I want to share with you how Paleo (and Crossfit) has positively impacted my life, even though I don’t follow the Paleo diet…
I was kind of a Paleo downer when I first heard of it. Anything that gets so many hardcore fans that like to tell you “I do Paleo”, just kind of gets on my nerves. However, I started reading into it. By reading into it, I mean I mostly checked out various Paleo recipe blogs and read what these people had to say. A lot of them claimed that it didn’t irritate various digestive issues that they had or lessened symptoms of certain things they had been diagnosed with. Ok, well that’s cool, but there’s not really anything wrong with me. (I’m sure there are tons of people out there that think that because they don’t even realize what “normal” feels like.) That aside, reading the recipes, they all contained fresh and organic ingredients. While I can’t afford to eat all organic, eating whole fresh foods I can do. Paleo recipes really harp on fresh, whole ingredients, not stuff out of cans or boxes. I certainly didn’t grow up on Hamburger Helper, but since living on my own I was tired of fixing the same old stuff (pasta, tomato soup from a can, and baked potato with sauteed veggies were my go-to easy meals). These recipes showed me how to use some vegetables differently and how to incorporate some new vegetables.
It gets better. I no longer calorie count.
I grew up during the era of “low fat” eating. This meant checking every package you picked up in the store to see how fattening it was and for me it meant checking the calories too. I obsessed over this and my weight for years. Always checking the scale. It was an unhealthy obsession that I am glad to be rid of. Another thing that helped this process was when I had my good cholesterol checked. My work offered to have our cholesterol checked, so I figured sure, even though I was the healthiest one in the room. To my surprise, I was told that my good cholesterol was low. Then the nurse read off things that could help me raise it. Yeah, things I didn’t really care for like nuts, fish, and avocado. I’ve now made a point to re-explore some of these foods as an adult. This helped break the barrier of “healthy fats” for me. Eating some almond butter will not kill me. Using some coconut oil to cook something will not kill me. Slowly realizing that it was ok to eat fat, and I was not gaining weight, I was finally able to let go of my obsession and stop checking the scale.
I would be lying if I said Crossfit didn’t have a lot to do with it. The types of workouts we do have allowed me to build muscle and keep my metabolism going to the point where I don’t have to over analyze and scrutinize everything that I eat. I can look at my body and see differences.
I don’t need to measure my progress in how much fat or calories I didn’t eat, or what the scale shows.
Paleo has opened my eyes to how I should be eating. It seems to work great for some people. I’ve read article after article about how after switching to this type of eating that ______ symptom is now gone. My body seems to tolerate most things pretty well, including wheat or gluten. Me being the carb fan I am, I still eat bread. In fact, I love bread, in almost all forms…pasta, pizza, waffles, cereal etc. But this type of thinking has led me to try to weed out a little bit of my unnecessary bread consumption. I used to take a Lean Cuisine or some form of microwave macaroni and cheese to work for lunch. That was on top of two bread laden snacks I took. I always crashed in the afternoon. My lunch is no longer carb focused and I no longer consistently get the afternoon crash.