I got really inspired this morning when I read my friend Jenna’s blog when she said, “you need to stop and smell the meat and veggies.” I remember when Shaun asked me, “So what do you eat?” my answer was something like, “Lots of salads, lettuce, cheese, low fat dressing- little protein.” After that awkward conversation I was introduced to the Paleo “diet” (I would like to call it more like a lifestyle). What is paleo? Paleo (in my own words) is QUALITY meat, veggies, some nuts seeds and fruit. If it doesn’t have a head, (or once had a head) and if it doesn’t grow out of the ground (okay or on a tree/bush whatever) it probably isn’t paleo.
My paleo story (in a few words) is simply... I didn’t do it right the first time, but I eventually figured it out! What? How do you not do paleo right? You don’t eat meat and veggies (you just eat nuts, seeds, and fruit). Trust me, you do not want to NOT eat meat and veggies the outcome is not pretty!
So why do I do paleo? I’m 23 years old. I’m also a female. Growing up everyone was on a diet. I think I went on my first diet at age 15. I’ve been on a “I’m only eating salad diet,” “I’m only eating fruit diet,” I’ve counted calories, I’ve kept my calories to a minimal number, I’ve done Alli, only eaten Lean Cuisines, Slim Fast, the Special K diet, I did some ridiculous lemon- cayenne pepper- honey in water bull shit fast- you name it I’ve done it and if not I’ve heard of it. So does this make me some image/ weight obsessed woman? Actually I’d like to say I was, but paleo (and Shaun and Jenna – Hoosier CrossFit) changed all of that.
Around May of 2011 I finally understood what paleo was. It’s more than a way of eating; it’s a way of living. I got to the point where my meals consisted of some kind of meat and a vegetable- and yes some fruit too. I found that nuts do not work well for me (they make me bloated- but you will find that with certain foods the more you become aware of your body). Then I found a passion for paleo baking (hints this blog) and more importantly my improvements in the gym were tremendous! A lot of you who know me are thinking, well you go every day of course they would be.
But what you don’t understand is that I go every day because I have the ENERGY to go every day and that comes directly from what I am consuming.
I also was a very up and down (emotionally) person, but the better I eat- the more level headed I stay. In high school (when I consumed 3 bowls of captain crunch with 2% milk a day) I had TERRIBLE acne- I took every medication that existed to get rid of it, and finally paleo cleared me up! I get a pimple now here and there- but that is usually because I consumed something that was not paleo (cough cough alcohol). Unlike a lot of people who switch their diet to a paleo lifestyle they will lose weight. Well folks, I did the opposite, I gained weight. What?! Gained weight on paleo? Yes, yes I did. But what you don’t understand is I look GREAT! I am STRONG! I am BEAUTIFUL! Who gives a shit about what that number on the scale is? I am a size 6- My sophomore year in college I wore a size 12. Now tell me that isn’t something to be proud of?
I have a lot of people tell me well isn’t paleo hard? Paleo isn’t hard! Let me remind you again PALEO ISN’T HARD! Go find a meat and a vegetable, don’t put anything on it and eat it! My mother always tells me “well I want a crunch” you know that “chip” crunch- you know what I have to say to that? 1. Get over yourself and 2. You’re obviously addicted to food.
You have 2 choices in this world:
1. Pay for your health or
2. Pay for your food.
I recommend #2.
“But I don’t like vegetables” I get this complaint a lot from my peers and all I have to say is I didn’t either, but I learned to like vegetables. I ate a lot of peppers and onions before I got sick of them and started to try new things. LISTEN FOLKS! If you are TRYING to better yourself you MUST TRY! Yes, TRY.. TRY NEW THINGS! TRY things you THINK you don’t like, TRY them again! TRY TRY TRY! YOU MUST MAKE AN EFFORT!
“I don’t have time” I get this one a lot too. PLAN! In CrossFit we prepare for the unknown, so in life we must prepare for the unknown. What does this mean? 1. Take things that tempt you and throw them away! You’re planning to nip that temptation in the butt! 2. Always have meat and veggies in the house! ALWAYS! The quickest meal you can make is chicken and vegetables- I know you all have chicken in your house and a bag of veggies in the freezer BAM there is dinner. 3. If at work they only have pizza and Subway, AND YOU KNOW THAT, BRING YOUR LUNCH! Who gives a rats ass if your coworker is making fun of you- guess what she’s probably fat and is going to die before you (sorry that was harsh- but needed to be said).
So let’s review:
I didn’t start off perfect- you probably won’t either, the difference is I didn’t give up when it got hard and I didn’t understand. Keep doing your research. Ask your friends, family, trainers, Google for help! Shoot I even tweeted Robb Wolf (and he responded). ASK!
If you gain weight- don’t freak out. I am the queen of freaking out and gaining weight (when you are doing everything RIGHT) won’t kill you (now if you’re eating pizza- that shit will kill you).
Keep track of your progressions. Don’t forget where you came from. Sometimes this one is hard for me. I have to remember I wore a size 12, I once used a blue band for pull ups, I did pushups from my knees, I had acne from ear to ear, and I was emotional ALL of the time. But I over came all of these things by changing the way I was eating.
Get over yourself. Don’t make excuses for why you “NEED” a chip, or why you “NEED” a slice of pizza- we all have bad days- but instead of turning to food for your problems, go to the gym and kick Fran’s ass.
TRY NEW THINGS! And never ever ever quit trying!
Finally, PLAN. If you have time to watch T.V., if you have time to sit on Facebook, if you have time to play Words With Friends, you better believe you have freaking time to plan your meals! And I know ya’ll go to the grocery store, so buy the right foods!