It all started a month ago, when my husband and I decided to eat simply, local and organic. We also stopped eating grains, dairy, legumes and nightshades. While it sounds drastic, it actually makes it very simple. What’s left to eat? Wholesome, natural food.
We eat avocados, nuts (no peanuts which are legumes), fruit (dried & fresh), greens, eggs, grass-fed meats, almond milk, lemons, limes, herbs, carrots, beets…lots of yummy food.
My guiding principle is, keep it simple.
Caveman Diet (Cavewoman?)
We are eating similar to the Caveman or Paleo diet, but I don’t call it that because I don’t like labeling eating. I prefer to think of it as a new way of shopping and eating. I haven’t changed what happens in the kitchen; I still use pots and pans, bake, sauté, chop and sauce. And if you share a meal with me, everything will be recognizable and there will be no conversation about restrictions.
Living in a community where healthy food is easy to get is extremely helpful. I’ve never shopped at the farmers market (I don’t like the crowds, using weekend time, or shopping outdoors). I don’t have food shipped to me direct from farms (although I think that’s pretty cool). There are four markets in my area that carry local and organic food, so I just shop there and nowhere else.
I didn’t think about this costing more money or less because helping my husband feel better was my first criteria. What I’ve found though is this way of eating is cheaper. There is no more money being spent on anything in a bag or can (processed), so all that money is now available to pay a few more cents on organic, local produce. Grass fed beef is super expensive so we eat less beef, instead we have lamb, chicken or seafood which I prefer anyway.
Tighten, Leaner and Lighter Body
I’ve learned first hand that the old saying you lose inches first, is true. The first change I noticed was the puffiness in my face disappeared. Then I noticed that my arms and legs were tightening. My body felt like it was “righting” itself. It’s been 27 days and I’ve shed 5 pounds. Am I happy? You betcha! Am I hungry? No. It’s really a better and more satisfying way to eat.
My husband’s left arm has been palsied since October 2009 (post-spinal cord surgery). He can now move it across his body in a standing position. He used to struggle through the day and be physically spent by 7:00 p.m., now he’s back to his old routine of enjoying activities until 11:00 p.m. or later. For several years, he has been working hard to walk but the distance was stagnant; this week, he walked 25% farther.
Sharing My Story
Like so many others, I’ve struggled with my body image my whole life. Even when I was (an unhealthy) 87 pounds, I didn’t know I was too thin. In the peak years of being strong and lean, I didn’t appreciate that my body was in great shape, instead I silently self-criticized. Hitting the fourth decade of life was a bit of a shock, everything I once did to lose a few pounds or shape up, no longer worked. Simply eating only local, organic, fresh food is working.
If it’s on your mind to gain health in 2012, I hope my story gives you an extra boost of energy to go for it.