The paleo diet

Sam’s Progress After 2 Weeks of Paleo

Sam at Work

Sam Jimenez is one of the four subscribers currently doing a 30-Day Paleo Challenge together, and gracious agreed to give us an interview yesterday, at the two-week mark of his challenge. His progress is incredible, and I am so excited to share them with all of you to inspire you to take the step back in time with your diet and try Paleo.

Start weight: 214 lbs

Weight after 2 weeks of Paleo: 204 lbs

Weight lost from 2 weeks of Paleo: 10 lbs

After three days of eating Paleo, Sam noticed he was waking up earlier than normal, without an alarm, and with energy! How many of you would like to sleep better after only three days of a diet change?!

Sam also had gastritis and the beginning of a peptic ulcer before starting Paleo, and says that he has had NO acid reflux, or any stomach pain or cramping since the first week! His frequent burping is also gone.

Sam with Pizza

The occasional cheat is OK!

Sam has not been a Paleo Angel, though. He has had three large cheats (ex: Pizza for dinner), and four small cheats (a couple of beers while watch the Marquez v. Pacquiao fight). This just goes to show you that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to get all that junk out of your system MOST OF THE TIME.

Sam says that he still has cravings, but that they are not as desperate as he thought they would be. He did not remove all of the foods he cannot eat from his house before starting the challenge, so he stares at things like peanut butter (his guilty pleasure), and jelly beans on a daily basis. Despite “not usually having any will power,” Sam has refrained from snacking on these non-Paleo treats… quite a feat!

As for exercise, Sam has done around 30 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week. We are still talking him into joining Chef Carlos for cross-training in the mornings ;)

The most exciting part is that yesterday his family came to visit him, and noticed that he looked different! Having someone notice a change is one of the most encouraging things that happens during the first few weeks of Paleo, and we are so happy that this happened to Sam so soon, especially from the people he loves most!

We asked Sam if he had any questions for us, and he had a good one:

What happens after the challenge?

We told him that just because the challenge ends doesn’t mean you’re done. It means you get to decide your own commitment level to the diet based on your lifestyle and your goals. However, as Sam’s ideal weight is 180 lbs, we encouraged him to try to stick with maximum two free meals a week. At this level of compliance, he should continue experiencing the same rate of weight loss and other health improvements that he is now, while being able to eat “a normal meal” every few days.

We are so excited to see Sam’s continued progress over the next couple of weeks, and will report back with his final testimonial and results after he completes his 30-Day Paleo Challenge!

Remember, we are a community here, and would love to support each and every one of you through starting Paleo. Feel free to post in the Forum or email us directly using the contact tab on the left of the screen.

Keep up the good work, everyone!

Your Pet’s Primal Diet

Picasso Our CatThose of us with pets understand that these furry friends are part of the family, and that they depend on our care to stay healthy and happy. Why should their dietary needs be any less important than our own?

Our cats and dogs do best with a “primal” diet as well. There are a lot of problems with store bought pet food, the main ones being that they are loaded with grains, and full of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives. You know how happy your cat is when you give him your leftover fish? How about your dog when he gets the scraps from your steak dinner? These are the foods they are MADE to eat, just like us!

I subscribe to Dr. Karen Becker’s “Mercola Healthy Pets” email list and recently received a newsletter titled “What’s Wrong With the New Grain-Free Craze?” and got worried that I was about to read an anti-paleo email. The article I found was actually in support of feeding your pets a primal diet, and that “there’s no way kibble can be an alternative to raw food.”  The main problem with “kibble”, she says, is with the lack of moisture content and low quality protein sources. She sums up her recommendations with this: “A species-appropriate diet for carnivores means it’s grain-free – no corn, wheat, rice, millet, or oatmeal. It is maintained in its biologically correct form – raw, whole, unadulterated, un-denatured meat. It contains all the moisture needed for your pet’s body to process the food with very little metabolic stress. My first recommendation is to feed a raw-food diet. It’s grain-free, moisture rich, living, and of course, it’s fresh.”

This will be more expensive than feeding your pets processed kibble, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can buy a lower quality cut of meat, and the chances are they will eat less on their new raw diet than they did of their grain-filled, processed kibble. Most importantly, your pet will be happier, healthier, and leaner than on a processed diet!

 

If you are interested in reading more from Dr. Becker’s article, you can click this link to either watch the video or read the online transcript.

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.

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