I first heard about the Paleo Diet when I started doing CrossFit. Everyone there was all about Paleo. I knew very little about it, but enough to know I didn’t want to do it – give up bread, pasta, dairy? No way! I was never really into completely giving up foods, as that was always a recipe for disaster in my experience.
In May 2013, I went to the doctor after being sick and he recommended it, saying that we didn’t need breads and pasta to survive and that our bodies can’t digest it, etc. I thought, “What the heck, I’ll give it a TRY,” fully thinking I wouldn’t last longer than a few days. This was at the same time I got really serious about getting in shape for good, so trying something this extreme seemed like a perfect fit! I cut out bread, pasta, rice, dairy (except a little milk in my coffee), fried foods, processed foods, soft drinks, sweeteners – pretty much everything I love! Everything I read said to go really strict and follow the diet for 30 days, then start adding things back in and see how they make you feel. I was determined to stick to it for 30 days! Surprisingly, for ONCE in my life, I actually stuck to something. I did have some adult beverages during the 30 days, but I followed it and did not cheat anywhere else for the whole 30 days (except for that milk – hey, I cut out sweeteners in my coffee and that was HUGE)! I even went out to restaurants and was that person who asked to see the ingredients list and asked what kind of oils they cooked with, which felt pretty stupid since I didn’t have any food allergies, but I really wanted to follow the rules exactly. It felt great to actually commit to something and not give up. The changes I was seeing in my body didn’t hurt either!
I think I ended up following it strictly for about 6 weeks. I’m talking eggs & fruit for breakfast and salad for lunch every single day for 30 days, but dinner varied. Yes, I could have had other foods, but these were easy and they worked. It was tough having a husband who could eat whatever he wanted and was always wanting wings, pizza or bagels, but I stuck to my guns (and eventually he made the switch too!) During those 30+ days, I was constantly having inner debates with myself about whether I would have a “cheat day” and eat some of the old foods I loved maybe once a week. In the end, it seemed pointless to cut out all of those foods all week, only to eat them again once a week. And so I decided against the cheat day, thinking it would probably only make me crave those foods more if I let myself eat them periodically. It also felt good to be able to to say, “I haven’t had (bread, pizza, bagels) in ‘x’ amount of days.”
My very first cheat was a piece of cake at my husband’s birthday dinner. I actually got really sick that night from eating it, which kind of deterred me from eating anything like that for a while. It’s crazy how your body reacts when you take out the bad stuff for so long! After that, I was still sticking to the rules pretty well, but I knew I wasn’t going to deprive myself of certain foods for the rest of my life. So, here and there I’ll have ice cream or hot wings, but the majority of the time I stick to Paleo. It honestly makes me feel better and feel better about myself, and I can really tell a difference when I eat foods that aren’t Paleo. Despite all of the foods I have cut out, it’s really pretty easy to stick to this
diet lifestyle. At this point, it’s second nature to choose the healthier foods, and I don’t intend to go back to eating pastas and breads anytime soon.
**This is just my opinion. Paleo is probably not for everyone, but it works for me, so this is why I’m writing about it. That’s not to say that eating healthy breads, pastas, etc. is bad for you – this has just been my experience and the best way for me to get in shape, stay in shape and feel healthy!
As always, thanks for reading!