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As more and more people learn about my lifestyle change to Paleo, this inevitably leads to many questions. Typically, they ask questions about what I eat, what I don’t eat, why or why not and what do I do under certain circumstances etc. It’s as though eating Paleo is this complicated new-fangled concept. It makes me laugh out loud sometimes. The Paleo concept is so simple it’s ridiculous. EAT REAL FOOD. Eat mostly naturally raised animals and organically grown vegetables. Add in some fruit, nuts and seeds. That’s it! How simple is that? Actually the best advice I’ve seen came on a laminated card in my order of Paleo Kits from Steve’s Original. It goes like this:

  • Eat real, unprocessed food,as close to nature as possible, and listen to your body.
  • Pretend the modern supermarket doesn’t exist.  
  • Choose foods that could be grown, hunted, or gathered – nothing packaged or processed. 
  • Support local farms when possible.
  • Eat animals, marine life, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fats from pastured animals, fish, coconut, avocado,olives, and cold-pressed oils.
  • Drink water.
  • Incorporate traditional, nutrient-dense foods:fermented vegetables, organ meats, and homemade bone broths.
  • Above all, ditch the “gurus”, “programs” and “diets” and get back to the basics.Connect with your intuition and allow it to guide you.

 

The problem is that for many, while it may sound simple, it’s not  easy. The problem we face today is 90% of the “food” (I’m using that term loosely here) that is CONVENIENTLY available is CRAP! Unfortunately, to make matters worse, this CRAP tastes good because our tastes buds have been shanghaied by artificial flavors and enhancers. So, what makes it seem difficult is lack of convenience, lack of support, emotional triggers, habits, and addictions. That sounds like a pretty daunting list of hurdles doesn’t it? So what is it that makes some people succeed and others fail? I think it is several things, but ultimately it is YOU. Sorry but it’s true. It was true of me too, I say this only to bring awareness. The minute you realize that YOU are in control of YOUR own destiny and when you want something bad enough, you find away around the obstacles.

So, what do YOU want? What do you REALLY want? Is to look better naked? Is it better athletic performance? Is it overcoming a health issue? Is it digestive problems? Is it neurological problems? Following the instructions above will contribute either entirely, mightily or partially to all the aforementioned goals. There are some nuances so when people ask me about whether a food is “healthy” or not, “Good” or not  I say, “Well that all depends…..what’s  your goal?” But the framework above is a great start and will be beneficial for just about everyone.

IT ALL BEGINS WITH FOOD. How did we forget that? EVERYTHING in our physical experience begins with food. It’s why food has become an obsession or an addiction for so many. If the food you eat is crap, why would you ever be surprised that you feel like crap? The answer can only be that we have gotten so far removed from where our food comes from and have entrusted our source of food to corporations. What is the goal of a corporation by the way? Think about that one! Is the goal of Monsanto, Tyson, Purdue or Conagra at all congruent with your goals for your own health? If you have to think real hard to answer that question, I’ll answer it for you. The answer is Hell No!! It’s not that these are evil entities or anything, but they are out to make a profit, your health is NOT their goal. But it should be yours.

3 years ago, my goal was to get better. If you have read some of my past posts you are familiar with my past health problems, I won’t bore you with them here. Just remember I was really sick and it was either get better or be miserable for the rest of my life. Well guess what? I got better! And I did it naturally. The medical docs I had seen in the past, didn’t heal me. They might have made my symptoms tolerable, but not one of them healed me. It’s sad, that so many of our medical doctors aren’t healers anymore. It’s as though healing is no longer their goal. Treating seems to be the goal. If a drug makes the “Ouchy” go away then why bother to eliminate the cause? If a patient is cured or healed, will they come back? Is recurring treatment better job security? Just thinking out loud here.

The holistic practitioner I see, Dr. Brian Boyd, helped heal me. Together we kept at it until we fixed my problems and there were many.  Many of my symptoms were caused by problems linked to what I was eating as well as my unsustainable lifestyle. There is no prescription drug that will fix an intolerance to dairy, gluten, or artificial additives. I can take a drug to treat my headaches, allergy symptoms, and bloating but the cause doesn’t go away. No drug can make me slow down, relax and say no sometimes. But a drug can calm me to the point of apathy and indifference.  Drugs seem to be the weapon of choice for traditional medicine. Dr Boyd helped me heal. I may see him far less often, but I refer friends to him whenever possible. Makes you think again about the goal of holistic practitioners like Dr Boyd over traditional medicinal practitioners. Again, just thinking out loud.

It was my unrelenting desire to get better that gave me no choice but to make some real changes. Now that I am better, I NEVER, EVER want to go back there.   That is my motivation. So here is my new goal. I want to live long enough to meet my great-grandchildren.  I want to live that life free of prescription drugs, moving under my own power with all my mental faculties. I want to live as healthy and happy as I can for as long as I can then just sort of drop dead one day at 100. It’s a pretty lofty goal, but nonetheless that’s what I’m reaching for. I know for sure I WON’T get there eating anything less than the best I possibly can. I am finally at the point where it is hard for me to fathom why I would ever intentionally eat something I KNOW is harmful for me. No matter how good it tastes. That is what knowing what I REALLY want, why it’s important and understanding the benefits of making the better choice really is.

So, what’s your goal? What is your hearts desire for your own physical self? Depending on what that is will determine how you use the recommendations above and balance it to fit your lifestyle and nutritional needs. If its to look better naked, cut the starch and sugar and get the right kind of exercise (see my post on exercising the smart way) If it’s better athletic performance, then balance and timing of macro nutrients is key, sufficient micro nutrient density, as well as appropriate training for your sport. If it is resolving health issues, while macro nutrients are important, the micronutrients are even more important depending on the issue you are trying to resolve.

Know your goal. Know what you REALLY want and commit to it. If making the lifestyle and dietary changes are too hard, then I am sorry to say you might not want it bad enough. It may not be your hearts desire. Or maybe it is and you just need a little help. This is where a health coach can help. Why fumble through, feeling like a failure every time when a little coaching can make the difference between success or failure? Great athletes, great actors, great executives all have some sort of coach that has guided them along the way. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We ALL need it, I certainly did and still do.  In the end my friend, it is all up to you. YOU have more power to fulfill your hearts desire than anyone else. Decide what that is, understand your obstacles, find a way around them, seek help if needed. Go get your hearts desire and hold on to it with both hands!

Until Next Time,

~ Laura, MGP

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