I joined Raleigh CrossFit on June 16. After joining, I started talking with the other athletes at the tank about how they ate, etc. The resounding answer was Paleo/Primal. I started reading more and also decided I would try to make some significant changes to my diet. So here goes...
For what feels like my entire life, I have been trying to find the right fit for eating for me. I have tried it all:
- Weight Watchers
- Body for Life
- Intuitive Eating
- Yada Yada Yada
Then it was recommended that I read The Paleo Diet by Dr. Loren Cordain. I read the book word-for-word (something I never do!). I was fascinated by the information and the scientific support behind it. After reading his book, I picked up two Paleo cookbooks - Everyday Paleo and Make it Paleo. Armed with the info from the book, cookbooks, and information from different blogs I was on my way! I set out for what I thought was going to be a difficult trip to the grocery store, etc. that turned out to be a quick trip complete with a cart full of relatively cheap yummies.
I didn't want to overwhelm myself (or Jason for that matter) with the changes as they did seem a little drastic. The three stages are intended to help people easy into the lifestyle, but also allow flexibility. I have been fluctuating between Stage 1 and Stage 2. I highly doubt I will ever end up following Stage 3 regularly.
So what's the deal with Stage 1 and 2? With the first stage, you have three "open" meals per week. During the "open" meals you may eat what you like. While I know the meals are "open" I am still very careful to make healthy choices. You also may continue to have salad dressing, sauces, coffee, alcohol, and diet soft drinks. With Stage 2, the "open" meals are reduced to two per week. I say that I fall somewhere in between because I do still eat out, but I tend to make more Paleo-friendly choices. I have some salad dressing, but I am very careful about the ingredients and I continue to weigh/measure to ensure I am not having more than 1 serving at a time. I have reduced/eliminated the use of pre-made sauces, soft drinks, etc. I haven't given up my consumption of beer on the weekends, but I have reduced it from 2-3 beers a night to 1 beer a night.
The verdict? I love it. It really wasn't a difficult transition at all. Instead of having yogurt for morning snack, I have a smoothie made with almond milk. Instead of frozen bagged veggies as our side with dinner, we have sauteed spinach, roasted veggies, etc. We have been able to try new foods and ways of preparing old favorites. I even successfully grilled swordfish at home! I feel awesome. I sleep better. I feel like my WODs at CrossFit are better. Not trying to be all puppies 'n rainbows, but everything is better.
I am looking forward to continuing on this journey! Questions? Let me know!