Tis the season for resolutions. Adie wrote about some resolutions HERE. But I wanted to talk about one in particular that I've tried (along with my husband) that absolutely changed my life: changing my eating habits to paleo.
Adopting a paleo lifestyle was very hard work in the beginning. When you are used to eating every "food group" under the sun,it seems a first that you are being deprived...
until I looked up paleo recipes on Pinterest!!! You can make ANYTHING into a paleo dish. A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Yes, it takes more prep, and yes it can be more expensive, but aren't you and your loved ones worth it? Would I rather spend tons of money a year on medical bills and drugs, or take preventative steps by spending a little more money on food and supplements that will keep disease away and heal your gut? I know which one I would pick (and HAVE picked). Food is medicine.
For those of you who may not know what a paleo diet is all about, here is the gist: plants, nuts, and meats. Yep, that's it! No processed foods like sugar, grains, or dairy, and no legumes. Some of you are already saying "No way," or "I'm out! I can't survive without my cheese." And to tell you the truth, I was the same way! But do your research and hear me out. There are so many resources you can use to make it feel like you are not being deprived ONE BIT! In fact, the alternatives you use to replace the processed foods are so great for you that there is REALLY zero guilt when "treating" yourself to a paleo chocolate cupcake or almond butter and chocolate truffle. :)
When I first began the lifestyle change, I did as much research as possible. I read books and looked up websites. Educating yourself on WHY this is a good decision is just as important as the decision itself. My favorite website is by Julie Bauer over a paleOMG.com. Please visit ASAP! As soon as you scroll through and see the yummy foods she prepares, you will see how possible this is for you!
Now here is how it changed my life: I was sick for years and didn't even know it. In fact, most of our society is sick in some way. Processed sugar, grains, and dairy feed the bad bacteria in our gut and cause overgrowth. This overgrowth damages our gut and allows toxins to get into our bodies through the blood stream (leaky gut). This overgrowth and imbalance in the body leads to an endless list of issues. Many issues we think are just part of who we are: joint pain, acne, digestive issues, head aches...
But the truth is, we can change those symptoms forever. That's what they are: SYMPTOMS. Symptoms flaring up in your body because of imbalance, bad bacteria, and toxins taking over. Our body doesn't know how to process processed-foods and gets chronically inflamed when putting them into our body day after day, meal after meal.
If you are not willing to put in the time and effort to prepare for this change, then this is not for you. It does take work and getting used to, but it does get easier. If my rural in-laws from a town of 500 people, no health food stores, no book stores, no NOTHING, can do it, so can you! (My father in law lost 30 pounds in 4 months by JUST changing the way he eats.)
This won't work if you are a family who asks "What's for dinner" every night at 5 o'clock. You must PREP with meal plans and grocery lists to be successful and stay on track. Not to mention most of the food is NOT your average household items that are already in your pantry and fridge. It's WHOLE FOODS that are fresh, new, different, interesting, and WILL go badif you don't eat them soon after buying it. That's a good thing!
I'm not saying that I am a "strict" paleo. Especially during pregnancy I've eaten my fair share of GF pretzels and bland, starchy foods. But what always brings me back to the paleo way of life is how WELL I feel, how FIT I feel, and the changes I've seen in my mood, body, and health while following this lifestyle.
I encourage you to open up your mind and try this paleo lifestyle. You are worth the extra time and money and you will feel 100% better about yourself. I promise!
If you want more information or want to join my "Heal Your Gut" challenge starting Jan 6, to help kickstart your paleo adventure and heal that LEAKY gut of yours, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you've ever tried the paleo lifestyle, I would LOVE to hear what you think! Leave a comment below.