“Where do you want to eat?” Normally this question is followed by “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?” In an endless manner of back and forth until you pull through a drive through somewhere and typically neither person is overly happy with the choice, but it was dinner time and that means you have to eat. Right?
Where does it end? It just a few years ago that I felt that same way!
I am a huge proponent of a healthy lifestyle and not fad diets. Yes, sometimes we fall off the band wagon and we need a little bit of help jolting us back into place. This doesn’t mean a juice fast or some other crazy crash diet. This could mean something like Whole30 or mmaaaayyybbbeee even the Advocare 24 day challenge. I’ve had good experiences with both but that’s a different post in itself so let’s stay focused.
What does it really mean to live an overall healthy lifestyle and how do we sustain it? Whole30 or the 24Day Challenge are not a real sustainable way to live. They’re just not. Period. They can be used to help get you back on track and should never ever be used as a crash diet in hopes of losing a few pounds then back to old habits..
I get it, it’s extremely easy to fall into the yo-yo dieting routine
Believe me, I’ve been there. Where you’re in the 9-5 grind and when I got home, I was so tired I couldn’t see straight. The drive through was my friend for a few years, I hate to admit. Along the way I realized that I needed a sustainable way to live and eat. 2 words: Real. Food. I grew up eating real food, why did I fall off the cliff when I got out on my own? Well, because it’s so easy to do.
What is a simple, straight forward way to eat, that is actually manageable?
Paleo. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not super strict Paleo 100% of the time, but 85-90% of the time, I follow the Paleo lifestyle.
Is it sustainable for you? Of course it is.
But, don’t take my word for it.
Allow me to introduce you to, Jillian. She is a normal gal doing the daily grind and does CrossFit while eating true Paleo 99% of the time. She is not some high performance elite athlete who gets paid lots of money to stay fit or play a sport. Jillian is a real person and her interview will shed some light for you on what being Paleo really means, and how to get started.
“What is your name?
For those that might not know, what is Paleo?
Paleo diet is often known as the “caveman diet” meaning anything you can hunt and gather you can eat. Things like fish, meats, nuts, greens, veggies etc. Eliminating things like pasta, grains, and dairy
How long have been eating Paleo?
About a year
When did you start eating this lifestyle?
When I started CrossFit I really knew I needed to change my eating habits
What did your diet look like before?
Ah, my diet before… Well I had a bad problem with just not eating and when I did it was usually something that was quick and convenient.
What is the hardest thing about eating Paleo?
Paleo lifestyle for me is super easy now; the hardest adjustment was just learning to eat the right food and the right amount to fuel my body.
What is the easiest thing?
The easiest part is being able to just eat raw food in its purist state before all the consumers add the “junk” to it. It’s actually really refreshing to eat good clean food.
Did you gradually move into this eating style or did you jump in head first?
I definitely just jumped in head first and for me that worked.
How has eating Paleo affected your day to day?
It’s affected my day to day in such a positive way. I have so much more energy for the type of workouts I do and my body recovers so much better now. Never do I regret the decision to switch to Paleo.
Some people say that dairy and meat are necessary in their diets, what is your opinion on this?
For me, dairy is super harsh on my body. Like, super harsh and I would had never really understood what it did to my body until I cut it out. My endurance is better that it’s ever been and my body feels detoxed all the time, so I definitely don’t see how cutting that out has made any type of negative impact, only better.
Some people say that Paleo is just another fad diet. What do you say to this?
I see a lot of fad diets and they are just that, fad diets. Paleo is a lifestyle choice and one I feel like everyone should at least explore into. You change the way you view food and truly get a good understanding of how food affects your body.
What would you say to someone that says Paleo is not a sustainable way to live?
Everyone has their own opinion and what works for one may not work for another. However, I don’t agree that it’s not sustainable. This was how people consumed their food for many years and it worked. If your food is stripped down from all the toxins and chemicals how can it not be beneficial to our bodies?
There’s a lot of talk about Paleo recipes such as “Paleo Muffins” or “Paleo Cookies” do you consider these keeping true to what Paleo is? Why or why not?
I will be the first to say I’ve indulged in some “Paleo brownies” which were divine I will say, but, if we are talking about true Paleo lifestyle these would not be considered it. However, sometimes I “need” something sweet and instead of grabbing a candy bar, I will reinvent a healthy option. You have to figure out what works for you and adjust where needed.
What would you say to someone that is considering altering their diet to Paleo?
I would say what do you have to lose? You will only gain knowledge about the food you put into your body and get a better grasp on nutrition as a whole.
What is the very first step someone should take in becoming eating Paleo?
Start small. I jumped in but that may not be the best approach for all. So slowly start eliminating foods and adding new foods and let your body speak for itself. You’ll see the positive change and use that as motivation to keep going.”
So! What’d you think? Is Eating Paleo for You?
Did that help you at all? I know that choosing a lifestyle of eating is a big decision but guess what? Just because you try one out doesn’t mean that you’re stuck with it forever!
One of the things that I love about eating Paleo, and Jillian mentioned this as well, is that it makes it easy to make a decision on what to eat. It’s simple- eat real food. If you want to try to move to a Paleo lifestyle, start like Jillian said. Start small and work your way up.
Start with eliminating sugar from your diet (be sure to read your labels!) and make your dinners Paleo. Once you’ve got the hang of that after a week or two, then do lunch AND dinner Paleo. Then move all the way back to breakfast and before long, you’re eating all Paleo and you’ll be amazed at how you feel.
Bottom line? Eat real food. Your body deserves real food and eating Paleo isn’t about what you exclude, it’s about what you include. You wouldn’t use cheap paint to paint a masterpiece of art would you? Of course not! Same goes for your body. Fuel your body to be able to live well.
If you’d like some more help of where to start, you can head over to my other post, DANGER: Why Fad Diets are Bad for You and I go into some detail about other healthy eating styles.
Eat real food, sis. Your body will thank you for it.
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