So let’s talk about food. I would confidently say that weight loss is 85% a food game. With my body type, I could run 10 miles a day and not drop a pound if I don’t fine tune my diet. So where did I start and where am I now? I started like the rest of you; counting calories, eating my whole grains, buying whatever product that claimed to help me feel fuller longer. I’m not going to say that I didn’t lose any weight like this, but the bottom line is that it just wasn’t working for me. I had to go back and figure out why I am fat. So I had this revelation: Maybe the problem isn’t that I’m eating too much, maybe my body doesn’t agree with my food choices. Hmm what a concept. Let me preface what comes next by saying that I have done countless hours of research on food and how it affects the body. Heck, I’ve even thought about going to school to be a nutritionist because besides music, it has become quite the passion of mine. So here we go…bear with me
Any of us who worry about what food is doing to our body and has done the research, has come across The Paleo Diet. The theory is that humans were never genetically predisposed to eat the foods that are currently staples in the standard American diet. So the term Paleo comes from the Paleolithic period when humans were hunter/gatherers. I really like this idea, but do I call myself Paleo? no, I do not. Here’s why: I could never duplicate what our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate. I’m still poor and it takes every bit of financial restraint to afford that 54 oz jar of coconut oil I buy every two months. I also don’t like the stigma of being on a ‘diet.’ So I just eat what I eat and let it be the way it is. I’m not going to sit here all day and explain the ins and outs of the Paleo Diet, but if you’re interested in learning more, please check out this website: www.robbwolf.com
So what do I eat? easy answer: lean meats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts
what do I not eat? All grains, all dairy products, processed foods, sugar, and legumes
what do I cheat on every now and again? I allow some honey as a treat. Oh and I definitely drink dark chocolate almond milk (amazing…seriously). It has cane juice in it as a sweetner, but I treat it as a now and again treat, so I don’t worry about it too much.
I also limit my nut consumption to about 1-2 oz a day and try to only have a couple of servings of fruit a day.
It sounds crazy right? It’s against everything we were raised to believe. I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that I’ve never EVER felt like this before. The first two weeks on no grain were plain ol’ rough. I was in withdrawal (that is a main reason I don’t eat grains, anything that highly addictive can’t be good for you). I ached, couldn’t sleep, had a dry mouth, and no energy whatsoever. After my withdrawal period I felt better than ever before and decided that I should at least try to give up dairy to see if I could reach the optimal feel goodness (I know, that’s awkward, but so am I). Guess what? I feel even more amazing. My depression is slowly but surely slipping away. For the first time in a long time I feel like I CAN. That is huge for me. HUGE, I say. So your next question may be: “Why in the world would whole grains and dairy be bad for you?” This is certainly not an easy question to answer and believe me, you just about have to be a scientist to understand it all (no joke). Here is what I gather, some people can handle the products of the agricultural revolution, and some just can’t. I could really go into some natural selection and other evolutionary theories, but lucky you, I won’t. What does the paleo diet do for you? It helps you eliminate the junk out of your life so you can listen to your body. I didn’t even realize that I had a dairy intolerance until I gave up grains. I also discovered that I have a banana( totally sang that Gwen Stefani song in my head, trying to remember how to spell banana) intolerance. I also now know that too many nuts make me gain weight. It is quite the journey and believe me, it is the most frustrating thing ever. Do I have my diet completely figured out yet? Nope. It’s still a daily battle, but with every good choice, I become closer to understanding my body. The most complicated battle of this food journey is that I live with my parents and have limited funds, but as I have learned, where there is a will, there is a way.
So let me show you how yummy this paleo way of life can be! Here is a recipe that I love…I could eat this every day. OK I have to say, I have a crappy digital camera which I don’t even know how to use that well. So to say the least, my pictures are awful. Awful I say, but the food is good so don’t hold it against me!
Carmelized Onion and Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps
Wow that’s a long title
Makes about 6 wraps
1 lb. of chicken cooked and diced (season with s and p before cooking)
1 cup of fully cooked sausage, crumbled
1 medium onion, thinly sliced and carmelized ( I know this takes forever, but it’s so good!)
about 30 grapes, halved
1 small avocado, cubed
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of paleo mayo or be lazy and just use regular mayo. Here is an excellent recipe for paleo mayo
a few whole lettuce leaves
Season and cook chicken by whatever method (bake, grill, really doesn’t matter and if you’re having a hard time with this just email me!) brown the sausage, carmelize the onion. Combine all ingredients (except lettuce) into a large bowl and refrigerate (or eat it warm if you’re into that sort of thing. I don’t judge.) Spoon mixture into a leaf of lettuce and roll up like a burrito! Devour!