I’ve been hovering over the idea of eating Paleo-style for about a year now, and I finally landed a few weeks ago. I can’t explain why I haven’t up to this point, except for the unspoken feeling that I would be giving up so many of the foods I love.
For those who are unsure what Paleo-style eating is, you can check out the basics here. There are a few different varieties of the diet, but the basic concepts are the same, so I’ve been using balance and good sense to figure out what works best for me.
So far, I think it’s wonderful. My goal is not to lose weight, so after I lost a few pounds the first week, I had to adjust a little to get back on the maintaining train. That means I simply had to incorporate more calories and fat.
The biggest reason I wanted to post about this is because I didn’t realize how generally-upset my stomach was until these past few weeks. When eating lots of fruits and veggies, along with good fat and good meat, I never feel bloated, gassy, or nauseated. It makes every morning more regular, too, if you know what I mean. Also, cutting out refined and added sugar makes everything taste a little better, ironically.
If I had to rhyme how I feel, I would say I feel lighter and tighter. In my old ways, I frequently would feel like I was carrying around a heavy lump in my stomach after a regular meal. I would get heartburn and it seemed like it took me days to digest some of that stuff. Now, I feel clean and light inside, like everything is working the way it should and moving around at the right pace.
I feel tighter in that I don’t feel bloated and pudgy. I get excited for exercise because I know the results will shine through.
My oily skin hasn’t broken out in three weeks and my teeth look whiter. I feel stronger and have more energy. I’ve come to realize how much I was actually missing out on.
I’ll be honest and say it has taken a LOT of discipline and self control. I’ve caved a few times. The sugar cravings were the first hurdle, but that really wasn’t terrible; eating up in-season fruit really helped. The biggest hurdle for me was resisting fried things. The other day I wanted a doughnut so badly. I was just craving some fried dough!
I have one “cheat night” a week. I have dinner with a couple neighbors on Thursdays and rarely do our menus not include some pasta, tortillas, bread, and cheese of some kind. Oh! I almost forgot to mention dessert. We have some killer desserts. Last night, for instance, we had ice cream sandwich cake: ice cream sandwiches covered with Cool Whip and sprinkled Butterfinger crumbs on top. The single bite I had was divine.
However, since my neighbors now know about my new style of eating, I’m hoping we can incorporate more of the core Paleo values as the weeks go on. I know it might not happen right away, and I’m ok with that. Having great friends to laugh with is definitely worth it.
I thought this would fit well on my bucket list blog, not only because I mentioned it in this post, but because my whole idea behind eating Paleo-style is to be the healthiest, happiest version of myself, and that version of myself is destined to check everything off the list. So often I hear the phrase, “Go with your gut,” and I’m telling you, my Paleo-style gut is happy! Who can argue that?!
It might not work for everyone, and there are areas where I’ve found I need a little give-and-take, like having a piece of dark chocolate every now and then. J In our modern world, it’s hard to eat “perfectly,” but setting high goals at least gets you somewhere. If you’ve considered taking the next step in your diet, maybe this post is for you. Maybe it’s something you could try and end up enjoying as much as I do.