PaleYo

My Advice to Starting Paleo

It’s probably pretty intimidating at first, any real lifestyle change would be – but when you break it down, Paleo is simple.  It shouldn’t be complicated.  At first you have to do a little bit of homework, but give yourself some time and you’ll have it down before you know it.

First off, go get yourself a book.  Preferably one with a 30 day meal plan – fool proof.  When I started, there wasn’t much out there, but now there’s so much!  The Practical Paleo books have a lot of information in them on the “whys” and “hows”, but the recipes are complicated, especially if you’re just starting out.

The stuff you need to stock your pantry with will be different than what you’re used to.  You’ll need things that you probably never even heard of – coconut aminos, tapioca flour, ghee…but after a few trips to the supermarket, it will become second nature.

You will buy meat that’s grass-fed.  Now it’s pretty much everywhere and labeled clearly.  Side note – if it says it’s from Australia – it’s grass-fed.  Trader Joe’s is a good place to go.

Don’t beat yourself up at first.  There’s a lot of adjustments to be made.  You should start with cleaning out the fridge and cabinets.  Then go shopping and buy all the stuff you need to fill them back up – Paleo style.

Browse the internet for blogs – people like me who are relatable.  You can always reach out with questions to other Paleo-goers (new word?).  I started this blog hoping that I would help others who were just like me – looking to go Paleo – dealing with the struggles of trying to figure it out.  I am no expert, but now, 5 years later, I get it.  The logistics of it make sense, and I don’t need to look at recipes much.

“Starting something new, or making a big change requires effort, persistence, and motivation.  Doubt, fear, and worry will only slow you down.
Focus on doing your best now, and celebrate every step of the way.”

– Doe Zantamata – 

Cut Out the Dairy

…and cut it out completely.  You’ll thank me later.

There are so many wonderful alternatives out there, that you end up not even missing the real thing.  Daiya is a company that makes dairy free stuff – cheese, cream cheese, pizza, yogurt, dressings, and more.  Daiya products are free from all dairy, gluten, soy, peanuts, eggs, fish, shellfish.  It covers a lot of bases – food allergies, vegan, special diet.  Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.

If you’re a baby calf, then you can skip this post.  So the USDA recommends that you have 3 glasses of milk a day!  Milk makes baby cows, big cows.  Once upon a time, I used to drink milk with every meal.  When I got into my late 20s, it started to bother my stomach.  I ended up not drinking as much, but when I went Paleo – I stopped altogether.  There are so many wonderful alternatives to drinking milk – almond milk and coconut milk are my go-to’s.  When you cut out dairy, you just have to make sure you’re getting calcium and vitamin D elsewhere – but that’s easy peasy.  Dark leafy greens and fatty fish are wonderful sources of calcium.

You’re body fat will go down, as well as your weight.  You’ll just start to feel better (and less bloated).  It seems like a win-win.  I promise you, that if you give the alternatives a chance, you won’t miss it.  I even made cheese once out of cashews and pine nuts, I’ll have to find the recipe.  The texture was a little off, but it melted like cheese and tasted like it too!

I have mild eczema, but when I cut out dairy, it almost completely went away.

Ghee and butter are staples in my diet, but I only buy grass-fed.  Kerry’s is a wonderful brand for butter.  I know it sounds like quite the commitment to give up dairy, but try to give yourself at least 30 days.  Elimination diets are good.  Sometimes you can find out that something really was causing a lot of trouble for you.  After going Paleo, I realized a lot of the foods I eliminated were causing a lot of problems for me…and I haven’t looked back.

So when you consume milk from a cow, you are getting a lot of extra hormones in it (because the cow is most likely pregnant).  The extra estrogen will cause a whole plethora of issues – allergies, eczema, endometriosis, decreased sex drive, acne…need I say more (because the list goes on)?  Listen to your body…give it 30 days.  What have you got to lose?

“Be mindful and listen to your body.  Take action – omit and reintroduce.” 

Everyday is Not An Easy Day

I’m not sure where the drive comes from – simply not fitting into my old clothes doesn’t do it for me.  Old pictures get me motivated, for a few minutes, until I think about how I like to eat to fuel my emotions.  I’m not sure where the dedication came from the first time.  I just really liked how I felt, and learning to cook was fun.  Now it’s more of a chore sometimes.

I’m working out pretty much everyday, and I’m starting to feel the difference.  If I look back – that’s how it started last time.  I did the gym thing, turned that into a routine, then I went into the Paleo lifestyle.  Together, it was magical…to say the least.

I have to dig deep and realize that this is what’s really good for me.  My mindset is changing, but it’s taking much longer than expected.  I keep telling myself to stick with it.  It’s so easy to give up and just want to eat a cheeseburger, especially on days that aren’t so great.

“The harder you work for something, the better you feel when you finally achieve it.”

It Seems I Find Myself Here, Often

And by here, I mean – at the start of a new Paleo “cycle”, if you will.

Let me first start by saying today I made a list of habits that I want to do everyday (starting with 90 days – inspired by my friend, Katie from World Momination), but hopefully continuing on much longer.  I started my day, albeit I was at work, with mediation.  It was a 10 minute mediation, and it was just what I needed.  I continued to listen to mediation music in my headphones for most of the morning.  After work, I came home and went right to the gym.  I didn’t want to do the stair master again, but I did it.  I’ve been going to the gym consistently for a little bit now and I already feel the difference.  In less than a week, I’m down 4.5 lbs.  I’ve also been reading a book – The History of Love.  It was recommended by my cousin.  Best book I’ve read in a long time.

I really wish I never fell off the wagon, but stress will effect you if you let it, and I certainly let it.  I stayed pretty healthy, even though I gained weight.  I stayed pretty strong as well, but that cortisol really got me good.  I can’t make excuses, but my year (2017) had some pretty rough spots and eating became my comfort.  My dad being sick took a toll on me in a lot of ways.  One – he had cancer…cancer.  That’s a scary word and you never think that it will personally effect you, and then one day it does.  And two – I had to take him to hormone and radiation treatments, as well as doctor’s appointments – pretty consistently for awhile.  I’m sure he was under stress, and probably upset – but boy did he take it out on me a lot.  I don’t blame him, I can’t – but it was hard.  You work to please others, but often you forget about taking care of yourself first.  That’s probably the most important think, and I neglected myself.  I stopped caring because it seemed other things were more important and I had to prioritize.  Making paleo friendly food at the end of a long day of working and running around was not at the top of my list.  I grabbed what was fast.  I tried to stay “healthy”, but the proof is in the pudding.

So here I am, back at square one (kinda).  All that hard work and dedication I put in the first time, fell by the wayside, and now I have to get there again – mentally, physically, emotionally.  One step at a time, right?  I’m mad at myself, or well, I was mad at myself, until a few days ago – or maybe it was today.  I just want to let go of the regret and remorse, and just do what I need to do to get back.  Luckily, everything I learned the first time around hasn’t left me.

I’ve been making my own versions of paleo meals (I’ll post the recipes in separate posts).  I’ve been meal prepping.  I started eating my prepared breakfasts at work.  I cut out the sugar and dairy.  I’m on my way to great things.  When I’m not in shape, overweight, and not the optimum version of myself – I’m an asshole.  I take it out on everyone around me, and that’s not fair.

The one thing I always loved doing – snowboarding-, I was starting to no longer love.  I couldn’t dig deep enough in my stubborn soul, to get over being stubborn about it – and just do it.  I needed to prove to myself that I still loved doing it…it was still a passion…I still felt that rush and adrenaline…the only thing I was brave enough to try and start by myself – teach myself – push myself….and I was losing my passion.  But today, an epiphany – I do care about snowboarding.  I do want to do it.  I want to feel that rush.  I’m not the best, but I love it.

Over the past couple days, I’ve showed myself that if I put my mind to it, I can do it.  I have a great year coming up.  I’ll be 35, I’ll pay my car off soon, and I will finish my Master’s degree by December!!!  Speaking of school, next semester starts on February 4, and I have to do my mid-point review soon.  So crazy, but I’m so ready!

“Be you.  The world will adjust.”

 

Love Hate Relationship with Cumin

Oh cumin, you have SO many health benefits – but I hate you.

The taste of cumin is a very dominant, distinct flavor…and I can’t stand it.  When a recipe calls for cumin, I cut down the amount significantly.  Honestly, the taste of cumin can ruin an entire meal for me.  Cumin contains so many different vitamins and minerals.  It’s a great source of protein and amino acids.  One teaspoon daily will meet your daily requirements!

Let me tell you a little more about cumin.

It’s a great digestive aid.  It stimulates your saliva glands which helps break down food.  If you have gas troubles, cumin will help!  And because of it’s dietary fiber, it is a natural laxative.  There’s also properties in it that help cure hemorrhoids!  Even though it’s an on-going study, it shows that it could prevent diabetes – that’s crazy.

Cumin is a stimulant and a relaxant at the same time.  The stimulant part helps with respiratory issues such as asthma, while also helping you with sleep problems.

It’s also super rich in iron – so if you are anemic you should be eating cumin!

The anti-cacogenic properties in cumin help. prevent. cancer!!

Okay, okay, so I’m seeing how great it is, but what does it have to taste so bad!  Maybe it’s not even bad…it’s just very bold.  I’ve read that you can mix it with honey, but what about in my chili?  I just wish it tasted better.  Anyone have any suggestions on making the flavor more mild?  I use hardly any and I can still taste it!

“High heels are pleasure with pain.”

Fight Complacency in Week 3

Hey!!

Okay so I’m teetering around 14 lbs. lost – give or take a day and my water intake (or lack there of).  On Saturday I had sushi and a piece of cake for my mom’s birthday, not paleo – but I’m okay with this.

This is week 3 this time around.  I’m feeling great.  I feel more comfortable in my clothes, and my winter jacket fits much better!  I still have a way to go to get back to where I was, but I’m getting there.  Thanksgiving is coming, but I’m in a good place and I think I will be able to practice self-control.

If you’re trying to do a Paleo Thanksgiving (I have done them, and they are amazing), here’s a site that has a full menu!  Paleo Thanksgiving Recipes     If you do a Paleo Thanksgiving, let me know how it goes!

Okay, so let’s talk about the 3 week mark.  By now, you start to really feel the difference and your cravings for sugar should be way down.  When I cut out sugar, if I eat a strawberry…it’s so incredibly sweet.  I’m looking ahead now.  I lost the 14 lbs., simply by giving my body the right fuel it needs.  I can do better, but I’m not feeling pressured.  I’m half way through my 30 day reset, so by the new year I’m hoping to be down 20-25 lbs. and almost feeling like my old self again!  Listen, it’s hard to adjust, so don’t be so hard on yourself.  If you fall off, or feel discouraged – try to tell yourself that this is good for you.  By this time you start to fall into good habits.

Your body will start to heal and it will start burning more of the stored fat as fuel.  You don’t have sugar highs/lows, so you shouldn’t have mood swings – I’m still in the process of getting rid of them.  I find that talking about Paleo with friends and family, helps you stay focused.  You also may inspire them if they haven’t been feeling great.  The proof is in the (paleo) pudding – you won’t need to lecture anyone, they will just see it in you.  Keep putting high quality nutrition into your body, and the rest will take care of itself.

Don’t be complacent – change up your recipes.  You’ll learn a lot about different types of food, and you’ll start to train your brain and body.  If you start to feel bored, you need to change it up.

“Of all the possible avenues of life there are to live for,
complacency should be viewed as the switch that killed the will to build.”

 

 

Gluten Free is the Way to Be

Gluten is evil.

Gluten can cause weight gain and weight loss.  Gluten can damage the GI tract and that can cause malabsorption.  We need our guts to be in optimal health.  It’s important for a lot of reasons!  It breaks down the food we eat so that it can be absorbed, it disperses the vitamins and minerals.  Some foods are actually resistant to our digestive systems – beans are an example.  When these foods don’t really get along with our guts, then an autoimmune issue happens.  Some reactions to food are not immediate, and progress over time – in most cases.  When it builds overtime, it will break down your GI tract causing leaky gut.

People don’t always take “gluten free” seriously, but they should.  It’s a very real condition.  Gluten can cause inflammation of the joints and muscles – this is what I have experienced.  Gluten can also cause belly fat – also something I have dealt with.

Even when you cut it out for a week, you will feel a difference.  I know I do.  I’m down 12 lbs. now and the cramps in my legs and feet are gone.  It’s crazy how your body reacts when given the right fuel.

“The most powerful weapon on Earth is the human soul on fire.”

Feeling Really Great

I am down 11 lbs. now, and I’m feeling good.  It’s just one day at a time.  I’ll be back to a size I’m more familiar with before I know it.  Slowly, all of my ailments will go away.  My digestive system feels good – not feeling bloated.  My chronic sinus issues should subside soon, too.  After I fell of the Paleo wagon, the cramps in my legs started coming back – but guess what, they are almost gone again!  Hallelujah!  I had introduced gluten back into my diet, and gluten is a terrible, horrible thing.  Gluten causes so many issues – not to mention how many people are gluten intolerant and don’t even know it.

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
-Hippocrates

Ending a Long Relationship with Sugar

It’s not unlike any other relationship – when it’s over, you feel it.  In the end, it was good for you…but at the moment, it stings.  That sting gets you at all moments of the day.  At times, seemingly, it’s all you think about.  Why is our relationship with sugar so hard to quit?  We know it’s bad for us, we know that there are consequences…but yet, we still keep it around.  You need to clean out those kitchen cabinets and the fridge – donate all the stuff you should avoid on Paleo – get a new start.  You may need to pick up a new hobby and take a bunch of Aleve the first couple days, but you’ll get through it.  You’ll have to find new, better, healthier ways to satisfy those cravings.

Sugar has been linked to a lot of health problems, so maybe you can use that as motivation.  Every organ system in the body is at risk when it comes to the damage sugar can do.  Cardiovascular disease is linked to too much sugar intake.  The more sugar, the higher the risk.  If you have one sugar sweetened drink a day, your risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is higher.  Sugar intake is linked to leaky gut.  Your risk for getting Type 2 Diabetes is increased 1.1% for every 150 calories consumed, per day.

All of that simple information, without going in depth, should make you feel okay with the sugar break-up.  It’s not worth all the risks.  You can certainly enjoy your sugar cravings, but don’t over do it.

“Eat less sugar, you’re sweet enough already.”

Embrace Your Inner Caveman or Woman

So once you learn the basics, you can put it into gear.  I would definitely recommend getting a book to help you out if you’re just starting.  Most of them give you a meal plan with a shopping list, and that’s a huge help!  Keeps the guess work out of it all.

The best advice I can give you to help you not feel overwhelmed with cooking – is make enough dinner to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  Also, keep your breakfast simple.  The first 30 days, no desserts, minimal snacks, and no alcohol.  It will help you see the results you deserve to see, and to allow your body to adjust.  Commit to 4 weeks of Paleo – blog about it, post it on your social media accounts, tell your friends…just give it your best effort for at least 30 days!  If you do have setbacks, don’t stress it.  Just get back on the horse and keep going!  Embrace your inner caveman or woman…and give it go!