Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My New Year's resolution

Happy New Year!

I know, I know, the year is 1/12th of the way over (where the heck did January go?), and I have yet to write my first post. But Happy New Year anyway!

How are your resolutions going? I hate the word "resolutions" because it has such a negative connotation. People expect you to make and break them in the first six weeks of a new year. So instead, I like to make goals all year round. And the biggest goal that I had this year was to try out the Paleo way of eating.

Recently a few of my friends have expressed interest in Paleo, so I thought I would share more about my experience with Paleo so far, and the unexpected lessons that I've learned.
There is a lot of information about Paleo out there, and like most ways of eating, there are a countless number of ways that you can do it. The idea is that if we eat more like our ancestors and less like the highly-processed modern food system, our bodies will be better able to fight disease and more capable of health. Some people avoid dairy, some avoid all types of grains (even the gluten free ones). Personally, I decided to start this health challenges under the guidelines of the Whole 30 program.

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So... why are you eating Paleo?
I love that Paleo is a complete departure from the processed foods dominating our food system--processed foods that I believe are to blame for disease and obesity. I also want to break myself of the bad food habits I have developed over the years. Because it is NOT OKAY to reach for multiple Cokes every day just to make it through. It's NOT OKAY to crave Oreos all the time (Oh, sweet Oreos, how I love thee). It's NOT OKAY to eat substances with a longer shelf life than I do. By eating real food, your body breaks its addiction to these pseudo-foods and gets a lot healthier in the process. What better time for me to lay the foundation for healthy eating now, before I have a family?

How has eating Paleo impacted me?
The transition has not been easy. and I have had a few set  backs and slip ups. But mostly, I feel great after starting this program. I feel lighter, more energetic. It's easier to get up in the morning. The hardest part about eating Paleo is preparation. Meal planning is an absolute must. Without a plan, it's very easy to just order pizza and give up. But after a few weeks the necessary prep work is going faster. Breakfast is still a difficult meal because (a.) I am not a huge egg fan and (b.) most Paleo breakfasts require cooking. in the morning. which means getting up earlier. (Not one of my strong points, but I am working on it.)

Am I going to do this forever?
Honestly, I don't know. Paleo eating wipes out a lot of fun things, like drinking frothy coffee drinks and eating out at most restaurants. Right now, my goal is to make all my homemade meals Paleo, and just do the best I can for special occasions. Whenever I have a family, I believe in feeding them the healthiest meals and freshest foods possible, so I hope some of the things I am learning now will carry over in the future.

Tips for going Paleo
I've only been doing this for about a month, but these are my suggestions for those interested in trying Paleo foods:

Research, research, research. 
Read everything you can about Paleo eating so you can know what to expect. Understanding the nutrition behind Paleo is a great way to motivate yourself. 
Make a plan before you start. 
Find a great Paleo blog or cookbook and plan out exactly what you are going to eat for the first week (or longer, if you are an adept meal planner). Do all the prep work you can on the weekend so putting together a meal doesn't send you into a blind frenzy and subsequent bad food binge. 
Always eat breakfast.
It seriously is the most important meal of the day because it sets the tone of how you are going to eat during the day. For me, I have to plan  enough time to make breakfast OR I need to make breakfast ahead of time (think breakfast casserole or quiche).  I try to have a back-up plan if I hit the snooze button one too many times. 
Do a preemptive strike on cravings.
You will be on track with eating and then the next moment, WHAM. You have an all-consuming desire for a Sonic Dr. Pepper. (As I am writing this I am craving a cheesy sandwich from WhichWich... get behind me, Satan!)  You've gotta be ready for that moment. Have some go-to snacks. For me, it's dehydrated veggies and fresh guacamole. I also try to have some tea on the ready if I need something other than water. 
Speaking of water, drink plenty of it.
There is no diet in the world that will tell you to limit water. Just do it. Drink one or two more glasses than you think you need.  
Hope this helps if you plan on going Paleo! Remember, I am not a doctor or nutritionist. You should talk to a medical professional before you play with your diet or do tons of research on your own!


  1. Nice! I got a juicer for Christmas and I've been trying to add fresh juices and overall more fresh fruits/veggies to my diet... it's amazing how much better you feel when you eat healthy! keep it up, darling!

    1. Thanks! it's definitely a challenge but I can tell that I feel so much better when I am eating lots of fresh, whole foods.

  2. Whoa, Paleo? I've thought about doing that, but after trying different things of that nature I realize I personally feel super boxed in and limited and end up going crazy. I'm so proud of you for trying and sticking with it! I'd be interested to see what types of food you make. I try and make at least one "processed free" meal a week because I feel like it's good to start somewhere, right?

    1. And by "interested" in what types of food you make, I meant you should post recipes. :) I always like knowing what my friend's personal faves are!

    2. I get where you are coming from! It is really intimidating at first. That's why research and planning is SO important for me. But I have realized that I am trying so many new foods and recipes this way! Instead of just cooking the same things over and over I am forced to do stuff differently which has been really fun! I will try to post some of the recipes I cook soon!