I have been sitting on the fence about writing this post. Truly, wavering back and forth on how I would approach something very personal with the internet. I have asked my fellow bloggers if they wanted to do a January ‘challenge’ with me but I would have been cheating on them. I would have been ahead of them right from the get go. So here is what I plan to do now:
Yep, that’s right. Get better. Fannie kicked me in the head (figuratively speaking) back during her post about getting ‘green’ and mentioned all the recycling she does. Ding, ding, ding!! Plastic bags? Why, yes, I recycle grocery bags. Never in my imagination did I think of recycling dry cleaner bags or newspaper bags or the thousand other plastic bags that go through our home on a weekly basis.
Because of her, I have the green produce bags now that Mr. Fae and I use DAILY. And reuse. I’m very conscience of how I manage my recyclables. But that’s not all.
I said that I want to get better and I do. But just amping up my green recycling is not the meat of the matter. Pardon the pun; you’ll get it in a minute. Back in October, you read about our scrapbooking escapes that we all do. I mentioned in one of them that I needed to go on a diet detox after that weekend. I was truly serious about that one. By the time I returned from the Nevada weekend, I was bloated and weighed more than I like. But you know how it is…it’s hard to say no to bread, pasta, potatoes, alcohol, and candy. All of those lovely things that are so very bad for us.
On my way home from that weekend, I debated talking to Mr. Fae about a change in our eating habits. It’s not like he needs to lose weight. He hasn’t changed his weight for as long as I’ve known him. I hate him for that. Me, on the other hand, have done the weigh in scale yo-yo dance all my life. Unfortunately for me, my family history is ripe with over weight and high risk heart diseased members. Some living and some dead. It’s scary discussing who died of what with my cousins.
You may think I’m going off point here but listen to this. My kids are incredibly bright. Both my son and daughter are way ahead of the curve ball as far as their knowledge about nutrition and fitness. My daughter figured out that the reason behind her continual stomach pain (she was diagnosed with IBS at one point) was an intolerance to wheat. The minute she stopped eating or drinking anything with wheat in it, her pain stopped. She has been gluten free for several years. She also reads labels like a detective. You’d be surprised at what contains grains in the most innocent of things. My son, through his quest for fitness, investigated a nutrition plan that at first glance made me leery. However, the more I read things about it, it made more sense for me to eat that way.
My mom was a big one for having left over spaghetti for breakfast. Following her style, I loved eating left over pizza for breakfast. I loved eating soup for breakfast. Any non-breakfast food sounded good to me. I’ve never been one to enjoy eating cereal, hot or cold, for the start of my day. It never lasted. And yet, having pancakes or waffles didn’t light my fire as well. My trainer and I discussed what foods I liked and when. Did I like eating fruit all the time? No. Did I prefer vegetables? Yes. Could I become a vegan? Hell, no. Give me MEAT. Call me Mrs. Carnivore. She pointed out that with me eating just my small dish of oatmeal, complete with a tablespoon of peanut butter in it, that perhaps a piece of turkey sausage would also help with my hunger pangs. And she was right. The minute I added protein to my meal, I didn’t starve after two hours. This was three years ago!
Two years ago, I lost 20 pounds doing the Weight Watchers program, right down to counting points and cooking straight from their cookbooks. While I lost the weight, I was bored out of my head with their recipes. And you know me…I love to cook! Give me an intricate recipe and I’m in hog heaven. Their idea of international cooking was this: Chicken and tomatoes, call it Italian chicken. Add olives and call it Greek Chicken. Add raisins and call it Moroccan Chicken. BORING. And I don’t think I ever ate as many bell peppers in my life. Don’t get wrong, I love bell peppers. But after six months of every dish having bell peppers in it, I was over it all.
So what does all this rambling mean? Let me bullet point it for you:
- Get better
- Diet detox
- Grain (wheat) intolerance
- Lose weight
Since Monday, October 17, Mr. Fae and I have been changing our eating habits. And, up to the day after Thanksgiving when my back gave out, I have lost 10 pounds. (December has been a wash since I couldn’t move for two weeks due to my back and then the holiday partying began) This morning I got on the scale and I haven’t gained any weight. I’m still at that magic 10 pound loss I was at Thanksgiving. What that means to me is, this is working! Severely limited activity and many types of meals we normally wouldn’t eat and I haven’t gained weight back! Now that I can move without pain, I believe I will see additional weight loss.
This is what we have done with our eating. We don’t eat grains of any kind. We don’t eat dairy short of a splash of whole milk in our morning coffee. We don’t eat sugar. What do we eat? The majority of what’s on our plate is animal protein; beef, chicken, fish, and lamb, followed by a generous portion of organic vegetables and a bit of good fat. Does that sound like we’re missing out on something? Not to me. We still have spaghetti but now with spaghetti squash not pasta. It is delicious.
Here is what happened in the first week I stopped eating grains: I lost my abdominal bloat that I’ve lived with my adult life. I never realized that what was causing it was grains. I have been amazed at that one thing every single day. Do I miss not eating bread or pasta or cheese? Not really. Yes, I love garlic bread just like the next guy. Yes, I love Pasta Puttinesca, or pasta salad or creamy Brie. But what I love more is seeing my waist again. What I love more is fitting into that ‘M’ size again. What I love more is having Mr. Fae say to me, “I see it in your face. You’ve lost weight!”
I’d like to “invite” not “challenge” you to change your eating style if you’re not happy with your weight. I’d like to see how you feel after only ONE WEEK eating like this. And this way is called Paleo Lifestyle. Yes, Paleo. Eat like a caveman would. Did he have processed food? Did he have Starbucks lattes? Did he have DORITOS? Eat animal protein, vegetables, fruit and good fats. That’s all there is to it.
If you’re interested in learning more about this, I’d like to steer you in the right direction. Please look up Dr. Loren Cordain, the author of the Paleo Diet. Then I want you to look up Robb Wolf, fitness instructor and Paleo guru. His book, The Paleo Solution, the Original Human Diet is a great book to work from. Then if you’re still curious, here are some great Paleo cooking blogs:
But first, you really need to read Dr. Cordain’s lists of good foods vs. bad foods.
- The Paleo diet should be high in fat, moderate in animal protein and low to moderate in carbohydrates. Calorie counting is not encouraged, neither is portion control.
- Eat unlimited amounts of saturated fats like coconut oil and butter or clarified butter. Beef tallow, lard and duck fat are also good, but only if they come from healthy and well-treated animals. Beef or lamb tallow is a better choice than lamb or duck fat. Olive, avocado and macadamia oil are also good fats to use in salads and to drizzle over food, but not for cooking
- Eat generous amounts of animal protein. This includes red meat, poultry, pork, eggs, organs (liver, kidney, heart…), wild caught fish and shellfish. Don’t be scared to eat the fatty cuts and all meals with proteins should contain fat as well. Learn to cook with bones in the form of stocks and broths.
- Eat good amounts of fresh or frozen vegetables either cooked or raw and served with fat. Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and yams are also great as a source of non-toxic carbohydrates.
- Eat low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts. Try to eat mostly fruits low in sugar and high in antioxidants like berries as well as nuts high in omega-3, low in omega-6 and low in total polyunsaturated fat like macadamia nuts. Consider cutting off fruits and nuts altogether if you have an autoimmune disease, digestive problem or are trying to lose weight faster.
- Preferably choose pasture-raised and grass-fed meat coming from a local, environmentally conscious farms. If not possible, choose lean cuts of meat and supplement your fat with coconut oil, butter or clarified butter. Also preferably choose organic, local and/or seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Cut out all cereal grains and legumes from your diet. This includes, but is not limited to, wheat, rye, barley, oats, corn, brown rice, soy, peanuts, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans and black eyed peas.
- Cut out all vegetable, hydrogenated and partly-hydrogenated oils including, but not limited to, margarines, soybean oil, corn oil, crisco, peanut oil, canola oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil. Olive oil and avocado oil are fine, but don’t cook with them, use them in salad dressings and to drizzle over prepared food.
- Eliminate sugar, soft drinks, all packaged products and juices (including fruit juices). As a rule of thumb, if it’s in a box, don’t eat it. At the grocery store, visit only the meat, fish and produce sections.
- Eliminate dairy products other than butter and maybe heavy cream. You don’t need dairy, but if you can’t live without, read this article and consider raw, full-fat and/or fermented dairy.
- Eat when you’re hungry and don’t stress if you skip a meal or even two. You don’t have to eat three square meals a day, do what feels most natural.
This is not hard, folks. If you think it’s hard, you’re putting up your own hurdles.
One more thing, this change also calls for no alcohol. That is something that Mr. Fae and I don’t do. We have our wine each evening and still lose weight.
Here is one of the best excerpts from Robb Wolf’s book:
But I like Bread and Pasta!
Yes, I like that stuff too, but they make me sick. I suspect it makes you sick, as well. Not only do grains make you sick by raising insulin levels, messing up your fatty acid rations and irritating your gut, but they are also addictive. Grains, particularly the gluten-containing grains, contain molecules that fit into the opiate receptors in our brain. You know, the same receptors that work with heroine, morphine, and Vicodin? Most people can take or leave stuff like corn tortillas and rice. Suggest that people should perhaps forgo bread and pasta for their health and they will bury a butter knife in your forehead before you can say “whole wheat!” Sorry, folks, I don’t make these rules, I just have the lovely task of educating you about them.
Why I had to focus on gluten-free living, exercise, and trying to get you healthy, I will never know. I should have just peddled hookers, cocaine, and pastries. So much easier.
His book is a funny read. He has menu suggestions and recipes for an entire month.
Does this mean that I’ll stop posting about fabulous food and recipes? No way, Jose. Will my posts always be about Paleo recipes? No way, Jose. Will I sneak a Paleo recipe into the mix? Yep. No doubt. If you invite me over for dinner, do you have to fix only Paleo foods? No way! You fix exactly what you want to. It is only ONE meal and it won’t throw me off the wagon, so to speak. Be natural and be normal. Don’t worry about it!
This invitation is given out to you with my sincere hope that you will be curious about this and give it a try. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. Only you can decide if you are happy in your heart about your weight.
And then do something about it.