I’m becoming a full Paleo convert….

I was recently at a demo party and, knowing the host was Paleo, the demonstrator asked “So who else here is Paleo?”  I was shocked to note that of the 8 or so guests, five of us were paleo and two of the others call themselves ‘mostly Paleo’. 

I felt like I’d suddenly found long lost family – noooo actually it was more like I’d just found out these people were members of the same small, select and super awesome club that I belonged to.  It was so great!  The conversation was fantastic – sharing recipe ideas, how we overcame lack of snacks or breakfasts, our paleo experience.  I really can’t describe how comfortable and validated I felt.  Here were people who understood the ‘why’, who I didn’t have to try to explain or justify to, who knew exactly how I felt when we talked about eating out or grains or why sugar is the anti-christ.

I know I had already decided to embrace Paleo for good but I have to admit that the last 3 weeks have sort of been hard. Mainly because I was on shift, and the other half and I didn’t adequately prepare snacks etc. so pulling together lunch bags for 12hr shifts had been challenging. To say the least.  But after the experience of being around so many people who got me I realised that sticking to it is important.  That those who disagree with what I believe aren’t right and I’m wrong – they are just different to me and I shouldn’t start doubting how important staying Paleo has become to us.

It would be so easy to go back.  SO easy.  I mean, I could just go buy so much easy to prepare, ready made, pour from a tin foods and cut down my prep time, my imagination required.  Just go to the lunch bar and buy takeaway. 

But I don’t want to.  And now, I feel strongly again about that. I am not saying that being around other Paleo people has changed my mind or that I was going to give it up but now I’m not; I just feel like my conviction has been reinforced.  I’m not that easily swayed by others but I think everyone, now and then, likes to experience that kind of validation.  Reassurance that you’re not the crazy one.  That there are others who believe what you believe to be true.

Lord, I’m almost starting to sound like a religious convert… scary thought.  But in a lot of ways, the other half and I going Paleo has almost been like converting to a religion in terms of suddenly there’s a fundamental difference between us and a lot of people we know and love; we have a lot of conversations trying to explain our beliefs and answer questions; we refrain from doing certain things that we used to and that our friends still do do and thoroughly enjoy.  The more I think about it, the more similarities I can see between people who choose the Paleo way and people who follow a religion devoutly. 

Well, if Paleo is my religion then my body is my god and temple and I show my reverence for it by feeding it whole, real, clean food.  I might start taking every Sunday off, too!

So – slowly but surely being Paleo is becoming just part of who I am – who we are.  Every now and then we have little setbacks but they usually end up making us more convinced we’re on the right track and determined to persevere.  We get little motivators or experiences that show us why we’re doing what we do, why we say no to grains, legumes, sugar and processed foods and drink.  It just so happens that this time it was a cooking demonstration.  May not have sold me on the two thousand dollar super blender but I’m definitely renewing my order for a healthier, lighter, smarter Paleo lifestyle 🙂

 

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The [final?] “Weekly” Update

I’ve been pretty slack of late but you’ll have to forgive me – I had a wedding to attend, in Lombok, at a resort… it was sublime. If you ever need a break to just relax, may I respectfully suggest you check out Qunci Villas, Lombok.  Amazeballs. The wedding was OK too…. Kidding! Of course the wedding was the highlight, the ceremony was stunning and the reception was in the most beautiful villa I have ever seen, bar none.  AND, to my immense satisfaction, the food was superb. Not strictly Paleo, but fantastic nonetheless.  As we know, sometimes it’s OK to fall off the wagon, right?  If you don’t know what I’m on about, see here [insert link to previous post].

Anyway. This is supposed to be about Paleo – my Paleo journey.  Not Shane and Erika’s wedding.  I thought it was time I did a weekly update – which should be renamed because I haven’t exactly been doing them weekly eh?  And then I realised, with amazement, that without realising, my husband and I have completed our 3 month trial. Shock! Horror! I can unpack all those pantry goods… I can eat normally again… I can have a less than astronomical food bill…

Or…

I can continue to enjoy the light and clean feeling I have.  I can continue to eat as much as I want and still remain lean and healthy.  I can continue to feel great about the quality of nutrition I am putting into my body.  I can continue to discover tasty, satisfying recipes that I never, ever have to feel the slightest twinge of guilt about eating.

Hmmm. Tough choice.

I think that my husband I wordlessly decided, quite a few weeks ago, that we would never go back.  “Going Paleo” was probably the healthiest thing we have ever done and neither of us wants to undo the good we believe we’ve done ourselves.   Yes, we now include some dairy in our diet, and we occasionally have non-paleo meals when out and about, but on the whole we are very, very happy with how we choose to live.

So many people ask me, ‘so are you still doing that diet?’, and seem shocked when I say yes – and then confused when I follow up with, ‘Well, it’s not a diet; it’s more a way of living.’  It seems inconceivable to so many that I could cheerfully say goodbye to grains and legumes, forever.  Especially when they realise how much of the modern diet contains grains or legumes such as soy.

But, I say, why wouldn’t I continue with this way of eating when it works so well for me? When I’ve slimmed down, feel 100% better, no longer suffer from any digestive issues, have clearer skin and best of all, feel so emotionally / mentally good about how I’m treating my body?

I know loads of people who have ‘tried’ Paleo and been unable to stick it; that’s fine. At least they tried it.  And loads of people who say ‘Oh I could never do that, I love [insert variable item here] too much.’ Again, that’s fine. I have very little desire to ‘convert’ people to Paleo.  It’s not a religion and I don’t think anyone who isn’t Paleo is any less responsible, any more likely to die than me, etc.  Sure I’d love for everyone to feel as good as I do and I sincerely believe that everyone would be better off if they ate this way, but it’s not up to me. These are my beliefs…I won’t preach.

But for those who try to ridicule my husband or myself, or judge us for our choices – well, I’ve no time for them.  I have plenty of information to support my beliefs and am happy to discuss the ideas behind Paleo with them. They aren’t really the listening type though.

So – how are we going, overall? What foods are we eating?

Well, typically for me breakfast is eggs and bacon – fried, or in scrambled eggs; or breakfast muffins, or a recent favourite is fried eggs on sweet potato ‘toast’ [soooo yum].  An alternative to this is what’s known as ‘intermittent fasting.’ Not for everyone – my husband doesn’t do it – it basically means cutting out one of the “standard” three meals per day, or, in more Paleo friendly terms, increasing the non-eating period in a day from the typical 8 hours [sleep time] to 12 – 16 hours.  I literally do it only because, some days, I am simply not hungry when I wake up and so I don’t force myself to eat. As a bonus, it gives my digestive system a longer period to clear itself out once in a while.

Lunch can be anything – I have things like left overs, salmon or chicken and salad, or jumbled veggies.

Dinner – seriously the sky is the limit.  We’ve had every meal you can think of from chicken schnitzel to roast beef to Thai green curry with [cauliflower] rice. Or my personal favourite so far: Bangers n Mash …grass-fed beef sausages with cauliflower mash n onions….oh my lord it was good!!

Snacks: Kale chips, sweet potato or beetroot chips from Coles/Woolworths; homemade granola bars, banana or pumpkin bread, nuts or fruit; maybe date & cocoa balls if we want to be naughty [too much sweet is still not ideal, even when the “sweet” is not sugar!].

What we drink: water and sparkling mineral water [sometimes with a slice of lime for something different] with <10% sodium/100ml; my husband also loves coconut water but me, not so much; coffee [white, but no sugar, and max 2 cups per day] and black or green tea. That’s truly it.

What we sometimes eat: dairy [cheese, milk, ghee], potato and for me, pasta. Not often though. It’s a special treat and I cannot wait to try to make sweet potato gnocchi.  I was wondering if it was possible and then had it at that resort I just stayed in – see the start of this post! – and it was absolutely scrumptious. So that’s on my soon-to-do list!

What we sometimes drink: wine [white and red, organic preferred], vodka [with mineral water & fresh lime] or very, very occasionally my husband will have a couple of beers.

Reading back over that, I almost feel like it sounds quite staid and boring but I can assure you it isn’t, the possibilities are endless and you are limited only by your imagination or your internet connection.

So that’s it. 3 mths of Paleo, done. Would be awesome if I could put up before and after photos but I didn’t take any before shots. Really wish I had now! And got the ‘before bloods’… apparently it is a startling result for most.

My only question at this point, is whether or not to continue this blog… I mean it was supposed to be about my journey from Pleb to Paleon, which is kind of complete… but on the other hand I am really enjoying sharing my thoughts. Hmmm. I guess I’ll have a think and see if I think there’s more I have to offer… let me know YOUR thoughts, if you want – do YOU want to see more from me? Either way, I’ll be sure to be back at least once, if only to say a final adieu.

As always – thanks for reading… have a fabulous day be good to yourselves….See you next time

x S

Oh, PS – I just found another great site for us Paleons: paleononpaleo.com – check it out!

x S

Paleo…. or Primal??!

So, firstly, apologies for the absence of late, I’ve come off my 2 week swing at work and when you spend 14 days straight sitting at a PC for 12hrs a day, the LAST thing you want to do when you get some down time is… surprise… sit at a PC. But I’m sufficiently recovered now, so here I am.

[Note: I spent the first lot of downtime exploring cooking the Paleo way – came up with loads of yummy food – I WILL post recipes, or links to recipes, soon]

On my mind at the moment [today] though, is some interesting research outcomes that I experienced recently.  I was just doing my usual net surfing for Paleo stuff, and I kept coming across “Primal” as opposed to “Paleo”.  I had assumed they were the same thing, but apparently not.  So – I looked into “Primal”, mostly via an awesome blog called “Mark’s Daily Apple” [google it], and now I’m wondering… am I Paleo, or am I Primal??

The more I read, the more I got confused, concerned, etc., until my head was about to implode and I didn’t know WHAT I was.  So I shut the laptop down and walked away.  After a couple of days, I had the nerve to look again.

There are some key differences, and to get your head around them I suggest you head to a particular post on Mark’s blog = http://www.marksdailyapple.com/whats-the-difference-between-primal-and-paleo/#axzz2OMKOCyva

But there are also the key similarities, and I guess these are the most important: stop eating processed foods… they just are NOT good!  Don’t eat grains: we just are NOT supposed to. Cut out Dairy [or limit it, according to Primal]: our bodies are just NOT that able to deal with it. And don’t eat sugar: it was NEVER designed to be eaten by us, unless you mean grabbing a stalk from a sugar cane plant and munging on it.  And good luck with that – I have – ugh 😦

I guess the thing that motivated this post for me was that I did not appreciate, being already confused as the Paleo world seems vague enough to me now [some eat dairy, some don’t, some eat eggs, some don’t, etc.] by finding another diet that is strikingly similar but actually different, JUST to confuse me more.

But.  We are four weeks into our 3 mth trial.  My husband has lost 6kgs and now holding steady and I have lost 4.9kg [still going down, but more slowly now, and I’m sure will go up as I get toned….?].  We both feel better for eating this way.  We are both sticking to the ‘rules’ – neither of us have cheated yet, no 85/15 for us EXCEPTING when our remote location doesn’t allow for anything other than a slight cheat.  Actually that’s not totally true. We had ‘Paleo Pasta’ last night – you can buy it here: http://paleopasta.com/ – and it has both quinoa and xantham gum in it. But OH WELL. It was a tiny cheat and gave me a fix of pasta which is the one thing I am absolutely always going to miss.

I now cannot even fathom eating food that contain grains [esp corn – its EVERYWHERE] or any ingredient that has a number in brackets after it.

So. My conclusion in regards to Paleo / Primal is that I need to look into it more and I will most probably pick n choose what suits from both.  For example, I won’t be drinking soda with artificial sweetners, as allowed by the Paleo diet apparently; but I may start to include some dairy now that I’ve passed the initial 30 days, as allowed by the Primal diet.  My suggestion to any readers is to do the same.

I better go now… my husband has just informed me that I need to get dinner going because he’s hungry. On the menu tonight: lamb chops with a spice rub, broccolini with garlic and steamed squash.  Surprising how much I’m looking forward to such a ‘clean’ meal; I think my actual tastebuds have been revived!

Thanks for reading – follow me if you’ve not already – and feedback is ALWAYS welcome 🙂

Eck so, eck so,

Paleo Girl