Alright ok, guess I decided to start a blog. After holding my tongue from screaming “THAT’S NOT FOOOD” during a discussion about cooking at the latest family gathering, where my Dad gasped in horror at my verbalizations of eating real eggs and bacon with BUTTER (versus Grandma’s favorite: southwestern egg beaters cooked in trans-fat I Can’t Believe It’s Not Whatever), all while my mother was peddling out more pasta salad and oreo pie…I decided at least for my own sanity that it is time that I had an outlet for my thoughts and passion for REAL food and my personal slant on paleo-ness.
I’ll briefly share a little about me to get started. My favorite game growing up was to play “restaurant.” I would write menus in crayons and ask my siblings to order something. I featured exquisite specialties like Kraft Mac and Cheese and Hot Dogs. (Safe to say I did not grow up eating the most nutritious diet available.) I also wrestled with significant food and body image issues and insecurity throughout high school and the college, that I really only began to be healed from in my mid-twenties – primarily by the grace of God, but also through becoming more educated about nutrition and through discovering the joy of cooking for myself.
I always thought that health = fewer calories. This began to shift in about two years ago now, through discussions with my sister and roommates, and reading books like Eat To Live and Master Your Metabolism. The most important things that those books opened by eyes to was the idea that processed/refined/faux food might perhaps be (gasp) bad for you. Even Diet Coke, though it has zero calories (what?)!? So while I now don’t agree with everything in these books (I mean, I LOVE me my animal protein) this began my journey away from diet food and into thinking about what NOURISHMENT means.
In June of 2013 I did a “clean eating challenge,” where I ate a plant based diet that included whole grains. I expected the digestive issues I had also been living with would clear up since I was eating so healthy! But, they actually got worse. The person running the challenge suggested I might be gluten intolerant, which I laughed at, thinking “that gluten free thing is all in people’s heads”…until I gave it a try. Sure enough, getting rid of gluten helped my body start to function more the way it felt like it “should”.
So in the summer of 2013, I was exploring how to live gluten free and not just eat gluten free bread and pasta all the time. I found the Balanced Bites podcast and bought a copy of Practical Paleo shortly thereafter – which is truly how I got hooked on exploring this lifestyle. For me, the change was gradual, and I’m still not perfectly “paleo” all the time. I didn’t start out with doing a strict paleo challenge or anything, I’ve just been listening and learning and making the changes I could over the past year. I started to eat more MEAT, which I was not eating very much of at all before going paleo. I gradually cut out beans and legumes, except for occasional peanut butter (and I feel SO much better without beans, let me tell you.) I still eat the occasional dairy and sugary stuff…working on that one! I also learned about oils and changed my oils over to coconut, avocado, and macadamia nut oil. I tried to get rid of as much packaged and processed food as possible…which meant investing a LOT more free time into searching for recipes and cooking things myself. And slowly, I worked on the huge mental shift away from low-fat being the best option to not being afraid of good, healthy fats.
I’m definitely not the perfect paleo person, but I simply just try to eat REAL food as much as I can. I’m happier and healthier when I eat this way, I know it.
Alright that’s a lot of words. End of the pre-inaugural blog post!!