Over the past month I have received, solicited and unsolicited, some really encouraging feedback from close friends and family. They tell me about how they have changed their diets and/or lifestyles because of me (and my husband, siblings and brother-in-law) telling them about how we have changed ours for the better. I am so thrilled about this and wanted to share two of these encouraging stories.
First, my dad.
My pops has always been an encouraging figure in my life, but lately, I really look up to him for all he has accomplished with his health in such a short time.
He started by cutting out bread and pasta almost 100%. With that he lost over 20 pounds and his most recent cholesterol tests came back excellent! He was so excited about this he shared his blood work with everyone (and I mean everyone!). He has even convinced a few of his co-workers to stop eating bread to lose weight and to feel better. Now, he is thinking about talking to his doctor about coming off statins (I do not encourage doing this without discussing it with your doctor and getting his/her thumbs up first!).
My dad turned his overall health around in just two months with a really simple dietary change. This is a man who has had triple by-pass surgery, multiple stints, and has been taking statins on and off for 20 years.
He hasn’t taken the Paleo approach to the extreme by buying all pastured meats and organic food. But he has benefited immensely from one very simple adjustment. He calls me frequently to let me know he met someone who is also following a Paleo-like diet and thinks it is so cool so many people know about it. It seems like every week he talks about how much better he feels and I love hearing that.
Second, my best friend.
She, too, is awesome. After telling her about Paleo and listening to some of her health concerns, I offered her some advice. Just start small, try out a few recipes, cut the processed crap and see how you feel. If you feel good, keep going. If you decide it is not for you, then stop, no hard feelings.
At first she gave me some of the excuses I often hear – I don’t have time to cook and I am allergic to convenient foods like cherries, blackberries, carrots, celery, plums, nectarines, pears and apples. What will I eat?
I told her that I learned sometimes food allergies can be alleviated by eliminating gut irritating foods like grains, legumes and dairy. Since about 80% of your immune system is in your gut, if you eat foods that irritate it your body is not ready to deal with other foods that normally wouldn’t bother you (probably not the best scientific explanation, but that’s the gist of it).
She stopped eating gluten and processed foods and started snacking on apples and some of the stone fruits again (some of the food allergies have lessened, but have not completely gone away, still, an improvement!).
One month in and her painful periods have ceased, skin problems cleared up, and she shredded 10 pounds without starving herself or adjusting her workout routine.
Also, she tells me her energy level has been the biggest improvement. Before she would need to be in bed super early and be dead tired as early as 7PM. Now, she says her energy is consistent and she is able to maintain a great mood. Life is good!
She is trying new recipes and really taking the quality of food she eats seriously.
While my dad has started out small, my best friend took things to the next level and is concerned with the quality of food. For instance, she splurges on pastured eggs for $8 a dozen (I get them way cheaper in our area), pastured meats and organic fruits and vegetables.
Both approaches work. Don’t use the “Paleo is too expensive” excuse not to try it.
Just start small and grow from there.
Make it a lifestyle change when you are ready to.
Now, have you seen the movie Couples Retreat? It is mildly entertaining, not the best romantic comedy I’ve ever seen, but there is a great scene with a yoga instructor encouraging people in a rather unusual way…
In no way am I suggesting slapping people on the ass and whispering “encouragement” in their ear, that’s no way to make friends. I offer this comic relief because I think it’s funny and I like to slap people on the ass and whisper “encouragement” in their ear – metaphorically, of course.
(Here is my karma on you.)