Why Paleo and what a week of Paleo eating looks like

A few months ago, my brother in law inspired me to try the paleo lifestyle with him. I decided to give it a try because I figured I didn’t have anything to lose besides weight.

On my frame, a few extra pounds is pretty noticeable. Besides for the change in how clothes fit, I notice it based on what my body can do. As someone who was active pre-pregnancy, I noticed a significant change in my endurance and stamina post pregnancy; I couldn’t jump as high, got winded more quickly, my joints hurt after long walks, and I just didn’t feel like myself.

I’m so happy I tried paleo with him! I started losing the post pregnancy weight that I was struggling with and started to feel like my old self. I highly recommend this diet to anyone looking to feel healthier and be more fit.

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So what is the paleo diet exactly? Simply put, it’s a diet based on the whole foods that early humans ate and consists of meat, vegetables, and fruit. It excludes processed foods, dairy and grain products.

The paleo diet is such a dramatic shift from my previous diet. Pre-pregnancy I was en route to veganism and even dabbled in the fully raw lifestyle. Unfortunately, that diet left me without energy, needing iron pills, vitals that had to be checked on a monthly basis, bloated (everything made me bloated back then), and surprisingly unhealthy and constantly wanting meat substitutes.

When I found out I was pregnant, I wanted desperately to be vegan. Got pregnancy vegan books and everything. My doctors were really understanding (at this point I was seeing 4 different doctors regularly) and tried working with me and my wishes. I was in at least one doctors office weekly in the beginning. I finally got some craving for seafood after a few months of not being able to eat and keep anything down (pregnancy was pretty tough on my body, honestly) and decided to eat some. After that moment, I stopped trying to eat vegan and committed myself to being flexible in my lifestyle. I decided to start eating chicken and fish again.

And my numbers started changing for the better. I suddenly didn’t feel as sick, tired, and awful (but pregnancy was still not very fun for me). I realized then that despite how much lifestyle coaches try to say that their diet/lifestyle is the best for everyone, it simply is not true. Even when I was in India, I was told multiple times that my dosha and body thrived on some animal products (chicken and fish to be exact) but I wanted to be cruelty free and ignored those suggestions. Now I think it’s silly that I didn’t listen sooner.

There is no diet that fits all people because we are all so different. High carb diet (raw diet for instance) did not work for me. I gained weight and didn’t feel great. High fat diet? That’s the lifestyle my body enjoys. I’m getting lean, my numbers look great, and I have energy again!

I made a plan to buy mostly organic, cage free, hormone free, and wild caught animal products and am happy with the choice I made. Eating animals will never be cruelty free so all I can do as someone who has decided to eat them is to try to avoid big farm corporations and eat mindfully.

Paleo has done a lot for me. It’s helped me drop 30 lbs but it’s also helped me feel better. For the most part, I love eating paleo.

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People often ask what is paleo and what isn’t when it comes up that I follow that lifestyle. A lot of people assume it’s restrictive in it’s approach. If you’re addicted to processed and sugary foods (which most of us are), it can feel restrictive in the beginning. But after awhile, like with any lifestyle change, it starts to become second nature and joys are found in the simplicity of natures finest whole foods; fruits and vegetables.

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This salad is paleo and DELICIOUS! 

The hardest part about paleo for me is the limited fruits. After coming from raw, where excess fruit consumption is encouraged, it was a hard pill to swallow when paleo experts suggested a mere 3 servings of fruits a day. I was easily eating 8 bananas in the morning on raw!

For the first 30 days, I was really strict in the paleo approach. I followed it to a T. After the initial 30 days I decided that paleo was perfect for me, but I wanted to tweak it a little. For example, I need more than 3 servings of fruit a day. So I eat more than 3 servings a day. Not a lot more, but when I want something sweet, I grab a date or a banana or make a fruit smoothie. I also stopped avoiding condiments. I love hot sauces and am not giving them up. Just not going to happen. I also don’t think mayo is the worst thing in the world. Lastly, I follow the 80/20 rule. I follow the paleo diet 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time. I’m flexible with the lifestyle and it’s so far been very good to me.

Like I mentioned, the weight continues to come off, I feel great, and as a breastfeeding mama, my milk supply has been strong and consistent. I have a lot of love for paleo.

I’m thinking about posting a weekly lineup of the delicious foods I eat. I take pictures of everything I eat anyway, so this wouldn’t even be anything out of the ordinary haha 😀

Here’s what the past week of food looked like:

Monday:

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Breakfast. Smoothie and hard boiled eggs.
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Ate out for lunch and ordered a plate full of protein and veggies.
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Dinner at home. Chicken lettuce wraps and my new favorite soup: spicy carrot soup! 

Tuesday:

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Banana PBFit smoothier and hard boiled egg. 
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HUGE salad, turkey veggie meatballs, hardboiled egg, and mini avocado banana chocolate matcha brownies.
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Post run snack. Cashews and black grapes.
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Experimental dinner: broccoli crust pizza. Not the best thing we’ve eaten but not the worst. I think we’ll try it with cauliflower next time 🙂

Wednesday:

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Amazing breakfast. Fast food at it’s finest.
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Great lunch! Turkey veggie meatball lettuce wraps, a banana and a handful of black grapes. 
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More salad and more meatballs for dinner. Love batch cooking!

Thursday:

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Breakfast #1 and breakfast #2. Both delicious.
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One of our favorites: chicken salad with lettuce wraps.
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Our “who need wing stop?” wings. Wings in three sauces/marinades and all so freaking good after cooking on the grill. Guilt free.

Friday:

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Pre yoga powerhouse green smoothie
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Lunch of champs
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A refreshing shrimp persimmon salad. 

Saturday:

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Breakfast hike fuel. Cheat meal of bakalava granola and a juicy orange.
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Cheat meal! Tuscany garlic shrimp, spinach, artichoke pasta and bread garlic knots. So wonderful.
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Ice cream turtle dessert because life is too short to not enjoy ice cream occasionally.

As you can see, lots of healthy foods but a lot of room for being indulgent as well. Flexible eating is the best kind of eating.

If you have questions about paleo, ask away.

Until next time: Happy eating!

-Sonni K. 

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