Idea Enablers

23 June 2015

Confession of a Paleo Newbie

Confession of a Paleo Newbie

Maybe you’ve heard of the Paleo diet also known as the cavemen diet? If not, here is the official description from the Paleo guru himself Robb Wolf, one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition.

The Paleo diet is the healthiest way you can eat because it is the ONLY nutritional approach that works with your genetics to help you stay lean, strong and energetic! Our modern diet, full of refined foods, trans fats and sugar, that is at the root of degenerative diseases.

My colleague is a Paleo veteran and she swears by it. Her results are impressive, she has shed excess weight and feels very energetic. She encouraged me to try it and I made a 3 month commitment to give it a go. I’m glad I did. I was looking to eat better and didn’t know where to start and this seemed a perfect fit for me. Recently my older brother suffered a major stroke at 53 and my father is in a slow mental and physical decline. I feel our family’s poor eating habits are partially to blame. Not wanting to be the next victim I knew my eating habits had to change. I also have a very active young son and want to be there for him always. So Paleo seemed especially great for me because I love meat which is the keystone of the Paleo lifestyle. I jumped in all eager and willing but my first expectations differed from reality.

First I found out I was doing Paleo all wrong from the start. Sugar in coffee is a no, beer is out as well. Even peanuts, which aren’t a nut at all I learned, they’re a legume. But there are alternatives for all of these. I realized everyone fumbles once in while doing Paleo. Don’t get discouraged, find a good Paleo book or do Google searches on Paleo to guide you. It can be expensive if you stock your pantry with organic fruits and veggies and purchase pasture raised meat sources. But instead of making this a one-percent-lifestyle type of diet I adapted to fit my budget. There is extensive preparation and meal planning which is time consuming. Lots of chopping and cooking. Buy a good knife and plan meals ahead of time. You soon become faster and more adept in the kitchen which is cool. My Paleo baking is pretty laughable. Flat muffins anyone? Still experimenting with this.

One very big positive is that I really don’t crave the junk food, bread and pastries like I did in past diets. I’m pretty content and satiated most of the time due to the high proportion of protein in this diet. I also lost some weight which is always awesome and encouraging. Cooking is enjoyable for me when I make the time and it’s usually pretty delicious. I’m experimenting more and trying out some new veggies and how to prepare them. I feel way more energetic. Case in point, while on a recent museum outing with my son, we used the stairs instead of the elevator. That would have never happened in the past. Seems like any colds or allergies that come my way are less severe in time and duration. I also have Attention Deficit Disorder, making it hard to focus and complete tasks. A recent ADD report says diets high in sugar and processed foods exacerbate symptoms. Excitedly, I feel adopting a Paleo lifestyle can help me in this critical area of my life. So Paleo is turning out to be pretty darn swell in many areas of my life that I didn’t expect. Maybe it can help me find an attractive cavewoman soon too. Time will tell. My inner caveman gives a hearty grunt of approval.

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