Do as I say, not as I do…right?

Let me start this post with a huge sigh. Not 100% sure how to write that! but here goes:
Phaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

I believe in the theories behind Paleo. They make sense to me and I see plenty of evidence to support them. In fact, more and more evidence is coming to light that also supports the foundations of Paleo.

Problem is, it’s really tough to raise a Paleo baby. And what’s even tougher is being a paleo parent with a non paleo baby. I can’t make her breakfast and feed it to her and still have time to cook bacon and eggs. Produce enough meals and snacks to keep us both satisfied whilst managing the house and trying to find some side income. It’s an ideal that I feel I would never achieve despite my best intentions.

So, like many others and in the vein of keeping sanity, I’m compromising. I’m trying to do my best, by her and by myself, and not feel too badly about it.

We do toast. A lot. Yep, it’s bread and I’m not 100% happy about it but she loves toast and it means I can have breakfast with her instead of trying to remember to fit it into her first nap, along with showering, emptying and reloading the dishwasher, feeding the dogs and [hopefully] hanging out the washing. Sometimes she only stays down 40 mins….that 40 mins flies by! So yep, we do toast. That said, what ever goes on her toast I try to make as healthy as possible. Right now, she gets nut butter [ie Almond butter], butter and a wee bit of Vegemite or natural peanut butter. No, PB is not Paleo I know, but I take solace in the fact that it is natural, sugar & preservative free.

We snack on some fruit but I try to keep it to once or twice a day. It’s the only sweet she has and she loves it but I try to remember that fruit is a treat and too much is not good.

We snack on yoghurt [plain Greek, no sugar or flavour]…boiled eggs…cheese sticks…cruskits [rye] or brown rice cakes with avocado or peanut butter.

And for dinner, and usually next days lunch, we eat meat and veg. I try to keep pasta to a minimum but she LOVES it and on the days when it’s all she will eat, I am grateful for it. She also loves her veggies, a lot, which pleases me no end, but I cannot feed her nothing but vegetables, as I found out to my horror when an overload of veggies caused some very runny poop.

My big fails are that she has two ‘snack’ foods that are commercial, processed stuff: rusks and nutrios [little puffed corn snacks]. These two items are life saving when we are out and about and I cannot give them up just yet!

So that all sounds fairly bad, but here are my efforts, the things I do actually do, to try to keep us as healthy as possible.

No sugar. I have very little and my daughter has none. Apart from naturally occurring sugars in the fruit she eats, that is! I don’t give her anything and I don’t allow others to, either. Sugar in today’s quantities is poison.

Very little added salt. I am mindful of the salt content of food I give Ella. I don’t add it to our cooking at all, though I may add a little to my meal when eating, if I want to.

No processed foods. Well apart from the cruskits, rice cakes, rusks and nutrios. I make all of Ella’s food, which is fairly easy as I keep things simple. When we go out, now that she is eating meals with us, I try to keep my order for her as simple as possible too. Or bring our own food for her!

I don’t give her lollies, chocolate, ice cream or custard. She doesn’t have biscuits or crackers or cake. She only has full fat natural dairy, without flavours or preservatives.

The side effect is that the above applies for the most part, to my diet as well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not as strict on what I eat as I am with what I feed Ella but I try to treat myself with the same consideration and concern as I do her, as much as possible.

So there you go. It’s a long way from Paleo but it’s also a long way from the ‘average’ diet I think. I’m gradually thinking of ways to replace the foods I wish we didn’t eat but I know it will take a while.

I struggle every day with the guilt of feeding my daughter foods that I do believe cause ill health, such as grains. But I try to balance that with a pat on the back for all the foods I don’t feed her, like sugar and processed crap.

Gees this post is an ESSAY!!! Crazy. See why I started with a sigh?!?!?!?!

I’m doing my best. And I’m doing ok. And hopefully, we will get there.

x S

Advertisements

Paleo… is it worth the weight?

So, one thing I hear a lot at the moment is that Paleo is a “diet” [as in, a method to lose weight].  That its “like the Atkins diet”, which, for those who don’t know it, is a high protein, high fat diet that embraces processed foods. There are loads of pictures of people ‘before and after’ Paleo and I’ve yet to see one where the subject wasn’t skinnier in the ‘after’ [although I can imagine that such a person would not likely display their failure].

That said, I’ve never thought of Paleo as a way to lose weight. It’s been about eating healthier and feeling better, physically.  Losing weight has been a side effect.  For both myself and my husband, weight started to drop off within two weeks of going Paleo.  It involved no conscious decision or effort by either of us.

I know for certain its due to the change to Paleo because the day I start to eat ‘bad’ foods, the weight starts to return. I kid you not.  Here is the chart of my weight since Feb, when we started Paleo:

Image

I have had 3 ‘non-Paleo’ [NP] periods since Feb; for just over a week at the end of March/beginning April, again from 12-19 April and then recently when I went to Lombok mid-May.

Now here’s the same chart, with those three periods highlighted:

Image

The results are fairly conclusive in my personal case!

I notice it physically the day I go NP.  It does depend on what I eat as to how quickly I feel it – for example within 1/2hr of eating a chicken & avocado focaccia a few weeks ago I was in a fair bit of discomfort – stomach cramps, bloating and generally feeling sick.  Whereas something like a one-off pasta I can tolerate a lot better.  But if I fall right off the wagon, by the next day I can feel it.  I feel sluggish, heavier and whatever the opposite of lean is.  And the weight starts to creep on immediately.

Thankfully, if I get back on the wagon, the opposite is also true. Within about 24 hours I feel cleaner and lighter.  And I am lighter – within a week I will be back to the weight I was before the deviation.

This draws me to the conclusion that the extra weight that I was carrying is created and sustained by processed foods, sugar, dairy and grains.  When I stop consuming those types of foods and replace them with nutritious vegetables, meat, fruit, fats and eggs, my body is able to flush the ‘crap’ out and so, I lose weight.  Start eating them again and they stockpile faster than I can get rid of them. I’d almost bet on sugar being one of the main culprits, and also over consumption of carbs via grain eating.  We just can’t process sugar in the ginormous amounts we consume via processed food and drink, so it sticks and causes fluffiness, bloating, nausea.  And unless you are an elite athlete, the amount of carbs most people consume is never going to get utilised as fuel so it ends up as stores.  Energy in = energy out right?  So if you consume it but don’t use it, you store it as gained weight. And let’s be frank, while we aren’t talking about a lot in my case, maybe 5-6 kg, this figure represents approx. 10% of my body weight so it is worth mentioning.

That all said, I do know people on Paleo who haven’t seen any change from their pre-Paleo weight – unsure why and of course everyone is different. Individual circumstances need to be taken into account too, I guess.

So is Paleo good for weight loss? I have to say no.  Because, I firmly believe if weight loss if your motivation for going Paleo, you are going to fail.  It’s just too easy to get discouraged and stop.  Anyone I know who’s tackled this way of eating specifically to lower the numbers on their scales has not lasted a week.  Paleo needs to be a lifestyle change for the right reason – overall health and well-being – for it to stick… if you don’t lose 5 kilos you won’t feel discouraged because that’s not your goal. So you’re more likely to stick to it, get healthier and probably lose five kilos along the way.

I do encourage anyone who’s curious or doesn’t feel good physically right now to give it a go, for sure. But give it a proper go – 30 days at least.  Take all your measurements ‘Pre-Paleo’, take photo’s, whatever.  Then put away the scales, tapes and cameras and dedicate yourself to researching foods and recipes, reading blogs and books. Learn something new, try different fruits and vegies, get creative with spices.  Take note of your clothing – is it getting looser? Record how you feel.

After thirty days later – reassess. Re-take your measurements and photos.  Ask yourself, was it worth it? Is how you look and feel now worth giving up some of your favourite foods? Choose your path. And then… go forward 🙂

x S

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