PALEO – MORE THAN JUST AN EXCUSE TO EAT BACON

June 10, 2014

Okay, I’ll admit, the first week my family ate paleo we had bacon every day. I know a vegetarian or two who pass on eating bacon, but I’m hard pressed to think of anyone else I know who says no if offered a slice or three.

But now that we’re settling in to a routine with eating paleo, I find that I don’t want bacon every day. (Of course, I’m typing this as I eat a bacon-mushroom burger leftover from last night’s dinner.) I still buy it every week – nitrite/nitrate free, vegetarian fed pork – and we still eat it, but it’s been fun to try lots of new and different foods.

Months before we started eating paleo, I impulsively purchased a copy of “Practical Paleo” by Diane Sanfilippo from Costco. At the time we were making a half-hearted effort to eat whole foods and I was (still am) following Lisa Leake at www.100daysofrealfood.com. I even purchased and read “French Kids Eat Everything” by Karen Le Billon in hopes to get my two picky eaters (husband & daughter) to expand the foods they liked. But we still ate fast food about 2-3 times per week. And that doesn’t include the stops at Starbucks for a mocha and bacon-Gouda breakfast sandwich.

The number on the scale was going up, my energy level was going down and so was my mood. Paleo seemed daunting with a 40 hour workweek, an 8 year old who only wanted toaster waffles for breakfast, a husband who commutes 60 minutes back and forth to work and Little League season getting underway. I flipped through “Practical Paleo” and found lots of good information, but didn’t think it was for us right now. Maybe later…once I could get organized.

Fast forward to mid-May and now it’s the middle of Little League season, I’m still exhausted, but my 40th birthday is fast approaching and I have an appointment with the lab at my doctor’s office to get my cholesterol and blood sugar checked. That paleo lifestyle was starting to look pretty good. I got my book out again and spent some serious time reading through it.

The more I read, the more eating paleo sounded appealing – lots of veggies, meats, some nuts, seeds, and fruit and no junk food. The meal plans in “Practical Paleo” made deciding what to eat easy and I loved that they included breakfast and lunch, not just dinner.

I am the primary cook in the family (my husband makes a mean bowl of ramen and a great pot of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese), so I knew the bulk of the prep and cooking, as well as planning and shopping would fall on me. It also meant getting up early enough to actually cook breakfast every day. Since I was already getting up at 5:30 am to get ready for work, getting up a half hour earlier so I could cook breakfast and make sure we had a healthy lunch packed and ready to go was another strike against the switch. Add to that the hours (or so I thought) spent prepping and cooking fresh, whole foods and I was almost ready to give up before we started.

My husband and I talked about it and I outlined paleo for him, talked about the pros and cons, what we would eat, what we would gain (health) and lose (weight, ice cream, candy, etc.) and ended up talking myself into trying it for 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days, right?

So now we’re three weeks into our 30 days and eating paleo has already made a world of difference! We’re not 100% paleo yet, and might not ever be. I still enjoy a little bit of half and half in my morning coffee, my daughter still has hot lunch at school, and I had ice cream in a cone on my birthday. But, at home, we eat things like scrambled eggs and broccoli for breakfast, Italian stuffed peppers for lunch and macadamia-citrus topped sole and zucchini for dinner, with the occasional brownie for a treat. I’ve lost 10 pounds and my husband has lost 11. We both see a huge difference on days when we don’t eat paleo versus the days that we do. We have more energy, a better attitude, and way, way less stomach issues, when we stick to our plan.

We’ll keep going with this after our original 30 days are over and try to stay at around 90% paleo. Even if we slide away from paleo, we’ll keep eating the new foods we’ve enjoyed over the past three weeks. Plus…BACON!

Paleo Resources I Like

Balanced Bites podcast by Diane Sanfilippo and Liz Wolfe
“Nom Nom Paleo” by Michelle Tam

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