It Can Be Either or Neither!
When I first began my Paleo adventure, and yes it was an adventure, I was all gung ho. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, it was OK to eat red meat and lots of it, fish, chicken and lots of fresh vegetables. I did not have to feel guilty about not liking to eat too much fruit. Paleo for Life, yes it had a real good ring to it until I had to cut out the sugar. The cavemen had no sugary stuff. Wow, what a withdrawal! I had a headache for a solid week! Then came the shopping list. Whole foods market and Sprouts for me. It was a bit of a shock to the wallet, but I was feeling so much better. I read all I could find so I could be as straight down the line as possible. As the days went on and yes, some pounds dropped off, the mood went up and down as I was still surrounded by all the stuff I had been eating before. I wasn’t a lousy eater, I wasn’t overweight and I regularly worked out. I just began to feel deprived. After all, the cavemen had nothing else and they burned a lot of energy hunting, gathering and keeping their families safe and warm.
The Lightbulb Goes Off!
When I began to view my Paleo way of eating as a choice and a lifestyle and not a diet, my mood and weight stabilized, I stopped researching everything and taking everything as gospel. I found that everyday grocery stores carried grass fed, organic food that was kinder to my wallet and I realized that Paleo for Life makes more sense than a Paleo Diet. Which if you drop off the t, that leaves the word Die!
Now I make choices based on what looks and tastes good and I have found that my choices have naturally evolved to making sound choices that make sense for today’s cavemen and cave women. There is no guilt where there is choice.
So What Does This All Mean?
It means that healthy food choices are widely available in the grocery stores and in restaurants. I have also found that many restaurants are accommodating if asked. Many have organic and gluten free choices readily available on their menus and I have asked even some fast food places for some accommodations from time to time. Although the fast food chains are getting better, they are still a bit of a challenge. I will address that issue in a later post.
So, the question that comes up in so many of the Paleo blogs out there is: Is it OK to have a cheat day? Meaning, can I have some bread or a dessert of some such thing? I leave that up to personal choice. We all have our levels of commitment to goals that we set for ourselves. If something is working, we want it to continue right? If one views Paleo as a lifestyle and not a diet, then the commitment is presumably for a lifetime. Some people have difficulty, others won’t. One of my mentors taught me a very powerful belief, and that is “flexibility is power” he who is most flexible has the most power. This belief has served me well. So you may guess that I am flexible in my approach to my Paleo for Life, which I will share in future posts.
So How Do I Get Started?
You are here and that is a great first step. I have an image of a food chart in several other posts on this website. They are good basic representations of the food comparison between the Paleo and non-Paleo food choices. I love good cuts of grass-fed meats, uncured bacon, cage-free eggs and wild-caught tuna. It was hard to walk on french fries, but I can throw some sweet potato fries in the oven from time to time. You can get some wonderful fresh organic greens and make a delicious salad and a trip to a local Farmer’s Market for some organic produce. Wonderful!
Meat, Fish, Chicken, greens. There are some wonderful recipes that I have made along the way as well. Make healthy, organic, gluten free choices and you will feel and look better. Make it a lifestyle, not a diet. When you want something that is not really Paleo friendly, remember that flexibility is power and congratulate yourself on what you have accomplished so far and the goals you set and your progress toward those. The Paleo Lifestyle is a journey, not a process. As with any journey, it will have its challenges, but it will likely be one of the better challenges you have had to overcome. Remember, this is a choice. Also, remember, the cavemen ate to live, they did not live to eat! Here is one of my go to sites for yummy cookbooks and recipes: Paleohacks! Get your first Cookbook Free!!
As always, I welcome your comments or questions below. I will respond ASAP!