A different way of eating just fell into my lap. My sister (Jennie!) told me about how she had just finished doing something called a Whole30 and was transitioning into a “Paleo” lifestyle – a lifestyle in which you look back in time and eat what humans were genetically programmed to digest. Fruit and vegetables that grow from the earth, fish and animals in their purest form. No preservatives, additives, fillers, chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides or who knows what else that our food is laced with these days. She said she had never felt healthier, and I was curious. Being a modern dieter, I was all about any kind of cleanse or detox ever invented, and since this thing pretty much sounded like a 30 day cleanse to me, I was all about it. I didn’t know it would change my life.
Everyone thought I was crazy.
I began a Whole30, and I really didn’t think I’d take it much further than 30 days. It was really hard at first. I worked in the food service industry, and was constantly surrounded by delicious food and alcohol. Plus, many people are not open minded enough to realize that perhaps what we have been taught our entire life about food is actually wrong, so I received flack from almost everyone in my life. The idea that a slice of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee with nonfat milk and splenda isn’t an excellent breakfast option, or to take it a little further, that any bread/milk/sugar (etc) is unhealthy, is something most people refuse to believe. However, two weeks into my Whole30 I was feeling so great I knew I’d never want to stop.
What I was feeling was really truly human.
I don’t know how else to describe it. I just felt the way I knew I was supposed to be feeling my whole life. My body was nourished and I had energy, I was sleeping at night and popping out of bed in the morning, my skin was clear, I wasn’t getting headaches, I wasn’t taking afternoon naps, I wasn’t gassy and bloated. I was changing my relationship with food, and my body was figuring out when I was full and letting me know (like its supposed to!). I was clearheaded and happy, I just felt so “well”. There are few things as satisfying as doing something healthy and excellent for the body.
My curiosity sparked.
I wanted to figure out exactly why I have been taught by friends, family, nutrition classes (I even studied nutrition in college…), magazines, books, media, movies, television, restaurants, doctors, nurses, health coaches, commercials, radio stations, schools, articles, advertisements, and documentaries that the food I had been eating my whole life was healthy, when ultimately it was leaving me fat, depressed, exhausted, hungrier, and craving. And why I had spent my entire life being “brainwashed” into buying foods that promote sickness, health problems, disease, and cancer.
I want to share my findings with you.
I live a busy, constantly on the go lifestyle. Incorporating the Paleo diet into that kind of lifestyle is difficult because almost every meal has to come from your own kitchen. We all know this is a fast-food nation, so that alone is a big adjustment for many, including myself. Because of this, I have struggled with falling off the Paleo wagon every now and then, and staying off the wagon for longer than I’d like to admit. The good thing about falling off the Paleo wagon is being able to personally experience the differences in how I feel when I am eating Paleo and when I’m not. I don’t claim to be perfect, but I do learn from my mistakes. And I have learned a lot of little tips and tricks to incorporate Paleo into my life without seeming like a freak. All you’ve gotta do is be a little creative.