structured/endorsed by The Whole 9 website, the best resource to me out there on all things related to my fitness and well being interests: Crossfit and eating well/Paleo. You can see my food journal for the 30 days here. If you are new reader, the Paleo diet is not a temporary, fix-it and lose weight diet. It's a dietary lifestyle. I usually refer people to The Whole 9 or to Robb Wolf's site, one of the handful of experts on the topic. The Paleo dietary lifestyle is easier to explain terms of what you can eat versus what you can't:
No grains, legumes, sugar, processed foods, or dairy.
The positive spin: Eat meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, and eat food in it's natural state. (Nothing processed.)
I've run across several people in my everyday life recently that have given the Paleo dietary lifestyle a try or they have heard about it and have made every excuse why it sounds crazy. However, I must share two success stories that have been wonderful to watch:
My colleague has complained about how she feels for several years. She's had two children, is in her mid 30's and would find every excuse in the book as to why something like a Paleo diet would be too difficult for her. I've mentioned it to her from time to time and she's seen me eating my meat, veggies and fruit while others indulge in their Taco Bell or pizza lunch stating, "That looks so boring to me. I want to be excited about my lunch, my food!" She tried Crossfit for awhile but the hustle and bustle of spouses working full time and a young family was a real disrupter to the nightly schedule of Crossfit. Understandable. However, she admits that working out is a chore despite it making her feel better. Also, understandable. Not everyone likes to work out. I get it. However......fast forward to the recent holiday barrage of food we are all exposed to and she recently hit her breaking point. She was ready to start, wanted resources, and dove in. She does not work out much, but she's in week 2, has been emailing me her daily food logs to keep accountable and states, "I can't believe how much energy I have, how good I feel, and how my cravings for certain foods changed." She's even lost a few pounds (not that she needed to but she has her goals she wants to reach weight-wise.) Whoalah! I said. All that success and she's not even really working out! She and I have worked together long enough, my reply was, "I told you so!" Now.....she would not mind me saying b/c she knows me but I thought.....if SHE can do it....ANYONE can! I think she'd tell you the same. I'm very proud of her! It's never easy work.
Another colleague of mine is a PE/Health teacher and has been athletic his whole life. He had reached a weight with which he was not comfortable and I had told him about Crossfit and trying to do something with the kids at school related to it. Long story short, he gave Crossfit a try and loved it and he incorporates it into his own workouts now. Along the way he asked me about Paleo stuff and came to a recent workshop at Crossfit Carmel to learn more about it. He's been 90% Paleo for three weeks now, has lost 25 lbs. since he started just watching his what he eats, and just said to me today, "It's so nice to lose an X off my shirt size!" Instead of talking football with each other, the first thing he often will say to me when he sees me filling up my coffee in the a.m. is about his latest squash dish or how he spiced a dish differently the night before and how we should exchange recipes. I hear people telling him how good he looks and ask how he had done it and it's so great to watch. I'm super proud of him too. The great thing is he has made it work for him and while he is not 100% Paleo 24/7, he's pretty darn close and has had tremendous results.
I've run across a few other people recently who have asked about the "diet" I am on, and when I tell them that it's not a diet rather a "cleanse" for 30 days to detoxify my body and then work certain things back in they continue to say things like......
"That sounds so restrictive and not fun at all."
"Oh, I couldn't live without my this or my that."
"I could never do that."
But these same people complain about their weight and how they feel. What I'm trying to say is this...........
When I get into something that I believe in and that works for me I go full steam ahead often with blinders on. I get so enthusiastic about it that I want everyone around me to know about it so they can feel successful too. However, I know full and well not everyone is wired the same. I love Crossfit. Many people despise working out at all. But......Situation 1 and 2 are MAJOR, MAJOR success stories so far simply because both have said.....
"This is doable."
"It's all about perspective and choices."
"This just takes planning."
MAJOR POINT I'D LIKE TO MAKE: Paleo is not for everyone, and it's not the only thing out there. It's works for me, and it can yield some TREMENDOUS change and success in your health.
That being said, it's been great to watch two people succeed and feel better about their food, their weight, their overall health, and their lives. There is an energy about the both of them and quite honestly it's just fun and energizing for me to watch. Change can be hard. Eating can be emotional, but if met head on and taken one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, then before you know it.....you are on the way to feeling better and improving your life. It's hard to listen to others make excuses and complain when I explain the ins and outs of eating Paleo. I guess because it's just become how I eat. I don't see it as restrictive, annoying, and painful. I see it as how I fuel my body so I perform better in the gym, on my run, and it just makes me feel better in general.
I'm looking forward to learning more about things as I'm going to be attending The Whole 9's Foundations to Nutrition Workshop on January 9th at Crossfit Tri-Cities in St. Charles, Illinois (in Western Chicago...about a three hour drive). I can't wait to get more info. so I can take my nutrition to another level. It's going to be an information packed day and I can't wait to share what I learn here when I return.