By Whole30 team member and resident outdoor adventurer Jen Kendall Summer is in full swing, and it’s the season to take all of the camping trips, road trips, and trips to the beach that you can fit into three months. As someone who never underestimates the amount of happiness a good camping trip can bring,…
I began my Paleo lifestyle in January 2017. When my husband died suddenly in August 2016 it was a wake up call for me. He was only 63 years old. I believe with my whole heart and soul that Gary’s death is part of God’s plan for us, but I also believe that He helps those who help themselves. Also, Gary had a hereditary genetic clotting factor condition which made him a bit of a time bomb. We both felt very blessed he had never had any problems from the condition until 2009 when he had a huge Pulmonary Embolism and was diagnosed. But he was over weight and didn’t eat well at all.
Anyway, In August I was over 30 pounds heavier, and was taking two doses of regular and long acting insulin daily. My A1C was over 7 and I was having trouble getting it down lower. I was on strong pain medication for Fibromyalgia which I have had since a severe fall in 2001 followed by a complicated reaction to a medication which caused heart and lung damage. That’s just a little bit about my history which is necessary for you to know so that you can judge for yourself just how well this lifestyle change has been for me.
My youngest daughter, Samantha did her first Whole30 challenge in 2015. She lost weight, but the most important thing she noticed was that the pain she often had in her knees and ankles from being a runner was greatly improved. Her migraines were greatly improved in amount and severity and she just generally had more energy.
Sam began trying to talk me into trying this lifestyle saying she thought I would benefit greatly from it. Finally, the first week of January I cleaned out my pantry, refrigerator and freezer eliminating all the nasty stuff that could very well be causing me problems. I gave the 5000 packet box of sweet and low away, because lets face it, that’s just poison in a pink envelope I bought the Whole30 Challenge book and downloaded recipes and meal plans for the first week ofmy Paleo Lifestyle.
First I would like to say that the amount of free information and support that is available to you online about Paleo is phenomenal. And this information is backed by science and therefore the information is consistent. Strategies may differ for organizing, planning and preparing your meals, but the meat and bones remain just that, meat and bones.
Second it is very important that for the first thirty days you do not eat anything other than the foods listed. There are scientific reasons for this. Combinations of foods, spices and fats are what convert your body into a fat burning machine. Following this diet converts your body into using fats for energy instead of carbs.
After your thirty-day challenge, you can begin to introduce other foods into your diet paying close attention to how they affect your body. If you have a negative reaction, you probably should not continue to eat that particular food. All illnesses are caused by inflammation which is an effect of an overstimulated allergic response. Our paleolithic ancestors didn’t have the diseases we have today. They ate what they could hunt and vegetables and berries they found growing in the wild.
Third, it’s a very easy lifestyle to convert to. You do not need to buy expensive special items. All the food you eat is fresh easy to obtain unprocessed regular food. The only thing is, you are encouraged to eat organic foods when at all possible and you get your carbs from vegetables not grains. The good news is, organic food is becoming easier and easier to find in regular food stores.
As I said, I started on this new path in January. I have lost over thirty pounds and the best news is that I am no longer on any medication for diabetes. The amount of pain medication I require is greatly lessened and my blood pressure has improved.
I do occasionally have food that is not paleo when I am not home to cook. I have not found a problem doing this. But, there are times I have discovered a sensitivity to certain foods. Milk products for one. I used to think I could not live without eating cheese. But to my surprise I don’t miss it.
There are many very good recipes available online and they are free. It’s a great starting point. After you read the book, It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways by Dallas Hartwig and you understand how this lifestyle works, you can begin to experiment with cooking. I have had more fun in the kitchen cooking than I have had in years.