Thursday 18 July 2013

Paleo Q&A!

As we're looking at the Paleo Diet this week as part of our healthy eating series, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have my best friend, Laura, share her experience.  Andrew and I first really learned about Paleo from her and her husband, and knowing it has been really great for them, we've discussed it a number of times in the past.  I'm SO happy that she agreed to share her experience with you, and I think you'll really appreciate the sunny disposition that shines through, and her no-nonsense approach to answering some of the basic questions one might have about such a different way of eating!

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Paleo Q&A by my best friend Laura!

Hi! You may have heard of the paleo diet. It is pretty popular right now and there is a lot of information out there about it. I'm going to be sharing my own personal experiences with the diet. If you have any questions or are interested in learning more I recommend doing some research online.

What is the paleo diet?

The paleo diet involves eating real, unprocessed foods. This includes meat, fish, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and healthy oils. Foods to avoid include grains, legumes, dairy, sugar and anything processed.

When and why did you start the paleo diet?

My husband and I have been following the paleo diet for almost two years. We originally started the paelo diet as part of a month long challenge at our gym. People we knew who followed the paleo diet all said that eating paleo made them feel amazing with even energy levels throughout the day and greater strength. Although we thought we had a pretty healthy diet we decided to try it out. We've been eating paleo for almost two years now and plan to continue to eat this way. We see it as a paleo lifestyle rather than a "diet".

So what do you eat!?

It turns out that we used to eat a lot of sugary, processed foods. Now we focus on eating balanced meals with real foods. I actually snack less than before because my meals keep me full longer.

Typical meals include:
Breakfast - Scrambled eggs with ham and vegetables, banana-almond pancakes or a kale-berry smoothie.
Lunch - Leftovers or a salad with a serving of meal.
Dinner - Meat and lots of vegetables. It sounds like this could get repetitive but there are a lot of options when cooking meat and vegetables.
Snacks - Apple with almond butter, nuts or fruit.

We try to eat the best quality foods we can find. Where we live this is relatively easy and affordable. We have purchased whole organic animals that we have divided with friends and get eggs from local farms or from friends that keep chickens in their yards.

What are the biggest challenges?

  1. Planning ahead. It can get stressful when you are hungry but you haven't planned what you are eating. Most traditional snacks are not paleo so it is hard to grab something quick to eat.
  2. Eating with friends. We eat with friends quite often and it really doesn't seem fair to ask people to change the way they cook for us. After a few months of eating paleo we decided that we would eat whatever we are served when eating with friends regardless of whether or not it is paleo. This works for us. I think this would be a lot more difficult for people following a strict paleo diet.

What changes have you seen since starting the diet?

  1. We are a lot less lazy when it comes to meals! Following the paleo diet requires you to always have a food plan. We can no longer toss a frozen pizza in the oven!
  2. I definitely have more energy than before. I used to get really tired in the afternoon and would have days where I didn't feel energized enough to workout. This is rarely a problem anymore.
  3. We both experienced a physical change from eating paleo. I recommend taking before pictures when trying this diet. Even without weight-loss, your body can change a lot by eating different foods!

I don't think the paleo diet is for everyone. It takes a lot of commitment to follow and can be difficult at first. That being said, eating paleo has been great for me and my husband and I recommend trying it!

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