The last two years have had some significant changes to my diet and lifestyle. I quit smoking in August of 2010, and started eating meat for first time in twenty years in December of that year. For the first time in over a decade, I could actually smell and taste my food without the cigarette veil, and added a huge new world to my diet. I had never cared much about food before, and had also never paid attention to how food made me feel.
Needless to say, my entire body chemistry was altered. Obviously, quitting smoking impacted my metabolism, and the first few months definitely heightened my sweet tooth. I’d find myself stopping off to buy Butterfingers bars, going through gallons of Ben & Jerry’s, and gorging like a happy little diabetic-to-be.
I felt like the garbage I was eating, and I was gaining weight pretty quickly. And, for some reason, I kept on going with it almost all year.
At this point, I feel like I should add a disclaimer. I am in no way fishing for compliments on how thin I am, that I look great, or any of the other things a lot of girls expect to hear when they start in on the “OMG, I need to lose so much weight!”. I know that I’m not over weight. I know that I was pretty underweight for a very long time, and that wasn’t healthy, either. I do know that I don’t feel great about myself right now, and that I shouldn’t feel like hell after I eat. And that’s why I’m doing something about it.
Just about a year ago, I was waiting in line at a bookstore, and there was a display next to me for Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body book. I bought it, read it cover to cover, and it made sense to me. Some of it, at least. There was so way I was going to start taking ice cold showers, and I’m not all that interested in tripling my testosterone or gaining huge amounts of muscle mass. It’s worth understanding the symptoms of low testosterone and finding the ways to prevent it. That aside, The Slow Carb Diet plan was smart. It excludes sugars, fruits, and grains, and encourages meals consisting solely of proteins, greens, and legumes. It also has included in it one Cheat Day a week, where you should binge on whatever you want. It claims that not only will this one day a week prevent you from cheating the rest of the week, but by spiking your caloric intake, your metabolic rate won’t slow to the reduced diet, thus always burning more fat.
I ate myself so stupid on Cheat Days that I threw up more than once, and had massive food hangovers the following day. It was a double edged sword. On one side, it really showed me how what I ingest really, truly affects my well-being in every sense. I’d be groggy, bloated, and have a headache. On the flip side, it gave me a terrible mentality of “well, I could just have a little mini-cheat right now”.
We all do things that are bad for us. All of us do it, and we do it all the time.
I fell right back into pizza and sandwiches, fries and ice cream, and wound up right back where I started. I felt gross and way too full all of the time.
Late summer of last year, I started doing some more research about Slow Carb and No Carb diets, and found out about The Paleo Diet. It follows the basic rules of our roots as hunters and gatherers – if it’s real food, eat it. Eat what our bodies are designed to ingest and turn into fuel, without all the added crap. We weren’t built to handle refined sugars or grains, preservatives, neon colored additives, or whatever those multisyllabic science experiment sounding ingredients are.
So, I gave that a go, and I felt AWESOME. I had tons of energy, every meal was multi-colored and delicious, and I never felt like I was going to burst after I ate. Somewhere along the path between then and now, I fell off the wagon. I gained back all the weight I had dropped while Paleo-ing it up, and I am now recognizing the err of my ways.
As of yesterday, I’m back in the game. I’m totally sick and tired of feeling sick because of something I’m consciously doing to myself. I’ve past the 24 hour mark with no sugar and no grains. I drank my coffee black with no sugar, skipped the Po-Boys and King Cakes I’ve been indulging in since moving, and bought some fresh produce and chicken breast at the grocery store.
For lunch yesterday, I hit the salad bar at Whole Foods, which might be my new home away from home. I forget exactly what was in it, but I remember finding some chicken breast, baby spinach leaves, strawberries, and pecans.
Dinner was a chicken and peppers sautee that is so easy to make, and totally delicious.
You’ll need :
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced or cubed – I always get the hormone free, vegetarian diet happy meat. Read your labels!
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Sautee the onions in the coconut oil until they’re golden. This will smell amazing. I stood over the pan the entire time taking breaths so deep I got a little lightheaded. Throw in your peppers, and when they start to brown, add your chicken. I stir it around from time to time, just to make sure everything is cooking evenly. Cover it up and let everything marinate in each other for about ten minutes, and then serve!
We added a scoop of Whole Foods Spicy Guacamole to each serving, and it gave it a really nice little kick!
Today for lunch, we had the leftovers, which are even better the second day. For a snack, I had about 2 oz. of raw almonds with strawberries. I could eat every almond in the world if put in front of me, so I’m now conditioning myself to measure them out. I only had coffee for breakfast, and was ready to eat by noon. I’m going to be creating a breakfast menu for myself soon, even though I’ve never been a big morning eater.
Since I’ve now went on at great length about all of this, I’ll let you to it. Here are a few links that I’ve found informative, should you find yourself interested in reading up a bit more about the Paleo diet & its many health benefits.
Expect more updates on my adventures in food!
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