Oh the controversy of Paleo. . . I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now but it is hard put everything down in a way that you don’t offend anyone. Then I realized that no matter what I will probably offend someone in some way. Before I get into it I would like to disclaim that I am not against Paleo. It’s definitely changed how I view food and I’ve learned so much about myself.
For 2 years now I have been on the Paleo Train. It was not 100% Paleo but more like 80/20. I did plenty of Whole 30’s and 2 Sugar Detox’s at the level 3. I almost started another one on January 6th but realized it wasn’t for me right now. I had just done one and wasn’t ready to do another. Plus I didn’t think I needed it. What I really needed is a balance. A balance that is right for me.
With the new year I definitely had some goals in mind. Regardless of a new year, I am already a goal oriented person and constantly re-evaluating how I do things. Which is why I welcome Mondays more than any other day. It has taken me a while to feel like myself again. I lost it for a while. I thought doing challenges like the 21 day sugar detox or whole 30 would get me back to where I was. But I needed was to re-evaluate that mind set. The realization that eating this way this last year hasn’t put me where I want to be goal-wise freaked me out a little bit. I thought I was content with Paleo defining me but in reality I had a lot of ups and downs mentally and wasn’t completely happy with myself or my body. When I am not happy with myself it intervenes in the other areas of my life and that is not fair to myself or my loved ones.
What I needed was a change. You can’t out run a bad diet. Trust me I’ve tried. I know you hear that all the time but it is true. I wish I could have 2+ tablespoons of nut butter a day and stay lean but that is not going to happen. Through eating Paleo I have learned that I know my body and what foods sit well and what doesn’t. I know what I can or can’t have in my fridge and pantry. The point and key is to actually listen to yourself.
I definitely do well on a eating low-carb but not high fat. When I am running a lot I can’t preform my best on low-carb or high in healthy fats. Paleo is not designed for long distance running. There are a lot more sweet potatoes and kabocha squash involved with higher mileage and that can leave me feeling ridiculously bloated. I have learned a lot on this clean eating journey over the years and feel like I have been through it all.
Learning that what works for others might not work for you is extremely important. I do not like bacon for breakfast each morning. I like eggs and turkey bacon though. I will not eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. I can eat pancakes every morning though. The thought of drinking protein shakes after every workout just makes me gag regardless of how good my protein powder is.
As of Late I have learned:
- I do better with smaller meals every 2-3 hours. This isn’t really the way of Paleo eating.
- I tend to over eat if it has been longer than 2-3 hours.
- I don’t get hangry while eating this way nor do I think about food 24/7.
- Keeping my workouts during the week to an hour leaves me happier and with more energy.
- Enjoying my rest days and taking more than one a week has kept me injury-free.
- Workouts on the weekend are usually longer and I look forward to them.
- Interval running, body weight exercises, and pump classes keep me lean.
- I’ve been enjoying small amounts cheese and greek yogurt, hummus, quest bars and brown rice tortillas which is definitely not Paleo.
- I am no longer craving Paleo-desserts on a daily basis. Or over eat the desserts I do make.
- Keeping my meals at home as simple and clean as possible works for me.
- I am back to eating clean 85-90% of the time. The other 10-15% is reserved for chocolate.
- I still have a Paleo-eating mindset in terms of eating real and whole foods and I always will.
The take away is I learned a lot from eating Paleo. I think everyone should try it out for at least a week and you will learn so much. The lifestyle is not for everyone! But I will not be labeling myself as Paleo anymore. This does not mean I will not be eating Paleo meals or stop pinning Paleo Recipes. I have realized what makes me happy and that has always been my main goal. I did see a lot of results when I first starting eating Paleo; however, for the goals that I have right now I will not see the result that I want unless I change. The changes that I have implemented I am already seeing results.
What works for you?
Have you tried eating a diet similar to Paleo?
I’d love to hear what you guys think! The good and bad! (hope I don’t regret saying the bad)