All right, fellows, summer is just around the corner, which means that it’s time to start making plans about getting in shape and talk about health.
I love all of you who have the perfect shape without making any effort (and maybe I envy you bit) but regrettably, I do not fit in these percentage of the population. So, I need to work hard to feel better. I admire also people who feel good in their skin no matter their size and look.
I want to tell you something personal first, maybe about 4 years ago I started gaining some weight that has been making me feel uncomfortable for all this time. I work on a desk so this also helped. The really bad thing was that I really used to hate fitness. So I will always say I am on diet and it never worked for more than a week. The reason for me was simply, psychological. The word “DIET”. You know how you say, “I cannot eat that, I am on Diet” and BAM you want it more of course. So, years passed and with my type of work and no physical activity I was diagnosed with Insulin resistance diabetes type 2. If you don’t know me I have a real panic attack from needles, so this was my nightmare. I needed to take pills, and after the first year, they just started increasing my dosage. I took pills for 3 years until one day the motivation came and I decided by myself to stop them.
I was able to do this necessary changes in my life and to be honest, it was something new and good. I never said I am on diet, I kept saying that I am in progress of changing my lifestyle. This was the truth because I hate the word diet so I found the perfect balanced plan for me, that provides me with all nutrition’s and do not restrict me from most of the food. So, I started the Paleo lifestyle and I will share with you my experience so far.
The Paleo diet does not always correlate with weight loss, but because I incorporated high-intensity exercise, it was exactly what I needed. What I like about Paleo is that after I started it made me realize, how much plastic we use and how bad my eating habits were. And I though I was eating good….
So, what is Paleo, you ask? Paleo is an ancestral approach that prioritizes eating real (naturally occurring ingredients that are healthful rather than harmful), whole, nutrient-dense foods. Today, wheat, soy, sugar, and highly processed foods continue to drive up rates of autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity. But by getting back to eating real food, we can stay healthier and feel better. Paleo is all about balance. And yes, not everything we buy can be healthy or BIO of course, I think the only BIO veggies and fruits will be the one that I can grow myself. But since I do not have the option to plant veggies, I need to trust the Fresh Markets. Another thing I like in Paris, you can find locally grown food and support local farmers by purchasing from them, not those huge chains stores.
Also with Paleo you can kind of choose what to eat, some people think Paleo and the caveman diet are the same things, yes and no! It has similarity but they are different.
So, what do you eat on Paleo, you will find a lot of information on the internet, some people eat bacon, some don’t, some eat rice others don’t. For me the main thing is I try to eat unprocessed foods, fresh vegetables, fresh meat and eggs, seafood, healthy fats, fermented foods, fruit, nuts, seeds, and spices.
Our bodies need good, smart fats, which we are designed to digest much easier than carbohydrates we get from bread and pasta. Saturated fats have been painted as evil by the health authorities and the media but the reality is that not all saturated fat is bad. Paleo diet includes plenty of healthy fats like olive oil, macadamia oil, coconut oil, coconut milk, avocados, oily fish, nuts, and seeds.
What to avoid:
Grains – especially wheat and anything with gluten. White rice is the least harmful of all grains and is added to dishes on occasions or for variety. Rice is very high in carbohydrates and if you’re not active or trying to lose weight, it should be kept to ‘occasional’ use.
Legumes – lentils, chickpeas, and beans (includes butter beans, haricot (navy) beans, cannellini beans, red kidney beans, adzuki beans, black-eyed beans and soybeans) I include sometimes green beans and peas in my meals but avoid the rest.
Refined sugars and carbohydrates – bread, pasta, cookies, white sugar, artificial sugar, sodas, fruit juices and so on.
Dairy – All dairy, especially milk and low-fat dairy.
Processed vegetable oils and fats such as canola oil , soybean oil, vegetable, and sunflower oils, as well as margarine and spreads made with such oils.
On occasion, I will allow myself some Natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, molasses, or dried fruit ( if I crave something sweet I will make awesome energy balls from dates and nuts)
Especially when regularly and heavily consumed foods like grains, dairy, soy, sugar, and processed seed and vegetable oils can trigger inflammation, cause digestive problems, or can disturb our natural metabolic processes.
I started Paleo 6 months ago. The first week was not the easiest. I had cravings for simple things like toast and chocolate. I was definitely more hungry than usual, but after a week I got used to it, and now I crave sweet very rarely. I’ve been tracking my calories on My Fitness Pal as I am also training and trying to lose weight. Every time I go not paleo with something small like 300 gr. of bread or 1-2 biscuits or Subway, I realize how many bad ingredients everything has.
Most people go into Paleo thinking that their grocery bills will jump at least a little bit since organic fruits and vegetables cost more, but this wasn’t the case with us. We used to shop every day, now we shop once every 1-2 weeks and we mainly buy vegetables, fruits, and meat. Without the rest of the bad things, believe it or not, it is a bit cheaper.
My health got better after just 3 months of Paleo and fitness. I did my blood test and I am no longer even prediabetic YAY! I also used to feel bloated and so full, mostly because of extra carbs I eat. By cutting grains, dairy, etc., my tummy went flat ( also a little TMI but your bathroom habits will become more “regular”). I feel more energetic and I just feel really good inside, which motivated me. Sometimes is not that easy as I need to pack my lunch for work because very often there will be nothing in the restaurant for me, but I prefer to know what I fuel my body with..
Now I am trying to eat Paleo 95% of the time, I still avoid sugar but I will have something sweet or bread from time to time.
I hope you give Paleo a try and make sure to let me know how you feel!