When I started this blog my goal was simply to share what I had learned over the past few months. So much of the dietary advice we are given is so deeply flawed that I simply could not stay quiet. I figured that most people would cling to this advice so it might be a long road.
Surprising, I have found almost the complete opposite. Most people are pretty willing to consider an alternative view especially when it been backed up by positive changes. I managed to drop 30lbs and for some reason that seems to be enough to make people even just a little bit curious ... curious enough to give this thing a try.
What seems to stop people in their tracks though is what the heck are they going to eat. I think I have been doing this whole Paleo thing for so long now that I forget what it was like in the beginning. Paleo can be a pretty big change for some people and that can be intimidating. So for those of you who need a bit of help getting started I am going to provide a couple resources.
First I will be continuing my series on "What To Eat". My first post in this series was on breakfast and can be found at http://www.freddybeachpaleo.com/2011/11/eating-on-paleo.html. I hope to get something posted on Lunch and Supper as well as Snacks a bit later on.
In addition I've added a new page over here (page not posted yet) which outlines a lot of the foods that I consider to be Paleo. One thing to realize about Paleo is that there really is no single diet. Heck, the whole thing is not really even a diet, it is a framework that you can use to apply to your own situation. So what you eat will depend on what your situation is, and what you believe in. Most Paleo folks do not consider dairy to be Paleo. However I think once the first 30 days are up and you have been compliant and removed dairy, why shouldn't you try it again and see how you do? If you do not care for dairy then by all means skip it, but if you do then some of the dairy sources I list may work for you. I consider this a Paleo approach even though the foods are not in the core common foods that most Paleo folks eat. The diet that you end up eating will be customized for you.
So what type of food will you find on this list? Paleo emphasizes REAL WHOLE FOODS, preferably from natural sources. You will find lots of meat and fish. You will also finds lots of veggies and fruit. Rounding out the list will be some nuts, and some healthy fats like olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil and coconut products (milk, oil, flakes, and butter). I also add in some dairy, mostly fermented (cheese, yogurt) with a preference for grass fed sources and non-pasteurized. Does this mean you can never eat pizza again? Of course not. What you will do is go 30 days without grains, legumes, and dairy and then you will see how you feel. If you feel great then you can add something back in at your leisure. If it has no affect on you then you can probably still eat it in the future without too much trouble. If you do not do well on it then the next time you are faced with the option you will have to make the choice between eating the food and feeling like crap, or avoiding it and feeling good. Sometimes you will pick column A, and sometimes you will pick column B. It is about choices.
Lastly I plan to begin leading by example. While I will not go as far as creating a food log on here I plan to post daily (or try to) what exactly I ate for meals that day so people can get an idea of how to string this all together. If any of it sounds appetizing, by all means ask for the recipe. **Update: It pretty much has turned into a food log :D See the first one here **
Paleo is also about more than nutrition, it is also about exercise, stress reduction, and sleep quality. These 3 factors are just as important as nutrition and neglecting them can derail even the best of "diets". To give you an idea on how I deal with the first two I plan on chronicling my workouts and rest periods on here as well. For sleep all I can tell you is that there are a few tips I can pass along
- Minimize light sources in your bedroom. Yes, all of them, even the alarm clock.
- Get to bed early. Pre-midnight sleep tends to be the most restorative according to studies.
- Get at least 8 hours sleep per night. Do not rely on coffee or caffeine in general to make up for lack of sleep. Riding the caffeine train up and down is a quick road to adrenal fatigue. As a parent I know this can be hard, so do your best.
- Minimize exposure to electronic screens (TV, computer, etc) within an hour of sleep
- Food, same as above. If you tend to snack late then maybe try snacking earlier and make it protein based (animal based).