Paleo Insights from member, Megan T.

BY MEGAN THOMAS My first exposure to the Paleolithic Diet was through the Paleo challenge and I surprised myself with how I felt about Paleo after those 23 days.  I approached the challenge as just that – something I would persevere through for a couple of weeks before I returned to eating what I considered ‘normal’ food.  I thought I liked food too much to avoid grains or cheese indefinitely.  At the end of those 23 days I had a change of heart.  I felt lighter, moved better at CrossFit, and had more energy.  I was also cooking much more and enjoying it.  My love of food made Paleo even more enjoyable because I was cooking and eating real, fresh food. Since the challenge has ended I have continued eating Paleo.  If I am presented with something like really great goat cheese or some killer smoked Gouda, I will indulge – but I no longer eat tasteless Swiss cheese on a bland Subway sandwich. The Paleolithic diet is not without its challenges, but much like everything these challenges subside as you continue.  The hardest part of the Paleo challenge was without a doubt the first week.  I struggled to determine what foods were allowed and what I would eat daily.  I had previously been going out to eat every day at lunch, and I had to put an end to that immediately.  If I had to do the challenge over again – I would spend a few days before the challenge researching which foods I could eat and thinking of meal plans.  I found that making a big pot of soup on Sunday and eating leftover soup for lunch throughout the week really helped me.  I am not a huge leftover fan, but homemade soup always tastes better the 2nd and 3rd day – so it was a win-win.  I was also really tired the first week of eating strict Paleo.  I don’t know if that can be attributed to a lack of sleep on my behalf or the diet, but after the first week/week and a half I saw an improvement in my energy level – especially when I first woke up.  I find myself drinking tea more often in the mornings instead of coffee, my old stand-by. There were a few websites that I found to be pretty valuable.  www.everydaypaleo.com has a ton of quick and easy recipes.  The egg cupcakes from Everyday Paleo and the spinach muffins from Whole 9 Life (whole9life.com) are great to prepare ahead of time and have for a quick breakfast or snack. I was fortunate enough to have a friend whose mom and sister have been Paleo for a while and they offered me some valuable advice as well: •                When you explain to someone your new lifestyle, ‘diet’ , focus on what you can eat not what you can’t.  For example: I eat meat, veggies, fruit and some nuts instead of “I can’t have bread, pasta, peanut butter, beans or cookies” . . . sigh.  Look on the whole 9 website and search for their sales pitch, it’s a really good article. •                Be prepared!  Make a dozen hard boiled eggs to always have in your fridge.  Stock up on guacamole, almond butter, baby carrots, celery, chicken breasts and veggies, veggies, veggies.  When you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. •                When you go Paleo, don’t worry about calories.  If you’re hungry, EAT.  You will be detoxing for the first few weeks and it’s important to fuel your body and try to get it on track- it’s about eating good food, not junk.  It takes a bit of time for your body to adjust to this.  Once you do, you’ll find it’s hard to go back because you’ll feel so good! •                When making a food choice ask yourself – will this make me more healthy or less healthy?  Don’t fall into the ‘paleofying’ trap.  Learn to change your eating habits and then add special Paleo treats (or real treats) back into your diet when you know you’re ready and your body is functioning the way it should.   POST COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS]]>

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