I’ve been overweight most of my life. I became a chubby kid because I was given desserts as an expression of love. (Every time I visited my grandma, she gave me a Little Debbie Swiss Cake Roll. Even though she’s been gone 10 years now, I still think of her when I see those in the store.) Then, as a college student, I ate my stress away. After my first child, well, I thought I would never be less than 200 pounds again.
But then I started having digestive problems, and after a few years of suffering, I discovered that I had a leaky gut that had caused multiple food intolerances including dairy, legumes, gluten, eggs, and most grains. By default, I found myself on a Paleo diet.
How My Health Improved on the Paleo Diet
I’ve been on a Paleo diet for almost three years, and I’ve been astounded at how much my health improved.
When I was just 34, I went to the doctor for a physical and discovered that my cholesterol was 240. My triglycerides were also way too high. I was about 100 pounds overweight, my BMI was 41, and I was miserable.
Now, at 43, after almost 3 years on the Paleo diet, I just came back from a physical and was shocked by my results. My cholesterol was 152, and my triglycerides were 56. Now I’m only about 20 pounds overweight, my BMI is 27, and I’m feeling much better. (I lost almost 80 pounds the first 8 months on the Paleo diet.)
I’m still healing my leaky gut, but I know I’m on the right path. I’m sure the Paleo diet helped me turn my life around physically. I had tried to lose weight many times before, but when I started following the Paleo diet, the weight just fell off.
When I started the Paleo diet, I gave up eating supermarket meat. Instead, I started eating grass fed and pastured meat that I bought direct from the farmer.
As I learned more about where our food comes from, I was appalled by the way animals that are raised and killed for conventional meat sources are treated. I have a bit of a guilty conscious about eating meat, but seeing how I’m intolerant to most other non-meat protein sources, I don’t have much choice.
However, I do have a choice to spend more money to eat meat from animals that are free to roam and that are eating their natural diet. Healthy meat also makes my body healthier.
It’s Not All About the Meat
Contrary to popular belief, the Paleo diet is not all about the meat. While I eat about 1/2 pound of meat and fish a day, I also easily eat 10 or more servings of organic fruits and vegetables a day. At any given meal, three-quarters of my plate is filled with vegetables, and 1/4 is meat or fish. I eat fruit once or twice a day.
Unlike three years ago, I never eat grains or sugary foods.
You Have to Spend More to Eat Better
Since changing my diet and, by default, my family’s, our grocery bill has more than doubled. Before I went Paleo, I was fond of couponing. And what couponing netted me was a lot of processed foods that did nothing for my health except contribute to my high cholesterol and triglycerides.
If you want to eat better, you have to spend more money, period. I’m thankful that my family is able to financially afford a better diet, but it doesn’t come without sacrifice. We drive a 10 year old car, we buy our clothes used, we never have date night or go out to eat, we don’t pay for entertainment outside the home. In short, we sacrifice a lot to eat this way (groceries are our highest monthly expense behind rent), but we all find this lifestyle worthwhile.
You know the motto, pay now to eat healthy, or pay the doctor later. I’ve paid the doctor when I ate poorly; now I’d much rather pay for high quality groceries.
Have you ever tried the Paleo diet? Would you be willing to, or do you think it’s just a fad that will fade soon?