I became (Almost) Paleo after 27 years of being a vegetarian, a lifetime of failed, or at best temporary, weight loss efforts, an elimination diet and the Whole30.
I have long been interested food and how it impacts on our bodies. More recently, I followed the Elimination Diet from Dr Mansfield's book The Six Secrets of Successful Weight Loss. I felt good in stage 1, once I had eliminated all things known to cause people problems, and overcome the detox/withdrawal. I gradually regressed back to my 'old' self once I reintroduced things, even though I didn't pick up on anything in particular that was causing the problem first time round.
A few weeks later I found myself longing for the healthy and energised feeling of stage one once more. I started eating more of those stage one foods again. One night it dawned on me that it could be wheat. I did have some symptoms when I reintroduced that, but not the indicatory weight gain that was expected if it were the problem. However, I decided to eliminate wheat from my diet and see what happened. Within just 48 hours I was feeling heaps better. Within a week I had sworn off wheat for life!
So, how does one become wheat free?
Wheat forms such a big part of the average western diet. I did some online research and decided to purchase Wheat Belly. Reading this was enough to convince me that giving up wheat was a great idea. It also served to warn me of the dangers of simply replacing wheat with other carbs. Typically, "gluten free" products are made of highly refined carbohydrates which have an even higher GI and are potentially even worse for your body than wheat. This was going to be more complicated than I first thought. I needed to change the way I ate as well as what I ate!
My research of what to eat instead of wheat or 'gluten free' led me to investigate the paleo diet, which avoids grains completely. That in turn led me to The Whole 30 and the book It Starts With Food. As soon as I read the book I couldn't resist it's call to START NOW, and so I did. I blogged about my first Whole 30 as having a commitment to posting pictures of the food I was eating was really helpful to keep on track.
Essentially, so far I have discovered that I feel so much better without wheat and sugar in my diet in particular, and following a paleo diet has helped me lose weight and inches, and more importantly:
- I have so much more energy
- I can kneel (I couldn't before due to my legs just not folding like that)
- My joint pain has gone
- My back is better
- My shoulder where the nerve was trapped is much much better - no problems with it at all since I began the whole 30 - Drs., physios and osteopaths actually all agree that the cause was inflammation, so I am guessing this must mean inflammation has decreased
- My skin is clearer
- My sleep is better - I wake up less in the night
- I feel inspired to exercise and have recently created an exercise schedule which I am sticking too. In fact, having so much energy I actually feel like I NEED to exercise every day.
- My thinking is clearer
- My balance and coordination is better (measured by Wii Fit Plus)
- I am a better playmate for my son
- I am happier and more positive
- The way I think about food has changed
- Meal planning is much easier
- My son is eating better too
It's definitely a work in progress. Even though I now know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I feel soooo much healthier when I stick strictly to a paleo diet, I still occasionally find myself thinking "just a little wont hurt"!
I blog about my paleo life as much to keep me on track as I do to share the wonders of a paleo diet with you.
Please be aware that am not perfect! Far from it. I started this journey at 85kg, (after having a baby and then a miscarriage) thats about 20kg over weight. I am not yet at the point where I want to display my body on my home page (but maybe one day it will be so incredible I will be proud to do that!) Meantime - if you want to see the journey in stats and pictures here's a link to my hidden page!
Please note I am not a nutrition expert. I did study nutritional medicine at The Australian College of Natural Medicine for a while, but didn't complete the course for a number of reasons, like moving to the opposite side of the planet and having a baby! I hope to go back to it one day in the not too distant future, just as soon as I have the time and money and find a nearer institution that supports the blending of both the holistic and the scientific approach to knowing. I have maintained a keen interest in the subject though, and writing this blog is one way that I can keep that going in the interim.
Also, please be aware that I am not an expert on the Paleo Diet or the Whole30. These blog posts are simply about my journey, which may be of interest and perhaps even helpful to others. Pin It Now!