Friday, November 15, 2013

Lifestyle change

In addition to the running, this household has gone through a little...err...big lifestyle change. I guess it all started in March when Matt found out he had Celiac's. Honestly, though, that is just when it started for him. Did we eat less gluten? Yes, but the boys and I still had a pizza about once a week along with boxed macaroni and cheese. Matt would just eat the gluten free version. 

It was around the end of August that I really started thinking about wanting to eat more healthy. I wanted to get rid of all the processed food and ingredients I couldn't even pronounce. I am an honest believer that the food we are eating is one of the main reasons we are always so sick!  Also, I had been going to bootcamp and training for the marathon and while I was pleased with the number on the scale, I still wasn't seeing quite the progress I thought I should. 

So, I started researching clean eating and it was around that time that I came across Paleo. "I could never do that" is what my first (albeit, naive) thought. I didn't even know what Paleo was and I had already decided I couldn't do it. I decided to research it anyway, and after reading all of these blog posts I was convinced that I was going to give it a shot. Matt agreed to try one week and here we are!

If you want to know more about what you can and can't eat (and why) click on the link and read up! It is eye opening, I assure you!! So, here is what I avoid:

beans/legumes (including peanuts)
high omega-6 vegetable oils
refined sweetners and artificial sweetners
refined, iodized salt

Things to eat:

Meats and eggs
Fish, shell fish
nuts and seeds

There is more to the list that you can eat, but I'm just going to focus on the ones we eat and kind of share what our typical meals look like. 

Breakfast: I'd say 99% of the time we have some kind of scrambled egg frittata type thing.  Basically I cook diced onion, bell pepper, jalepeno, tomatoes in a little coconut oil. Then I will add the  eggs and scramble until they are cooked through. If I have it, I will add avocado on top. That is my cheese! Matt, being on what he calls modified Paleo, still eats cheese.  Sometimes I will eat throw some bacon or sausage in with the veggies (in which case I do not use coconut oil.. the bacon/sausage grease is more than enough to make sure nothing sticks) Usually I will eat some fruit on the side, too. Occasionally, I will make some paleo pancakes, but not very often as they are really just for a treat and hold no real nutritional value! Of course, there are muffins I have made, too. But, once again, I try to steer clear of those. Plus, they can get expensive to make!! I still have a cup or two of black coffee throughout the day. I do think it can make me want to eat sometimes when I might not necessarily be hungry, but I love it too much to give it up!!!

Sausage scramble with a side of sweet potato hash
Veggie scramble with an abundance of yummy fruit
Bacon scramble with grapes and a cup of Paleo Pumpkin Spice Latte

Lunch: 9 times out of 10, I will have leftovers from the night before. Since we typically have protein and a side, I just cook extra for Matt and I to eat the next day. If I didn't, I throw together boiled chicken, chopped grapes, raisins and a mashed avocado to have a chicken salad type meal. SO, SO good! (and credit to Loves of Life for that one). 

leftover chicken fajita tacos in a romaine lettuce wrap
leftover diced sweet potatoes, grilled chicken and a slice of fresh tomato and avocado
Dinner: This is where the fun is for me. While it sounds pretty boring to just say a protein and a side, I can assure you most meals are anything from boring. If there is one thing I have learned in this journey it is that eating healthy is GOOD! Does it take a little bit of prep work? Yes. I chop all.the.time! But the end product is SO worth it and it really doesn't take that much more time. 
Diced sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and a burger with romaine lettuce bun

diced butternut squash, cauliflower mash, brussel sprouts and chicken with a pineapple salsa
Spiced Chicken with Peaches and Pineapple, baked sweet potato and apple, bell pepper and onion thrown in a skillet :)
grilled shrimp, baked sweet potato with diced apple and bacon (LIFE CHANGING, Y'ALL) and broccoli. I might or might not have already taken a few bites before snapping a picture! 

The boys: They eat what we eat. I still give the boys sandwiches for lunch, which includes cheese. They still have milk, too. They also eat noodles on the nights we have spaghetti. (side note: I eat spaghetti squash and will give that to them, too. They don't know the difference!!) 

Eating out: You can still eat out. While it's not as easy, it's not impossible. This is definitely where they boys venture away from the guidelines. They still order macaroni and there is bread on their burgers. And cheese, for that matter! As for me, I don't go as far as asking the waiter if there is salt on my meal. Or if it is cooked in butter. I just try to get something I feel is close and I am ok with that. 

Non-Paleo treats: One thing I knew for sure was that I would allow myself treats every once in a while. I usually reserve them for the weekend unless there is an event in the middle of the week. I am going to have a piece of cake at a birthday party if I want it! Even though more times than not I feel bad afterwards, I still need my dessert sometimes! 

Grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken/eggs/pork: This is probably where we vary from the 100% loyal Paleo group the most. I do buy grass fed beef because Kroger offers it and it isn't crazy expensive at $6.99/lb and it does go on sale. I have also found a local farmer that I can buy pasture raised bacon and sausage from. We get meat deals from a guy at Matt's work on chicken and while I know for sure there is no antibiotics or hormones, that is about all I know. Eggs I still just buy from the regular from Kroger. Only because we go through 9 every morning!! So, we can't afford to buy eggs at $5 a dozen :). I, personally, think you just do what you can within your budget! Here is a great blog post from Paleo Plan about buying and finding meat. This one more specifically about pasture raised chickens and pigs. 

What I miss, how I feel: There really isn't much I miss. Chocolate and ice cream are really the only things I find myself wanting. I wouldn't even call it a craving, but when I want it, I get it. And it is the first time in my life I don't feel guilty for doing it. We work out hard and eat great. As for how I feel? Seriously awesome. I have more energy, less bloated and really just feel...better! Yes, I lost some weight, but the biggest thing I have noticed is losing inches in random (but a good random) spots. And, I can see the results of my hard work at the gym so much more, which is never a bad thing!

Recipes: Honestly, I get the majority of my recipes from Paleo Plan, but I have come across some by googling, too. The important thing is to know what you can and can't eat. There was a recipe in a running magazine a few weeks ago that they had labeled Paleo. It had Peanut Butter in it, which is not Paleo! So, just be careful! 

I am obviously no expert and I'm sure I get something wrong every day, but I feel like a new person and there can't be anything wrong with that! Have you ever tried Paleo? Or even heard of it? Please share any recipes, blogs or tips!!!

1 comment:

April said...

Michael and I are researching and reading about going off of the processed/packaged foods too. We have cut down on them a lot but not completely yet. We are not doing Paleo but similar. We are reading the book Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. It's a mostly plan-based diet but he does recommend beans but not meat. He says you should only eat meat a couple times a week and then just small portions of lean meat. We haven't gone hard-core but we are still testing out recipes to see how hard it will be to cook that way. Glad to hear you all are feeling better and losing weight. Gives me inspiration.


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