I know that eating paleo was hard at first for me but after a couple of months I know it is the right thing to do for my health.
So what happens when I am confronted by my old favorite unhealthy foods like pizza, donuts, kolaches, M&M with peanuts, etc. I am tempted to eat this stuff??? No, not really, because of one driving force, FEAR. Yes, fear. Fear of age related diseases.
If you want some motivation to eat a better diet, just spend 1 or 2 hours sitting in the pharmacy dept at your local drug/grocery store on a weekday morning.
When I see retirees one by one picking up their prescriptions, and many look sickly, so watching all of them pick up their meds puts some major fear into me. Especially the ones pulling an oxygen tank behind them. Many of them are picking up several bottles of pills. I don't want to be like them because that is not what I call living.
"Fear" makes it easy to say "NO" to candy, ice cream, and pizza. But "motivation" for better health is the real reason I eat a paleo diet.
After a year and a half it gets easier to say no to junk food, at least for me.
I just wanted to share that with you all in case you needed some motivation to eat better.
I think the more meat you eat, the less difficult it all becomes. The butcher's counter has become my candy shop window.
Living your life in perpetual FEAR of anything is likely to SHORTEN your lifespan.
Kind of defeats the purpose of being on Paleo, doesn't it?
I have to admit I'm a little jealous of Paleos who only have imagined future consequences for falling off the wagon. My RA makes pain my motivator. I know that if I have even a crumb of that Chocolate Chip Cookie, my feet and wrists will heat and swell painfully, and I might have to spend a day in bed with crushing fatigue. I never want to go back to that again, so even though it has only been a few weeks, I can look my old favorites in the eye and say definitively,"That shit hurts me." and walk past.
Also, a spoonful of butter with coconut on top kills the cravings a little.
I went to Dr. Lustig's talk yesterday at Harvard and he said that dopamine receptors with drug addicts take 3 weeks to normalize but that cravings can last up to 5 years. Since grains, especially gluten can target opiate receptors like drugs, I'm not surprised!
The hubby and I have been Paleo exactly a year now, and I had my first Gluten nightmare/craving. I dreamt I was at this buffet eating fruit tarts, blueberry cobbler, jalepeno cheese bread - all wheat gluten etc. and enjoying it! There weren't any non-gluten grains like rice, corn, quinoa in the dream. I was mortified afterwards. But I didn't act on it. :)
My hubby who has celiac like gluten sensitivity during the 30 day elimination last October had dreams about pretzels, pizza, and cookies - specifically wheat! No corn or rice dream! Hahah - gluten you are so sneaky.
The media and culture bombard us with memories of love and reward gluten and sugar - birthday/wedding cakes, apple pie - etc. it takes time for our brains to rewire (even on Paleo)!
I was partly relieved that cravings are normal even on Paleo but I know we both can control them because it's NOT in the house and we barely eat out. We also know how sick we both can get on it so the temptation lasts a brief millisecond. Working in an optometry office, I see so many people on meds, sick, and overweight/obese that I know we are blessed with Paleo.
I think if you need to be afraid as a means to stay on Paleo, you're doing something really wrong... on Paleo, you should enjoy what you're eating day in and day out. And Paleo makes it easy cause it's also tasty!
I do not need motivation or willpower to stay 'paleo' - it is now my lifestyle, it is just the way I live now, its as natural now as breathing is. I have absolutely zero interest in SAD foods, nothing is tempting anymore. I feel great in every conceivable way and I am going to be shot by a jealous husband when I am 93 years old ;)
I think how difficult it is for an individual to stay on a paleo diet has a lot to do with what their diet looked like before paleo. If you are coming to paleo from a totally SAD diet I think it would be much more difficult because it is such an abrupt change and there are so many aspects of your diet that have to change. It's a completely different approach to buying and cooking food. I think it is much less difficult if you are coming from a whole foods or WAPF style diet because the changes are much more moderate.
I used to need to stay motivated...
Before I realized that I when I stay strict paleo I don't have gas, bloating, achey joints, headaches, fatigue, constipation, trouble falling and staying asleep, need for naps after lunch, depression, weight gain, diarrhea, heartburn, congestion, acne, dehydration and no energy whatsoever.
Now that I'm feeling better than I have in my entire life thanks to eating real food, I guess you can say I "fear" feeling as shitty as I used to.
Theres a certain level of discipline required for success in any area of life so it doesn't really bother me when I have to consciously decide not to eat something that I know is bad for me. Sometimes I give in, but for the most part I just think about how good Im going to feel in an hour if I don't eat that food. I think that most people are driven by reward in the present versus the distant future so the fear of being very sick(as scary as it may be) may not be enough for them to avoid the junk thats in front of them now.
Sometimes I have a hard time staying away from paleo "treats"--which I do indulge in every so often--but having come from a whole foods/gluten-free diet I know how terrible it is for me if I "cheat" by eating anything with gluten. If I eat something that's not paleo (minus a bit of hummus or something), I am in pain for days. It's just not worth it to me. I sometimes read about people who enjoy the occasional slice of bread, but that stuff just looks like poison to me now, because I know what it does to me.