You know that I am not one of those people who is in to fad diets. Not in the slightest. I have always believed that following healthy eating principles is the way to go. I always try to help my clients get into the habit of eating foods closest to their natural forms. In doing this you rid your diet of processed foods that can be full of added chemicals, sugars, and additives that can be extremely unhealthy for you. Consistency of good habits is where it's at people.
I have had a lot of friends and coworkers in the past few years that have decided to follow a Paleolithic form of eating. This idea is very similar to the method of eating that I have already been following, but with some added strictness. The basic idea behind paleo eating is to follow the basic diet that a caveman would eat. I have been reading up on this type of lifestyle, and have never really thought I would be able to stick to it because, as you know, I don't love meat. However, I have been wanting to get a little more strict with my diet, and change up my exercise routine, and I feel like adapting what I eat closer to this method may be beneficial for me.
The Primal Blueprint, and the main idea this book expresses that the paleo way of eating is cutting out ALL processed foods and sugar. Yep...all of them. In doing so you help your body to become a fat burning machine instead of always just burning up the carbohydrates that we tend to feed ourselves day in and day out.
Now, I still believe in whole grains. BUT, I am also always willing to give something new, that sounds reasonable and healthy, a shot.
So...as of TODAY I plan to...
- Eliminate all processed foods. Harder than it may sound. No sweeteners, no sugar free anything, not even any honey.
- Build my meals around lean protein, fresh veggies, fresh fruits, nuts, and good fats.
- Eliminate grains and legumes (This is going to be the hardest part for me. No oatmeal, no peanut butter, no beans, no Kashi cereal when I need something quick. YIKES.) The reasoning behind this is because of the way they are processed. Oftentimes these items activate an insulin response which can cause your body to store fat.
- Increase good fats. This is a crazy one for me as well because although I do include some good fats in my diet, I generally keep my fat percentages on the low end. The primal way of eating encourages a higher fat content with the notion that as you cut out the excess carbohydrates and sugar, your body then uses fat as fuel. The fear of fats that has been instilled in our overweight population has come from the fact that most high fat diets are also high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. The combination of a great deal of sugar, refined carbs, AND a great deal of fat can be deadly.
- Decrease chronic exercise. This is also a really tough thing for me to wrap my mind around, but I'm going to try it. (At least for 21 days.) Exercise is my stress relief, but I have also just always counted it as part of my job. I exercise everyday for sometimes two hours a day. According to a lot of reading I've done both recently, and in the past, the body can become almost numb to these high amounts of exercise. I am still training for my marathon, so I will have some endurance workouts still. BUT not everyday. I'm going to change up my routine.
My shopping list today looked like this...
- hormone free chicken
- greek yogurt
- baby spinach
- cherry tomatoes
- balsamic vinegar
Looks pretty tasty right? SO...here goes nothing. I am excited to challenge myself with something new. I may hate this and go back to my normal bowl of oatmeal for breakfast, but AT LEAST the next twenty-one days I'm committed to sticking to this way of eating as much as I possibly can. I really don't think of this as a fad diet, but a VERY very VERY clean way of eating.
Have you ever eaten Paleo? What did you love or hate about it? Any tips for me?