But really, after I stumbled upon Paleo, why did I keep it up?
"The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” -Dr. Ann Wigmore
That quotation is so powerful to me, and something I truly believe. I never thought I would eliminate grains, legumes, dairy, and processed sugars from my diet. In fact, at that time, most of my daily food intake consisted of grains - cereal, bagels, sandwiches, pizza, and pasta. These foods will always be delicious to me, but now that I understand what they do to my body and overall health, I simply can't justify eating them.
I didn't have this food epiphany right away. Actually, my husband pushed me into participating in a 30-day Paleo Challenge at my CrossFit gym. I was against it from the start because I held tightly to my delicious breads and pastas.
After the 30 days and changing nothing but my eating habits, I lost 11 pounds and felt AMAZING. I won't lie to you, the first two weeks were ROUGH. I realized I was addicted to those other foods and no matter how much I ate, if it wasn't what I was craving, I didn't feel fulfilled. Once I passed that two week hump, sticking to the Paleo plan was much easier. The hard cravings subsided and I started to see some pounds come off. That was motivation to keep going. By the end of the challenge, I had no desire to return to my old ways.
I don't view Paleo as a diet, but more of a lifestyle. I've read a lot to discover the science of food in our bodies and truly believe food can be fuel and medicine, or poison. You can use food to provide you with energy, clear and moisturized skin, shiny hair, encourage healing and recovery, strong bones, keep your mind alert, your heart healthy and your system clean. Or, you can slowly crush yourself under your own weight, choke your arteries, aggravate your skin, your stomach, your joints, feel lethargic, unmotivated, and distracted - or develop a serious illness, like diabetes and heart disease.
I'm fortunate I don't have a disease that makes me intolerable to certain foods, such as celiacs or lactose intolerancy. The decision to eliminate these foods is 100% my choice.
While I was going through the Paleo challenge, I had to get creative with my foods. A lot of my regular menu items had to be substituted or eliminated. I entered this amazing process of food discovery. It blew my mind that I could eat this healthy food and still have it be delicious. I delighted in exploring the produce section and poking, prodding, squeezing, smelling these new vegetables and fruits I'd never thought to try before. I started to pay more attention to flavor, seasoning, using different levels of heat or texture to affect taste. Paleo became less about what I COULDN'T eat and more about the huge plethora of foods out there I'd never even thought of eating.
CrossFit is very much a community, so I would post on my social networking sites the experiences I had going through the Paleo challenge as well as the recipes I was trying so that we could share in the experience together. My friends responded very positively to my recipe sharing. Several told me I should start a blog (at which I scoffed). It reached a point where I had pages of recipes that were extremely difficult to search and share as the list grew. The blog idea started to seem like a good one.
And thus was born Mmmm Paleo. I post recipes on this site that I create on my own, but I also test out Paleo recipes from other bloggers and cookbooks or adapt non-Paleo recipes to our lifestyle. The bottom line is, everything on this site is tried and true by me and I want to share them with you in turn. You know, spread the Paleo love.
Now I know I am not perfect. I am in no way actually trained in the culinary arts or recipe writing. I am not an expert on health, fitness or nutrition. Hell, I’m not even that funny. I cook and I eat every day of my life. Those are my only qualifications. I know my own body and what is important for my family and I, and I try to make informed decisions about my food. I tell you what I make, how I make it, how I shop for it, the tools I have in my kitchen, and the difficulties I experience in the process. I invite your comments and your feedback and I ask you to be open to trying new things.
My food has become so much more than medicine or fuel, and sharing food has become my passion. There is nothing more gratifying than giving someone the gift of a delicious meal and knowing that not only have you satisfied their hunger but given their body superfuel to work, grow, and repair itself instead of cause harm or damage. I thank you for reading my ramblings and wish you well on your Paleo journey!