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How going Paleo changed my life and some tips to help you get started.

128px-Carrots_of_many_colorsIf you’re new years resolution is to get healthier and you’re thinking about a whole food, or Paleo approach, then you’re reading the right blog. I’m all for both of these diet changes. The hard part is knowing where to start. If you’re finished with yoyo diets and you’re really looking to make a change to better your overall health than I can help you.

Before getting started here are some things you must know.

1) You must know or be willing to learn to cook.
Cooking is key when avoiding processed foods. Remember we are going back to the basics of food which requires a flame and a skillet. Later I will let you in on some time saving secrets so not all your time is spent in your kitchen.
2) You will hear some weird ingredient that you have probably never heard before. Don’t worry, I will explain everything.
3) Yes, it is more expensive. We have made this lifestyle a priority because of our personal health improvements. With some creative meal planning and food budgeting we make it work and you can too.

Here is a list of what you cannot have that you probably eat regularly.

* White Potatoes

White potatoes have few vitamins and turn into sugar in your body. Eat sweet potatoes in their place.

* Corn

Corn has no nutritional value.

* Grains

That includes pastas and breads.

* Conventional raised meats.

The meat most people eat are raised in conditions that are unnatural and fed a diet that they are not meant to eat causing them to be sick and unhealthy. Eating something that is unhealthy causes you to be unhealthy. You wouldn’t eat rotten fruit so why eat sickly animals. Shop for Grass fed beef, free range poultry without the use of antibiotics and steroids. Stay away from meat labeled “natural”.

* Conventional grown fruit and veggies.

Try and buy Organic fruit and vegetables. If you can’t buy all Organic or need to minimize your budget stick to the dirty dozen and clean fifteen list. Dirty dozen being things you should buy organic and clean fifteen are things that do not have to be Organic.

Dirty Dozen                              Clean Fifteen

Apples                                       Bananas

Cherries                                   Onions

Bell Peppers                            Eggplant

Peaches                                    Broccoli

Nectarines                               Watermelon

Cucumbers                             Cabbage

Raspberries                            Avocado

Strawberries                          Tomatoes

Spinach                                  Mangoes

Celery                                    Asparagus

Grapes                                   Peas

Pears                                      Pineapple

                                                Sweet Potato

                                                Kiwi

                                                Mushrooms

* Dairy

If you  choose to go Paleo than dairy is out. I personally think Dairy is good for you, if your body can tolerate it. If you opt to leave dairy in your diet then be sure it is from grass fed animals.If you can source raw dairy that’s even better.

* Vegetable Oil

It’s easier to tell you the oils you can have than the oils you can’t have. Approved cooking fats are beef tallow, coconut oil, butter, and ghee. You can have olive oil in dressings and cold sauces, but do not heat it. Check out my articles on beef tallow for more information.

* White Sugar

Approved sweeteners are Raw Honey, Coconut Sugar, and Grade B Maple Syrup.

* Milk Chocolate

You can have all the dark chocolate you want just stay away from milk or white chocolates.

* Sodas, pop, cokes.

Or whatever you call them in your neck of the woods, do not drink them. I stopped my addiction by replacing with Kombucha.

* Canned Soups

I could rant forever on how detrimental these are to your health, but all I’m going to say is do not consume these convenient time saving cans. How many things on the list of ingredients are there and how many of them can you pronounce? To many and not many.

 

Okay so there are the things you, or anyone for that matter, should not eat.
Most people say “so what can you eat”. Don’t look at it like that; there are plenty of recipes that are so good you won’t miss your old diet or the bad health and extra pounds that came with it.
Here’s how I started my transition. I did a slow transition because that’s how I like things. You may find it better for you to go in your pantry, purge everything not approved, and start fresh. If you think that will be better for you, go for it. You have to do what works for you. Remember we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves or make it difficult, we want to change our life, not just lose a few pounds and go back to the way it was before.
I started with strict Paleo so that I had clear guidelines. Dinner and breakfast were the only meals that I followed Paleo rules. On weekends we ate whatever we wanted. The first couple of weeks I didn’t go all out and buy the weird Paleo ingredients, I stuck to basic ingredients, meat and veggies. I continued to use processed flour and sugar on weekends and during the day until it was gone and pledged not to buy it again. We noticed a huge difference in the way we felt after consuming a meal made from real ingredients verses a meal made using processed flour and preservatives. We also noticed that taste was not lacking in this changed diet nor did we walk away from a finished meal feeling unsatisfied. Seeing this, we progressed into eating Paleo every meal Monday-Friday. I began to learn more about the diet and found more recipes to experiment with. I bought the strange flours, sweeteners, and seeds called for in some recipes. I noticed I was able to afford them because I wasn’t buying common things in our food budget like cereals, breads, chips, and caned soups. We continued this for some time splurging on yummy California burritos and baked goods on the weekends. Mondays were hard though. I had a decrease in energy, my attitude wasn’t as good, and my husband and I both had headaches. We wondered if it was just Monday blues or if it was diet related. We made the decision to go 100% Paleo for four consecutive weeks and see if we noticed a difference. That was the month that made me a believer. Since that month we have never viewed food the same. During the four weeks we both lost excess weight, my husband’s carpal tunnel pain decreased greatly, my rash that I had on going problems with (due to an autoimmune disease) disappeared, we also noticed huge changes in our children’s behavior. We have continued to eat this way with a few changes here and there. I’m proud to say that I have not bought a bag of flour in almost three years, have eaten at McDonald’s only once, and have had three sodas.
With this life change there is no counting calories or carbohydrates and no going hungry. You will be eating the way your body was created to eat and maximizing your nutrition intake. I urge you to give this approach to diet a try. It helped me and my family and it could help you too.
Keep checking my blog for more helpful posts on the subject.

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