Let’s face it. Eating healthy is hard. Despite how many good intentions we have, somehow that bad food makes its way into our lives. There’s that word, that word we all hear, and it makes us cringe. “Bad”, we have this connotation that food that is high in fat/carbs/sugar is “bad” for us. The truth is…it’s not necessarily bad for us in moderation. The point in which food becomes a systematic problem for our bodies, is when consumption out ways any sort of physical output. It is quite possible to maintain a slender frame and only eat McDonald’s foods. Calorie counting is an fantastic tool in losing weight. However, counting calories places a tole on our minds. We become obsessed with counting calories. We see it everyday and we say it to ourselves as well. How many times have you picked up a snack, turned it over, and gasped because this particular food item was loaded with calories. This sort of mentality is harmful not only to our eating habits but to our body image as well. This is where Paleos strong point shines through. Paleo allows us not only to eat foods that our whole and unprocessed, but it allows us to stop counting calories. We can eat until we are satisfied, without the guilt of consuming to many calories. Personally, I find counting calories to become a detriment to my overall health. I will decide that 1000 calories is fine for the day, and make a point of not eating past that amount. When looking at what promotes health, underrating based on calorie counting can weaken your immune system as well as place your body into starvation mode. Once your body has entered this starvation mode, it begins to literally feel “starved”. As soon as any food is eaten, the body begins to store it. In my experience with Paleo or Whole 30, hunger is not a concern. Cravings in the beginning of the process are strong, but after a week diminish. Why is this? The reason is simple, food becomes a means of feeding your healthy body. The longer you give your body organic vegetables, farm raised meats, and protein rich nuts and seeds…the less the body craves nourishment as a means of replenishing energy, because it has all the energy it needs.
The reasoning of a paleo based diet is the theory that our paleolithical ancestors(or cavemen) consumed only foods they could physical gather or hunt. Their lives revolved around surviving, and to survive they had to thrive. They only way in which they could thrive, was to fee their bodies foods that not only gave them energy but promoted a strong and healthy body. A diet with plentiful nutrients of varying degrees allows the body to enter a state of harmony. With my own personal experience here is a list of common problems that seem to not only get better but disappear all together:
-Digestive Problems: Stomach bloating and cramps become non-existent.
-Skin Health: I’ve suffered from mild nodular acne since high school and on paleo, my skin clears up, and to a point is almost blemish free. To the point where people comment on the health of your skin. There is an interesting chapter in a book called “It Stars with Food” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig . I not only suggest this book to new comers to paleo, but almost insist you read it. This particular chapter speaks about skin being the indicator of your overall inner health. Those with glowing and radiant skin, typically have far less inner health issues than those with overly blemished or problematic skin.
-Mentality and Mode: This one is a big one for me in particular. Clean eating promotes an increase of chemicals in our brains that effect mode. How many times have you eaten a meal that satisfied your cravings, but afterwards made you feel low and defeated? Do you feel this way after eating something you consider healthy? The brain plays a big part of your overall health. A healthy brain promotes a healthy body, and consequently a healthy body promotes a healthy brain. When you eat clean, it’s a win-win.
I have experienced all these benefits, and I have also lost them as old habits have come back. My intention with this blog is to document another phase of my journey into a balance of health and happiness.
Time to head out on this Journey! Life is great.