sometime in 2008 or 2009 i started hearing about paleo and primal eating and lifestyle. living as we are meant to live, moving as we are meant to move, eating as we are meant to eat … i paid attention, i remained curious, i opened my mind, i laid down my groundwork.
in march 2010 i purchased and read mark sisson’s primal blueprint, a short treatise on how ‘modern’ society has strayed, with detriment, from the lifestyle and eating patterns of our hunter-gatherer ancestors.
at the time it all seemed trendy. i was somewhat illuminated but not moved to follow sisson‘s or loren cordain‘s prescriptions. i did though begin following them, and later robb wolf, on the internet with interest and regularity. and, slowly the concept, the notion of change, began creeping into my reality.
over the course of the past few years, a series of odd health issues and two motor vehicle accidents (i was not at fault in either of them but live in a land where mindful driving is not a well practiced or valued skill) had cumulative effects on me, limiting my physical activity, taxing my coping skills, sometimes leaving me low in energy and motivation. kind of bummed out, as my generation would say.
i was aware all along i needed to recover my health, to set my my body back into motion, with consistency and intensity.
december 2011 and early january 2012 found me pulling together a ‘celebrity trainer’ event for january 21st, made more time consuming by the princess personalities involved. my own business was swinging into the high engagement of a new year. i was beyond busy, but i resolved to paleoize my life the moment the celebrity event was done. i would, i had decided, embark on robb wolf’s 30 day total transformation.
and so i did.
on january 22nd i removed all dairy, all grains, all legumes, sugar, processed foods and alcohol from my diet. i took steps to improve the quality and quantity of my sleep and i began to set both variety and consistency into my workouts, focusing on some different ways of training than i had in the past.
and so this chapter of my wellness began.
the dietary changes were not dramatic for me. really, not so far off what i had been eating, but some changes were significant. greek yoghurt for breakfast was gone, lentils and chickpeas were no longer, i went for a full on abstinence from wine, and i totally abandoned my personal dietary sickness — potato chips.
there were no hardships, no cravings or longings. i began to eat when i was hungry and i ate until i was comfortably full. then i repeated. i did not hear the call of potato chips in the gas station when i went in to pay for my gas and was more than happy to have a lovely cup of tea while my partner sipped wine during the evening home entertainment hours.
i made sure i had plenty of healthy fats, delicious proteins, fresh vegetables and a moderate amount of fruits.
i set my mind to getting to bed plenty early, preventing the distraction of ambient light, and eliminating the neurological arousal effects of reading in bed.
i began to move my body in ways i hadn’t in a very long while.
it all began to feel very good very quickly.
here’s what i’ve been experiencing:
- increased, more consistent, energy levels – noticeable to me and to those around me
- increased focus/attention – a challenge for me since the cataclysm of menopause and smoking cessation quite a few years ago seemed to suck me dry in this area
- satisfied satiation – the need for a snack has become a rare thing. i can eat in the morning when i am hungry and,
regardless of my activity level, feel no hunger until hours later. then i eat again
- zero flatulence – and, truth be told, it was present in good measure before
- a weight loss of 13 pounds during the 30 day ‘challenge’ program – i even weighed myself as part of the 30 day challenge (not something i normally do). to date my loss is over 25 pounds
the disappearance of heartburn/acid reflux, which had begun to become more and more an unwelcome but regular part of my week
- a gradual, to almost complete, shrinkage of the bakers cyst in my left knee joint. for about a year she (the cyster) has held her ground and i’ve had limited knee flexion and pain/discomfort. i am now able to sit on my heels, do full squats and sit full lotus again. i am confident the cyst will soon be nonexistent. bye bye unformed twin!
nice start huh?
staying with the paleo food theme hasn’t been difficult. not at home, not in restaurants. on a weekly basis, it only takes planning. for a bit of planning there is loads of pleasure. sweet deal.
sundays have become a serious meal prep day in the house. my partner and i plan and put down meals to take to work during the week and experiment with recipes. it has been really fun (do i need mention again that our kitchen is only 26 inches across so there is lots of meal prep contact … where others need 50 shades of grey, i need only my truly awesome kitchen).
the only still-at-home daughter is enjoying many of the benefits too — she especially likes the bacon, the sunday morning pancakes (coconut flour), the fruit in coconut oil.
shortly after i started this paleo thing, a number of other friends started hunting and gathering too. their journeys have, of course, been different than mine and they’ve had some very interesting effects too. we’ve been sharing recipes and ideas on a facebook page. perhaps they’ll share a bit of their experiences in the comments to this post ….
i’m looking forward to continuing along the paleo/primitive/ancestral/anti-inflammatory plan, but, as it draws close to 9pm, i have a commitment to a luscious night of sleep.