are some nutritious foods to include regularly:
- A rainbow of fruit and vegetables
- Red meat
- Oily fish
- White meat
- Safe starches
- Healthy fats – oils, butter/ghee, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut milk or cream
- Fermented foods
- Some pleasure foods (dark chocolate, red wine, aged cheese)
When planning your meals try to include the following:
- Cooked and raw dishes – try to have some raw vegetables and fruit every day.
- Bone broth – have it as is, in stews and soups, in sauces and gravies, or with braised vegetables.
- Slow cooked meat dish – slow and wet cooking are the healthier ways to cook meat so think curries, stews and braises.
- Soup – nourishing and comforting, this is a great way to get more vegetables in your body.
- Fish dish – grilled, steamed or roasted are all great ways to incorporate more fish and don’t forget that tinned sardines, tuna or salmon are easy and cheap options you can add to a lunch salad. Seafood is also a great weekly addition.
- Vegetable sides – every dish you eat should have some vegetables on the side, whether cooked or as a side salad.
- Alternatively, it should be some fresh fruit.
- Salads – these are great as stand-alone meals, just add some protein and healthy fats. Check out my Salad A Day eBook here.
So, when you look at your shopping basket, ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Do I see a rainbow?
- Do I see a cut of meat I haven’t tried before?
- Do I have some green leafy vegetables as well as starchy root vegetables?
- Do I have some fish or seafood?
- Do I have fresh herbs?
Are you ready to design your own meal plan for Week 9? You can use recipes from the program or adapt dishes and ideas from your favourite cookbooks and my blog. I have close to 500 recipes to choose from here. Share your sample meal plans with us on Facebook or Instagram.
3. Staying active for life
The key? Finding what you LOVE to do. We weren’t all destined for Crossfit, nor are we all cut out for running marathons. Instead of forcing yourself to the gym, find something that beckons you.
Find the activities that feel like fun, not work! Sign up for local challenges at your gym, 5k’s for a good cause or work events. Do something that is easily incorporated into the everyday life that you envision doing in your future.
4. Implementing habits that work for you
Remember my tip from the other day to “Pick Your Three?” Do it! Again, we asked you to do so much on a daily basis throughout these nine weeks. Ideally, you could maintain those daily rituals forever, but it’s just not feasible. When we think further down the line, it’s all about the stuff that works for you. What offers you the most benefits? Think quality over quantity here.
5. Set some goals
You’ve got a long year ahead! What do you want to get out of it? We focused a lot on setting goals with this program. See how far you’ve come since your beginning goals, tweak the goals that need to be adjusted, and get rid of goals that maybe now seem unreasonable. You can think daily, weekly, monthly, and up to six months ahead. Don’t reach too far for the future or you could lose sight of the little things – those daily habits – that ultimately lead us to where we’d like to be.
6. Avoid slipping back into old habits
Seems as though developing new and healthy habits is oftentimes a bit more strenuous than letting bad ones bubble up seemingly overnight. Keep new habits strong; remember, it’s mostly about what you ADD rather than subtract. Setbacks are setbacks. Accept them and move on.
One whole week of bad habits? There’s some intent when it comes down to it. You know what makes you feel best. Remind yourself of that when you feel tempted to just throw in the towel.
Keep at it and stay on track this week!