Monday, October 11, 2010

A vegetarian's path to Paleo

Where to begin... I have wanted to sit down for quite some time to just scribble down my thoughts on this stuff... but what would I focus on, what I am doing, how I am doing it, why I am doing it ? did I need to address all of those things before just blabbing on about how I feel... well maybe so here goes...

4 years ago I became a vegetarian, this was brought on by becoming conscious of the way I ate as I was starting to become very passionate about the importance of physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle. within those 4 years I read a lot of books, did a lot of research, watched a lot of video's... after a while, the physical fitness part of my interest began to die off, I noticed that I was able to maintain my figure pretty well with just my way of eating and began to slack off on the working out part.. you know the whole 70/30 notion... that whole 30 part took a back seat for a while... 

fast forward to now, my interest in living healthy has only advanced as now I am not only taking care of myself but my family. I have continued reading and learning and i must admit my views have changed. after having J I really wanted to get back into shape, get into shape. I was ready I wanted to get serious. I was going to give Crossfit a try. most of my close friends and family who know me well ,know that I am a very driven person when I have a strong interest in something, and the all around health for my family and myself is very high on that list of importance to me, which is why I have continued to read, and research. 

fast forward to now Now... I have been a member at a local crossfit gym for a few month and have seen amazing results, however the results are not the only thing driving me, it has been the most fun I have ever had while working out, never did I ever think I would be front squatting, back squatting, overhead squatting, I mean who the heck knew what a clean an jerk was or a sumo dead-lift high-pull... not this chick. and here I am drenched in sweat, collapsing at the end of a work out and continuing to go back each day. it's an addiction, but a good one.  it is here that my views on nutrition changed. 

with my enthusiasm for crossfit I started looking into the way these athletes ate, this is where I was introduced to the Paleolithic way of eating. not long after I joined the gym the owner had put together a 60 day challenge which I blogged about before, it has been 41 days and we have 2 weeks and 5 days left. the challenge has been going great, however It was ridiculously hard for me to get adequate amounts of protein at each meal with out eating meat  with the added limitation of beans... and what I had always looked at as sources of protein like almonds and nuts... those were now considered the health "fats" I was screwed... and wanted so badly for this to work because the amount of research I had done all supported it. Dr. Loren Cordain, Ph.D and Robb Wolf became my go  to peeps for nutrition.  I picked up a copy of The Paleo Solution, the original human diet and was sold. 

It seems as though this way of eating has been getting a lot of attention lately which is great, I realize I have yet  to really describe what the paleo way of eating is so in a nut shell its meat,fish, nuts, seeds, fruit and veggies. no dairy, no grains ( gluten) no sugar. Although I considered my vegetarian way of eating very healthy,  I soon realized how much I had become depended on things like pastas, breads, and cheeses , and thus added some bulge around the mid section and brought out a very big sweet tooth.

with the change in diet, I truly believe in the results I have seen, not only physical, I went and had my blood work taken. glucose : 82,triglycerides 52, LDL cholesterol 62, HDL cholesterol 52 with a total cholesterol of 124.  as I mentioned we have 2 weeks and 5 days left in the challenge and the winner of the $350 is announced but for me this has become a lifestyle, it would just be super duper awesome to walk away with the $350 bucks in my back pocket. ( and if I win, I may just post my before and after pics... ) 

I have listed some  bitts of info for some who may wonder what you eat if you arent eating dairy and grains, and just a few of my favorite things:

I have been getting our meat from a Local Butcher shop DC Meats ,  as they have antibiotic free, hormone free, and grass fed meats. 

non dairy milks : almond milk, coconut milk and when I want something sweet  DARK CHOCOLATE almond milk... it is heaven.

fats: olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, and avocados

there are tons of gluten free options at your local groery, but I try to keep a limit on the amt of foods I buy that come with a list of ingrediants, but each week I come home with a bunch of Larabars they are great.

almond or coconut flour instead of traditional flour or whole wheat flour. 

locally there are two great resturants that allow us to stick to this way of eating while enjoying a night out.

and if your a researcher like me I would highly recommend the paleo solution book already referenced in this blog as well as the primal blueprint and the cook book.

a few good web sites

now you know my deepest darkest secret, I am a nerd for nutrition. and Robb wolf has become my new Dave Ramsey.