PaleYo

What Am I Going to Eat?

Believe it or not, the list of things you have to AVOID on Paleo is far shorter than what you can enjoy.  We know Paleo does not include gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, processed foods, legumes, grains, or alcohol…and I know perhaps it sounds like your weekend is ruined – BUT I promise you, that is not the case.  You can drink alcohol in moderation, but if the only thing you drink is Bud then you’re going to have to make some adjustments – but that’s for a later blog.

If you start your morning with coffee, good news, you can still drink it – in small quantities without milk and sugar.  You can put almond or coconut milk in it and/or a natural sweetener.  Once you really get into Paleo, you’ll have so much energy that you won’t rely on coffee as a pick-me-up.

So butter is a highly debated subject.  Organic and grass-fed is generally accepted with Paleo.  Good substitutes would be EVOO, coconut oil, or ghee.

Legumes or beans, are not allowed.  They contain phytic acid.  In short, phytic acid binds to nutrients – calcium, iron, zinc, maganese – which doesn’t allow for absorption, thus, making legumes nutrient deficient.  Peanuts are not nuts, they are legumes – so they are not Paleo friendly.

Rice is a grain and grains are a Paleo no-no, but once in awhile I have sushi – you can opt for brown rice, too.

Some new things you will probably be introduced to are almond flour, almond milk, ghee, and coconut aminos.  Once you give them a try, you’ll see how good they actually are.

“You are amazing.  Remember that.”

Eat Until You Feel Full

One question I always get asked is, “How much do you get to eat?”  People make the assumption that we hardly eat anything, which is not true.  When you follow a Paleo diet, you eat until you feel full.  If you follow the recipes, you’ll learn the foods that help make substantial meals that make and keep you satisfied.  You will feel fuller longer.

Another thing with Paleo, you have to keep an open mind.  There’s a lot of new foods that are going to be introduced to you, with the exception of a few – I enjoy them all.  Although, I’m not a big fish person.  You’ll be eating real foods that aren’t processed, your body will thank you.

Just a little tip, become friends with a lot of spices – they are your best friends.  You can make amazing tasting meals with different combinations of spices.  Best part, they are all Paleo approved!

“I spend a lot of time holding the refrigerator door open looking for the answers.”

Paleo Expectations

You will notice substantial changes in your overall health and well-being.  You will have sustainable weight loss, increased energy, and little to no digestive issues.  There hasn’t been much scientific evidence supporting this, but the proof is in the (Paleo) pudding.

Once you replace the processed foods with whole, clean food, you’ll see the weight come off and you will eventually achieve your body’s optimal health level.  You will experience overall improvements with blood pressure, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

You will be eating lean means, vegetables, and fruits.  The meat will give you protein and iron, and the vegetables and fruits will provide potassium, dietary fiber, and folic acid.  If you’re concerned about where you’ll get your calcium from – just eat more calcium rich veggies, fruits, and nuts – leafy greens, oranges, and almonds.

One thing I definitely noticed was my increased energy.  I didn’t feel bogged down.  You’re eating more foods with low glycemic indices.  “Good” sugars are absorbed more slowly.  Another thing was my skin.  I looked healthy and had that glow.  If you experience skin problems, Paleo will eventually clear them up.

“Good things come to those who believe.  Better things come to those who are patient.  And the best things come to those who don’t give up.”

Problems with the Standard American Diet

The way we eat is leaving us feeling unhealthy, unhappy, and out of shape.  Why?

Most of the meals we eat are processed and include bread, grains, or pasta.  Grains make up a big portion of the food pyramid.  Once you start researching and delving into Paleo, you’ll learn that grains are one of the biggest culprits.  They are proven to mess up your gut.  They cause a lot of digestive problems and inflammation in many Americans.

Many people focus too much on counting calories.  With Paleo, calories don’t count.  Americans who count calories consume low-calorie, over processed foods with very little – if any – nutritional value.  This does not lead to a healthy lifestyle.

The average American consumes about 20 teaspoons of sugar per day – more than double the recommended amount.  High sugar consumption leads to weight gain, but also hormonal and chemical changes.  Why would you want to do that to yourself?

It may seem like Paleo is pretty mundane and super restrictive, but it’s not.  There’s a lot of ways to get different flavors in – and I promise, you won’t even miss your favorite meal (you’ll just have to come up with a new, better way to make it!).  I dedicated a lot of time looking up Paleo versions of recipes of food that I loved before I was Paleo.  I’ll share some of those recipes with you in upcoming posts.

When you adopt the Paleo lifestyle, you get to taste new foods that may have been unfamiliar to you, you gain a greater appreciation for food, and you see the benefits of Paleo and the way it affects your body.

“If you keep going, you won’t regret it.  If you give up, you will.”

Stick to 30 Days!

When I first started my Paleo journey in 2013, it wasn’t as popular as it is now.  I researched everything I could.  I bought every book I could find.  Food shopping would take me hours – I was learning new foods and I was reading every single label!  Now, food shopping is much easier, plus, most of the food is fresh.  I was lucky enough to have someone in my life who gave me a lot of advice and guidance – Dr. Noah.  I have learned so much along the way.  Dr. Noah has a podcast on iTunes – you should all go SUBSCRIBE – Beyond Your Wildest Genes.

Transitioning to Paleo can be difficult.  You need to have support and the right tools.  I spent 30 days focusing on Paleo – learning, adapting, and starting to love it.  You should never deprive yourself, and there are ways to do everything Paleo-style, I promise.

Paleo refers to the way our ancestors used to eat in the Paleolithic era.  The modern American diet is our worst enemy (but of course, this differs from person to person).  You need to be eating whole, clean foods!  No more GMO, processed, junk food.  The whole foods have nutrients that our bodies need.  Paleo is a lifestyle, not a fad diet – so if you adapt and you stick to it – it works!  With Paleo you have to ditch grains, legumes, diary, sugar, and gluten – but in the end, it’s worth it.  I never missed any of it.

I recommend sticking to a 30 day diet strictly – and then modifying it to fit your lifestyle.  If you’re feeling good, you shouldn’t change a thing…but we are all wired differently.

“Just stick with it.  What seems hard now, will one day be your warm up.”

Back to the Basics

What is it that you’re looking for?  Weight loss, health improvements, or a happier lifestyle?  If you make sacrifices and you make Paleo part of your everyday life from here on out, you can accomplish these goals.  You need a simple plan to help get you started!  It takes 30 days.  If you follow the plan precisely – you’ll get what you want out of it.

In 2013, I discovered Paleo.  I was overweight, stressed out, and very unhappy…something needed to change.  Paleo itself changed me – mind, body, and soul – but spending the time to learn and evolve helped me even more.  I turned 30 in 2013 and I knew that then was the time.  I was dedicated.  I was so dedicated that I didn’t go out to eat or have any drinks for 30 days.  I stuck to the plan and I got results.  Over the course of a couple months I lost 43 lbs. and I wasn’t depriving myself of anything.  My palette changed and I ended up really enjoying the foods.  I felt good – I felt healthy.

Without the right tools, Paleo can be a daunting task.  The more you know the less intimidating it is.  Once you understand the principles behind Paleo and how you can apply them in your life and you will start your journey towards a healthy, balanced lifestyle.  Your transition to Paleo will be simplified.

“I’m starting over.  A new pattern of thoughts.  A new wave of emotions.
A new connection to the world.  A new belief system in myself.”

Total Eclipse of the Mind

Maybe it was the eclipse, maybe it’s just an actual good day…but today was a very productive day.

I cleaned my turtle tank (extra good), and gave Francois (the turtle) a scrub down – a turtle spa day, if you will.  I mopped the floors, did laundry (clothes, sheets, and towels!), FOLDED everything (and I hate folding), painted an old cabinet to put my plants in (because now I’m a crazy cat lady), cooked, put gas in my tank, did some boxing rounds, and put all the laundry away!!  Insane.  And, I started the day with a blog post.  WHAT?!  Who am I??  haha

Today, I ate a yogurt when I got to work.  I had eggs with spinach for lunch.  For dinner I made a mexican chicken stir fry.  I didn’t have my fitbit on, but I definitely killed it in steps today!  Woo.  I’m a little sore from boxing, but c’est la vie.  I’m feeling great.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it.  It just blooms.”

 

Keep It Simple

The key is to keep it simple.

My goals for the next few weeks are to building my cardio (again), lose 15 lbs., get healthy, and most importantly – feel amazing.  Feeling good is the priority.  If you don’t just feel good overall – even before reaching your goal – you’ll probably never achieve it.  Keeping it simple, helps you not feel overwhelmed.  I’ve followed Paleo to all different extremes.  I’ve followed a simple 30 day, I looked at books that made me have to search high and low for certain ingredients.  I’ve spent lots of money on food shopping and I’ve also spent hardly nothing.

It took me awhile to learn the basics.  I had to learn new things…I even had to learn how to cook!!  I had to follow books and recipes and plans to a T – because I didn’t understand it.  Now, I’m on a different level.  I get it.  I can integrate it in my own ways.  I understand the basics and the fundamentals of eating a Paleo based diet.

 

Some updates on where I’m at …

I have been working on my cardio and to my surprise, it’s coming back much easier than I thought.  I’ve been eating better and eating much smaller portions.  Although, I am having a hard time giving up my coffee (with sugar).  One thing at a time, right?

My Achilles tendons are still hurting me, so I’m taking my leg work easy.  I don’t need any injuries.  My mind has been in it, long before my body has.  But I’m adopting the attitude of “just get up and go”.  I’m pushing myself a little more than I have – well, a moderate amount more than I have.  I can still be doing more!!  I’ll get there.  I’m feeling good.

I kept my food shopping as simple as I could, as well.  Just bought some meat and lots of veggies.  I also bought a couple oranges and some aloe juice.  When you lead a busy life, sometimes the meal prep can be overwhelming.  It’s also the first thing that I give up if I feel like “I don’t have time”.  I have been finding time to get some good cardio in – keeping it over 35 minutes but under 45 – for maximum fat burning.

What keeps you guys motivated??

“If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.”

Share Your Story

So here we are, it’s summertime.  I failed on getting the beach body I wanted, no surprise though.  Stress and emotional eating will get me every time.  Nobody really needs to understand my story, because we all have our own.  The important part is that I’m trying to be good to myself…I’m trying to get back to where I was.  It’s hard, and some days seem harder than others.

I did make a half gallon of kombucha.  It should be done in a few days, but I probably won’t do a second fermentation.  I’ve also been doing a cleanse…hopefully, break my sugar/bad eating habit, and get back into my paleo ways.  Some days I’m so mentally ready, but then I lose steam and get lazy.  I see all these fitness people on Instagram, and wonder where they get their inspiration.  I wish I could trade my addiction to food for an addiction to working out.  Maybe I can get hypnotized!!  haha.  But seriously, how do we pick up such horrible habits?  Why can’t we break them even if we know they are bad for us?  I already feel stressed, but then I eat and I feel stressed about it.  So why do we want to torture ourselves?  I’m not even sure.

I hope that for anyone out there, you can read my story and get some peace that you’re not alone.  Everyone should share their story.

“When we share our stories, what it does is opens up our hearts for other people
to share their stories.  And it gives us the sense that we are not alone on this journey.”  
– Janine Shepherd –

The Struggle is Real

I find myself struggling to stick to a strict Paleo diet.  I can read it out in my head how I want it to go, but when it comes down to it…I don’t have the same motivation.  Anyone else feel that way?  It’s like I write out this elaborate plan that will definitely work, but when it comes down to it I am derailed.  Only to then feel bad for the bad choices I made, when I KNEW that I could have just stuck with my plan.  I think one problem is that I want results fast (and believe me, they do come pretty quick with a STRICT paleo diet) but, hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day – or so the saying goes.  I start to feel good, and then boom…just like that I’m falling off the wagon.  I haven’t completely fell off, but my grip is starting to get questionable.

Stress and exhaustion also play a big factor in my motivation.  Working a full-time job that’s an overnight shift, and going for my Master’s is not the easiest.  I also have to keep busy ALL THE TIME.  I have that FOMO problem – Fear of Missing Out – so I don’t sleep when I should.  I get tired, but my body won’t let me get a restful sleep.  It’s crazy and something I can’t control.  I have been like this all my life, but I feel like as an adult it became a little more amplified.

My dad’s been sick and that hasn’t been easy to deal with.  He comes to visit me for a few days at a time and when he comes he just wants to go out and eat.  This week though, I made him eat paleo meals – which surprisingly, he was into.  I can’t blame my lack of dedication on anyone but myself…I just wish that I could treat myself better.  I know what’s good for me, and I know this works – WHY CAN’T I JUST DO IT!?  Why does food have to pacify me?  Why do bad eating choices make me feel better??  Ironically, though, those choices only make me feel worse in the end.

I know what I am capable of.  I know the results I can achieve.  I know the time frame in which it can be done…but I’m having a really hard time.  Too often that one day of indulgence leads to a 3 day binge of terrible choices in food.  I thought it would be easier when I didn’t live at my mom’s house anymore.  I thought if I only had paleo choices in my fridge and cabinet – that I would be fine.  My choices would be made.  I forgot how much effort had to be put into the paleo way of life.  Food shopping is expensive – but IT’S WORTH IT.

I keep giving myself pep talks.  I keep cheering myself on.  There are days where I am on point!  I feel great the next day…everything is good….my mind is right.  Then, I don’t know what happens.  I feel awful and I self loathe – and I sometimes dig myself into such a hole that I just give up.  I try to stay positive and tell myself that it wasn’t a big deal, just a little hiccup…but it doesn’t always work.  I see other people succeeding…and it makes it worse.

I set up a home gym and I have been able to get in a good little workout everyday so far – except yesterday.  We will just consider that my day of rest for the week.  I’m just hoping I can stick with it and stay motivated.  I don’t have to travel to a gym – it’s just down the hallway!

Tomorrow is my 34th birthday.  Hard to believe I started this blog when I was 30.  Back then I was in the best shape and health of my life.  I felt great – I felt on top of the world.  Over the years all the stress and obstacles I’ve encountered have really knocked me off my game.  I try to get back on the horse – I’ve done it multiple times.  It’s such a struggle.  Some people may never understand how hard it actually is – but I hope they have the compassion and understanding to help others.  I am hoping 34 will be my best year for health and fitness yet.  It’s my goal.  I can do this.  I got this.  One day at a time.

If anyone has any advice, tips, or words of encouragement – please send them my way.

“When you feel like quitting, think about why you started.”