If you’re considering a switch to the Paleo lifestyle, you probably have a million questions. I know I did when I first decided to take the leap. For most, making the commitment to “go Paleo” means completely changing one’s eating habits, and going against the nutrition teachings we often hear growing up in modern day America.
I grew up in a household that avoided junk food whenever possible. We hardly ever ate at restaurants and often made dinner together. But even our nutrition choices were not perfect. They were, however, what we thought we were supposed to do.
These choices played out like this: margarine (never butter!) on the table at dinner, low-fat chicken breast and ground turkey instead of beef, low-fat or fat-free yogurt and string cheese for snacks, lots of whole grain cereals and skim milk, and plenty of whole grain bread with low-fat Miracle Whip.
Now, this is in no way a bad diet. In fact, compared to many of my friends’ houses, where Fruit by the Foot, Lucky Charms and pizza bagels were the norm, my family might as well have been nutritional role models. But now that I’ve changed my eating habits, I’ve realized that our family diet was flawed (though well-intentioned).
I’m sure many of the people reading this will have the same memories of childhood, and likely have continued following the low-fat, whole grain “Standard American Diet” (guys, that spells SAD…) ever since. Again, I must be clear: I am not suggesting a sandwich with low-fat cheese and whole grain bread is going to kill you. No, in fact, I’m sure you’d live a long, healthy life with a lot of purpose and meaning. You’d probably have a lot of happiness, too, not to mention all the bomb sandwiches you’d get to eat over the years.
No, I’m saying that I think you could be healthier. I think you could have more energy and be happier. And while the Paleo lifestyle certainly does not work for everyone, every person I know who has tried it has not regretted it.
So, what IS Paleo anyway? While we could get really in-depth about this, I LOVE these simple rules from Liz Wolfe, co-host of the Balanced Bites podcast:
Isn’t that great?! To me, it just makes sense. To you, it may not. And that’s OK. But if you’re looking to improve your health and just plain ol’ feel better, you may want to give it a shot. Try it, for two weeks, for one month, for however long you feel like it- and just see how your body responds.
Anyone else have success with this lifestyle? Anyone planning on taking the plunge? What are you most afraid of/looking forward to?