My husband has really taken his health to new levels lately. I’m really impressed! He has hit a point where I think the slow but steady climb of the scale was becoming a bit frightening and the fear of getting diabetes, heart problems or worse became something he was not going to let happen. He has told me that he hopes to live a long, healthy life. He wants to see our kids grow up, grandkids, and spend a happy retirement by my side. I don’t think he has anything to worry about but I’m so glad that he’s taking an active role in our families overall health and fitness.
It started with him joining CrossFit. Then he began his “subway lunch diet” and has only been eating the Jarrod-approved 6g of fat or less sandwiches for his lunches. And as men do, simply making some changes like that meant the scale dropped a significant amount of weight. I swear most men just need to think “weight loss” and the scale works with them!!
Well, in his new-found fondness for topics of health, he sends me an email the other day with an idea. He’s been reading a lot about food and really wants our family to go Paleo. Not as a diet… as a long term way of eating.
So what is this Paleo thing he speaks of? Well from what I’ve read so far, the general idea is that you only eat what was available to the cavemen. Seems interesting… so what CAN’T you eat?
No dairy, no grains, no starch, salt and no refined sugars. Nothing processed. Those things weren’t available for the hunter-gatherers.
Instead, you eat a lot of fish, meat, fruit & veggies. Nuts and berries are great as well. Buy organic and it’s very important that the meat comes from pasture-raised, grass fed animals.
Is it realistic? Well, actually, yes, to an extent. After reading different blogs and info sites, it appears it’s actually quite doable on a daily basis… in your own home. Where trouble lies is when you leave the home. You won’t find a lot of restaurants that will agree with your diet. Eating at friends and relatives houses would be a huge issue as well. However, the modern paleo approach seems to be that you can’t simply stay away from the rest of the foods at all times, so on those occasions when you don’t have any control over what’s available, just make sure to know what you are eating and choose accordingly. Knowing things like how rice is a better choice than a potato. Or that “fried” is ALWAYS the worst choice if there is an alternative. Don’t ever plan “cheat days” or “cheat meals”. It’s counter-productive. You just go with the flow and do the best you can.
So what about the kids? Should they have to miss out on cakes and sweets and all those wonderful things that are great about being a kid? Well after some discussion, we’ve decided that we will ease them into it slowly and it won’t be nearly as strict for them. It will be more about teaching them some better eating habits and trying new foods. We already have a lot of rules about eating at home that don’t apply when we leave. I’ve always had a no-juice rule in our house. We don’t buy it, we never have it. But if the kids are at a friends house, they can indulge as a treat.
I think the best part for my son is that this way of eating is naturally gluten free. So for him, it won’t be a huge difference. The toughest part for the kids will be cutting out the breads pasta and cereals so we probably will never cut those things out completely for them. We will just reduce how much we depend on those items. They are convenience foods to be honest. When we need a quick meal, we always turn to those things.
So are we going to do it? I think so! I’ve been looking for a way of life that is doable and something my husband would be excited about (he is typically my bad influence so doing this together will be huge)! We aren’t going to go switch cold turkey though. I’m going to make a chart and we will make one change per week. The first change will simply be buying only organic and cutting out processed food. We will start that next week and go from there. 🙂
Check out this chart I found from PaleoDan.com – seems pretty simple eh?