by Nell Stephenson
If you're someone who's new to the Paleo Diet, or perhaps you just need a bit of a refresher now and then, read on!
Maybe you've been a Paleo devotee for quite a while, and it crosses your mind now and then to just have a little bit of a non-Paleo food. Should you do it? If you're following this type of eating plan for medical reasons and you have an autoimmune disease or another significant health issue, perhaps not. If, on the other hand, you've found yourself in the best health of your life and are simply toying with the idea of how you'd feel if you were to stray...YES!
For one thing, here's an opportunity to reinforce how good you feel when you stick to Paleo food choices. If, in the past, you grew used to feeling less than great all the time, you might not have noticed how you felt after a big dose of dairy, gluten or legumes. Now, however, after you've been running your system on clean fuel, if you ingest some of the toxins found in many of the products readily available to us, you'll notice it in a BIG WAY! Whether it manifests in GI issues, fatigue, joint pain or other symptoms, you'll know!
Please take this with a grain of salt - I'm not preaching that no one should ever deviate at all. I certainly enjoy a glass of wine on occasion (but ONLY for the anti-oxidant/polyphenol effect : ). I'm just simply encouraging you to think about your food choices, and keep in mind how good you feel when you eat Paleo foods, which are, actually, FOOD!
***Just wanted to comment on this article and tell you that a couple of months ago, I would have truly wondered if this article was completely accurate. For most people that know me, you know I like "experimenting" with everything! I decided to go strict Paleo for an entire month just to see what would happen. I had already been eating Zone/Paleo-ish, but if I was going to rely on accuracy, I wanted to be 100% strict during that month. I eliminated ALL dairy, bread, pastas, rice, legumes, sugar. Never ate anything out of a box, bag or jar. So, what did I eat?! Lots! Every kind of meat and fish, eggs, all types of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The first week was tough (I think my body craved some of the food I eliminated), but I had already made my mind up to do this and didn't want to give up. During the second week, things didn't seem as hard (except that I was having a hard time eating enough!) and I fell into a good routine (cravings subsided significantly!). It was within the second week that I began to notice some interesting differences. Physically, the definition around my midsection was markedly more defined, my strength seemed to increase, my post-wod recovery was amazing and the energy I gained could not be ignored. Mental acuity increased as well - I just felt better without really realizing it. Until...that is...I finished the month of strict Paleo (actually, I went over a month by a few weeks because I really was sold) and decided to eat some food I would not have, had I still been strict Paleo. I can't remember for sure what the food was, but I know that within a half hour, I felt like I had not slept for a day! I felt sluggish and tired - I could have taken a nap (what is that, anyway??)!
Was this coincidence? Maybe, except that I began to take notice of how I felt whenever I would deviate too much from Paleo. No coincidence - which is why, when I came across this article, all I could do was nod my head in complete agreement.
If you're not feeding your body "clean fuel" or as close as you can get to it, you are undoubtedly experiencing symptoms like fatigue, GI issues, low energy/motivation or perhaps even something more serious like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or worse........Happy Eating!.........Maria***