We have all heard about the paleo diet, but what is it really? Blogger and runner Jesse Emeric knows and follows this diet and kindly agreed to share her knowledge with HerMamas. Take it away Jesse.....
I have been on the Paleo diet for about a year now. Well, it's not really a diet, but more a way of eating clean and healthy. With the Paleo diet you are taking your body back to the way people ate before the agricultural revolution. So, rather than eating processed foods, we are eating fresh, nutrient rich foods. Basically, you eat fish, meat, eggs, nuts, fruits, and vegetables and stay away from dairy, grains, legumes, excess sugars, and vegetable oils. I am by no means a Paleo diet expert, but the health benefits are amazing. Besides the obvious weight loss benefits, many people have benefited from reduced blood pressure, reduced allergies, improved sleep, less bloating, and more. If you'd like more in depth reading and explanations, check out these websites: The Paleo Diet , Whole 9, and Robbwolf.com
People ask me why I chose to eat this way and exclude so many foods out of my diet. It's true. The Paleo diet is definitely a major lifestyle change, especially to someone like me who used to be addicted to carbs and cheese! But, that's the exact reason why I did it. I was tired of being overweight and feeling sluggish and tired all the time. I wanted to be a good example to our kids on being healthy and active. I had been working out for a few months, but still couldn't get my eating habits under control. I needed something
drastic, but healthy at the same time, it's not like I could have cabbage soup forever! Yea, you know what I'm talking about…the cabbage soup diet, the grapefruit diet, the master cleanse. Yup, I have tried my fair share of crazy diets, but like all crazy diets, I lost a few pounds and then gained them all right back with a few extras to boot! I needed a lifestyle change and it had to be dramatic enough for me to make a real effort. I'd read a little about Paleo, then a friend gave me some good info on it, so I decided to try it. I liked the idea of eating less processed foods and going gluten free. I won't lie it was tough, especially eating out. I went through some major withdrawals for the first few days and felt a bit lost. However, I quickly made my grocery list, stocked up on good clean healthy foods, and just really started being more cognizant of what I was putting into my body. Once I got the hang of it and got my routine going, I really didn't miss bread & pasta as much as I thought I would. The food is really delicious and I'm never hungry.
Here's a typical Paleo eating day for me:
For breakfast I'll have a boiled egg or two with a slice of avocado and 2 slices of bacon. Most days for lunch I'll have leftovers from the night before or I'll make a salad with spinach, tomatoes, nuts, cucumber, peppers and add grilled chicken or tuna and use olive oil & balsamic vinegar as a dressing. I'll usually have a snack of either almonds with dried fruit (no sugar added) or I'll make a vegetable juice. Dinner can be a yummy steak fajita bowl with lots of grilled unions, peppers and zucchini with a slice of avocado or a baked sweet potato on the side. There are a ton of Paleo blogs out there with lots of recipe ideas!
Have I been 100% paleo this entire time? Absolutely not! I am no super woman, that's for sure. When I get cravings for non-Paleo foods I give myself a few days & if I'm still craving it, I'll give myself a cheat meal! I don't feel bad about, my mind is over it and I move on. This way of eating, along with exercise, has definitely helped me in my weight loss journey. It's also helped me be more aware of the foods I serve my family. Although my family does not eat Paleo like I do, we eat lots more gluten-free foods, rarely do the kids eat fast food, we have healthy snacks at home, and we're way more active. We are making positive healthy changes together as a family and ultimately that's the most important thing.
Jessie Emeric is a wife, mother of 2, photographer, and blogger trying to balance her everyday life and get fit in the process. She started the It's A Messy Life blog to chronicle her fitness journey, crazy family life, and to motivate other busy moms to reach their own fitness goals.