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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Going Paleo

By now, I'm calling it official: we're going paleo.  The paleo diet just makes sense for our family.  It started out with Hubby.  During kettlebell class, he became more and more interested in this diet that was supposed to make you stronger and feel better.  That led to research and reading and soon he was on the paleo diet.

I found this to be terribly ironic.  Four years ago, I went in tears to a nutritionist.  I was uncontrollably itchy and had been living this way for over a year.  None of the doctors could find anything wrong.  I also have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).  She looked at my diet and said, "All I see is sugar, sugar, sugar."  She advised me to quit wheat, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, and any fruit except Granny Smith apples.  

The results were extraordinary - I quit itching within a day and felt truly better in a week.  I ate this way without fail for about four months, and since I have not returned to eating the same foods.  My Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which has been traced to insulin resistance) disappeared. Of course, after I raved about it, Hubby forgot about it until he saw it in class.  Husbands!  

At any rate, Hubby went entirely paleo very quickly.  I have been making the conversion gradually.  The household itself, though, had already started making the transition.  Nobody ate the bread and it went moldy.  My daughter, M, is eating cereal only around once a week.  We started having grass-fed beef delivered to our door. We started building a home vegetable garden with blueberries and strawberries as well.  At a festival one weekend, a vendor asked what we would think about having organic fruits and vegetables delivered straight from the farm - I said sign us up!  So now we're taking full advantage of the farmlands north of us and getting it way cheaper than the grocery store, too.  

During this time, Hubby dropped 15 lbs. (and counting) without dieting.  I started to feel better and the junk food and wheat just weren't around.  M still drinks milk of course, and we still have cheese occasionally, but that's about our only cheat (except for my continual love of wine).  Our final decision came when we had to pick what we were doing for her lunch at her new school.  They have what they call "hot lunch" at a rate of $4.50/day (ouch!), consisting of sandwiches and potato chips, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, and pizza.  Alternatively you can pack your little munchkin's lunch.  We have been rather spoiled at our current daycare, where an on-site chef is employed full-time.  But now, we decided we couldn't in good conscience or good financial sense go with the hot lunch option.  This actually simplifies things because now we'll be making lunches for three ahead of time instead of one.  

Hubby has been really creative with our diet.  Instead of having chili, we'll sub the beans out for broccoli slaw.  We eat all kinds of fruit and vegetable varieties, as you never know what's ready for picking from the farm and will show up at the door.  We eat sweet potato fries occasionally.  We make breakfast for M instead of throwing cereal at her in a cup on the way to school. And the infrared grill which makes all food rock is getting a true workout.  And we actually eat leftovers before they go bad! Imagine that!

Since we made the switch, we're finding out some of our friends have been doing this for a long time, some of them for various health reasons.  We're not alone.

One more reason I <3 steak!

Monday, June 6, 2011


Wow has it really been that long since I've posted?  I guess it has.  I've been pretty busy - I am in the middle of a work project that's about to hit the ground and I also took over for someone in my department who is now on maternity leave, a month and a half earlier than expected.  Between that and my ever-present insomnia, DH and I decided that I should take the summer off from school.  So I have some more time to work and hopefully someday I'll have a little time to relax!

In all this craziness, I have found that sometimes it is actually better to work a little at night and on the weekends so that I can get ahead of my overloaded to-do list.  This is contrary to what I usually have experienced in the past; normally this just makes me crazy.  But since the work itself isn't all that bad, just the amount of it, things seem to go better when I put in an extra hour on the laptop here and there with no distractions.

The other thing I discovered is how much a workout can take a load of stress off of you and just burn it off.  Last week I felt simply panicked at how much was on my plate, and burned rubber to get to Zumba in time to screech into a parking spot and run in.  Soon I was working so physically hard that I forgot all about my other stuff.  Much to my family's delight, I was a much more calm and pleasant person.  The key is to find something that you love to do to expend all that energy, not just slaving away on the treadmill (unless you're into that sort of thing).  So don't lose yourself so much in taking care of other people or working that you forget to let yourself take care of yourself once in awhile. You might even do it all better as a result.