WARNING WARNING WARNING: Long Post ahead……sorry I got a little excited and wrote a lot. Whoops!!
That is exactly what I said when I started CrossFit. I was like I will give CrossFit a try but you are not going to suck me into that weirdo Paleo diet thing. I will not drink the Kool-Aid!! Not only have I drank the Kool-Aid but I love it!! So how did it happen?
The first thing that you need to know about me is that I am a sugar addict. I love anything and everything sweet. If there was a sugar patch I would have one or two. If there was a rehab for sugar addicts I would have been there many times over. By Christmas this year my sugar habit had spiraled way out of control. Every meal that I ate required a dessert or “yummy” snack afterwards. There was not a meal out with my husband that I passed up the dessert menu regardless of how full I was. I knew that it was time to make a change.
At the time I went home for Christmas my mom was raving about a Paleo website called “The clothes make the girl” and how delicious and easy her recipes were. My mom was looking fabulous so I did some research about Paleo and found that one of the biggest things that Paleo advocates for is fresh food. No processed food and no sugar. Sidebar: Fresh food is amazing!! Not only is it prettier then processed food but it smells and tastes better.
This prompted me to read two books: Living Paleo for Dummies and It Starts with Food. Both books were fantastic. It explains what Paleo is, the science behind it and how to incorporate it into your life. It Starts with Food talks more about why you should choose Paleo and the science behind it. Living Paleo for Dummies also goes into the benefits of Paleo. The best part of the book though, shows how easily you can incorporate Paleo into your own daily life. The authors who wrote It Starts with Food also developed “The Whole30”. This is a 30-day program that challenges you to eat completely 100% strict Paleo. No cheese, no bread, no gluten, no dairy, no sugar and NO SODA. Mostly fresh vegetables, meats and some fruits. I am not going to lie, it was a challenging thirty days. Surprisingly, the thing that I craved the most was alcohol. This was a shock to me because I have never been a big drinker. What was also startling to me was how easy it was to cut out the soda after a week. I was sure that not having soda was going to be the downfall but apparently one can live a full and happy life free of soda. Who knew!!
What I learned from this experience is that Paleo for one is not a diet it is a lifestyle like being a vegan or vegetarian. Even cutting out all those things I never once felt deprived. Paleo recipes are easy, delicious and there are tons of websites and books dedicated to Paleo food. Paleo is about listening to your body. It is not about weighing food and counting calories. It is about eating, fresh delicious food and enjoying every moment until your body tells you that you are full. The biggest lesson that I learned is that the food that you put into your body makes a difference in how it runs and how you feel. After starting Paleo I noticed that my energy increased, I slept more soundly and that my mood improved.
I highly suggest to anyone to give it a try. I know that diving into the Whole-30 at first can seem daunting so I suggest just making little changes. Eating eggs for breakfast instead of oatmeal. It is important to congratulate yourself on any improvement that you make and to not beat yourself up when you make a less then stellar choice. When you add up all the good choices you make over the days, weeks, months you will be surprised at how good you feel and also how far you have come!! I don’t Paleo perfectly and I probably never will but I keep making small changes to my diet. I know that these little changes have made a big change in my life.
Yummy Paleo peppers from “Everyday Paleo”
Supper easy to make and so good. Believe me if I can make them so can you!!!