Diet Needs

As I sit 25 days into a 30 day Paleo Challenge at N-Raged Crossfit, I am feeling like it's time to bring up the subject of diet once again. What does your diet consist of? Is it wholesome, nutritious, and satisfying? Do you have energy, stable weight maintenance, normal sleep patterns, and a stable mood pattern? How about allergies, sickness, and soreness? It's amazing how our diet stretches to all parts of our lives. And it is something that we can control.

Typically I follow a paleo diet. One that mimics eating the foods our earliest ancestors has access to. In modern times, of course. I doubt they grilled steaks, poached salmon, roasted sweet potatoes, or tossed a salad. However, by eating the same foods they ate, in whole form, we have the best chances of complete digestion and maximum nutrition absorption. Our ancestors have been around for hundreds of thousands of years. The human body thrived for years off a diet consisting of meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds, and nuts. There was no wheat, legumes, dairy, refined sugars, preservatives... oh this list can go on! Again, to iterate, their diet consisted of whole foods found in whole form.

So what does that mean to us? Steak. With a heaping side of asparagus. Or grilled portobellos. Or, or, a nice baked sweet potato (for those of us still in love with steak and potatoes). Breakfast? A nice plate of bacon, with an omelet, please. Lunch is the toughest. Salad, lettuce wrap, left overs, soup, grilled chicken sandwich (without the bun). Oh wait, maybe it's NOT so tough...

Now am I saying the transition is easy? No. But it's only as hard as you make it be. Remember, you've got to give yourself at least 30 days, if not longer, without a particular good group to really detox from it. It may be several months before you see real gains. And the second and third weeks are going to be hell. You're body is simply adjusting. The trick is, don't think about what you're not eating, think about what you are eating. When you cook dinner, don't think "oh boy, I can't use that because it's not paleo"... think "I can cook this meat and these vegetables because they are paleo, healthy, and damn tasty!". If you focus on what you've taken out of your diet when you first make the transition, it will simply play massive head games with you.

First Step. Clean out your house. Your fridge, cabinets, secret stash, back up secret stash, your car, work desk, the hidden chest under the floor boards... Seriously, get rid of anything NOT paleo. And by get rid of, I mean donate. (Unfortunately there are many starving people that are not ready to make this transition yet, and need the caloric intake for mere survival.)

Second Step. Make a shopping list. Go to your local super market (farm market, if you have one, although don't overwhelm yourself the first time), and buy vegetables, fruits, and meats. Maybe some nuts. Olive oil and coconut oil if you don't have it. Then LEAVE! Run away. And don't go on a weekend, when there is lots of commotion and free samples.

Third Step. Ask the family for help with a meal plan. Cook together. Make extra. Lots extra. And start SIMPLE. Heck, keep it simple all the way though. I've been eating paleo for over a year. I roast 5 lbs of chicken breasts, in a pan with simply seasonings, in one shot so I have lunches/dinners for a few days and some to freeze.

Fourth Step. Don't panic. So you ate the cookie. I've eaten the cookie. And felt like cr@p. So I waited a little big longer before I gave the cookie thing a try again. Felt like cr@p again, and waited even longer. Now, cookies come and cookies go, but I just don't care. It's almost good to lapse every once in a while, and take note of how it makes you feel. Then you won't be as tempted to do it again. But you'll be reminded, and sometimes that can really make the difference. But please don't break for the first 30 days. Those are kinda crucial...

Fifth Step. Talk about it. With everyone. Research it. Be an advocate. And share your comments :)

PS- sorry, no recipe today. Today I want you to spend more time thinking about your diet then simply going through the motions of it. Connect with your food. The recipes will flow from there... Enjoy :)

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