So far my wife and I love the Paleo lifestyle. We are only about two months in and not totally strict with it (yet) but it's really made a difference to our lives in so many ways.
Amongst others, the positive effects so far:
Despite this though old habits are starting to creep back in. I guess it's human nature to think "I'm doing ok, one oat biscuit won't hurt". But I'm finding that one occasional biscuit is turning into one a day.
We also know that it's OK to occasionally have high cocoa content chocolate and the occasional glass of wine. Again that 'treat' has turned into a regular occurance.
I know reading back my list of positives is a great incentive but I still find old habits creeping in, especially when our whole society is so 'processed' foods driven.
Any hints tips, previous stories and best practice ideas.
I feel like we're on the verge of really cracking the re-learning of 'bad education' from the past 34 yerars, but would love any ideas on how we can flush out the last remaining addictions to the processed food lifestyle.
This can be a tough one because its nice to 'treat' yourself once in a while, but if you aren't able to spread those treats out or find an alternate replacement, it will once again become a part of your diet and old habits take over.
My suggestion is to get rid of the temptations completely from the house while you aren't tempted, sounds like at this moment you realize that these things are creeping back into your diet and you know they aren't the best things for you.
Find a replacement foods for these treats so you don't go down that exact path again. Be strict with yourself for a period of 5-6 days and then allow yourself one treat....but make it a coconut flour/almond flour biscuit instead. Find an alternative way to reinvent your old vices, convince yourself that you can have the alternative version instead and be happy with that! Find what works for you!
Its not exactly paleo but I find if I make an alternate I don't feel like I'm missing out on something I'm craving. AND after several months you will probably loose the desire for that biscuit and even the alternative option. Then you'll also see you can be stricter and have more control.
These things take time, the toxins and by products stay in your body for a while and take time to detox completely. Until then you'll be both mentally and physically craving things. Remember, glutens take a good 15 days to get out of your system completely. So until you get a little stricter with your diet you will not be off the effects of them, hence the cravings or desire for them.
If you don't have the will power to go cold turkey, take some time and remove one thing at a time, every 2 wks. It will take time but eventually you'll feel better!!
I just viewed this as a complete lifestyle change. There are now foods that are considered poison (e.g., your biscuits). I don't consider it food, and don't ever think about putting it in my mouth. I know it sounds harsh and like I'm a grumpy spoil sport, but if you buy into the paleo way of life, you understand that things like grains are just terrible for you and there's no good reason to eat them. Now things like wine that are in the grey area, I don't know. Maybe just make some rules, like "I can only drink n glasses of wine a week", and keep track. Then you can party if friends come over and use up all of your glasses in one night, or you can spread it out.
I wrote this in the "cheat meal" article last week: Don't think of this as cheating or "not being paleo", you have to decide for yourself every time you put something in your mouth is it going to do more good for you than bad. Allowing yourself to "cheat" is just a bad idea. Would you "cheat" with arsenic?
The best thing is really to just throw all of the bad stuff out. Don't have anything in the house that's bad for you. Then when you're out, make conscious decisions to only eat good stuff. Pretty soon anything that's not food will actually disgust you and you won't even want to eat it. At least that's how it worked for me.
I've learned that for me, there's no such thing as "just one" and that "moderation" is a meaningless word. So-called diet experts say to allow yourself treats, because if you restrict too much, you'll end up binging. I don't find this to be the case, because allowing myself treats leads to binging on them almost every time.
What I love about Paleo is that it's a lifestyle and a mindset change that has given me a lot of freedom. I simply don't eat the things that are on the list of things I don't eat. I love the things that I do eat.
Practicing intermittent fasting is helpful for me. If I'm in a situation where there's nothing available that I want to eat, my body can handle going a little longer without eating, whereas before, the impending blood sugar crash would've led me to load up on crap.
This is a learning process that I haven't completely mastered, but I feel much better with the progress I've made so far. Stick with it and good luck! You are both lucky to have each other for support!
It might be useful to remember that many of our prime "cheat" candidates (grain, sugar) have highly addictive properties and that once reintroduced to one's system start a whole ugly process of fighting urges again. For example, I had a little taste of some chocolate goat's milk ice cream I made for my husband this afternoon, and all night I've been fantasizing about cereal, cookies, more sugar!! When I can remember the after effects it's easier for me to resist temptation. I also rely on a sort of mental process of knowing that, if I indulge in something bad, within about 10 minutes it will just be a memory - so if I can drum up the memory of, say, a jelly donut, I figure that's as good as having eaten one ten minutes ago (but without the sugar rush/crash, tummy ache, and subsequent carb addict battle).
Also, when I'm eating real clean, those little "legal" treats (raspberries, roasted almonds, coconut) taste sooooooo much better.
For me, six weeks today, I find the same as Mindi. I had one glass of wine at a wedding 2 weeks ago and within 1/2 hour I had a throbbing in my left knee, something I had not had in a month. On the weekend, it was hot and I was really thirsty for a really cold drink so had a beer. Two things happened, the first that I needed a snooze shortly after and the second, that during the night I developed a bad headache. Coincidences? Perhaps...but not to me. These things don't mean enough to me to repeat, to test them.
I have had no cravings in these 6 weeks, even when my non-paleo husband wants creamy ice-cream and pines for it.
This is all new to me, of course, but I feel as if I finally am where I should be, away from all grains, sugar, legumes, starchy foods, and dairy. I spent 5 weeks without added salt and for a few days have used a tiny sprinkle and found it helps, especially in the heat. I tried greek yogurt last week and got such abdominal discomfort, I do not want to do that again. So it is strict Loren Cordain paleo for me, and happily so.
I wish I had the husband on paleo with me...