There are lots of different ways to eat healthy today, from gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, raw, organic, and of course my favorite...Paleo!
So how do you know which one is best for you? Do you chose one just because your friend is doing it? Start by asking yourself this question: What happens when I eat meat? What happens when I eat raw vegetables? When I eat dairy? When I eat grains? Those are questions that you need to be honest with yourself. Do you get stomach issues, do you go to the bathroom right after, do you start to get phlegm built up in your throat?
When I started to take a closer look into my nutrition, I began with reading all the ingredients on the back of each package. As you may have already guessed, I discovered how little I knew about food. What does this even say? How do you even pronounce this? So the next thing I did was reach out to my mentor, Nicolas Zahasky, for help. He taught me how grains, dairy, processed foods, and even meats can react in our bodies. He didn't say I couldn't have any of those, just that when you get a poorly made food, bad things can happen to the insides of our bodies. Now there is a science behind how each of those food groups effect people differently, but I am not a Registered Dietician, nor a Nutritionist so I don't claim to know everything about the science behind food. However, I do enjoy educating myself daily every morning from published books on nutrition, podcasts from Registered Dieticians, Personal Trainers, and Nutritionists, as well as newsletters talking about the effects of food.
So What is Paleo?
Paleo, also known as "Primal," Paleolithic," or even "Caveman Diet." Let me begin by tellingyou that this is not a diet, nor are we actual caveman and cave-women. These are just names that are used to refer to the way we choose to eat. It is safe to say that we do not need to become or act like a caveman, in order to eat Paleo. Lucky for you, you don't have to get out your tiny pieces of cloth to cover up your body, but you do have to nourish your body to grow, heal, and thrive similar to cavemen and women.
The concept of this form of eating is quite simple: eating foods that nourish your body and allow chronic inflammation to subside and heal. This will allow your own body to start thriving instead of simply surviving. Some people may say, "well I don't have any allergies to foods, so I really don't need to try Paleo nutrition habits." On the contrary, it is believed to be an important key component to everyone to try this form of lifestyle. Some people may also say, "I don't feel unhealthy or sick." In reality, a lot of people are sick, and they are just used to feeling miserable, and don't know any better! Sad right!?
With that being said, why not try this, and see if you can start to feel your body recovering from sickness, and begin to heal? We all absorb nutrients and vitamins in different ways, so if there is a way to elevate your mood and make your body look and feel better, why not give it a try!?
How long do I need to try Paleo to see results?
Since Paleo has become this newer way of eating, it is scary for some. I remember feeling like "will I even be getting enough food?" "Will I feel full after eating?" The answer to both of those questions are YES YES YES! Most times it is hard for me to finish my meal because it is so nutrient dense that I get fuller, FASTER! Awesome right? If these fears sound like you right now, I strongly recommend you try Paleo for 30 DAYS. Start with omitting grains, proceed to refined sugar, and then go on omitting dairy. Take small steps, such as removing breads from sandwiches and replacing with huge lettuce leaves or swapping apple slices and almond butter for your normal crackers and cheese. Once you begin to make these small steps, keep a close eye on how your body reacts. Keep a watch out for how your skin changes, your hair, and your gut! Watch how your sleeping patterns change and improve. Pay close attention to your energy levels. Keeping track of these characteristics will help you become aware of your body and what it has been missing out on! Also, noticing these changes will help you discover which food groups may harm your mind and body.
Your Changing Body- 30 Days
As the days go forward, so does the progress to heaing your damaged gut. There is a list created by "The Paleo Kitchen - Finding Primal Joy in Modern Cooking" by Juli Bauer & George Bryant, of things to cut out your first 30 days:
- Absolutely all grains
- FAKE Food
- Refined Oils and SUGARS
- Starchy Vegetables, Particularly White Potatoes
This will allow the chronic inflammation you are suffering (and may not even know) from to subside, and your gut to repair itself. Then gradually reintroduce starchy vegetables, dairy, and alcohol one at a time to see how it effects your body. During this time, you may come to find that you have food intolerance. This is common with dairy, I certain have issues when I eat dairy now. I get a phlegmy throat, and bloated. Not fun! There are times when I really want a bowl of organic cereal and some milk, so I make sure to either do almond milk (which is not dairy) or RAW cow's milk, which is only legal in some states. I also choose to use grass-fed butter, and cream to ensure I'm still getting sufficient nutrients. When you are going to slowly bring back alcohol, make sure you stray away from grain-based alcohol, or avoid all together.
What you SHOULD be eating:
- Grass-Fed Meats
- Wild-Caught Fish and Seafood
- Vegetables-green leafy and low starch
- Nuts and Seeds
- Healthy Fat/Oils
Things to begin doing:
- Go through your cabinets and get rid of plastic containers in exchange for glass.
- Create a fun environment in the kitchen
- Bring your kids with for the ride
- Keeping veggies and meat in the front of the refrigerator
- Always create a grocery list before you go (SAVES US HUNDREDS $$)
- Communicate on how much you will be going out to eat
- If working out, make sure you are eating enough throughout the day
- Get support from friends and family
- Label your favorite types of foods so you always have it on hand
- One bad meal won't kill your progress, and one good meal won't create your full success
- Ask for guidance (I'M RIGHT HERE FOR YOU-August BootCamp incorporates this into the program)
- Fish and Seafood
- Organ Meats- liver, heart
Summer Time Fruits
- Green Beans
- Okra---Had this for first time in North Carolina!
Nuts and Seeds/Healthy Fats
- Almond butter and other nut butters
- Macadamia nuts
- Sunflower seeds
- Avocado, coconut, olive oils
- Bacon fat
- Duck fat
- Ghee- new love over butter!
- Grass fed butter
- Arrowroot Power
- Baking powder and soda
- Almond meal/flour
- Coconut butter and flour
- Coconut Milk
- Coconut Oil
- Coconut sugar
- Dark chocolate- 72% cacao
- Lemon Extract
- Nut flours
- Tapioca Flour
- Unsweetened and unsulfured dried fruit
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Unsweetened shredded coconut
- Spices and herbs
- Organic Honey or Maple syrup
- Organic Ketchup
- Hot sauce
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Coconut Amino
- Sesame Oil
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Tomato paste and sauce
- Coconut water
- pumpkin puree
Try to purchase your produce and meats from your local farmers market, it is cheaper and safe. Eat the whole egg, the yolk is the most nutrient dense of the whole egg. If you have to go get fruits from the grocery store, make sure the sticker on the fruit starts with a "9" or is label Organic. Those will be safe to eat, and away from pesticides and chemicals.
Paleo is my FAVORITE way to eat, it has changed my whole mindset of food, and I am more educated because of it. My body is stronger, healthier, faster, energized, and I sleep like a rock! Do you want this too? Well my August BootCamp Sparkle and Shred starts the 1st, and I will be coaching you with this style of eating, along with workouts without the gym! Go to this RIGHT HERE to get in on my Sparkle & Shred BootCamp now!