Now that I’ve been eating Paleo for about 5 years now and blogging for about 3 I get asked a lot of questions. I get asked for nutrition advice or if a certain food product is healthy. The good news is I love talking about this stuff! It lights me up! I finally made the very scary decision to leave my lucrative full-time outside sales job to focus on growing my health coaching practice and the CrossFit box my husband and I opened with a couple of partners last year. It continues to be my passion and what drives me, so I’m taking the leap and officially launching (R)Evolution Health Coach!
Now I have time to write and do what I love doing. Talking about a Paleo centered nutrition and wellness! Woohoo!
Most of the questions I get are usually something like, “ Is (insert food here) Paleo? Or “Why isn’t (insert food here) Paleo?” Sometimes it’s a lot of questions about the Paleo diet structure. Many are skeptical, as they should be! There are so many diets out there that do not work.
My philosophy is if what you’re currently doing isn’t working then there has got to be a better way. Here’s the rub, more often than not, you don’t know if a way of eating will work for you unless you try it. And unlike some of the “Paleo Police” out there, I do not feel that one size fits all here. I view the Paleo Diet as a quality filter. A sort of hierarchy of foods that should be labeled from “Eat Liberally” to “In Moderation” to “If Tolerated” to “Avoid! Danger, Danger!”
It’s my belief that the Paleo Diet should be your starting place. From there you can try on different macro nutrient ratios for size. Experiment with whole food starches when needed. And decide whether drinking red wine or full fat organic dairy is right for you.
Some days, I just want to put a new label on it. For some reason the Paleo Diet is either loved or hated. What’s interesting is the lovers are those who are currently living it or have tried it, admit they felt great, but for some reason fell back into old habits. The haters are ALWAYS; WITHOUT EXCPETION, people who have NEVER TRIED IT! Some are nutritional specialists who think they know what it is because they have read a book or cookbook and when they comment on what they view are the drawbacks, it is abundantly clear they have no idea what this Paleo lifestyle is all about.
I don’t know one leader in the Paleo community who thinks bacon should be the eaten every day at every meal, or that eating almond flour cookies every day is a healthy choice. Like any way of eating there are many who have found a way to fit today’s lifestyle and tastes into an ancestral diet framework like Paleo Pizza, Paleo Brownies etc. While I will make both of these as treats from time to time, neither is a cornerstone of my diet.
For the record, I have read EVERY Paleo/Primal/Hunter Gatherer/Ancestral nutritional book available. I have read nutritional/diets books ranging from plant based vegetarian diets, blood type diets, low Glycemic, Low Carb. You name it; I’ve read it. I took the course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and learned 100 different dietary theories. I’ve tried them all and many worked in the short term. Most failed in the long term.
The Paleo/Primal approach is the only one that kept me feeling great in both the short and long term. I’ve lived it for 5 years and I do it my way. Over the years I have learned I can have a little full-fat raw dairy and still feel fine. I have actually stopped drinking as much wine and coffee because I really didn’t feel fine. I still refrain from all grains, legumes, refined sugars and processed foods. Even the “foods in a bag” I’ve begun to lighten up on. My rule of thumb is that if I know what’s in it and could make it in my own kitchen if I had the time then it is probably fine.
Look, whichever way of eating you decide to take on, it’s has to be livable long term. It also has to be flexible enough to adapt as your dietary needs change over time, because they will. And no diet will cure everything that ails you if you are still over stressed, sleep deprived, in a job you hate or in a bad relationship. It’s not just the diet we are eating today that is unhealthy, it is also today’s lifestyle in general, but that is a whole other blog post!
So, start here. This is a graphic Diane Sanfilippo put together that sums this up well.
If you need help I am happy to help! I quit my job to focus on doing this. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Once you get the hang of how to make healthy choices that are right for you and it becomes a habit, you have found your destination. Welcome home!
Mom Gone Paleo
Revolution Health Coach