Paleo 101

paleo foodA few of you have probably heard me around CrossFit community talking about Paleo—maybe some are even tired of listening.

Unfortunately for you, Joey asked me to write a blog about it. :) I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian, however, I do enjoy learning everything that deals with health and nutrition—which of course includes Paleo. I have a strong passion for how my family and I nourish our bodies. I have read dozens of books, as well as countless articles and blogs regarding health and nutrition. Health and fitness is a major part of my life and this blog will refer to my personal experience. 
 
Lets start with a little background on me. My family and I have been eating Paleo for a little over a year now—with only good results. I started while I was pregnant with my 5th child and couldnt believe how good I felt. Losing weight was never my goal (I was pregnant, remember). My goal was to have a healthy pregnancy and an easier birth.

Although, as a result of being Paleo, I did not gain as much “baby weight” as I had in the past, and lost what was gained much quicker. So weight loss was just an added bonus. Additionally, even though I was pregnant, I had more energy and felt better than I had in a very long time.

I don’t like to call it a diet, because the word “diet” seems to attract some pretty negative responses. Becoming Paleo is truly a lifestyle change. My husband Alden, my five children: Dustin (12), Mackenzy (9), Rylan (7), Nolee (2), and Kaprie (8 months), and I all eat this way. Although none of us need to lose weight, we all benefit from good health. Friends and family would be pretty concerned if I told them my 8 month old was on a diet, although she does have some thunder thighs. :)
 
Here are a few benefits my family has noticed since changing what we eat:

  • Alden just feels better in general.
  • I no longer suffer from nightly belly aches, swollen fingers and feet, or achy knees. I also no longer hit that 3 oclock wall.
  • Dustin used to suffer from frequent headaches—those are now completely gone.
  • Mackenzy, our gymnast, trains 4 hours a night, 4 nights a week, and simply needs quality food to sustain that level of activity. She now has more energy than before .
  • Rylan’s behavior has improved; he is more helpful and less crabby.
  • Nolee has had no health issues, and is very rarely sick.
  • Kaprie has had perfect health since birth.

Following our family’s 30 day challenge, we relapsed and ate some of our old traditional foods, and as you might imagine we were again dealing with the belly aches, headaches, low energy levels, and crabby behavior.

Some of you might be asking, what exactly Paleo is?

Well, the idea behind eating Paleo, or Paleolithic, food is to eat the food that has been available to us for the last 200,000+ years, The idea is to eat real, whole foods, such as: meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. Simply put, anything that could be hunted or gathered.
Why? Because this is the food that has fueled human evolution.
 
You should also avoid grains, dairy, sugar and legumes.

Why? Humans have poorly adapted to eating the majority of modern (Neolithic) foods that have been available in the last 10,000 years with the agriculture revolution. That should go without saying all the pre-packaged, processed, chemical filled stuff they try to pass as food that has been made available in the last 50 years. Twinkie anyone?
 
By eliminating these foods, you will no longer suffer from the negative side effects they cause. You may be thinking you need grains, dairy and legumes to survive right? Well interestingly enough they do not provide any nutrients that cannot be found in Paleo foods. You will not be missing out on any important nutrients, but you will be improving you overall quality of life?
 
I am here for any questions you may have. I plan to continue to write, hopefully I can help even just a few.  I promise you can not bother me or ask too many questions!! The best way to try Paleo and see how it can improve how you feel is to commit to a strict 30 day challenge. It takes a full 30 days to really get a true understanding of how you feel. You will discover things you thought were normal and you just deal with will go away! With that, how many of you would be interested in doing a RSA CrossFit 30 Day Paleo Challenge?
 
P.S. Here is our menu for the week
 

  • Thursday: Turkey Loafing (Paleo Comfort Foods) w/ Brussel Sprouts and Bacon (Everyday Paleo) TURKEY
  • Friday: Bone in Pork Chops (My own creation) :) w/ Herbed Mashed Cauliflower (Make It Paleo) PORK
  • Saturday: Sundried Tomato Pesto Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf Rounds w/ Mashed Turnips and Parsnips (Make It Paleo) BEEF/GROUND MEAT
  • Sunday: Chili (EveryDay Paleo) w/ avocado and salsa BEEF/TURKEY
  • Monday: Portabella Mushroom Chicken Sandwiches (Everyday Paleo) w/ Sweet Potato Fries (Make It Paleo) CHICKEN
  • Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs and a Cesar Salad (my own creation) PORK
  • Wednesday: Fajitas (Make It Paleo) with Dirty Cauliflower Rice (Paleo Comfort Foods) BEEF

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