I write a Paleo-based blog and I’m a personal trainer at a gym. I wonder sometimes if these two parts of my life mean that I should have this whole Paleo thing figured out. I know what to eat and how to move to be my healthiest, but do I always do that? Heck no! I sure wish I did, but that just isn’t realistic for me at this time. When I decided to become a trainer and then again when I started this blog, I also decided that I wasn’t going to let that “failure” stop me. I believe we are all a work in progress and that it is in the striving that we become who we were meant to be.
My Oxford dictionary says “progress” is “forward or onward movement towards a destination.” I like that. I can honestly say that I am making progress in my journey towards health. I think about things that have changed in my life and can’t remember the last time I had jarred mayonnaise or Heinz ketchup. Meals at home are solidly in the realm of meat/loads of veg/healthy fat and I know what to look for on a restaurant menu. While I don’t always make that best choice, I often do, and if I’m feeling like a treat in the evening, almonds and raisins are insanely good together. I do have to watch that a bit though….
I’d secretly (or not so secretly now) love to be a Paleo Purist. There are a couple of champion bloggers and cookbook authors out there that seem to have the whole thing nailed. They eat healthy, delicious Paleo meals all the time and have reached a point where they only very rarely feel the need to indulge. And if they indulge, it’s with a Paleo-friendly treat. OK. That’s not me. I’d like it to be, but it’s really not. My balancing act is a little more wobbly.
The reason I yearn for that, though, is because I know that when my eating and hormonal response and sleep and life are aligned in that way, I am my healthiest version of me. Ant that is something worth striving for.
Unfortunately, I have decades of food issues and habits and desires that run incredibly deep and some of them are very difficult to untangle and resolve. While some people discover a path to health and it is straight and clear and uncluttered, my journey is a little more meandering. I am learning to come to grips with that, but it’s not easy.
In order for me to make progress in my Paleo life, I’ve begun practicing a sort of “crowding out” policy. Instead of actively removing foods that are less healthy, I just make sure there isn’t much room for them. I figure the more healthy foods fill my day, the better off I’ll be, so when a craving strikes, I’ll be less likely to reach for some sort of junk food and more likely to grab some veggies and guacamole or whip up a Paleo banana bread. And for me, that’s progress.
To support this crowding out philosophy, I am actively looking for new ways to bring greater health and more super-foods into my day. I recently made my first batch of sauerkraut and I’m really excited because it was on my list of things to learn this year and now I know that it’s shockingly simple. It is full of probiotics and is an incredibly healthy food that I happily have next to my eggs each morning. I’m also considering learning how to use grass-fed gelatin, another food with some wonderful healthy benefits. Learning new things is exciting and no matter where you are in your own journey, trying something new can breathe fresh life into it.
There’s a reason everyone knows the saying, “It’s about progress, not perfection.” If we allow ourselves to become crippled by the need to be perfect, then we don’t get to taste the joys that arise along the way. Instead of being blocked by what we might consider a slip, let’s celebrate the healthy steps we take each day! I am sure there are many!
Tell me: What progress have YOU made on YOUR journey?
P.S. Ice cream is one of my favorite non-Paleo foods. For Memorial Day, I plan to make one of these Paleo-friendly ones. I’m thinking Coffee Ice Cream with Salty-Sweet Almonds might be the winner! Let the crowding out begin!