Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Paleo Project

For those of you who don't know my journey from many moons ago, Jeremy and I were at a point in our lives where we packed on the pounds from eating too much crap and not exercising. When Jeremy started popping buttons off his slacks and not having energy to play basketball with our son, along with my parents telling me, ' don't need to gain any more weight,' well, that was an eye opener.  It was time to make a change.

Our goal has always been to BE healthy from the inside out. The problem was, how do we achieve our goal?  So, we started the painful and uncomfortable journey of trying to figure out how to become healthy. There were some crazy stints we tried like Jeremy's period of eating only canned pears and jogging. Yes, he lost weight, but he was far from healthy.  Since we loathed the idea of exercising, I came up with the grand idea that if we just ate healthy foods, then surely, we would become healthy.  We stocked up at Whole Foods with all kinds of healthy foods, threw out all the crappy food at home, then realized I didn't know how to cook the new food in a healthy way.  Within 48 hours, most of the new healthy food was starting to rot. What a concept, fresh food doesn't stay fresh very long. That turned out to be a very expensive lesson.

The problem was we were trying to make too many changes at once. After stumbling through our quest for healthy living for a couple of years, we realized we needed a balance of eating healthy foods and exercising on a consistent basis.  The turning point was making small achievable goals within a reasonable timeline to hit our targets. My very first goal was to eat at least one healthy meal per day paired with the goal of running one mile nonstop within 4 weeks.  Mission accomplished when I was able to commit to healthy breakfasts for 30 days and within three weeks I ran my first mile nonstop. Since it takes about 30 days to create a new habit, my next step was to maintain the two new habits I created and then add two new goals. From there I expanded the amount of my healthy meals and incorporated lifting weights.  30 days later, mission accomplished.  Repeat process every 30 days.

Our intent was never to achieve a specific weight, we weren't chasing a diet; diets are a temporary fix.  We were creating a healthy lifestyle. As a result of being consistent with healthy food and exercise, I shed 45+ pounds and Jeremy 75+ pounds.  Notice I didn't say, 'We lost weight,'  because we didn't lose it, we're not looking for it.

Here I am, 15 years into my healthy living lifestyle and throughout the years I like to change things up a bit.  Over the past year, Jeremy came to the realization he is allergic to gluten. We've tweaked our eating to minimize gluten. While Lizzie and I are not allergic to gluten, it's just easier for the family to have the same eating style. At the same time, I started hearing a lot about eating the Paleo way. After doing some research, I find parts of Palo intriguing so we've incorporated some concepts into our way of eating. Over the past 4 weeks, we have invested in organic meats, fruits and veggies and have eliminated cereals and the all natural chips and frozen meals that we used to buy. Did you notice I didn't say, 'we spent our money on expensive foods.'  Something important I've learned on my journey, choose your words wisely. I feel good about investing money in foods that will keep my family healthy. I don't feel good when I spend because that gives me a sense that I wasted money. See the difference?  An added bonus was discovering that by choosing to eat healthy, our visits to the doctor have diminished considerably.

How does society adopt the idea that breakfast must contain loads of sugar and other yucky stuff?  Fresh foods should be available and affordable to everyone and crap should be sold at a premium price. Just my $.02.  I like not having to resort to the typical breakfast of cereal, toast, muffins, etc.  Our breakfasts now are a variety of fresh eggs (we get them from Lizzie's friend) with sautéed veggies, or steak and eggs with spinach, or fruit salad with whipped coconut milk topped with cinnamon, or smoothies with greens, fruit, nuts, etc.

Being healthy doesn't mean we will never eat pizza or ice cream again.  Since our lifestyle is about balance, we continue to enjoy a pizza or an ice cream blast now and then.  Quite frankly, I would not want to give up my most favorite pizza in the world - Aurelio's. :)

Some meals I will cook up this week are:
Potato leek soup seasoned with herbs I brought home from Paris
NY strip steak with roasted yams and greens
Fish tacos served on greens with homemade guacamole
Finish the chicken soup I made the other day

Cooking bigger batches gives me leftovers for breakfast, lunch, or snacks.

Speaking of cooking, we recently upgraded from this...

to this!

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