EIGHT. That’s the number of years ago today that I decided to change what I ate and started following a paleo framework. No more crash diets, no more deprivation.
Today, off the top of my head, I wanted to share 8 key paleo lessons with you that I’ve learned along the way…wisdom for your journey. Hopefully, it’ll help you avoid some of the frustration I’ve run into over the years!
8 Key Paleo Lessons I Wish I Knew Eight Years Ago
1) If you want to change your life, you’ve gotta be in it for the long haul. There’s no place for quick fixes, perfection, and “diet rules.” Following diet rules or doing the same program over and over is the antithesis of freedom. Have fun and remember to enjoy yourself, too.
2) A template like “strict” paleo can help you get started but IT’S NOT THE ONLY WAY. It’s an on-ramp to better nutrition, but you have to customize. You have to explore, discover, and define what your ideal way to eat looks like. Personalized nutrition is so key. Remember that context > dogma. At some point, you’ve got to start listening to your body. Following rules for the sake of following rules is short-sighted at best, freedom-robbing and potentially harmful at worst.
3) Meal planning saves lives. Okay, that was dramatic, but it’s the #1 habit that’s helped me keep healthy eating going all these years.
4) Potatoes aren’t evil. Carbs are yummy. The end.
5) Fasting, butter coffee breakfasts, completely removing one macronutrient…do some of these *maybe* have merit for *some* people in *certain* situations? Perhaps. But get your basics down before you dally in those. Eat 3-4 meals a day, get your dang sleep, move your body, reduce your stress, and address your loneliness. Once you’ve got a solid handle on these basics, then maybe experiment with some of these other things. Too many folks miss the forest for the trees because of trends.
6) A lot of packaged food products labeled “gluten-free”, “organic”, “paleo”, etc are absolute crap. Be a savvy shopper! Remember that gluten-free flours often spike blood sugar higher than gluten-filled counterparts. As a once-in-a-while treat or transition food? Sure. But if you’re still struggling to meet health and body comp goals, it’s time to weed that stuff out.
7) Don’t set out to eat “healthy” foods you hate. Sure, give it a fair shot (taste buds change) but don’t force yourself to eat things you don’t like. (Liver and me will never be friends so I take desiccated liver capsules.)
8) I always say that food is like the gateway drug to better health…but health is so much more than food. If you want to be healthier, happier, and harder to kill, you’ve also got to move your body, recharge your energy, work on your mindset, and understand that your whole being – body, mind, soul – needs nourishing.
There are so many more lessons, but these stick out in my mind. And one thing has become abundantly clear…I’ve been constantly evolving even though the basics that I’ve mastered are still there in some way, shape or form.
I’m about to embark on an exciting shift with Stupid Easy Paleo in 2018…one that’s been coming for a while and one that will open so many more doors for us to explore all of the pillars of health together. In essence, we’re going to have a newly improved website and a bit of a new name (wink). Everything you already love about SEP will remain, but there’s going to be so much more