Should you adopt the Paleo Diet Plan? Or are you just totally confused about where to start with nutrition?
Maybe you really want to eat healthily and Paleo potentially seems the way to go but you feel overwhelmed by all the options?
Okay, take a breath. Its all good. I am here to help you through the daunting process. To start with, well done. You appreciate that you need to make a change. Thats why you are reading this. But the information can be so confusing can’t it?
From green juices, to Vegan and Raw food. From the Gaps diet to a Paleo diet plan. The choices are endless. Where do you even begin? Evidence and contradiction is in every story you read. One day there is a heart wrenching success tale describing how raw food has cured a lady of serious illness. Its incredible. Its inspiring. You feel drawn in…. “Ok, this is it. This is what I am going to do….” And then a day later you come across details of someone who has lost weight, cleared her acne and is bouncing off the walls with energy from adding meat back into her diet.
What do you do now?
Is this the point where you are ready to give up? Okay, lets start here. The problem is that you need to find what works for YOU. Its great to do research and get motivated but actually the only way that you are going to know if a diet works for you is by trying it. By all means, get some ‘direction’ but don’t set your heart (or ego) on one plan before you know it works.
Trust your instinct. Your gut. And then get ready for some good old fashioned ‘trial and error’!
I’ve tried many ‘diets’ over the years. None for weight loss. All for health reasons. Some, like giving up gluten (crucial if you have autoimmune thyroid) have made a massive difference. Other’s i’ve stuck with regardless without noticing any benefits. I felt like I needed some control. I needed to actively be doing something to aid my health. I just didn’t quite know what was working for me food wise and how to put it all together to create MY ‘perfect diet’.
My ahh-ha moment came by chance when a specialist suggested that some of the body pain I was experiencing could be due to food allergies. I was skeptical to be honest as I had done so many exclusion diets before. I had already been on a Paleo (limited grains, gluten & sugar) style diet for a while by this point. I am a meat eater and it suits me. I just need it to function. I was also liberally fuelling myself with green juices and smoothies after reading so much on the healing benefits of drinking this nectar. I thought my diet was top notch! I thought that I had nailed this area! Turns out I was wrong…. A gruelling elimination diet (read more later) ending up shocking me to my core! It turns out that my gut wasn’t ready for vegetables primarily – especially of the raw kind!
My pain was triggered and a rash flared up upon re-introduction. This happened with grains and dairy too. Basically they were causing inflammation everywhere! And so as much as I longed to join the cool Smoothie gang MY BODY was telling me otherwise. Shouting it out in fact! I accepted then that diet and food and what suits us is so individual and unique. It must never get caught up with the ego or a need to fit in with, or follow others. Food is for healing. Food is the fuel which we run on mentally and physically. Much like you wouldn’t put petrol in a diesel car, one diet type will never fit all.
I discovered that my body needed simple nourishing food. Chicken broth, organic egg yolks, grass-fed meat and fats are my staples. And I love them. What I eat is super high in absorbable nutrients and it is right for me. I see no point in labelling ourselves too much but as a guide I personally still follow the basics principles of a Paleo diet plan – with a few tweaks to suit myself. One day I hope to add in more of the green stuff and I believe that when my gut has healed further this will be beneficial. For now I just listen to my body…..
The moral of this post is to find your own way.
Do a little detective work of your own. Watch for signs and symptoms after eating certain foods particularly if you have pain or fatigue or brain fog. Sometimes symptoms can hit you a few days after the ‘problem food’ though so be aware of this.
Of course, there are some universal basics that can be your template. Everyone should start with real, whole food. Delicious food that comes from nature. Avoid the man-made/altered stuff. Say no (or decrease) the junk food. the processed food and the sugar. It won’t help you and it could harm you. But whatever you do make it your choice and feel comfortable and confident with it. Eating should never be a stress. It should be a delightful, appreciative and mindful ritual.
Start by building a better foundation and then work further from here if necessary.
I’d love to know what you are going to do to make a start and if you have noticed a difference by changing your diet? Leave me a comment below 🙂
*You may also like to test out my delicious and very easy Chocolate & Walnut Paleo Bread Recipe.