January 1st, 2014 I started on my journey to find a more natural way of living. I began with a thirty day Paleo challenge. I followed the diet and the exercise plans found here at Robin’s Sweet Confessions. I found her meal plans easy to follow, even for an amateur cook like me, and her exercise routines manageable, even with a full time job. And it’s everything I needed all in one place, which was very helpful when I was first starting out.
Before I dive right in, I’ll give you a little background. My boyfriend has been eating Paleo for the last three years. Needless to say, he had been trying to convert me from the first day we started dating. I was absolutely resistant at first. I was raised on a high carb, low-fat diet, like I think most of us growing up in the 90s were.
Side note: The classic USDA food pyramid we all know and love was introduced in 1992 consisting of 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta, 3-5 servings of veggies, 2-4 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-3 servings of meat and using fats and sugars sparingly.
This guidance from the USDA, compared to what was put out in 1917 by the US Food Administration, seems a little conflicting. Not that we should be listening to the government for how to take care of ourselves, our bodies or our lives. Don’t worry I’ll save that speech from my soap box for another post.
But, notice the suggestions, to use less wheat, buy it with thought, cook it with care and buy local. These are some tips that would probably benefit our lives now. Instead of rushing through a drive through to pick up a meal and crashing on the couch to watch a few hours of tv, we could put thought, time and effort into our lives. We could learn how to be happier, healthier, more whole people.
The outline for a healthy diet from the 1992 food pyramid seems crazy to me now, but before January 1st it was the only way, it’s what I grew up with. We always had crackers in the cupboard and low-fat milk and diet soda in the fridge. Did I mention I was raised by a single mother, who was always watching her weight? It makes sense that everything in the house was low-fat and sugar-free. Right???
As I was saying, when my boyfriend proposed the idea of completely changing my diet, I was a little offended. Don’t you know I don’t eat fast food? I eat healthy things, like granola bars and whole wheat sandwiches. Finally, after months of struggling with knee pain, blood sugar battles and an overall bad mood, I gave in and committed to a thirty day challenge for my New Year’s resolution.
My Natural Journey:
Those first few days of Paleo were tough. I craved sugar and bread like nothing else. But after maybe two weeks my cravings subsided. My knees no longer hurt, due to reduced inflammation, and I didn’t have to pop Advil every day. My blood sugar stabilized and so did my mood. (I’m sure this was my boyfriend’s true motive all along!) And I lost about ten pounds, and have kept it off. I was amazed at how I felt. This new found addition to my life left me wondering what else I had skipped over for so many years due to my skepticism and fear of change. So, I set out on my journey to find a natural way of living, as I like to call it.
Over the last 6 months, I have tried many different things from natural beauty products and remedies to natural solutions in my home. I’m going natural, slowly, from the ground up. Some things have worked and some haven’t. But it’s been fun and empowering along the way.
Knowing that I’m taking control of my life, my environment and my body makes me feel strong. I make decisions for my life based on what works for me and what doesn’t. And with some guidance and direction, you can too. Along the way, I’ve leaned heavily on other bloggers on the same path. I’ve gained so much knowledge from them and I deeply value the community supporting honest answers and a search for truth.
One day, I decided that I had a voice to share, something to add to the conversation. I wanted to share my experiences, my trials and tribulations, as I tried this new way of living. Any change can be scary and grueling and I wished that I had a place where I could ask my questions and share my struggles.
I remember during the first week of my Paleo challenge, I came home from a long day of work, and an hour commute, to spend another hour in my kitchen, cooking dinner. Did I mention before I started this challenge, I didn’t know how to cook? That’s right, I knew nothing! I was trying to make salmon, only to discover, it wasn’t skinned or deboned. (I didn’t even know to ask for this when I bought it.) I immediately started crying to my boyfriend and told him that I just wanted to throw it away and go to McDonalds. I know your struggle.
That’s why I created this blog. I want to share my experiences with you and open a space for you to share your experiences with me. Articles and posts can become really confusing, and honestly, they go over my head sometimes. I wanted to create something for the average person out there finding their way into natural eating and living.
Welcome! I hope we can find the solutions we’ve been looking for together.