Sometimes when I talk to people about Paleo, they think that I eat totally weird stuff. I mean, maybe I do, but I don’t think it’s the Paleo part of it. I think that’s more because I love unusual flavors and tons of variety. In reality, I feel like I eat mostly the same as everyone else, only minus a few things. So it’s not that Paleo food is so different, it’s just that it gets arranged a little differently than you might expect.
Instead of always having something starchy on the side, those options are a little more limited or we just leave them out entirely. Instead of something with cheese, we eat it without the cheese. Sandwiches? No bread. Okay. I admit that sandwiches are a bit hard because they are so much about the bread, but usually if there’s a sandwich, you can have a salad instead. Or make a salad out of the insides of the sandwich.
The real fundamentals of eating Paleo are this…if it comes from the ground or an animal and not a box or bag, you’re pretty much good to go. Meat? Yes. Fruits and veggies? Yes. Nuts and seeds? Yes. Fats? Mostly, but these are a little trickier.
Then as time goes on and each individual learns more about what suits them, things get added. Maybe rice, maybe lentils or beans, maybe cheese or yogurt. Because you see, Paleo isn’t a prescribed diet, it’s a philosophical way of looking at our current food and lifestyle and asking the question – What does my body need to be its healthiest and feel its best? I’m all about total adherence to the picture above right now as my body finds its rhythm, but in the future maybe dairy will come in a little and maybe lentils because I actually already know that my body tolerates them pretty well. Same thing for rice. And for sure an occasional treat or cocktail.
If you look back at what I’ve been eating, it’s lots of salads, for example, but not because I have to. It’s because I really love them. I eat burgers and shrimp and grilled meat and tons of veggies. I think it’s more about what I don’t eat that worries people. Pasta, lasagna, fried food, pizza, Chinese food, ice cream…it’s true that these are difficult for me to work in because of all the wheat and sugar. But when I really think about it, those foods don’t make me feel my best anyway. They generally make me want to lie down and take a nap – almost immediately. My body totally crashes and feels lethargic and tapped out. But maybe sometimes I’ll eat them, especially ice cream, and maybe I won’t. I’m open to moving forward in whatever way feels best for my body as time goes by.
If you are worried about jumping into a Paleo lifestyle, things have really changed in the past five years. Many restaurants are gluten free or have Paleo options, there are ready-made products at the store and online that can make the transition easier, and so many blogs and cookbooks out there to help you stay motivated. And if it turns out that you feel more energized, balanced, lighter and happier when you eat this way…what have you really got to lose?
Shine bright. xo
What did I eat today?
Breakfast – 2 eggs, zoodles, 1/4 avocado
Pre-workout – A few bites of curry chicken and 1 Lebanese meatball / Cherries
Post-workout lunch – Chili on a bed of slaw, 1/4 avocado / Cherries
Dinner – 1/2 a pork chop with a beet salad / Banana with almond butter
Okay – yesterday I may have said that I was over the fruit thing and mostly I am, except cherries and other summer fruits are not here long and they’re my favorites. I’m not going to miss out on summer’s bounty because I think I would regret it. Maybe the banana with almond butter was a bit of a treat but it felt great.
How did I move today?
First off, yesterday’s workout didn’t happen but sometimes you just need to listen to the body and let it rest.
Today was a MetCon day. I did a 30 minute workout that had me dripping with sweat. It involved hill sprints, weighted walking lunges, plyo lunges, thrusters and burpees. Lots of them. Then I went to yoga in the evening and walked my dog after dinner.
Guess what? It’s raining again right now and I’m outside under my sweet little lights relishing another summer storm. I wish some of you were here with me. It’s pretty awesome. But then I might want a glass of wine so maybe next time.