We are culture obsessed with jumping on the latest diet trend. And I have to admit…. I've been sucked in too.
You hear things, read things, and see friends walking around with these "AH-mazing" results and you think, “If it works for them it’ll work for me. Right?”
I recently vlogged about my decision to try the Paleo diet. In my Granolaville alone I know dozens of men and women who swear by it.
It’s pretty straight forward: No dairy, grains, processed food, or sugar. It works off the principal that our ancestors, thousands of years ago, had a no access to such things, and they were fit enough to hunt wild animals, build shelter out of rocks and sticks, and didn't own a gym membership.
Their food intake was limited to nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and whatever meat they could hunt down.
Out of all the food lifestyles out there: Atkins, Primal, Vegan, Vegetarian, Clean Eating….Paleo seemed the most logical to me.
Simply put, eat like a caveman.
For the first few days I was really loving all the bacon, chicken, and steak I could consume. I mean really, what other diet encourages you to fry other foods in bacon fat?
It didn't bother me that I couldn't have sweets, because honestly my cravings are pretty minimal. Giving up bread was a bit harder. Burgers without buns just seemed lonely and pointless. And how else was I supposed to make a turkey, bacon & avocado sandwich?
Rolling it in lettuce just isn't the same.
I did discover a million and one new ways to use sweet potatoes, had a disastrous attempt at almond flour pancakes (hint 1 egg is NOT sufficient), and discovered from my holistic health coaching friend, Elisa Haggerty, how to make orgasmic Omega 3 Brownies, WITHOUT flour!
However, it wasn't the sugar or the bread that did me in…. it was the CHEESE!
I put cheese on nearly everything. My favorite meal is Chicken Parm Casserole (hello wheat AND cheese). Pasta with Alfredo sauce, homemade mac n cheese, a salad with bleu cheese, hell….I get giddy over a Polly-o Cheese Stick!
My issue with “dieting” is the restriction it puts on your body…and your mind.
First of all, the word has the connotation that it’s temporary. You do it for a finite amount of time until you can fit into that bikini, pull up those skinny jeans, or not hear your thighs rub together. (I know I’m not alone in this).
For me, choosing this new lifestyle was about giving myself some structure. I wanted to make it easier to make healthy food choices. You’d think eliminating two whole food groups would do that. But the reality is….it made me a cheesy-bread-lovin’, gotta-have-cookie-eatin’, let-me-lick-the-butter-off-your-knife, FIEND!
Diets set you up for failure. If you fall off, or have one too many “cheat meals” you feel awful about yourself, probably chow down on a couple more Oreos and feel ashamed because you have to start all over again.
Taking away my choices didn't make things easier. It made me obsessive about what I was eating AND what I wasn't “allowed” to eat!
So after 2 weeks I kicked the Paleo diet to the curb. I realized that my body needs certain things to feel energized, vibrant, and hell, sometimes just satisfied.
Here’s what I failed to remember. Whenever meeting with new doula clients or talking to a perspective holistic coaching client I always tell them “Listen to your body, and keep it real.”
I don’t mean “keep it real” like you should start laying smack downs on people or adopt some finger waving and neck action when you talk to them.
Keeping it real means only put REAL foods into your body.
If we could all seriously tune into ourselves we would discover that our bodies have a lot to say. Either we’re blatantly ignoring it or just not listening.
If you’re constantly getting headaches, feel fatigued, get frequent stomach aches, or don’t poop everyday your body is trying to tell you something.
I’m no doctor, so I can’t diagnose why you have these reactions. But I do know that it starts with proper nutrition for YOUR body.
There is no “one-size-fits-all” magic pill or diet. That’s the beautiful thing about human beings…we are all different. So what might work for you, will not necessarily work for me.
But, at the end of the day, I know if I’m fueling myself with grass fed and humanly raised meats and dairy, if my fruits and vegetables haven’t been sprayed with a toxic cocktail of pesticides, my grain and sugar intake is moderate, and I take whole food supplements, I’ll be just fine.
Processed meals, franken-foods, and nutritionally devoid crops are the only things that should be removed from our diets.
Stick to real food that works for YOUR body, and you will have real health.
Are you having trouble sticking to a diet? Do you get confused with all the conflicting info? Share your experiences below.
Dieting from diets in Granolaville,
If you’re ready to really nourish your mind, body, and soul contact me for information about my one-on-one holistic coaching practice.
Together we’ll create a personal plan of action to help you find more balance and bliss in your life. It’s time to embrace your natural awesomeness with Soul Fueled Living!