Paleo Can Make You Feel Good

Speaking from experience…if you follow this Paleo lifestyle, you will feel different.  I know that if you eat a diet with a lot of Omega-3s you can actually get your cortisol levels under control.  When that happens, you can handle stress a lot better.  The main thing with Paleo is cutting out the sugar.  This will help your gut health.  This will help your mental health.  This will help your physical health.  The first couple of days that you cut out sugar (if you are used to it in your diet) can be pretty tough.  If you keep busy, you’ll be okay.  You may feel extra tired, but just push through!

If you have a lot of sugar in your diet, you can develop a dependency on it.  Your dopamine center can become dependent on whether or not you have sugar.  If you withdraw when you cut sugar out, you probably were having too much. You’ll get a headache and you’ll probably be pretty cranky – this is called the “carb flu” – but you’re gonna be okay.

You need to fight the urge to reach for the sugar.  That’s why I say you should keep busy.  Read, go for a walk, dance around to music, clean…just don’t eat sugar!  I wouldn’t recommend working out during this time, because if you were using sugar as a fuel source, your workout probably won’t feel so great.  You will mentally not be present for it, and that’s more than half the battle.  Give it a few weeks and you’ll end up seeing your performance improve!  Especially if you’re eating more protein and healthy fats.  You’re recovery will be awesome, too!

And since everyone loves talking about pooping…even that will go better once your body adjusts to paleo.  You’ll be eating more fiber from the veggies.  And as my Grandma used to say, “Bowel movements are a great way to start the day!”

You’re welcome.  haha

“When you focus on the good, the good gets better.”

Stop Waiting and Make Things Happen

I know all too well, that this is easier said than done.

I generally find starting hard because I’m afraid of something – change, mostly.  What I needed to do was accept the fear and then use it as motivation.  I guess I just wait for the fear to go away, or at least I think it will go away – I use that as procrastination, because it never goes away.  Acknowledge the fear and move forward!  Sometimes I think about the fact that I haven’t started because of fear.  Then I ask myself – what was the fear anyway?  Most of the time I can be reasonable with myself and say, ‘Oh, that’s nonsense.’  But there are times where it triggers my anxiety.  What I am trying to say is that, even if I feel anxious about something, it won’t change the outcome, it especially won’t change anything that’s already happened.

The next thing I try to tell myself is – baby steps.  You don’t need to dive in headfirst.  Just walk in – one step at a time.

Another thing I do before thinking about or starting something new is clean and organize.  Sometimes if there’s clutter around me, my mind feels cluttered.  So if I can organize the space around me, then sometimes I get the clarity I need.

Also, you need to start in the moment you are in.  You can’t worry about tomorrow, or yesterday, or 2 years from now.  You need to focus on the present time.  Don’t worry about thinking you’ll be better tomorrow, or next week you’ll get it done, just take this moment and do it.

Lastly, just give yourself permission.

“Start where you are.  Use what you have. Do what you can.”

Getting Back to Healthy Living

My main goal is to feel better.  My second goal is to lose weight.

I am getting started again.  I am taking it one day at a time.  But some advice to anyone else who’s just starting…make sure you have your basics!

Make sure you have salt, pepper, tapioca flour, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, ghee, and coconut oil.  I feel like these can help you create any meal, especially when you’re first starting.  I’ll explain a few of them here.

Tapioca flour is good for breading, baking, thickening – I use it a lot.  It takes some getting used to, but once you figure it out, you’ll like it better than flour you probably used all your life.  This is one I always use: Bob’s Red Mill Tapioca Flour

Coconut Aminos you would use in place of soy sauce.  In my honest opinion, I like it better than soy sauce.  I use this most often, but Trader Joe’s has one, too.  Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos

Ghee is clarified butter.  It has a lot of Omega-3s which is good for your heart and cardiovascular health.  Anything you use butter on or in, you can use ghee instead.  I like the Trader Joe’s Ghee Trader Joe’s Ghee, but I am definitely not picky when it comes to ghee.  I actually picked up a turmeric and black pepper ghee from a shop that is by Woodstock, NY.  It was delicious!  I found about this place when I picked up a turmeric ginger elixir at a flea market.   Immune-schein – check it out!

“When you focus on the good, the good gets better.”

Paleo to Prevent and Reverse GERD

I have had GERD for a couple of years.  It’s mostly under control, but I know I don’t eat foods that help the situation.  GERD is complicated.  It’s not necessarily too much acid in your stomach, it could be a combination of that and a ‘broken’ flap that separates your stomach and esophagus, or it could be too little acid.  Whichever it is, you can control it by diet – which I am apparently not very good at.

When I was on a full paleo diet – striving and thriving – I had little to no issues with pretty much anything.  No acid reflux, cramps were almost non-existent, my legs didn’t hurt, my joints didn’t hurt.

Now I’m almost always feeling uncomfortable.  I take some vitamins, probably not all the ones I should be taking – but I do take some.  But I really think I need to focus on diet, and less drinking.  I think a relatively low carb paleo diet would be a certain solution for this.  I have been here before – and my mental game is weak…but if I can keep my focus for a few weeks, I will succeed.

So from my understanding if you lack stomach acid, all the carbs that I eat (most of the time) won’t be absorbed, they will ferment, and unwanted bacteria will be able to grow.  Just like the sugar in kombucha is there for the bacteria to grow and ferment, it’s the same with your intestines.

Overloading carbs and booze is the perfect recipe for GERD to never go away, ever.  And quite frankly, I’m over it.  I also never want to go down some path where I need surgery – or something worse happens.  Need to take care of this ASAP.

Over the last 2 years, I didn’t really focus on caring about myself.  There was just too much going on in my life. I couldn’t focus on anything but trying to make it through the day.

So starting right now – no more grains, dairy, gluten, or processed foods (and way less alcohol).

Need to eat animal proteins, fresh veggies (allergic to a lot of fruits), and mostly try to eliminate any foods that have been processed.  I will give it 2 weeks, and then I will let you know how my GERD is feeling.

“You have this one life. Be brave. Believe in yourself.
Do what feels good. Take risks. Make yourself proud.”

Every day is a new day

Okay, okay.  I know what you’re thinking – oh here she is, “back on the horse” AGAIN…trying to eat cleaner…AGAIN.  Well, you’re not wrong.

I have been moving very slow in this journey.  It took me awhile to recover from the great losses I suffered in 2020, and adjusting to working from home and a new role at my job.  I am well aware it’s 2 years later, but it was rough.  I have been trying to make changes one at a time – getting through the adjustment period.  I have been working on being more active, more often.

I dusted off all my paleo/clean eating books and magazines.  I am focused on putting healthier food into my body.  I haven’t been sleeping great consistently – I have nights where I do sleep soundly, but there are nights I do not.  And my sinuses have been horrendously messed up…not just from allergies.

Using food as coping mechanism for so long is a hard habit to break.  I crave sweet things most of the time.  I can get on a 3 day kick of eating better, and then usually work stress gets me, or it’s the weekend.

The first thing I want to break is my sugar addiction.  I remember how hard this was the first time, but I also remember how rewarding it was.  I just turned 39, and I need to get my butt in gear.

I am starting with trying to make a meal plan – scouring all these books that I own, and making the best choices I can.

It’s not going to be easy, but I’ll get it done.  I’ve done it before.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night.  Take these broken wings and learn to fly.”

Social Distancing Smoothie

Hope everyone’s social distancing is going well.  This is a quick and easy recipe, and you most likely already have some of these at your house.  Feel free to modify!

I know we probably have freezers full of frozen fruits and veggies, some kind of milk (almond, oat, whatever), and we probably all have a honey bear, too!

This recipe you’ll need 3/4 C. frozen mango, 3/4 C. frozen pineapple, 1/2 C. frozen kale, 2 C. milk of your choice, and 2 TBSP honey.  Put everything into a blender and blend away!

Enjoy!  Stay safe!

“Enjoy the simple things.”

Yummy Sauteed Radishes

I don’t know about you, but I love radishes.  I didn’t like them until I was in my mid to late 20s.  You can do SO MANY things with radishes.  One way I enjoy them, is sauteed.  All it takes is radishes, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and chives!

Chop the radishes in halves or quarters – and heat up some olive oil.  Once that’s heated up, throw in the radishes.  Add your balsamic and salt and pepper…cook until they are softened a little bit.  Probably about 8 minutes or so.  Try to keep them on the crispier side so they maintain their crunch.  Put them on a plate, add your chopped herbs…and ENJOY!  Simple and delicious.

“You don’t have to eat less, you just have to eat right.”

Paleo Social Distancing

The Paleo diet that has been around for decades, has become incredibly popular over the last few years.  In 2013, I was very strict Paleo – and had great results.  I was healthier, my anxiety was down, I lost weight, and just felt really great and energetic.

I think now is a great time for me to commit to getting back into it.  I figured that perhaps, maybe, others are looking for something to occupy their time while social distancing.  This will help keep you get healthy, and if you don’t know how to cook – following this diet is a great way to learn!  The great thing about Paleo, is that it’s actually pretty simple, once you get the basics down.

The food pyramid for Paleo is an inverted version of the one that is usually recommended.  The majority of your daily caloric intake is from meat, eggs, and seafood.  That’s followed by fats from plan foods, fruits and vegetables, and then nuts and seeds.  It’s a high protein, low carb diet.  So now that everyone is stuck inside, you’re probably doing a lot of eating and snacking – mostly out of boredom.  If you start to eat Paleo, the meals and snacks will help you feel fuller faster and longer.  When you cut out the sugars and gluten, you also will feel less sluggish, but it may take a few days, I promise.

The Paleo diet consists of 2 parts – I think the major part that anyone needs to focus on is the half where you eliminate foods.  The foods that get eliminated are responsible for slowing your metabolism, welcome problems with your blood sugar and fat storage, and also, slow digestion.  On the list of eliminated foods – processed foods, alcohol, grains, legumes, and sugar.  I know that this sounds scary, considering we are stuck in our houses for a few weeks, but I promise if you go the Paleo way, you’ll have time to enjoy other things.  You can even order some really great Paleo books off Amazon and get some research done.  You won’t be tempted to get half price appetizers at Applebee’s or late night Dairy Queen, because most of those places aren’t open.  Now if it seems steep to give up all those things at once, try doing them one at a time.  Personally, I just did it all at once, and then my time was preoccupied with doing research and finding recipes to follow – and I learned how to cook.  It was tedious at first, and it took a long time, but now, it’s second nature when I actually do stick to it.

So first let’s talk about what’s not allowed.  Number one – processed foods.  This includes fast food, frozen meals, and store bought treats.  Resist the urge.  Next is alcohol.  Cavemen didn’t have it, plus it’s empty calories and way too much sugar.  The lack of nutritional value makes this a big NO.  Okay, I know you’re probably cursing me out right now…but try it for at least 30 days.  After the 30 days, you can try to introduce “paleo approved” alcohol, like ciders.  Anything that includes grains – big NO.  Grains are agricultural products, and this is embarking on a pre-agricultural diet.  Next up, legumes…such as, beans, peas, soy – agricultural – off limits.  Biggest one, SUGAR.  The Paleo diet, if adhered to, can have a big impact on lowering blood sugar levels, and decrease your risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome.  Don’t use artificial sweeteners either.  If you must, in moderation, you can use real maple syrup and honey.

It sounds like a lot, but once you adjust, it really turns out to not be so bad.

You’re probably thinking, “what else could possibly be left to eat?”  Well the answer is…a lot.  Let’s start with meat, eggs, and seafood.  That category alone has a lot of stuff.  When picking these foods, the only criteria is high quality.  Next is fats from plant sources.  Olive oil and avocados are high on the list.  Grass-fed butter is next.  Yes, it’s dairy, but in moderation, could provide some health benefits.  All nuts are allowed, with the exception of peanuts  Peanuts are a legume.  You can have fruits and veggies, but you should only have sweet potatoes in moderation.  White potatoes are a no go because they actually cause digestive issues.

The paleo diet works, as long as you adhere to the rules for at least 30 days (that will show you how good it makes you feel).  This is a quick breakdown, but if you check my older blogs, I go more in depth.

“Just because you are struggling, does not mean you are failing.”




Paleo Toast Recipe

Okay, so I am working on getting a meal plan together.  I have been gathering and organizing my old recipes and came across a good one.

If you follow a paleo lifestyle, you will appreciate this recipe for toast.

3 C. almond flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda (Trader Joe’s has a good one)
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 T honey
3/4 tsp. apple cider vinegar

butter or coconut oil to grease pan

-heat oven to 300 degrees
-mix dry ingredients in a bowl
-in a separate bowl, whisk eggs then add honey and apple cider vinegar – whisk
-add wet ingredients
-mix well
-scrape batter into a well greased loaf pan
-45 minutes or until golden brown

If you make this, let me know what you think!

“It’s a good day to be happy.”

Importance of Taking Care of You

Some of my posts have not been paleo related – but I promise you, I will try to make it worth your time.

Life can be very busy.  Some days you go non-stop with a million things to do, and on the days you think you have nothing – something always comes up.  I know I tend to spread myself too thin.  I plan too many things, I make too many promises, and I try to get as much done as possible.  Like I said in my previous post, part of me likes to stay busy to distract my mind, and part of me wishes I knew how to just relax.

I was always trying to fix everything and everyone.  Any situation I heard about, I went into action – I had ideas, plans, fixes…I knew it all (or so I thought).  Trust me, my heart was in the right place, not sure about my head though.  I helped a lot of people and often sat and wondered where my help was when I needed it.  I always learned to do things for myself and to deal with any situation by myself.  I buried a lot of emotions.  I smiled around everyone, no matter how much I was hurting on the inside.

I held everything in, and it presented itself as physically sickness.  I had pains that I couldn’t figure out where they came from, I was constantly at the doctor taking antibiotics, my digestive system took a beating, my muscles ached from the physicality of holding the emotions in.  My body was tense, and no amount of stretching or working out would help me feel better.  I wish I knew sooner that my physical symptoms were caused so much by stress and anxiety – and overselling myself.

All of the stress that I was experiencing made me fall off the paleo wagon – it made me feel like I wasn’t worth it.  I felt like nobody cared about me, so why should I care about myself.  I started to eat things that made me happy (pizza, cookies, candy, bread, pasta).  I ate food that made me feel emotions.  I ate food so I didn’t feel empty.  I ate myself into sadness and self loathing.  Before I knew it, I was gaining weight.  I started to not fit in my clothes.  I felt like my world was caving in on me.  Not only was I physically being affected – I was projecting.  It wasn’t fair to anyone around me.

So I made a decision to start going to therapy.  I was open to the idea that it was worth a shot.  I didn’t know if it was going to help, but I needed to do something.  I owed it to myself.  I have learned so many things so far.  I see that fixing and helping myself, allows me to help others – in a more effective, energy saving sort of way.  I started to find the root of the symptoms I was having.  I was learning ways to face emotions and cope, instead of just pushing them down.  I haven’t been cured of anything, and I might not ever be “cured” and free from all the demons I face – but I am learning how to be a better person and control the things that I can control.  I will not let emotions defeat me.  I am strong.

For the first time in months, I can honestly say I am feeling better and more “normal”.  I’m also focusing on a diet that is more paleo again (see…paleo post).  I feel comfortable in my own skin and with my own thoughts.  And eating the right food helps us feel better, too!

It is so important to take care of yourself, first and foremost.  You have to love yourself and you have to forgive yourself.  The journey to get to this point hasn’t been easy, but I read somewhere that if something doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.  I still have some work to do, but it’s a process.  Progress not perfection.  Spend the time to take care of you.  You are worth it.

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.”