My Attempt At PaleoPosted: January 2, 2013
On New Year’s Day morning, my mom made us waffles to kick the new year off right, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way! Topped with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and real maple syrup, they were super filling and wicked tasty.
I spent a little time digesting while watching the Rose Parade after breakfast (do the floats amaze anyone else?!), and then decided to head out on a run. It was so cold that it was actually hard to breath(!!), but it still felt good to get out there and move. I covered a little over three miles, and although the pace was slow, with having to dodge huge, frozen snow banks, ice patches, and cars trying to run me off the road, I’d still call it a success!
After my run, I decided to pack up and head back to my apartment to get settled in for the week. The drive was so beautiful with the new snow, and it just reminded me (yet again) how much I love winter in New England!
On my way back, I also stopped at the grocery store to stock up on food for the week. I finished my Practical Paleo book this weekend, and I’m excited to start really focusing on getting back on track with my eating. I’ve seen all the holiday treats really start affecting not only my waistline, but also my energy levels and my stomach aches, so I’ve decided to adopt some of the Paleo principles and really commit to eating clean.
I cleared out my fridge and cabinets of any lingering processed foods, and loaded up with new stuff:
- Apples, pears, strawberries, lemons, pineapple, dates
- Asparagus, green beans, plum tomatoes, spaghetti squash, zucchini, yellow squash, butternut squash, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, green peppers, red peppers
- Chicken, steak, ground turkey, eggs, edamame
- Sunflower seeds, cashews, almond butter (Trader Joe’s), coconut oil (Trader Joe’s)
I’ve never tried almond butter or coconut oil before, but I’m excited for both. I’ve never been a big coconut fan in the past, but the Paleo lifestyle makes some good arguments for using coconut oil in cooking, so I’m curious to see how I’ll feel about it. _____________________________________________________________________________________
If you’re at all interested in clean eating and want to learn more about the different approaches, I would highly suggest Diane Sanfilippo’s book. It was hugely informative, but it was written on a level that the average person could understand. There’s just enough technical jargon to keep you from being totally overwhelmed, but the book is also fused with relevant anecdotes and even a good bit of humor. (I was laughing out loud as I read at certain points; just ask my mom.)
The author explains the science behind the Paleo beliefs and gives really helpful tips on how to easily transform your eating habits. The strict Paleo lifestyle may not be for everyone, but I do think that everyone could benefit from adopting at least some of the habits. Most of us know so little about our bodies, our digestion, and what is actually in the food we eat, and this book is a good resource for learning about all of those things.
I’m not 100% sold on Paleo, and I’m not going to say I’m going to be 100% committed to it either, but for as long as I’ve been struggling with these stomach aches and digestive issues, I really think it’s worth giving it a try. One of my main questions (answered by the book) was how to get carbs if you give up all grains and legumes (bread, cereal, beans, etc.), but I learned a lot about how to include carbs in your diet through eating vegetables, and I’m pumped to give it a try. I’ve basically been eating similarly to Paleo for a while now, but learning more about its specifics has given me a lot of ideas for ways to expand my base of healthy foods.
I don’t necessarily know if gluten/wheat and/or dairy are the source of all my troubles, but what I do believe is that our bodies weren’t made to handle the amount of processed foods we currently consume. There are so many delicious recipes out there that don’t include any of those unnatural ingredients, and I plan on trying a whole bunch of them. I’m excited to give the Paleo lifestyle a try, focusing more on meats and veggies (and just slightly less on fruits than I have in the past), and see what happens.
Do you know anything about the Paleo lifestyle?
Do you have food guidelines that make you feel your best?
Are there certain foods you try to avoid?