It Started With Paleo

DSCN2006The first real step of my journey to better health started with the Paleo Diet.  I thought we were eating healthy with a sometimes organic, low-fat, whole grain, dairy, bean, meat and vegetable/fruit diet (more fruits than veggies) – with some fast food and grain based snack foods thrown in because like most families we were often on the run.  At work, my boss joked that you knew the time based on my snacking regimen.  My fruit smoothie in the morning sipped during the drive to work, my need for the 10am yogurt and fruit snack.  Sandwich or salad for lunch and some veggies around 2:30.  I was always starved for dinner and though I tried to stay away from boxed dinners, we were eating a lot of pasta, bread, cheese, milk etc.

Then I learned about Loren Cordain’s The Paleo Diet and Robb Wolf’s The Paleo Solution and later found Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint.  The concepts behind the Paleo Diet made a lot of sense and I jumped in with both feet the summer of 2010.  Back then there were only a few websites devoted to Paleo eating but they were really helpful.  Now there is a proliferation of websites, cookbooks, seminars, conferences, and paleo food products.  It’s been interesting to watch Paleo go mainstream and be both vilified and embraced.  The stories of how people have changed their lives through diet are exceptional and we have our own family success stories.  I lost the 15 lbs that had been mostly hanging around my midsection for years without crazy chronic cardio workouts.  My teenage son had an amazing change away from depression and anxiety after discovering a gluten sensitivity and embracing the paleo way.  My vegetarian sister-in-law went paleo after spending the holidays with us a couple of years ago and was amazed at the improvements in her blood work.

The desire for good meats even led us to raise our own beef, hogs and eggs – truly an adventure and by far the best tasting meat and sausage we (and many of our lucky friends) have ever eaten.  Nothing says local like your backyard!  There is Paleo and Primal and other variations and each person has to find what works best for their body but for us Paleo is a great framework.  We aren’t “perfect paleo” and we enjoy some paleo versions of bread (sometimes you just gotta have a sandwich), desserts and organic cheese (although WAY less than we used to eat) but really avoid gluten and grains.  It was an adjustment at first but now it’s pretty simple as any lifestyle change becomes when it’s your daily life.   It’s also not boring due to the wide variety of yummy paleo recipes I’ve found.  I love to cook and am primarily a recipe follower rather than a recipe developer so I will be sharing lots of links to paleo recipes and cookbooks which I have found invaluable.