Good morning FitLiving readers! My name is Kristen and I blog over at Everyday Grace where you can find posts about my life in Denver, delicious recipes and all things in between. Today, I am taking over Carly’s space on the web and she’s taking over mine!
My mantra my whole life regarding food was, “I workout so I can eat what I want.” I would go on a 2-mile run (maybe) and then think I could eat two hamburgers and fries. While that mantra worked well for me most of the time, I was finding it would only work for so long. Today, I’m sharing my story on how I started living a paleo lifestyle, why I do it and how you can, too!
Related Post: 10 Tips for Starting the Paleo Diet
When Adam (my husband) and I moved to Denver last April, I wanted to make some friends, so I started working out at Pure Barre. I knew I needed to do something to get out of the house and I had heard wonderful things about Pure Barre. After about a month or pretty dedicated PB attendance, I started noticing a change in my body but I still maintained my manta that I could eat what I want and get away with it. It wasn’t until Adam and I got engaged that I knew I needed to change this life-long mantra of mine.
A month after we got engaged we were vacationing with my family in Lake Tahoe. My college roommate, Callie, joined us and started telling me about the paleo lifestyle and how it had changed her life. We spent the next three days talking about paleo and all that it entails. She told us how it changed the way she worked out, the way she felt physically, mentally, and the unexpected perk of how she lost weight and maintained it.
Related Post: Eating like Caveman
Our 3-Week Paleo Trial
When Adam and I got home from Lake Tahoe we figured we would give paleo a try. We told ourselves we would try eating paleo for three weeks with no cheat days just to see if it really worked. Tip #1: We cleaned out our pantry and got rid of all processed stuff. We wanted a blank pantry to fill up with healthy food and we knew we’d be tempted if we left a bag full of jalapeño chips in there. Some foods we just bagged up and put away, but for the most part we got rid of the “bad” stuff. Tip #2: We made a long grocery list and went shopping. We went to Whole Foods and our local grocery store to stock up. Warning, this is expensive at first, but you’ll get used to buying almond flour instead of white flour and so on. A lot of it you can get this at Costco, so be sure to check that out!
One week later, Adam was hooked, but I was not. Adam is a runner and he said he could already tell a difference in how his joints felt! I, on the other hand, was tired. I was dragging, moody and so sleepy. I thought if this is what paleo felt like, to count me out. Adam reminded me that we had promised to stick it out for three weeks and I only had two left to go. Starting the second week, I felt my energy pick up a little and by the end of the second week, I felt better than I had in years. I had the energy of a 5-year-old and I had lost 7 pounds.
Side note: When I started eating/living/loving paleo, it wasn’t all about the weight I wanted to lose. It was about creating a way of living that made my whole body, mind, and spirit feel good.
Related Post: Pros and Cons of Paleo
Now here we are, more than a year later and we’re still eating paleo. Yes, we have our cheat days. We give ourselves Friday and Saturday night to indulge. But Sunday through Thursday we are pretty strict about what we eat. Tip #3: Allow yourself to falter. If you go 100% all the time you will likely get burned out and hate it.
When we first started, Callie told me to focus on eating paleo 80% of the time at 100%. What that means is, when you’re doing paleo (like us, Sunday through Thursday) we’re strict. But then, Friday night we have some wine and maybe some pasta. It’s all about creating a balance. And hey, when you’re craving a sandwich, why not make a paleo sandwich!
My quick tips to starting a paleo lifestyle
- See Tips #1-#3 above.
- Meal plan. I know it sounds like a pain, but every Sunday before I go to the store, I plan out what I’m going to make for dinner for the entire week. For one thing, it saves a lot of time during the week. It also saves money and it allows you to stay on track.
- Explore! Make good recipes. This doesn’t have to be a boring diet. There are so many amazing things to make. You can check out my paleo tab for tons of recipes!
- Cook with someone. Your husband, friend, parent. I promise, creating new recipes is more fun with someone else.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Paleo is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle and it’s about creating a new way of thinking, eating and looking at food. It takes time, work and dedication. But I promise, if I can do it, so can you.
I hope you learned something today, and hey, maybe you’ll start living paleo. If you have any questions, please feel free to stop by Everyday Grace! I am a 28-year-old Denver blogger who blogs about life, love and food. I hope you stop by, say hey and find something that inspires you.