Why We Chose to Go Paleo

A few years ago my family and I decided to give our lifestyle a “face lift“. Like most people we didn’t have the best diet. I mean, we ate organic every once in a while, but that wasn’t a staple. Other than that, “You make it, we’ll take it” that was our motto.

You grow so complacent in this type of lifestyle that you don’t even realize what you are ultimately doing to your body, slowly, over time. It wasn’t until my husband approached me about this “Paleo Diet” he had been reading about, that got the ball rolling. He said that he really wanted to give it a try to see if he could lose some weight.

Around the same time, a couple of my girlfriends had begun their journey on the Whole 30 and were having exceptional results. But not just with weight, with other long-term ailments as well. Could these things be linked??

I knew this diet wasn’t going to be easy, from what they were saying. You had to cut out everything normal. Grain, dairy, sugar (any sweetener of any kind), soy, legumes, alcohol —Wait! What? No Wine!

Reluctantly, I figured why not. Its only 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days. I just assumed I would do it, get through it and then add it all back in, after. Piece of cake ,I mean something grain, dairy, and sugar free! (I’ll miss you cake)

Let me be the first to tell you, this was no “diet”. It was hell!!! It was the hardest thing I had ever done, and it was only day 2!! What was I going to eat? I can’t do this! Bring on the bread, cheese and wine!! But I stuck with it, because my husband never asks for this type of thing and I am always encouraging him to go to the gym and stay healthy, so I needed to do this for him. Little did I know, I really needed this, too.

We had just had our first child the year before, and this mama had not lost her baby weight yet. I was still rocking those yoga pants like it was my job (and I didn’t do yoga, just to be clear). So onward we went and day by day it got a little easier. I was able to think of new foods to make to keep things interesting and new ways to make them. By the end of it, I was not just making recipes, I was creating them!

I had found my groove and turned this once thought to be “diet” into a complete lifestyle change! My passion for cooking flourished and I was not only looking good in the kitchen, I was looking Good. 

Without even trying, I manged to lose 15 lbs in 30 days simply by eating. I not only fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, I actually had to buy smaller ones! And not just that, there were health benefits too.

I’ve lived with chronic back pain, to the point that I was seeing the chiropractor at least 1-2 times a week and basically lived on Ibuprofen. Suddenly, that pain and discomfort were gone! I also had sensitive tooth pain that limited the chewing on one side of my mouth for years, and it was just, gone, too! I couldn’t believe it. How did all of this happen just by changing our diet?

I think by far the biggest change, was the fact that I didn’t miss my old foods anymore. I was able to find ways to still enjoy the things that I loved, but in a better way. And my whole family was benefiting. My husband lost 20 lbs, and my son was eating real, whole foods. It was incredible.

Now if you know anything about the Whole30, you know that it isn’t meant to be the end all be all. You are only supposed to do this as a way to sort of cleanse and reset those bad habits. After you’ve completed those 30 days you can slowly add foods back in to see how your body reacts and what they do to your system.

For me, grain, but mostly wheat was off the table. Not only did it cause incredible stomach discomfort and major bloating, it was a major cause of arthritis flare ups in my right knee. It makes it painful to bend and if I move it too quickly it gives out.

Sounds strange I know, but wheat, in fact, all grain has been linked to causing inflammation in people suffering from arthritis. I did find that I could successfully tolerate rice on occasion, but wheat, wheat was out. Along with Dairy and Soy.

The dairy not only caused allergy like symptoms, as well as my chronic runny nose. But it also caused the pain in my back to flare up, due to a calcium buildup. And the soy reacted the same way. Not to mention it caused some stomach issues as well. Now, I won’t lie, I’ve been known to have a slice of pizza or two on occasion, knowing full well the consequences that lay ahead. But sometimes, those few moments of greasy delicious heaven in my mouth, are well worth the suffering I’ll endure later. Sometimes.

For my family and I, we chose to live the Paleo lifestyle for good. Just like everyone else, we aren’t perfect. We probably live it 80/20. And that’s okay. We’ve found a real love for real foods. And that’s what keeps us going. I can honestly say when we aren’t eating right, say we are on vacation for instance. I feel lethargic and gross, just physically not right. (Probably because I make it my mission to track down and consume every morsel of sugar and ingest every bit of crap that I can find).  That may or may not have something to do with it. Just saying.

But, I inevitably always come back around, because, honestly, I have no desire to eat like that every day. Now, wine, that’s another story. Yes. I did give that up for those 30 days, and it was great. I felt good, blah blah blah. But then I immediately added that back into my life. Because wine is good. Wine is made with grapes. Grapes are a fruit. Fruit is good for you. The End.

Do not question my logic. We’re just gonna roll with it. Because Wine.

 

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