Time To Clean Up My Chow.

7 Jan

So, close to two years ago I gently eased into changing the way my family and I eat from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to the Paleo diet. Or at least something very similar. My husband and I both read The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet by Robb Wolf. We both enjoyed it and learned a great deal. It really made sense.

I didn’t immediately clear out anything that wasn’t “paleo”, but rather just stopped eating whole grains, really most grains. I would still serve rice for my family. I started making animal based proteins the star of every meal and used more veggies in more interesting ways. Cut way back on all dairy and stopped using legumes altogether, including all soy products and peanuts. We stopped drinking and buying soda as well.

The one thing I didn’t do was go “all in”. By that I mean that for the most part I avoided any grains containing glutens (a protein found in wheat and barley), cut way back on sugar and avoided dairy. But I still slipped in sugary treats, rice, corn, cheese (via la nachos!) and other dairy products. I really just tinkered with my diet.

Whatever I did, it sure did me some good. I lost about 25lbs., wasn’t suffering with near constant gastric distress and bloating (I thought “fart belly” was just how the Scots stayed warm in their kilts during winter) and I was able to wean myself off of antidepressants. More on that bit in a future post. It is actually a very serious issue, and the choice on how to or not to medicate depression is not to be taken lightly.

I’m still doing pretty darn good. I’ve learned a great deal over the many months since. I’m basically the research department for my household when it comes to diet. Whether or not anyone wants to hear about it is another issue altogether.

But I’ve gotten sloppy. Gluten free is a hard limit for me still. I’ve added dairy here and there. Heavy whipping cream in my coffee, YUM! My big trouble spot is going crazy with gluten-free snacks. Root vegetable chips from Trader Joe’s are like crack to me. Corn chips tickle my fancy as well. I don’t view these as cardinal sins, but I think I need to cut back and refocus.

Am I concerned that I’ve put on weight? No. That isn’t a problem for me at this time. I maintain pretty well. No, the bigger issue is in regards to how I feel. I never knew how miserable I was for so many years until I changed my diet and removed obvious villains to my health. But could I feel better? Have I slipped into some habits that are working against me in a way that I don’t notice their impact? Being a bit stricter, or rather more mindful and focused for the next month will hopefully help me to find out. For me, looking good naked is always trumped by feeling good, no matter what state of dress your in. Although, I’ll admit, looking good feels pretty good too :).

So will I now forge ahead consuming only grass-fed, free-range, certified organic? Not quite. As much as I wish I could buy all my family’s food items from only the finest quality of choices, like for many others it really isn’t in my budget. But I’ve got some pretty great resources to help me along (hopefully more on that later this week). Hopefully I will learn more about straddling the challenges of quality food vs. family food budget.

First change: I’m drinking tea, Irish Breakfast tea to be exact, instead of my usual coffee. Not because I feel I need to avoid coffee, but I really love it with heavy whipping cream. I want to avoid dairy for now. Tea makes the best alternative. A big step for me since I’m pretty serious about my morning cuppa joe. While visiting relatives over the New Year’s holiday I had the urge to throw a hissy fit when I couldn’t find the coffee machine. Everything worked out in the end and I maintained my dignity.

Hopefully tomorrow I will give an update and maybe meal ideas.

Thanks for reading!

Have you made an changes in diet and/or lifestyle to ring in the New Year?

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