Going Paleo: Part One (The Lowdown)

Hooray!  It’s finally here; the post about my journey of going paleo over six months ago.

What is the Paleo/Primal Diet you may be asking?

‘The modern dietary regimen known as the Paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various human species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years duration that ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture.’ ~Primal Docs

So easy a caveman can do it, right?  That’s the first thing I think of when people ask what is paleo/primal.  I usually start off by saying it’s what the caveman ate sans wooly mammoths and saber toothed tigers.  What got me interested in this: read ‘lifestyle’ not ‘diet’ was a book called Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora T. Gedgaudas.  I had heard about it from my celiac support group and when a friend of mine won it in the raffle from our Gluten and Allergen Free Expo, I asked if I could ‘borrow’ it.  Yeah so borrow turned into have because of all the highlighting and dog-earing that occurred.  Not to worry, I bought her her own copy so she can get hooked, too!

This book is AMAZING as it explains how food/diet is linked to all kinds of aliments people suffer from and basically why we get cancers.  It’s serious stuff I tell you.  For those that know me, know I am VERY passionate about certain things and this is my new obsession.  I promise to try not to preach but rather educate.  I get why Jillian Michaels gets ramped up about people eating right and exercising…it’s called passion!

Here’s a detailed infographic explaining the Paleolithic breakdown.

Before I get to how & why I landed on paleo, allow me to give you a little back story.  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease over 30 years ago when I was just 18 months old.  My parents decided to finally take me to the doctor due to my foul-smelling stools and classic distended belly.  The pediatrician took one look at me and said I either had Cystic Fibrosis or Celiac Disease (CD) and after a traumatic biopsy (which I still vividly remember) the diagnosis was CD.  I don’t think my parents were exactly stoked to hear the diagnosis but they were glad to know what in the world was going on with me and my belly.

So after several years of having lasagna made with corn tortillas and noshing on this tiny, dry gluten-free bread shipped frozen from Wisconsin, called Cybro, we slowly began to get the gluten-free diet rolling.  It still wasn’t a walk in the park with the cross-contamination and lack of ingredients on food labels, but we did the best we could.  I even had two more biopsies where one doc said I’d grow out of it and the other said, ‘she only has it a little; if she was my daughter I’d let her eat it.’  Fail.

I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when I came down from Texas A&M to visit my parents and my mom and I went to lunch at Subway.  I thought I could skate by with going for a simple salad with all the toppings but when I saw them slice the meat on the same board that the bread touched, I lost it.  I went back to the car and cried.  I told my mom I couldn’t take it anymore-this being different and not being able to eat out like most people.  It was a huge pain in the rear wakeup call for me.

Fast forward a few years later and enter the love of my life, Josh.  I have to say this guy saved my life.  He gave me the confidence and courage I lacked when ordering meals at a restaurant and was always a shoulder to cry on.  Lucky for me it was never a big deal having my allergy.  Josh is such a laid back guy that he pretty much just goes with the flow, man.  I seriously have been blessed.  The guy has always been an excellent cook and has spoiled me the 10 years we’ve been together.  On our first Valentine’s Day, he made me gluten-free shrimp fettuccine alfredo and flourless chocolate torte with chocolate ganache.  Jello!  I was not about to let this one go…even if it took seven years to get married…he was definitely worth the wait!

When I picked up Primal Body, Primal Mind last September and let him know we were going to change our lifestyle yet again, he said ok.  Well first he asked if we were still eating meat-to which I said yes.  He wasn’t too keen when I tried to go vegan a few years ago, and once he tempted me with the smoked sausage, that ship had sailed.  Thankfully he is a good sport and happily tries all my new recipes (I think he’s just excited that I am cooking again).

To add another explanation of what paleo is, here’s a quote from Primal-Palate:

The Paleo diet is based upon the idea of eating the foods our bodies were designed for through thousands of years of evolution. These foods were available to early people through hunting and gathering [meat and fish, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables].

During modern times, advances in technology have made other forms of food available for consumption [grains, dairy, and processed foods], which are suboptimal forms of nutrition. The foods recommended in the Paleo diet provide our bodies with long-lasting energy that also aid in burning fat.

For those of you who are visual, like me, and need an infographic, here ya go.

I know what you’re thinking.  Why on earth would you want to limit yourself beyond gluten?  I must be nuts I tell ya!

The reality is, I don’t want to get cancers (if possible) and I want a better quality of life for myself and my family.  Even while being gluten-free I would still get bloated daily.  I knew dairy was a culprit and after getting allergy tested, I found a few more foods that I’m allergic to, like yeast, coffee, and green beans.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…being on a paleo diet is THE BEST I HAVE EVER FELT.  I can even tell a difference with Josh.  People comment about the weight he’s lost, all the while all he is doing is eating three homemade squares a day.  We still need to get on the workout horse regime though; I know that will greatly enhance the lifestyle once we find the motivation/time.

I’m not trying to sell you anything but I would like you to look into it.  Check out Nora’s book or others out there like Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution or Mark Sisson’s The Primal Blueprint.  There are so many resources out there; you just need to browse the web and your local library.

Here are a few sites and blogs that have given me inspiration along the way.  The resources out there are endless-just do a bit of searching if you don’t get the answer you want.

It may not be an overnight transition for you but give it a shot.  Who knows, maybe several of your ailments will go away or your skin will be glowing from not eating crap.  For me, my stomach bloating after every meal finally went away.  I do have to admit that I have fallen off the bandwagon lately and need a mental recharge to get back on track.  I can definitely tell that I feel terrible when not eating paleo and now even gluten-free grains bother me.  Boo for school.

Yeah, so I thought I could get everything into one post…fat chance.  I will make this a two, possibly three, part post since there is so much information out there that I want you to be armed with.  The next post will show recipes and food substitutes that I suffer through and feel deprived surviving on-just kidding.

So whatcha think?  Have you ever heard of paleo/primal before or is this your first time?  Do you eat this way now and what improvements has it had on your health?  Do you think I’m crazy for missing out on carb-tastic foods by limiting myself even more than I do?  Lay it on me and let’s get talking.

Note: I wasn’t paid or perked to promote these items; nor am I a doctor or pretend to play one.

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2 thoughts on “Going Paleo: Part One (The Lowdown)

    • Thanks :) I am working on staying on track these days. Not sure if I have a tapeworm or what’s going on but I feel hungry all the time now! Must find motivation to get back on track. Glad to have a crunchy/paleo friend, too!

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