I know I am not the only woman on the face of this earth who has struggled constantly with eating healthy. I'm not talking about losing weight, y'all - I'm talking about eating my dadgum vegetables, okay? I've just never liked the things - just ask my mom.
I've tried all the diets for weight loss. After I had Brady, I did the South Beach Diet and lost the forty-five pounds of baby weight fairly quickly. But the problem with that diet is that it's not sustainable for me because, for lack of a better phrase, give me all the starchy carbs.
I've tried My Fitness Pal - keeping track of diet and exercise constantly - after my last two kids and although it helped with weight loss, let's be honest, I wasn't any healthier. It was just that the volume of food I was consuming was less. For example, instead of having six cookies, I would only have two. Instead of eating the entire can of sour cream and onion Pringles, I would only eat half. Then I would work out twice as hard if I wanted pizza - but I still ate all of the pizza and garlic bread I could stomach, leaving me feeling lathargic and bloated constantly.
The long and the short of it is that I have never had a healthy relationship with food. I know that's such a "hot topic" these days, but stay with me here because I am BETTING that one or more of y'all are in this same boat with me.
At the beginning of the year, I decided my mental health needed help. Along with seeing a counselor (which I will never stop emphasizing, y'all) I overhauled my diet. I had read countless articles about how a Paleo diet does wonders for mental health so I thought I would give this thing a go and see if it helped at all.
First and foremost though, I have to tell you that I stopped thinking of it as a diet and thought of it more as a lifestyle change. I knew that something HAD to give in order for me to keep my sanity and if this was it, then I would try it. BUT I needed something maintainable. If I wasn't doing this to "lose weight" persay, then what was my end goal? Did I have a finish line in mind?
I've been Paleo-ish for four months now and I couldn't be happier with how it's going. My goal is to eat with the Paleo guidlines in mind for the better part of 90% of my food choices. (Sweet Potatoes and Avocados are my saving grace). My anxiety has decreased significantly, and although one 'cheat meal' won't make me see a difference, if I really fall off the wagon and eat a ton of junk, the anxiety comes back pretty quickly.
I am SO grateful that I gave it a try and hope to continue down this path forever (to my husband's dismay). I don't miss cheese as much as I thought I would and the grains are sneaky because they are literally in everything!
I want to empahsize this though : I still enjoy life through food. Last night, at a business conference with Jeff, we were treated to a 5 star dining "experience" and I wasn't about to turn down black truffle tagliatelle with parmesan cheese, mmmkay? So, for me, it is definitely about balance. Because I am not actually allergic to any of these things, I will not require kitchens (or friends) to cook for me, mainly because I don't have to. I will, however, try to make better choices when I can, say no to cheese whenever I can, and stay away from processed food.
If you're struggling with anxiety, weight loss, or just plain healthy eating - I highly recommend starting here and let me know how you do!
Do you already eat paleo or any kind of special diet? I would LOVE to hear what your favorite recipes are! Share your tips, tricks and healthy advice down below!!
PALEO RESOURCES :
Start with this cookbook, Practical Paleo. It explains all of the different reasons for paleo, the rules, WHY you should try it and all of the health benefits that come with it. (Anti-inflammatory, gut health, auto-immune disease, detox). It has awesome recipes in the back that are very basic and even has meal plans that you can use to get started.
Alex from The Defined Dish also struggled with anxiety and food changes have helped her. She has amazing recipes that are super family friendly and simple.
Ronny from Primal Gourmet is so fun to follow on Instagram. He does great how to videos and has great resources on his blog.
Terri from No Crumbs Left is also a great follow on Instagram. Her recipes are delicious and she has amazing suggestions on how to maximize your food prep.