Beating Yourself – The Mental First Step

Fighting MenA friend of mine is scheduled to start the Paleo diet at the beginning of next month, and is reading up all he can on the diet in the meantime to be as prepared as possible. I asked him what concerns he had so I could hopefully ease his fears and help him start the diet with confidence. What worries him most is that he works in a restaurant and is very used to seeing, smelling, and eating foods that are not allowed on the diet. Stopping himself from snacking on these things that he is so used to eating is going to very difficult, he said, and that he knows self-control is going to be essential.

This is a very difficult thing that most people face at the start of a new diet. The truth is you have to beat yourself. Your mind is divided against you. Half of you wants to stick to your guns because you know it will make you healthier and SKINNIER, and the other half of you wants the comfort of doing what you’re used to. If you eat when you’re depressed, you need to find another way to cheer yourself up now, because that is going to break your diet every time.

The key to beating yourself is “feeding the side you want to win.” You are starting a diet because you care about your health, because you want to lose weight, because you can’t sleep, or for any number of other reasons. Keep reminding yourself that, and think according to that goal. Don’t think about how good the pizza in front of you will taste, because that doesn’t matter… not in the context of your goal. If you feed the side of you that would rather eat “no-no foods” than lose your fat rear, that side will win. And guess what? Your rear will stay fat.

I talk about this like it is easy… but we all know it’s not. I struggle with this daily. However, what I have learned is that when your mind is in the right place, you can make smart decisions that will keep you on progress toward your overall goal. Once your mind is right, you can have lasagna for dinner as a treat and not be thrown off your diet. Once your mind is right, you don’t have to fight yourself all the time. So that’s my advice- take it or leave it ;)

Control Your Crutch

The three things I find many people are unwilling to give up when they start The Paleo Diet are alcohol, coffee, and chocolate. You know what? That’s fine. You don’t have to go 100% Paleo to get the health benefits of it, or to see results in your weight and overall being. Will you lose more weight and be healthier and sleep better WITHOUT these things? Yes. Do you have an addiction to address if you are so unwilling to give them up? Probably. Does that change people’s minds? Not typically.

However, just because you leave one or more of these things in your diet does not mean you should use that as your way to cram in everything bad for you. BAD DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AWFUL. If you need a reminder on why certain food are so bad for us, visit the Diet main page. Here are ways you can make each of these three “bad things” into not-so-bad things.

ALCOHOL: See the blog, “What’s the Deal with Booze?”

A quick summary: Tequila is the best liquor with regards to Paleo. Wine is ok, beer is not good (gluten). Avoid sugary mixed drinks- the sugar is a huge problem and is at least half of your hangover. Drink earlier rather than later, and drink in moderation.

COFFEE: As far as I know, the type of coffee bean itself doesn’t make any difference. They all have caffeine in them and are all LEGUMES (hence, not Paleo)… But if you want to have your morning cup of coffee without completely halting all the good things happening from your fantastic diet and exercise plan, here are some tips:

Creamer: Use nut milk for a creamer. Nut milk is totally paleo, and totally delicious. You can buy Almond milk and Hazelnut milk at most health food stores, or make your own nut milk at home in a high-powered blender with nuts and water. The artificial, non-dairy creamers are DEATH IN A BOX. Have you seen those commercials for the magnetic bracelets that make you stronger? Have a friend do that test on you (arm straight out, have them push on it and try to resist) normally, then holding the non-dairy creamer container next to your heart. You will go weak. DON’T PUT THAT CRAP IN YOUR COFFEE.

Sugar: Try to stick with something pure and natural. Although cane sugar is not Paleo, it’s tons better than anything artificial (Sweet ‘n’ Low, Splenda, whatever the blue one is…). Honey is also a good sweetener to use. This should go without saying, but use as little as possible.

Divine Dark Chocolate

CHOCOLATE: To avoid dairy, go for something dark. 85% Cocoa tastes like charcoal to me, so that may be “too dark” (if you believe in that).

I found a delicious dark chocolate bar that has mint in it… I’ve always been a milk chocolate person, but this chocolate is AMAZING. Found it at Central Marketing in Dallas, TX. It’s called Divine brand Mint Dark Chocolate.

Ingredients: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, peppermint crisp, peppermint oil, vanilla.

THAT’S ALL NATURAL, plus it’s Fair Trade!

I hope that helps clarify that just because you’re gonna be a little bad doesn’t mean you have to go off the deep end. Always keep in mind that this isn’t about “eating Paleo,” it’s about eating healthy and treating your body well so it can carry you happily through a joyous and long life.

Somersizing: Another Good Option

Paleo vs. SomersizingSomersizing is a great stepping stone diet for the Paleo Diet. I have Somersized numerous times in the past, and found incredible success with how I felt and how quickly I lost weight. The weight loss part of the equation began to slow down in recent years. The Paleo Diet has ramped that back up for me, and despite my age I find myself losing weight quickly and effortlessly on Paleo.

I am sure that eating a similar diet in the past is what made switching to Paleo so easy for me. The Paleo Diet is so far off from the typical American diet that even the thought of eliminating grains and dairy is terrifying (not many people care about losing legumes). Suzanne Somers (the creator of Somersizing) has you eliminate what she calls “funky foods” like sugars, white flour, starches, soy, caffeine, alcohol, and pretty much all processed foods. That is asking quite a lot of the average American!

Nonetheless, I managed to follow these guidelines to Somersizing and because of it found Paleo to be a logical and relatively painless next step in my diet choice. If Paleo seems too far away from your current diet for you to be successful, try Somersizing. You are allowed a small amount of breads and dairy is OK.

However, I caution you: although Somersizing gives you more foods to play with in your diet, the rules are many (they have to be, because too many people mistake flexibility for freedom). Somersizing is much more complicated than Paleo, so I suggest you save yourself the headache (figuratively and literally) and go straight for Paleo. Even partial compliance to the Paleo diet will result in weight loss and noticeably better energy and sleep. Besides, you have tons of resources and support right here! You can do it!

(Read the full article here to learn more about what Somersizing is and how it compares to Paleo)

Avoiding Gas and Bloating

Boy wearing gas mask

Picture by Kriss Szkurlatowski

After I finished the 30-Day Paleo Challenge I decided to take a few days off and eat pretty much whatever I wanted and see how I felt. I noticed a huge difference, and felt like crap, of course. I was tired, moody, bloated, gassy, and hungrier than before. To figure out which foods made me feel which unpleasant feeling, I cut out grains first and left dairy in my diet for a few days. What went away were the middle-of-the-night stomach cramps and bathroom runs, but the immediate stomach pains after eating did NOT go away… and neither did the bloating. After removing dairy as well, all mentioned problems went away. I had a couple bites of ice cream one night and had sharp stomach pains, awful bloating, and gas all night.

So what I can figure is that dairy causes me immediate stomach pains, bloating, and gas, while grains have a similar effect but delayed quite a bit. I apologize for the unpleasant nature of this post, but somebody’s gotta talk about this stuff… The point is: aside from the scientific negative effects grains and dairy have on our bodies and digestive system in particular, they make ME feel pretty awful. I can get by with 10 M&M’s or something like that without having all of those nasty things happen, but after that I’m toast, and you wouldn’t want to be around me unless you were dressed for chemical warfare. If you are not strictly Paleo, take the time to carefully isolate your potential problem foods, and try to figure out what foods cause what results. This type of knowledge is very helpful, and can be a big motivating factor to stay on track. Plus, wouldn’t this information be useful if you had a big event or special day coming up? Nobody wants gas, but having gas as the company Christmas ball is inarguably worse than having gas on your day off watching football.

Newsletter Message #7

Hello Primal Healthy Fitter!

Last week we explained what stress does to your body, and gave you five healthy ways to reduce these negative effects. Today we want to tell you the four supplements we think are absolutely worth taking, as well as highlight the benefits of Magnesium (we’re a big fan). Visit our Recommended Products page to find recommendations on which specific supplements to buy.


Thanks for reading, and click the social media icons above to join the conversation!

Victoria Marie
Founder, Primal Healthy Fit

The 4 Supplements that are Worth Taking:   
  1. Omega-3 Fats: Our bodies cannot produce Omega-3 fats, and although we can get some from our food, it is almost impossible to get enough.
  2. Vitamin D: Our bodies can synthesize Vitamin D from sunlight, but so few of us see enough of that big star!
  3. Magnesium: (featured below)
  4. Betaine HCL: a digestive aid
Read more about these four supplements here

Magnesium…
  • helps form healthy bones and teeth
  • aids in protein synthesis
  • lowers the risk of heart disease
  • regulates hypertension
  • treats migraines
  • helps with sleep and mood
  • increases calcium absorption
  • keeps you “regular” (we’re talking about bathroom stuff)
Magnesium citrate typically tolerated very well, which is why all of the Magnesium products we recommend are of this variation. 

Newsletter Message #6

Healthy ways to reduce STRESS

Hey there, how’s it goin’?

Last week we talked about sleep, and what a huge effect it can have on your health and happiness. Now it’s time to talk about STRESS. Being stressed out can make your life so much harder: it stops weight loss, makes you moody, tired, and screws with your hormones! We have a page on the website that explains how stress today is different than it was in the past, and what that has to do with you. You can visit that page here. Here we want to give you a quick and dirty explanation of what stress does to your body, and healthy ways to avoid this problem. Next week we will discuss supplements: which are worth taking and why.


Victoria Marie
Founder, Primal Healthy Fit

What happens when you experience stress:  
  • Your body releases cortisol
  • Cortisol has a chat with your liver, and glucose is released
  • If this step isn’t followed by intense physical activity, this glucose sits in our bodies and makes us insulin resistant
Insulin resistance causes a whole host of health problems. 
Read more here on what stress does to your body.

Healthy ways to reduce stress:  
  1. Get enough of the right kind of sleep
  2. Don’t over-exercise
  3. Cut back on drinking
  4. Eat Paleo
  5. Make smart financial decisions that won’t cause you stress in the future. Ex: buy a Chevy Cruze instead of a Ferrari. 
Read more here on how doing these things can reduces stress.  

Relevant Blog Posts:
Alcohol from a Paleo perspective + a margarita recipe!
Spending five minutes in silence with yourself every day could change your whole life!
A continuation of the Take 5 blog post

Newsletter Message #5

Did you sleep well last night?

If your answer is “yes,” you probably fell asleep as soon as you got in bed, slept the night through, and woke up before your alarm clock feeling great. What’s that? That doesn’t sound like you at all? Yeah, me either most days… So how on Earth does one get “good sleep,” especially with the neverending tasks that engulf our everyday busy lives? Below we give you 5 tips on how to get good sleep. If you’re skeptical, or they seem too difficult, read the Sleep pageto learn why doing this is so important, and how it could even slim down your waistline!


Also note the new Author in the “Relevant Blog Posts” section of this email! Our Lifestyle Contributor and “Spirituality Guru,” Connie Kean, has two fabulous posts on taking time out of your day for YOURSELF, and what this can do for you. Next week we will discuss healthy ways to reduce stress. Getting good sleep is top o the list, so start getting your sleep in order NOW! 


Victoria Marie
Founder, Primal Healthy Fit

5 Tips to getting enough of the right kind of sleep   
  1. Go to sleep when you are tired
  2. Sleep in complete darkness
  3. Try to sleep while it’s dark outside
  4. Cut salt out of your diet
  5. Turn off your alarm!
Why is getting good sleep so important? To put it lightly, it can screw up EVERYTHING! What’s that? You eat really well, exercise properly? Well that can all be bunk unless you get some sleep!

 

Relevant Blog Posts:
Spending five minutes in silence with yourself every day could change your whole life! 
 
A continuation of the Take 5 blog post

Newsletter Message #4

How to stick with your diet

 Hello again!

So you have made the choice to change your lifestyle for the better. GOOD FOR YOU! Today we want to reiterate the importance of taking a personalized approach to your diet, as well as tracking your progress. But first, check out this great testimonial:

Carlos Before & After 1.5 months of Paleo
Carlos is 38 years old, and has “never cared about what he ate before.”


The first picture you see was taken right before he made a diet change to eating Paleo. The second picture is after 1.5 months of eating Paleo, cheating twice, plus mild exercise 3x a week. Read his Testimonial here.

Look for an email next week that will discuss why sleep is so important, how it effects your weight and health, and tips on getting enough GOOD rest. 

Victoria Marie

Sticking with The Paleo Diet: main points
  1. Pick which approach is best for you: cold turkey or steps?
  2. Take photos and measurements before starting your diet.
  3. Have plenty of fresh fruit & dates around for sweet treats. 
Read the full article here.

 


Understanding the Paleo Diet from the experts:

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain

These two books are a must-read if you want to understand the science behind the Paleo Diet. You don’t even WANT any of the “bad stuff” after reading these!

The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain: It’s cut and dry. This is great if you just want the info and the power to decide for yourself what to do with it.

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf

The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf: Appropriately enough, Loren Cordain is his mentor. He takes a humorous approach to the topic, while making sure you get the info you need to fully understand what is going on. He strongly recommends everyone do a 30-Day Challenge. This works for some people, not for others.

Newsletter Message #3

How to speed up diet results

 

Hey there! Wanna get more results out of your diet?

 

Changing your diet is the first and most important step to losing weight, getting healthy, reducing stress, and overall changing your life, but adding activity to the mix can make these wonderful results come even quicker! By staying active in a safe & efficient way, you will speed up your diet results, as well as build muscle and bone density, avoid injury, and sleep better! Look for your next email in a week that will contain some valuable information on how to stick with a diet change. We don’t want your hard work to be wasted!

 

Victoria Marie


Safe & Effective 3-Day Exercise Rotation:   
Day 1: Cross-training
Day 2: Interval-training
Day 3: Rest
This rotation mimics the activity level of our Paleolithic ancestors! The benefits of endurance training do not outweigh the risks of injury. Did you know that 5 minutes of cross-training and 30 minutes of endurance training produce similar results?
Visit the Exercise main page to learn more about this rotation.

 

Make sure you’re moving PROPERLY!

 

The “Safe & Effective” part of the above rotation is only true if you do the MOVEMENTS properly! Otherwise you are risking injury and won’t be getting the most benefits from your training.

     We have provided detailed explanations of some very useful equipment-free exercise movements that can be scaled anywhere from “I haven’t picked anything up in 40 years” to “I’m running a marathon next month and already look like Gerard Butler in the movie 300.” Check it out on the Basic Movements Page here.

 

Relevant Blog Posts:
Work Out! No excuses by Carlos Capistran
Staying fit wherever you are, with what you have
Running Basics by Carlos Capistran
Learn from my mistakes! Lessons from a marathoner

 

We are always here to help. Please feel free to reply to this email with any questions you may have, or to visit the Forum to get answers from the Primal Healthy Fit Community.

Newsletter Message #2

 Easy steps to change your diet

Hello Primal Healthy Fitter!

In our last email we let you in on 3 secrets that make dieting more effective, as well as introduced you to the Paleo Diet. We hope you found that information helpful! We are here to make switching your diet as easy as possible with a step by step action plan (find it below)! Your next email will arrive in a week and will provide information on additional changes you can make that will speed up your journey to complete health and make you look good naked!

Victoria Marie

Founder, Primal Healthy Fit


 

4 Simple Steps to Changing Your Diet
  1. Give away everything (food and beverages) you cannot eat on the Paleo Diet.
  2. Personalize your approach to your diet switch and decide your commitment level/goals.
  3. Take pictures & measurements to document your starting point so you can track your progress.
  4. Go SHOPPING! Try Whole Foods if there is one near you to get organic/wild/grass-fed produce.
Visit the Paleo Action Plan page for detailed info!

 

Serious about starting the Paleo Diet?
This Practical Paleo Guide is fantastic:
  • Written for Paleo Beginners
  • Perfect for people starting a 30-Day Challenge
  • Easy to understand intro to Paleo
  • Paleo Yes/No Food Lists included
  • Includes Paleo Recipes
  • Instant access due to eBook format (can be viewed on Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, and more)

 


We are always here to help. Please feel free to reply to this email with any questions you may have, or to visit the Forum to get answers from the Primal Healthy Fit Community.

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