Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Paleo Diet

I normally wouldn't share nutrition or diet info on my blog.  However, it is something that has made a positive difference in my life so I can't help but tell you about it.

I started out 2014 on the Paleo Diet.  In short, eating Paleo means eating meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts while eliminating all grains, dairy, and refined sugars.  You can only drink water, herbal tea, and black coffee.  This sounded extremely difficult to me but due to a lack of energy I felt as though I needed to reset my body so I was up for the challenge.

So for the month of January I only ate meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts and drank only water, coffee, and herbal tea.  That's it.  And it was awesome!  I had so much energy.  I slept better. Woke up better.  I felt more alert and productive.  It was a great experience.  So much so, that I have continued many of the practices from the Paleo Diet.  To me, its less of a diet and more of a lifestyle change.

A few questions that people have asked me along the way.

Did you lose weight?  
Yes.  I won't tell you how much because for me this wasn't the goal.  I assumed I would lose weight but the goal was simply to eat healthier and increase my energy level.  Losing weight was a bonus, except for the fact that my pants don't fit anymore. :)

Were you hungry all the time?
No.  I did not restrict how much I ate.  I figured that I was eating healthy foods so I ate as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted.  What I found is that eating real, nutrient rich food filled me up much quicker than the man-made products.

Where did you get your recepies?
Pinterest.  Just enter Paleo into the search bar on Pinterest (or google for that matter) and you'll find there are tons of simple recipes available.  Most are super easy.

Did eating Paleo cost more money?
This is a great question because typically eating healthy does cost more money.  The answer is that it cost about the same.  It does cost more to buy fresh produce and meats.  But you save money because you don't eat out as much or purchase bread or dairy items.  For us, we noticed a slight increase in our grocery bill but a decrease in eating out at restaurants.  It was basically a push.  However, it did cause us to eat home more often which probably decreased the use of gasoline.

What surprised you the most?
The biggest surprise is that many of the foods I once loved before, I honestly don't care for.  Not because it doesn't taste good (although my tastes did change) but because I know how it makes me feel. So for example, chicken friend steak was one of my favorite meals because it tastes good.  But it makes me feel tired, overly full, and just blah as opposed to a grilled meat and vegetables.  I've found that many times I make a decision about how food makes me feel afterwards rather than how it will taste.

Would you recommend it to someone else?
Absolutely!  I am not a doctor or nutritionist.  But the Paleo Diet seems to make sense to me because you basically eat all natural foods.  I personally didn't eat organic or worry about eating local.  You also don't have to worry about counting calories, adding up points, or keeping track of your meals.  You just eat natural, nutrient rich foods that people have been eating for thousands of years!

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