Wednesday, 19 June 2013

I want to talk about change tonight and what we would do to change something in our life.  Whether it is changing jobs to find your dream job, getting out of a bad relationship to make you happier, to quit smoking because your doctor has just informed you that you have cancer - what would it get for you to change to get a healthier, happier more fulfilling life?  The definition of insanity - doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

Whether you apply that definition to quitting smoking to improve your chances of surviving cancer and to lessen the chances of ever getting it again, or just changing your diet to feel more energetic, decrease brain fog, improve memory, get rid of rashes and make arthritis disappear, you need to change.  With the Paleo diet, not only do you need to change the way you look at food, but you need to look at the food "rules" you live by.  You may have grown up with these "rules" or, if you went through your 20's in the 1970's as I did, you were bombarded with diets - Weight Watchers, The Scarsdale Diet, The Atkins Diet...the list is long - you may have lost track of what you were eating and what made you feel good.

When you follow Paleo, you pay close attention to how your body feels when you eat certain foods - do you feel great or do you feel nauseous, achy, tired, depressed and fat?  Yes - the differences can be that significant, but the only way you are going to know if Paleo will work for you is to prepare, change what you think you know about diet and commit to trying it.

Talking to my Cross Fit office colleague who started the Paleo diet in September 2012 in an attempt to cure an ulcer without medication and to prevent a recurrence.  CF office colleague is a young, fit guy working on a PhD (apparently writing a 400 page thesis can give you an ulcer - who knew?), he researched a better diet and found Paleo.  He had to work long hours to write his thesis and was exhausted and stressed all the time.  The thesis is not done yet but the ulcer is gone, he has lost any brain fog, has lots of energy and feels great (not to mention as enthusiastic about Paleo as I am).  I took a picture of his office food for the day to show you how easy it is to eat this way. CF colleague made meat patties out of a couple of different meats and spices, a container of vegetables and a bag of avocados - good fat.

Some common misconceptions about Paleo:
  • You only eat meat (or too much meat) - not true.  You do want to try to eat protein with every meal to keep your blood sugar and hormone levels even (men too) so you never go hungry.
  • It's bad to eliminate any food group from your diet - why?  If you get aches, pains, depressed, tired and fat from eating certain foods, why wouldn't you eliminate them and only eat the foods that make you feel good?
  • It is too complicated - eliminate all grains, dairy, legumes, sugar and processed foods from your diet - simple.
  • There is nothing I can eat - have a look at any of my menu plans, or what we are eating on the Whole30 for lots of ideas.
  • It's too expensive - we have actually cut our food bill in half by eating Paleo - really.
I could go on (and probably will in future posts), but what have you got to lose?

The Whole30 motivational/check-in email talks about exercise (my least favourite topic) - to sum it up - do something as often as you can and try to have fun doing it.  

Day 12 on Whole30 and I was really glad I had packed a good breakfast this morning because (shame on me), I let being busy at work determine whether I ate lunch or not - not in this case.
Breakfast - roast chicken, sauerkraut, carrots and cucumber, kalamata olives.
 Lunch should have been (heated up) leftover Masala Chili with Kale and Sweet Potatoes but wasn't so I was really hungry driving home five hours later - not the right way to do this.  You are supposed to restart your Whole30 if you mess up a day by eating the wrong foods, but maybe you need to start again when you skip meals.

Even though I was really hungry, we don't have "bad" food so unless we wanted to go out to eat (we didn't), I had everything I needed to make a fast, on-plan meal.  There were two rib-eye steaks in the defrost bowl, washed kale to make a salad, and two sweet potatoes to bake and dinner was ready.  Tasty and filling - I'm good until tomorrow.

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