Last week, I mentioned in a post that I followed the Paleo diet. I received several questions about the diet and my thoughts/experience. Soooo.. Here I go!
First, I want to reiterate that I believe everybody is unique and responds to diets differently. Depending on personal needs, activity, allergies, etc. What works for one person may not work for another.
Secondly- The word diet is thrown around so much lately. For Example: Your friend is on “this” diet, your mom is doing “this” diet. Etc. Actually, its funny because everyone is on a diet, rather it’s a healthy diet or how should a say… a poor diet (not really a fad diet but eating whatever, whenever). When I hear the word diet all I can think about is restriction. I don’t think a diet needs to be restricting to help you accomplish your goal, whether it is for weight loss or performance. However, if you are new to eating healthy then yes, your diet is going to feel restricting. I do think that “diets” are actually designed to teach you how to follow a healthy lifestyle. Diets can teach you how to listen to your body. Hunger cues VS. Cravings. They also make you pay attention to your energy levels, attitude, and mood. Although, you may be exercising daily, you even might actually even eat healthy already. But many people have fallen into a fad diet trap or even better “a cleanse”. Its about understanding your body, focusing on foods you do eat, instead of the foods you don’t eat.
The Paleo Diet-
To put it simply. Paleo is eating real food,(Imagine that.) Going back to our pre- agricultural ancestors ate. You are to not eat anything processed, grains, dairy or legumes. Put your focus on fresh fruit and veggies, healthy fats and lean meats.
Q. How long did you eat paleo?
I ate paleo for about 5 months .
Q. Could you tell a difference in you body, energy, weight?
Yes, My body did change, I was my leanest, lowest weight while on paleo. My energy was well. Although, the first few weeks I felt a little low on energy put once I added more sweet potatoes/yams into each meal. I felt better. My performance and speed also improved. My training also had a lot to do with it also.
Q. What did your meals consist of?
I ate about 5-6 meals each day. Each meal had a source of protein, carb, and a fat.
For Example: Dinner last night! Grilled chicken with brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes, roasted with olive oil and garlic.
Q. How did you perform/train without carbs from grains, pasta, rice etc..
I believe your body actually starts taking energy from you fat source. My fat intake was the high on this diet. Think almonds, cashews, coconut oil, olive oil and avocados. I also got my carbs through sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables.
Here is one of my favorite charts to figure out paleo--
Q. How strict were you on the diet?
Honestly, I didn’t follow the diet exactly 100%. I allowed protein supplement almost daily. And about one day a week I would go for fro-yo or if I knew I was going somewhere I couldn’t exactly eat 100% paleo, such as a friends house or my parents I would plan ahead and allow a “cheat” meal- (NOT day).I hate having to explain my dietary needs to other people mainly because I don’t want to inconvenience someone or draw attention to myself. Because there will always be someone who doesn’t agree with you or understand why you eat the way you do.
You really don’t need to eat “perfect” 100% of the time to be successful/healthy. Its about balance.
Q. Do you still follow paleo?
I follow paleo probably 80% of the time. I have found what works for me. I missed Greek yogurt, goat cheese, Frozen yogurt trips with the fam, and chocolate milk. I didn’t love the way I looked while eating strictly paleo. Adding a little dairy and grains such as GF oats, brown rice, quinoa helps me keep my weight in a happy place for me with my activity level. I picked up healthy habits that I include into my everyday diet according to what my body needs.
Q. Would you recommend Paleo for others?
Yes. Real,whole, natural food is the best diet. In fact, I think of it more as a healthy lifestyle! Be prepared to be prepared. Paleo requires you to think ahead and be ready. You don’t have the convince of buying anything from a vending machine. Snag a apple, keep chopped veggies, boiled eggs and grilled chicken in your fridge ready to go. As with any diet your prep comes into play of your success.
Any other questions? I would LOVE to answer them!
Also, Voting is still open! Thanks for all who have voted already. If you have a minute please take the time to click! It would mean so much to me! Please and Thank you!!