Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why I kissed Paleo Goodbye

I divulged in this post that I was experimenting with the Paleo Diet. For the past month I have cut out peanut butter (sigh), all legumes, all my gluten free flours, all gluten free grains including quinoa, rice, and teff. I started listening to all sorts of Paleo health and nutrition podcasts on my commute to and from work. I skimmed Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint. I started to believe that all grains were "evil" and destructive. I didn't buy into the whole Paleo philosophy.  I've been following the Paleo principles for almost a month and I am done. I don't feel any healthier. In fact I have felt lethargic. I have three days of HIIT cardio in my training plan and did not have the energy to do anything more than weight train. I am hanging up my Paleo apron. 

This is what I took away from this little experiment.

1. I stopped fearing fat. I ate real organic pork bacon weekly and cooked with the lard.
2. I learned a new concept of eating and I am all about learning. In the end I realized this is not the plan for me. I need my carbs and miss dairy. Pass the Greek yogurt!
3. I need to be balanced in all things especially my eating. This little dabble with Paleo briefly brought me back to a dark place. I was a disordered eater long ago. I got this brilliant( NOT) idea to log my meals for two days following the Paleo Diet. BAD IDEA.

4. I maintain a better weight and energy level eating smaller meals  5-6 times a day. The Paleo Diet advocates for three meals a day. I found myself constantly hungry and overeating at meals. I added two snacks the days I logged calories.

5. I don't like rules especially diet rules. I found myself saying to my husband " I can't eat that anymore..." " I am not supposed to eat that..." Yeah that has disordered written all over it.

6. My creativity thrives with flexibility  The kitchen is my happy place. It is where I create, design, explore, and dream. Did you notice the drop off in recipes the past month. There are only so many ways you can prepare a sweet potato and make it look interesting.

My turning point was when I read this blogpost from Batty. WARNING this is not a G-rated post and does contain some strong language. It was a wake up call. I started thinking about my own behaviors and thought patterns. I was sitting next to my little three year old daughter, Isabella, reading this Batty post.  It was in that moment I realized I've been totally unbalanced and slightly neurotic with this whole Paleo thing. This is not good example for my daughter. This is not the person I want to be.

I challenge you (and myself) to think critically about what we follow or who we believe when it comes to diets and exercise. Find what works for you. Paleo is not for me. It has been successful for others. To each his or her own.


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