"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well,
if one has not dined well."
Two years ago, the summer of 2010, I weighed 30 pounds more than I do today; weight that I put on AFTER giving birth to SC. I finally got tired of (1) seeing how large I was in pictures, and (2) feeling unhealthy and horrible all the time. I first began looking into ways to lose weight, but soon realized that my size was actually a symptom of my poor health. The funny thing is, even at 30 pounds heavier, and almost "obese" according to my BMI, my numbers at my most recent physical said I was in the prime of health. There was something that I was missing. So, I began to do research.
I had been attempting a diet I had heard about on some celebrity blog that had you eat only protein for a few weeks, and then add in certain vegetables, but you continued to alternate days with only protein, and continue in that manner until you got to your "goal" weight. In the first week I lost almost 10 pounds. I read the book The Dukan Diet by Dr. Peirre Dukan, and quite a bit of the science he mentions made sense, but I couldn't help thinking that something was still missing.
One night, crusing Netflix watch-instantly, I saw a movie called Fat Head that proposed to blow my mind about eating, and was a direct response to the famed Supersize Me. Intrigued, I watched it. I was blown away, and not by the fact that the creator actually lost weight eating fast food, but the science that they presented about a body's need for proteins, its ability to run off fat unless it is receiving an overload of sugar and other carbohydrates, and what simply avoiding those things can do.
I looked up "diets" that were specifically grain and sugar free, with an emphasis on quality proteins and carbs from vegetables. It was then that I came across Robb Wolf's blog and was introduced to eating paleo. From Robb Wolf I found many other proponents of the paleo lifestyle (see list of resources below) and began to implement them.
As I continued to do research, I read countless stories of people "going paleo" and how much their health and lives changed. People even introduced their children to this way of eating, which resulted in everything from simple behavior balancing to the loss of symptoms of autism. In January 2012, I was introduced to Whole9 and their Whole30, which is a plan to remove any foods that could stress your system. Finally, I read the book It Starts with Food from the creators of the Whole9. It is filled with more nutritional science than I imagine they teach in most college health and nutrition classes. It is my number one recommended paleo resource, and I think anyone who wants a better understanding of his/her body systems should read it, whether considering the paleo lifestyle or not.
Overall, this change has been great for me personally. Yes, I have lost 30 pounds, but for me, the best part is that I really understand how eating works in my system, so I can make informed choices before I eat. I know what will happen to my body if I choose to have a milkshake or a whole wheat bun with a hamburger. From doing the Whole30, I learned that I am hugely sensitive to dairy, quite sensitive to gluten, as well as all other grains. I discovered SC is very sensitive to dairy as well, though not as much to grains. The jury is still out as to whether going paleo will help her calm and focus, but I am not as strict with her as I am with myself.
I also know what I need to eat to feel really good. I crave things like broccoli and green beans, and would eat steak every night if it weren't so expensive. I can typically get my "sweet fix" by eating ripe fruit, and when I do choose to eat foods like cakes or candy, I am no longer desensitized to the amount of sugar in them, which usually causes them to taste much too sweet for my liking. I can't even drink sweet tea anymore without cringing (please don't revoke my "from the South" card)! All in all, I am not starving myself, I eat foods that are delicious to me, and I really do not miss the grains; and like I already mentioned, my body is finally back to a "normal" weight, and I feel great.
RECIPE GATHERING SITES
Finally, recently I joined Pinterest in order to keep all of these resources organized for my own use. Follow me if you are interested in the way we eat (though I cannot guarantee I will only pin things we have already tried).
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