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25 Easy Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try (And Go Paleo) This Week

25 Easy Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try (And Go Paleo) This Week

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.

    ~ Get the recipe here!

    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.

      ~ Get the recipe here!

      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.

        ~ Get the recipe here!

        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.

          ~ Get the recipe here!

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          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.

            ~ Get the recipe here!

            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.

              ~ Get the recipe here!

              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.

                ~ Get the recipe here!

                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.

                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                  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.

                    ~ Get the recipe here!

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                    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.

                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                      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.

                        ~ Get the recipe here!

                        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.

                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                          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.

                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                            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.

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                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                              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.

                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                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.

                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                  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.

                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                    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.

                                      ~ Get the recipe here!

                                      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.

                                        ~ Get the recipe here!

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                                        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.

                                          ~ Get the recipe here!

                                          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.

                                            ~ Get the recipe here!

                                            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.

                                              ~ Get the recipe here!

                                              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.

                                                ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                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.

                                                  ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                  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.

                                                    ~ Get the recipe here!

                                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                                                    Alexa Sponaugle

                                                    Holistic Health Coach

                                                    25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work 25 Easy Fast Healthy Dinner Recipes to Try (And Go Paleo) This Week 25 Healthy Summer Recipes to Enhance Your Mind and Strengthen Your Body 25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

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                                                    Last Updated on October 5, 2020

                                                    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                                    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss (The Ultimate Weight Loss Hack)

                                                    Intermittent fasting weight loss is a type of diet that’s rapidly growing in popularity and becoming the way to lose weight. Scientists and nutrition experts like it, too. New books and articles on the topic are being published daily. Intermittent fasting is also popular with followers of the Paleo diet since our ancestors appear to have eaten this way for thousands of years.

                                                    I’ve been following this type of diet myself for 2 years. Doing so helped me lose and keep off 70 pounds without ever having to count calories, limit carbohydrates, or eat 6 to 7 meals a day.

                                                    This article teaches you all about intermittent fasting weight loss and details why it is one of the best weight loss diet hacks around. Once you finish, you will be able to implement into your diet and experience the benefits it offers almost immediately.

                                                    What Is Intermittent Fasting?

                                                    As you may have figured from its name, intermittent fasting weight loss is a diet plan where you set fasting periods during the day. This is usually between 16-20 consecutive hours, but it can be as little as 12 hours or as much as 24 hours (or even 36 hours).

                                                    While fasting you can eat and drink low calorie or calorie-free foods. Think coffee, tea, water, and vegetables.

                                                    The more time you spend fasting every day, the better your results. You can do these fasts as often as you like. Again, the more often you do so, the better[1].

                                                    Getting Started With Intermittent Fasting

                                                    Following this diet plan is super simple. All you have to do is choose a period of time during the day that you will fast. This should be between 16-20 hours.

                                                    The longer you fast each day, the better. Don’t worry about calorie restriction or measuring carbohydrates. Just focus on going about your day until it’s time to eat.

                                                    It’s best to choose a set period of time to conduct your fast. I like to fast from 8 PM to 4 PM the following afternoon. I’ll then have my first meal of the day and a snack or two a few hours later. Once 8 o’clock rolls around, it’s back to fasting.

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                                                    My experience with intermittent fasting is that it’s best to start with a 16 hour fast (i.e. 8PM one evening to 12PM the next day) for the first 1-2 weeks. Once you are comfortable with this schedule, you can increase the amount of time you spend fasting. Do this by adding 30 minutes to each fast until you get to where you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.

                                                    You don’t have to fast every day in the beginning either. You may be more comfortable breaking in slowly with 2 or 3 days per week, or trying alternate day fasting. Add additional days of intermittent fasting as you become more comfortable with this style of eating.

                                                    Tips To Make Intermittent Fasting Easier

                                                    1. Drink Plenty of Water

                                                    Squeeze a little lemon or lime juice into your water to help get rid of any cravings you experience. You can also drink coffee, tea, or other calorie-free beverages. After a few weeks, you will find that intermittent fasting keeps you from craving sugar entirely.

                                                    2. Take in Caffeine in the Morning and Early Afternoon

                                                    The caffeine in coffee and tea may actually make intermittent fasting weight loss a little easier since it’s good for curbing your appetite. Be careful not to overindulge as this may lead to you feeling a little too wired. I also recommend these natural energy boosting tips to keep you going during the day.

                                                    3. Avoid Artificially Flavored Drinks

                                                    One type of calorie-free drink that should be avoided are diet sodas and other beverages that use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet & Low. Studies show that the can actually stimulate your appetite[2] like a drink that contains sugar and cause you to overeat.

                                                    4. Don’t Gorge at Your First Meal

                                                    The first meal after your fast should be the amount of food you typically eat. Binging will only make you feel awful and diminish the benefits you get from the fast.

                                                    To avoid this, try creating meal plans, at least for the first few weeks. This will help you get into the rhythm of eating regularly portioned meals during your eating window.

                                                    5. Minimize Processed Carbohydrates and Sugars

                                                    While intermittent fasting does make it possible to eat a little looser than normal, you should still eat as little bread, pasta, rice, etc. as possible.

                                                    Focus instead on eating protein from beef, fish, or pork, carbohydrates from vegetables, fruit, and sweet potatoes, and healthy fats from foods like almonds, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

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                                                    You can find some carb sources that will aid your weight loss journey here.

                                                    How Intermittent Fasting Helps You Lose Weight

                                                    Eating this way has many benefits with regard to weight loss. The first is that when you’re fasting, your body will be forced to use its stored body fat for energy. Burning calories this way, instead of from the food you’re eating throughout the day, will help you experience significant weight loss, but specifically lose weight from any excess body fat you’re carrying.

                                                    This means that you won’t just be thinner, but you will also look better and be much healthier than if you lose weight the old-fashioned way[3].

                                                    Intermittent fasting can help optimize the release of the key fat-burning hormones in your body. This is especially true for the two most important hormones: human growth hormone (HGH) and insulin.

                                                    Human growth hormone plays a key role in turning on your body’s fat-burning furnace so that it gets the calories you need to work and play from stored body fat. Studies show that fasting can significantly increase the production of HGH[4].

                                                    The influence intermittent fasting weight loss has on insulin is just as impressive and possibly more important. Keeping your insulin levels low and steady is key to losing excess fat and keeping it off.

                                                    Diets that are rich in processed carbohydrates (bread, pasta, rice) and simple sugars (candy, cookies, and soda) have the opposite effect. They cause your insulin levels to rapidly spike and then crash every time you eat one of these foods. The net result of this phenomenon is that your body will store more of what you eat as excess body fat instead of burning it off as energy.

                                                    Chronically elevating your insulin levels like this can also lead to the development of type II diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. Intermittent fasting easily solves this problem.

                                                    One study found that men who participated in intermittent fasting had “dramatically lower insulin levels and significantly improved insulin sensitivity”[5].

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                                                    This happens because you’re not giving your body food, so it will not produce insulin, allowing insulin levels to balance out until you eat again. This helps your body stay in a calorie and fa-burning state. You’ll also find that it gives you more energy throughout the day.

                                                    Another great weight loss benefit of intermittent fasting is that hunger pangs and cravings that may normally plague you throughout the day will be reduced, if not altogether eliminated. This is probably due to its ability to balance your insulin and blood sugar levels and, in turn, help correct other hormonal imbalances.

                                                    Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss FAQs

                                                    Now that you know what intermittent fasting is and how to get started, it’s time to answer your other questions.

                                                    Below are answers to the questions frequently asked about intermittent fasting. These answers should help you and make getting started a lot easier.

                                                    How Much Weight Will I Lose?

                                                    The amount of weight you lose with fasting is determined by how often and long your fasts are, what you eat afterward, and other factors. Fasting for 16-20 hours a day can help you safely lose 2-3 pounds of fat every week.

                                                    While losing this much weight every week is great, it’s how it makes it happen that’s really cool. Losing weight with intermittent fasting means that you will never have to count calories or plan and prepare several meals a day.

                                                    Can I Work out While Fasting?

                                                    Yes, you can. In fact, doing the right type of workout while fasting will help you lose weight faster and even build muscle.

                                                    The best workouts to do while fasting for weight loss are 3-4 intense strength training workouts weekly. This means anything from standard strength training to kettlebell or body weight workouts.

                                                    Focus on doing 3-4 total body exercises per workout with as little rest as possible between sets. Doing this will help you burn more calories during and after your workout. You’ll also build muscle, which will help you look and feel better as the weight comes off.

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                                                    Won’t I Lose Muscle When I Fast?

                                                    First of all, you aren’t fasting long enough for your body to start breaking down muscle for energy. You have, perhaps, hundreds of thousands of calories from your stored body fat to use before that will begin to happen. Studies actually show that even after fasting for 3 days, no muscle is lost.

                                                    Is Fasting Safe?

                                                    As long as you are healthy, not pregnant, and aren’t taking medications, fasting is safe. Like all diets, you should discuss it with your doctor before beginning an intermittent fasting style of dieting.

                                                    I also feel that it may not be smart to follow this type of diet when you’re especially stressed. Since this diet can be a little stress-inducing at first, doing so when your ability to be relatively stress-free and rested probably isn’t a good idea.

                                                    Are There Any Supplements I Can Take to Make Fasting Easier?

                                                    As with any other weight loss plan, it’s a good idea to take a few nutritional supplements to ensure that your daily requirements are met. This includes a once or twice daily multi-vitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

                                                    I’ve also found taking 10 grams of branch chain amino acids before and after my workouts really helps, too. They’re great for giving you more energy during your workout and decreasing post-workout muscle soreness.

                                                    For supplements to specifically help with digestion, check out this article.

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    Now you know what intermittent fasting is and how it can help you lose weight quickly, safely, and pretty much effortlessly.

                                                    If you want to give it a try, find a fasting schedule that fits with you lifestyle and give it a go.

                                                    More About Intermittent Fasting

                                                    Featured photo credit: Toa Heftiba via unsplash.com

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