Just starting on your Paleo journey? It can be rough, I know, but here are some simple things to keep in mind to make you’re transition a little bit easier.
Personally, I have made a lot of changes in my life, including quitting drinking, smoking and now quitting what I like to call those addictive “comfort foods”. There have been many days when I’ve complained, “What sort of vice do I have left??” Well, I do still have TV, but still. It can seem like a daunting challenge to start on your Paleo journey.
But, as I’ve found in other areas in my life, the craving goes away! You will get over the urge to eat the bread on the dinner table before your meal arrives. You will give up the idea that coffee comes with a sweet treat. You will be able to accept that a meal doesn’t have to be meat and potatoes. You are strong enough to change your life. And you will feel better, healthier and happier for it. I want to include some tips for you that I found helpful when I first made the transition to eating Paleo.
My Paleo Tips & Tricks:
Tip #1: Start with a small time frame.
What worked for me, was giving myself a thirty day challenge to eat better, by eating Paleo. It wasn’t as overwhelming when I knew I only had to do it for thirty days. And I found that after those thirty days I felt better and looked better and that was enough to keep me going on my journey and continue eating Paleo after those first thirty days.
Tip #2: Find support at home, with friends or online.
It helps immensely that my boyfriend also eats Paleo. It’s extremely crucial that you have a supportive environment for this lifestyle at home. Basically, if it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it!! It’s also nice to have friends around you who have adapted to the same lifestyle. They can support you in making good choices while eating out and swap recipe ideas with you. Moreover, there is a large Paleo community within social media circles. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, you name it, there’s a Paleo presence and many people for support, feedback and ideas. Here are some of the blogs that I like to follow for inspiration: Empowered Sustenance, The Paleo Mama, and Wellness Mama.
Tip #3: Seriously, don’t have it in the house!
I can’t stress this enough. Before I started my thirty day challenge, I went through my whole kitchen and got rid of everything that was not “Paleo approved”. I understand this can be especially challenging if you have a family that is not totally on board with the Paleo lifestyle. My hunch is that once you start cooking Paleo meals and your family sees that the food is delicious and it makes them feel good, they may come around. Also, it’s hard to deny the results! Don’t force your family into anything, or they really won’t want to do it. This tip can be ignored if this is your situation. I’ve just found that it’s a much easier transition without the temptation right in front of me, but you may have more willpower than me!
Tip #4: Adapt to the lifestyle.
Eating Paleo and living the Paleo lifestyle can be two different things. Paleo comes from the word Paleolithic and refers to relating to and living like our Paleolithic ancestors. You may ask why we would want to do this. There are many studies that show that our hunter-gatherer Paleolithic ancestors had less cavities, bone malformation, infant mortality, signs of infectious disease and nutrient deficiencies than their agricultural, farming counterparts. Once grains were introduced, people were generally less healthy and died sooner. This is one reason we chose to adapt our diet and lifestyle to reflect those of our ancestors. Also, our ancestors actually did not work that hard. They worked maybe 20 hour weeks, hunting food, gathering produce and visiting with relatives. They experienced bouts of stress under extreme conditions, such as hunting food, but they were mostly relaxed, in the sun often and gauging their sleep cycles off of the night sky. It is my experience that adding the lifestyle piece to your Paleo journey helps you to handle the transition a little more smoothly. The Paleo lifestyle includes eight or more hours of sleep every night, 20-40 minutes of sunshine every day, playing or exercising often and de-stressing with yoga and meditation. Today, our lives are filled with work, commutes, bills, constant changes, “keeping up with the Joneses”, I could keep going…. It’s overwhelming! All of that stress causes an excess of the stress hormone, cortisol, to get stuck swimming around in our bodies, which can cause us a lot of harm. De-stressing techniques, gentle exercise and supplements can help us get rid of some of that stress, before we experience adrenal fatigue. Empowered Sustenance has a great post about adrenal fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue Recovery.
Tip #5: Be gentle with yourself.
This is a big transition for anyone and it can be difficult. If you slip, don’t beat yourself up. Get back on the wagon. You aren’t doing yourself any good if you just quit. I have found that positive affirmations also help. Look yourself in the mirror every morning and tell yourself that you are strong and can achieve your goal of… whatever it is you’re trying to achieve. It could be weight loss, better health, more stamina. Whatever it is, repeat it to yourself daily. Visualizations also work well. Visually picture yourself achieving that goal every night before bed. See yourself losing 10 pounds, running a 5K or improving your physical test results. A positive attitude goes a long way.
Overall, I just want you to know you can do it! If you make a commitment and stick to it, you can change the way you look and feel. Trust me, if I was able to do it, anyone can.
Leave comments below with any questions or tips you may have on easing the transition into a Paleo lifestyle.