The Paleo way of living is actually a really simple concept. Eat whole, unprocessed foods in the form of lots and lots of vegetables and eat healthy fats, protein and fruit in moderation. It should be easy but in this world we live in now you are challenged on a daily basis to eat in such a simple healthy way.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been very aware of the food I was consuming. In high school, it was counting calories and measuring serving sizes. I remember going to Weight Watchers with my mom to lose a couple pounds before my Grade 12 grad. In my 20’s, everything was low-fat. My girlfriends and I would snack on big bags of low-fat chips and tubs of low-fat ice-cream. Amazing what was being marketed to us back then as healthy (ish) and what we were willing to believe.
Ever since I had kids (and a husband), my view on food has changed. It first started with not buying anymore low-fat foods (my husband refused to eat that stuff) and has continued to evolve. The biggest shift was having kids and knowing I was 100% responsible for making sure they were getting all the nutrients they needed to grow healthy and strong (that’s a lot of pressure).
I didn’t plan on becoming Paleo. I have not gone on a “diet” since having my daughter 9 years ago. I have been able to maintain a healthy weight (within 5-10 lbs of my ideal) just by exercising and eating healthy (ish). Two years ago, I was frustrated that I was not losing those last 5 lbs. I considered myself to be a healthy eater and I was an avid runner (5 days/week). It just didn’t seem fair and I actually didn’t know what I should do to lose those last 5 lbs. I definitely wasn’t going to go on a “diet” because then I would just gain it back. I love to eat yummy food and I love snacking. Those are two things I know about myself and I was not willing to give those up for a diet.
Somehow I stumbled upon Michelle Tam’s Nom Nom Paleo site and was reading her bio. I connected with her story because she talked about having those last few pounds sitting around her waist and how they were not going away even after exercising like crazy. That was when I discovered the Paleo way of eating. I challenged my family to 30 days of it and I have not looked back since (that was almost 2 years ago).
So why do I love eating Paleo?
I love eating Paleo because it makes me feel amazing. I never get that full, tired feeling from food. I actually feel like I am getting younger versus older which is AWESOME. I am turning 42 this year. I have so much energy from the time I wake up at 5:30 am to the time I go to bed at 10 pm (I don’t last a minute after 10!!).
I love eating Paleo because it has opened me up to so many amazing vegetable based recipes. I am trying new vegetables practically every week and I am using the well-known core vegetables in so many new ways. I eat mainly vegetables for breakfast, lunch, dinner and for a snack at night and I enjoy them all immensely! A Paleo lifestyle is really about filling your plate with lots of different colorful vegetables and adding a small serving of protein to balance out the meal. It amazes me how many talented & creative Paleo cooks and bloggers are out there. Every week, I am discovery new and amazing recipes that my whole family enjoys.
I love eating Paleo because I don’t have to count calories or worrying about my serving sizes. Once you take out processed foods, grains (bread, rice, pasta etc.), legumes and dairy you are pretty much left with lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts and meats. I do not eat nuts by the handful as they are high in fat and calories. I prefer to eat my nuts incorporated into my energy balls.
I need to mention that I do not think there is anything wrong with eating grains, legumes and/or dairy. When I buy these things for my kids and my husband I make sure I look at the labels and buy the best quality that I can afford. No one in my family has any sensitivities to food including myself. I choose not to eat these foods mainly because now that I am getting older my metabolism is slowly down. I can not get away with eating as many calories (do not like to think this way but it is a fact) as I could 3-4 years ago. I would rather eat a plate full of veggie-based meals and delicious creative snacks from my dehydrator or energy balls versus eating bread, rice or cheese. It is a trade-off that works for me.
I really enjoy the Paleo lifestyle. It inspires me to be creative in the kitchen and cook delicious, nutrient-dense food that I feel good about feeding my family.
For more information on the Paleo Diet (lifestyle), below is a good resource link: