I sit here looking outside to see the beautiful sun. I take a minute to think back a year or two..and wow have things changed for my husband and I’s lifestyle. Most importantly, is how we changed our food habits and the amazing benefits our body has received from going Paleo. There are several Paleo misconceptions out there and I want to clarify a few.
First, people think I eat weird food. No, I don’t eat weird food, I eat food which fuels my body. Going Paleo has taught me a lot about what my body needs to work properly. When I look at what I eat…I eat fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts and coconut milk. Going out is easy and I find I gravitate towards simple versus complex. If something is complex, it often makes for more confusion with a waiter. Simple is…a burger (no bun or cheese) add tomato, pickles and lettuce.
Second, Paleo is not a diet, but a lifestyle. A diet is short lived and often you stop at one point. My husband and I have been Paleo for 18 months now. However, we are 95% Paleo. Occasionally something sneaks in and should not be consumed. My body reacts and now I think about how I will feel if I consume dairy or gluten prior to in taking it. My body is very sensitive to gluten, you can read about it here from a past blog post. Dairy just makes me feel sluggish. If you want to feel great and function in your body, why would you want this to be short-term? I recommend, making it a lifestyle commitment. Clean out the cupboards and do not look back!
Third, deserts are allowed!! Living a Paleo lifestyle has made my taste buds very sensitive to sugar. However, every Sunday I make a sweet treat and cross my fingers it makes it until Friday. Often our deserts survive until Wednesday and then I prepare a batch of cookies. Our sweet treats are flavored with maple syrup or honey…natures natural sugar.
Fourth, hard work and dedication does pay off. Living a Paleo lifestyle has helped tone my muscles and decrease my fat. I am down close to 60 pounds and have went down 6 pant sizes. The number on the scale has only budged a few pounds in the last 4 months and I’m ok with this. I have learned the number doesn’t define you…pushing until you can push no further does. This means…muscles are growing and my passion to beat my personal goals keeps happening!
Fifth, have a support network on your side. I’m fortunate to have three important people by my side. First would be my husband who got on board because I told him he could eat what I cook or cook for himself. Needless to say, his cooking abilities are low and he jumped on board. He has a special wand, waves it when he walks in the door and meals magically appear on the table…wink wink. Next would be my trainer, whom I now call my friend. She pushes me nutritionally and physically. However, her pushes are never because she says so, rather to think outside the box. She’s also my walking book of health food options and I like to pick her brain weekly, ok maybe daily. Last would be a co-worker and friend. She always provides the positive outlook to things and reminds me how far I have come. She is also one who doesn’t say anything to all the weird things I eat, just gives me a facial expression. However, find your support network and success will follow. Leave those behind who urge you to ‘break’ your Paleo eating habit. In the end, they are jealous of determination and success!
Sixth, eating Paleo is not expensive. We gave up items ($5 fancy coffee) and put it towards healthy items. We are aware of the dirty dozen fruits/veggies and pick wisely when going with an organic option. You will find me shopping ALDI in the organic area because the prices are almost half of grocery store chains. Know what your community has to offer, we do participate in a CSA during the summer and shop the grocery story/Co-Op during the other months. We have found buying a pig or grass-fed cow, is cheaper than purchasing from the grocery store. However, this does need storage space. I recommend buying local when possible.
Seventh, staying on track is hard. Honestly, once you are on board for living the Paleo lifestyle…staying on track is easy. To motivate me, I follow several blogs, Facebook pages and instragram pictures to remind me eating this way is FUN!! I also like reading about their successes. Some of my favorite people are: Paleo Parents, The Paleo Mom, Taylor Made It, Civilized Caveman and PaleOMG. Several of these people have cookbooks and create great dishes!!
Eighth…Paleo people only eat nuts, fruit, vegetables and meat. This is true, but do you know how many dishes you can create with them? I love to create elaborate dishes which don’t contain gluten or dairy…people can’t imagine how dishes taste without cheese or bread. But my question back is…do you know how your body would run without them in your gut?
Ninth…Paleo people can’t go on vacation. I disagree, this past Spring Break my husband and I cruised on Royal Carribean and living a Paleo lifestyle was easy. You can read about it here. Planning is the key to success. If you have a plan, success will follow. I do have a few favorite pre-packaged items always with me in the event I need to eat on the road. A few favorites: Paleo Steve items, Justin’s Almond Butter, and KIT Bars.
Tenth…Living a Paleo lifestyle is hard. I think it is easy, but it took me time to find this out. We toyed with Paleo for close to 4 months, prior to digging in deep and gutting our cupboards. You are in control of your body and only you can control what you put it in. Each person has their reason for going Paleo and for me it is because eating clean has results and I have seen them on myself first hand. If you are considering Paleo, send me an e-mail and I would be happy to give you some reading material suggestions. I had to read about “Paleo” before starting it and committing to it.
You can find me on Instragram here or on Facebook here. I post more on Instagram because I feel a picture speaks a million words!