Paleo Diet

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My husband and I started following the Paleo Diet a couple of months ago. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Paleo Diet encourages eating as paleolithic man would have eaten — meat, veggies, nuts and seeds. No dairy, no wheat or corn, no sugar, minimal starches. We haven’t been fanatical about it — who can resist stuffing at Christmas?! — but we’ve been pretty good about it. I thought I’d share a few things I’ve noticed.

I no longer like cheese. This is HUGE for me! I was a cheese nut, a major fan! I loved cheese and it loved me! All cheese! Swiss, cottage, Monterey Jack, mozza, ricotta! The only ones I wouldn’t eat are the truly stinky cheeses! Cheese was me and I was cheese! You know what I’m talking about! I was a cheese lover and I quit cold-turkey. Actually, I still eat cold turkey. What I’m saying is, I stopped eating, buying or cooking with cheese. Almost completely, except perhaps in an omelet at a restaurant or a tiny skiff of Parmesan on roasted cauliflower.

The other day, I had some cheese and I didn’t like it. It was like orange plastic. It wasn’t the best, fanciest brand, but I don’t think it would matter. It was not enjoyable, and that was a big surprise to me!

Then the other day, I let myself have a few crackers, something I haven’t done in several weeks. And I didn’t like them either. They were like cardboard. Crunchy at first, then gummy. Flour gummy… a bit like glue. Not enjoyable! Another huge surprise! I used to love crackers! Of all kinds! Wow. I had to gradually ween myself off carbs, because I would go into withdrawal and crave them really bad. I ate carrots when I craved carbs. I don’t know why… but it seemed to work and my eyes are sure healthy!

So, I can’t help but conclude that we are pretty much conditioned to like what we’re eating, but those likes and dislikes can change. We like how this-or-that food makes us feel. Carbs are comfort food. Chocolate gives us a high. Caffeine makes us feel invincible! :) But if you change what you eat, it only takes a short time before your taste buds adjust to whatever new food you are feeding them. And you can start to feel a “high” off other foods instead of those you used to get a rush from.

You might have a food you’d like to give up. Well, let me tell you — it’s not actually that hard! Many people (and I was one of them) are addicted to carbs. But, it’s not as hard as you think to leave them behind. Just take it one mouthful-at-a-time — let yourself cheat a little once a week or so — and in a month or so, your cravings will be gone. I’ve read that it only takes 21 days to make a new habit. That’s not very long at all (the days go by so fast)! And then, maybe you’ll find that the foods you used to love don’t make you feel good anymore and don’t taste good anymore! Once they don’t make you feel good, then you won’t want to eat them anymore, and it will be super-easy not to.

By the way, we have both lost some weight, and except for occasional withdrawal from wheat products, we feel great. Oh ya — we haven’t quite given up chocolate yet. It was on sale, what can I say?!? So, uh, that might bring a little withdrawal too. Not ready for that yet! :) So if you’re thinking of eliminating a food from your life, for whatever reason, let me be your encourager — you can do it! Leave a comment and then we can all encourage each other!

Lemonade Time!

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So I have a cold, again. I used to be so healthy, but the other day I caught another nasty cold. I’ve had 3 in 3 months! I got one while in Beijing (with a fever and everything) and then another one just before New Years. I spent New Year’s Eve at a friend’s cabin, had a great time, but could barely talk. When I felt like saying something, which was approximately every 20 seconds, I had to think really hard to decide if I really needed to say it. It’s a good exercise… most of the time I had to conclude that my clever quip could go un-said. I have less timeless wisdom than I thought! Anyways, it was fun, and in about 6 days I had pretty much kicked that cold to the curb. So, a few weeks ago, we went to Las Vegas, and California, and except for an occasional cough, I felt great. We got back to Alberta, and Darren and I took my niece and nephew to the waterpark at West Edmonton Mall, which was a hoot! We rode the waves in the pool and did some slides, too. I forgot how much fun those slides could be!  :) I swallowed a little water — got hit by a wave I wasn’t ready for. Afterwards, we got drawn in to the candy store (if you know West Ed, you know the one) and bought some Jelly Belly jelly beans. They are my favourite! We started munching them immediately — we were so hungry from all the swimming! — and I kept munching them on and off until bed time. I know, not good for me, but they are so flavourful! Fake, artificial flavours, I know, but anyways…

The next day, I woke up with a nasty head-stuffing cold! Man! Initially, I blamed the swimming, and germs from snotty-nosed kids in the pool. Well, I’m the snotty-nosed one now, and I actually want to blame the jelly beans! But, if they are to blame, then I must have been pretty low-immune system/toxic already. Isn’t it amazing how “toxic” we feel when we’re sick?

Darren and I stopped at an organic grocery store and while there, he found a booklet on “The Master Cleanser” by Stanley Burroughs. Besides describing how the combination of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne makes a good cleanse, Burroughs talks about germs and viruses in a completely different way. He says that they are always present in our bodies and we should be grateful for them because they help us clear toxins from our bodies (he talks  a lot about toxins), such as when we get a cold and our body produces a great deal of mucous to get rid of toxins. Interesting idea… I don’t know if it’s entirely true, but it’s something to think about! This line of thinking helped me be less resentful of the cold, seeing it more as my friend, and made me think about the timing of my last 3 colds — after being in Beijing, eating all sots of strange food (not always fresh, food with lots of sauces), after Christmas (which involved a few sweets and goodies, and although I didn’t majorly pig out, it’s more food colouring and sugar than I’m used to), and after Las Vegas. What do you think? Any chance it’s related to toxins… and more than a co-incidence?

And then there’s a whole other idea: that disease is caused by disharmony in our spirits. Now, I’ve meditated and thought about this, and I’m afraid to say that my colds might be related to unkind words. I admit that around those times I may have said some unkind words to Darren — not in arguments exactly, just bits of sarcasm or, well, unkindness. So, while I am doing this cleanse to help my body clean out toxins, I am also going to clean out the last bits of sarcasm, sharpness, or even wittiness that isn’t completely innocent and building others up. I think this will have a wonderful, positive effect on my spirit, much moreso than any dietary change! Think about it — beautiful, uplifting words to make a perfect, healthy throat and lungs. Makes sense to me!

For now, I’m finishing day 2 of the master cleanse, and day 1 of my kind-words-only policy. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m feeling!

In other news, progress continues of my book. The artist, Biliana Savova is working hard on the illustrations, which should be complete next week! This is all so exciting! I am going to be approaching a few people to read it and provide an endorsement for the back cover — a nice little quote on the back to say how great my book is! I need to work on the website… I’ll let you know when it’s ready so you can all go run and check it out! Take care everybody!