I'm not sure when it happened. One day my body started to hate simple carbs. I had been avoiding wheat and gluten grains for years and suddenly after I turned 40 I found that I had a very pronounced bulge around my middle that would get worse after eating any kind of grain. Rice and corn had become my only sources of alternate "bread" products. And now these too had become members of the enemy camp. It could be that slowly, over time my diet had shifted away from more vegetables and more reliant on "fun" food derived from these grains. Needless to say I was not happy with this and was very dissapointed in how I was looking in (and out) of my clothes.
I realized two things very quickly as I contemplated what to do about this. I needed to lose weight but I also needed to find a way to make whatever changes I made LIFESTYLE changes. Changes I could stick to for the long haul.
I'm around people buying diet aids every day and I see and hear tons of feedback from customers. Diet pills alone don't work. We've all heard it many times before. Successful weight loss is a combination of healthy food and exercise. period. But which food plan would be right for me? In a sea of options and doctor created, certified and endorsed eating guidelines, how would I figure out what my body would best respond to?
One of my coworkers who had lost 90 lb on the HCG diet and rebounded was looking into something called PALEO or Primal lifestyle. I decided to check it out (I did homeopathic HCG too. Miserable...)
The principles of the Paleo lifestyle are simple. Eat what our most ancient ancestors ate. Our bodies are still designed the same. There is no archeological evidence that our most ancient ancestors had the kind of dis-ease we have today that we now know FOR SURE is related to the highly processed and refined foods we eat. Sounded good to me.
So the basis of the "diet" is to only eat food that can be eaten in a RAW or cooked state. Foods that must be cooked to be edible are out. This means grains of any kind, some legumes and tubers. Also refined foods of any kind because of course our ancient ancestors didn't have 7-11 hotdogs or huge food conglomerates creating "food".
The other piece of the paleo lifestyle is exercise. Our ancient ancestors had to be very physically active to survive in their environment. So in order to do this thing right, one can either go live in the bush or just make time for regular, high intensity exercise. Many paleo people get into Crossfit. I just joined the gym.
Of course I blogged about my initial experience with switching to the
Paleo - and instagrammed food for four months. I felt better eating this
way for sure and cutting the grains wasn't too hard since I already cut
wheat a long time ago.
I ended up slipping back into my old habits all fall and winter. But I'm ready to get back on the paleo wagon once more. I'm not saying I won't "cheat" from time to time, but I know that with time and results, I will look and feel even better than I did in my 30's.
Luckily there are tons of Paleo and Primal food blogs out there and more and more books flooding the market if you want to learn to live this way. You can even just go on facebook and search for paleo to find many resources.