Friday, January 18, 2013

Going Paleo

I know what you're thinking.

It's January.  

The start of a fresh new year.  

An opportunity to make some great changes - to become that "ideal person" we all hope to be one day.

And here goes Lana, adding to the masses of people talking about resolutions and transformation.  

To make matters worse?  She's talking about food.  Great.  I think I'll just stop reading now and go get myself a nice piece of cake or a big ol' bag of chips.  That'll show her.

I know that's what you're thinking because I used to think the same thing.  But I'm hoping you'll give me just a few minutes of your time and let me share with you something I've learned. 

Lily has been on specialized diets pretty much her entire six years of life. 

For my sanity, our family pretty much adopted her diets because it made food shopping and preparation so much easier if we were all eating the same thing.  

But we've never really gone 100% all in with Lily.  Meaning even though she's been dairy free a large portion of her life, we still drink milk.  And while she's avoided gluten for several years, we've cheated here and there along the way.

But a few months ago, Lily's doctor suggested our whole family, including Lily, try the Paleo diet.  He stressed that while Lily needed to be on this particular diet, he was convinced all of us would benefit from it.  When I questioned him a little further, he told me that this idea of consuming "healthy whole grains" that we all hear so much about was not only making us fat, but making us sick as well.

Can you guess what I did after that phone call?

You got it - research.

I googled.  I read.  Inquired.  Explored.  Examined.  Had several appointments with that famous duo, Barnes and Noble.

The most eye-opening resource I read was Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis and I highly recommend it.

Two other great and very informative books are Disease Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Furman and What's Eating Your Child? by Kelly Dorfman.  Though these books address our children, the information is beneficial for everyone.

So a few months ago, our family embarked on our own Paleo experiment.  With no cheating.  And I'm here to tell you, it's been amazing.  I feel better.  I have more energy.  I'm not so draggy in the afternoons.

But ladies - let's get to the good stuff, ok?  And men, I apologize because this is more than you ever wanted to know about me.


I dropped 6 pounds right away.  Not only that, my stomach was flatter.  I don't think I ever realized how swollen I was, how bloated through the middle.  Now are you ready for this?  Good-bye Spanx. I am wearing pants I've never been able to wear without a lovely pair of hot, squeezy tight and uncomfortable Spanx under them.  And I can breathe!  The waistband is no longer cutting me off at the middle when I sit through a movie or church.  

Glory hallelujah. 

I just keep thinking, "if I feel so much better, how much better must Lily feel?"  I think she is sharper and more alert.  She's a bit less "foggy" and more bright-eyed.  She has had a simply amazing two weeks back at school since the Christmas break.  I think the Paleo diet has made a bigger difference for her than any diet we've tried.

And y'all - it's really not that hard.  I promise!  About the only thing that's difficult is fast food, which you won't want to eat after doing a little reading anyway.  Finding a drive-through that fits Paleo is near impossible.

Have I sold you yet?  Interested in checking out the Paleo diet for yourself?

Here's an infographic to give you a quick first glance:

Paleo Diet Infographic

Some wonderful websites with great recipes to get you started:

Do a little digging.  Check out the resources.  Try it for your kid.  Try it for yourself.  Let me know what you think.  

And I'll be back Tuesday with some great Paleo recipes that our family eats and loves and I just bet your family will like them, too.

But before I leave, the Bird's got a little message for you:

"Hey people!  Don't worry - you can still have Sonic ice water with lime on Paleo.  Yum!"

Have a lovely weekend, my sweet readers!


  1. I gotta admit -- changing our family's diets to help with Little Miss's soy/dairy intolerance has been an adventure. But I am eating waaaayyyy less fast food than I used to and I feel better about that.

    I'll be interested to see your recipes, but I don't think I could ever personally go Paleo -- I am a self-declared carb-a-holic! Good luck, miss Lana!

    1. Believe me, Karla - I'm right there with you on the carbs. It's probably the reason I was so reluctant to commit - I love baked goods & homemade bread more than any other kinds of food. But after giving them up and getting over the initial cravings, I'm finding that I really don't miss them as much as I thought I would. Of course, there are some paleo baked goods that you can have (and we do about once a week) and that probably saves me from burying my face in a big plate of warm chocolate chip cookies.

      But I'm proud of you for making the changes that Little Miss needed - I've been impressed with your new recipe pins. You're doing a great job!

  2. But..... is there wine on the Paleo diet?!!

    Sounds amazing and well done on implementing it AND your results! I know how that feels. Weightwatchers and my Curves gym have helped me lose 11 lbs and 8 inches, since last September. I do feel tired most days though! To be honest I prefer a system that doesn't ban any food group entirely (wine is a food group in my world!)However, I think my son could benefit from this diet as I think there's a wheat problem there. I've bookmarked this blog post and will check it out! Thanks :-)

    xx Jazzy

    1. OK Miss Jazzy -

      You do realize you're asking a Baptist preacher's wife if wine is OK to drink, right?? :) You totally made me laugh.

      Here's where it can start to get a little tricky. Robb Wolf's version of the Paleo diet allows red wine and tequila. Other versions don't. Just depends on how "caveman" your thinking runs - they certainly weren't drinking wine but they were probably eating grapes. Hmmm.... I'm like you in that my preference has always been Weight Watchers because I can eat anything I want if I just count the points. No real "no-no's". But I have found that I feel so much better not eating grains that I'm really not even wanting them anymore. We'll see....

  3. I wondered if you were doing this based on some of your pins! I have to say, it does cross my mind every now and then to try it. Maybe I need to start the research and see where it leads us.....

    1. Allie - the best place to start is Wheat Belly. That book will blow your mind. If you read it, let me know what you think.

  4. Three quick questions, from someone interested in trying it:

    1. Where do soy-based products fall in this diet? As a vegetarian with textural sensitivities, I essentially live off of a variety of soy-based fake meats. I am vegetarian because I cannot afford local, farm-raised meat and refuse to consume factory farmed animals. (Question: was dairy and grain you were eating from factory farms or local and/or non-factory farms?)

    2. Is it a strict ban on sugars? I have hypoglycemia/low blood sugar and depend on foods/drinks with high concentrations of sugar to prevent fainting/other adverse reaction for when my levels suddenly drop. Likewise, as someone with a low-risk of developing non-autoimmune high blood sugar (I do have an increased risk of developing autoimmune/Type 1, interestingly. Everyone in my family starts with low blood sugar and develops Type 1 around 30 - 50), are there benefits to the diet beyond those related to blood sugar?

    3. In your research, did you find any peer-reviewed, published articles relating to our body's ability to digest grains, high-sugar foods and other non-Paleo items? I know that can be a bit of an annoying question, but the fact that evolution is still constantly occurring in a wide number of species, including humans, makes me suspect of the idea that our body is still unable to digest foods that have been a staple of our diet for all these years.

    Hope you don't mind me asking!

    1. Hey Eri - Thanks for the comment and questions. I want to make sure you understand I'm not a nutritionist or dietician or anything like that. I'm just a mom trying to feed her family well, ok? So I'll try my best to tackle these but you certainly may want to contact someone more educated in this field.

      1. Most paleo purists would not consume soy. Gonna link you to an article explaining why

      The Dangers of Soy from Paleo Diet Lifestyle might be an interesting article for you to look over:

      I would say that most of the stuff I've read about soy isn't whether or not it's OK to eat on the Paleo diet, it's whether or not it's OK to eat it at all.

      We consume very little soy. We're blessed to live in Austin, where you can find just about any food you could ever want locally. It's quite easy to be a "locavore" here.

      2. I would say there is not a strict ban on sugars. What's more important is how often you consume them. Really, sugar, in whatever form you use (white, brown, honey, palm sugar, maple syrup, molasses) does the same thing - raises the blood sugar, some a little more than others. But there's really not all that much difference. Here's a great article that I think you'll find helpful:

      Having said that, my oldest daughter (who is now 19) has had Type 1 Diabetes since she was 5. She has been faithfully doing the Paleo diet with us and is liking it. Since she is consuming less carbs than ever before, her blood sugars are becoming more "leveled-out", helping her not ride that up and down blood sugar roller coaster that so many diabetics experience. She would definitely call that a benefit of the diet. But she does drink apple juice when she is low. To us, that's just a health issue that is separate from Paleo and must be treated whether the diet called for juice or not. Same goes for you, in my opinion.

      3. To be honest, I have not found any articles like what you mention, nor have I looked. My own anecdotal experiences are usually enough for me, which wouldn't carry a whole lot of weight if I were trying to publish an article myself. :) I mentioned in my post up there that we are doing the diet with no cheating. I will confess to you that I did 2 small cheats - the first because of a major craving and the second because I wanted to test my reaction to the cheat.

      Here's what I found in myself - I've been allergy tested and I've never reacted to gluten. I had not eaten any wheat/grains for 2 weeks when my middle daughter brought home a piece of Italian Cream Cake. I ate about 6 bites. And I paid for it for the next 24 hours - stomach cramps like crazy. Wondering if it had anything to do with paleo, I tried it again about a week or so later. I ate a half of a flour tortilla. Again with the rolling stomach for about 12 hours. I have decided that once you avoid gluten/wheat/grains for a while, when you do consume them, your body no longer knows how to process it. At least that is the case for me. And the pain was enough to make me not want to eat them. Or at least think long and hard about the consequences of cheating.

      I think the problem is that agriculture changes constantly nowadays. They're always looking for ways to produce more at a faster rate and in less expensive manner. And the human body just can't keep adapting to all these changes. Wheat was a staple of our diet for years but because the demand for it became so high, farmers had to begin all this cross-hybridization and "speed growing" or whatever you want to call it so now, the wheat of today is no longer even recognizable from what it used to be.

      If you come across any articles yourself, I'd be interested to read them so please feel free to pass them along.

      Hope I was able to answer your questions somewhat!

  5. I would really love to try this because I hear more and more how unhealthy wheat is for your body. Maybe I'll get inspired enough after stalking thru your Pinterest Boards and I plan to get the book Wheat Belly on my Nook. Thanks for the nudge!

    1. Wheat Belly will blow your mind! And I'll put some easy, "getting started" recipes on the blog Tuesday.

      Hey - did you ever talk to the surgeon in Boston about Tessie? I want an update! I'll send you a tweet too, in case you miss this response.

  6. I sent you an email. It will show up as smilinjo33 in case your email server filters the unrecognized mail into the "junk" file for you. :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...