I will be the first to admit that a couple of years ago I was eating a bagel running out the door in the morning, bringing frozen meals to work for lunch and eating bread with dinner every night, and enjoying things like pasta regularly. I worked out, yet my body didn’t change. I really didn’t get it. I would try and cut out tons of calories and feel hungry all of the time and still not lose weight. What in the world was the problem? I mean, occasionally I would have some sweets from the office kitchen stash but not enough in my mind to make it so I couldn’t lose weight or tone my body. Maybe it was just that I wasn’t 16 anymore and my body just wasn’t going to get as fit as it could when I was younger? Every thought would run through my mind.
When I met my husband he introduced me to his way of eating, he was closer to primal than anything. So I started to research this whole paleo/primal concept and began to ask tons of questions. My biggest question was “How is that healthy for you?” mainly because I had been trained to eat the way most Americans do……BUT lets face it, that isn’t working for the majority of people! So I started to gradually follow this way of life. The first thing I noticed was that after eating clean for a few days and then going out to lunch or dinner and ordering my usual I would feel awful. The food that I was so accustomed to eating was now making me feel like garbage. So, I started to follow a modified primal lifestyle and I felt so much better. My body even changed. It was mind boggling that with eating MORE fats (healthy fats) I would lose inches around my waste and legs. CRAZY!
Eventually, because I like challenges and was curious I did a strict 30 day Paleo challenge. So instead of allowing myself a little high fat dairy and such I cut it out and went strict Paleo. I was scared at first, but honestly it really wasn’t that hard AND I felt amazing. My goal was to see how it would change my body. I ended up super busy at work that 30 days and only ended up working out a handful of times, and crazy enough my body changed. I built muscle and shed fat. What in the world!!! This was the point in my journey that I realized how important your dietary intake is to your health above and beyond your physical activity. Don’t get me wrong being active is SO important, but health starts in the kitchen.
I put together this food pyramid. I kept rearranging it because I wasn’t sure how to put it into a traditional food pyramid. But I am happy with this layout. In my mind there are basically four categories that should be the staples to your dietary life: vegetables, fruits, lean meats/fish/eggs, and healthy fats. The rest is just added variation for you to spice up your life. If you can imagine your dinner plate I want you to try next time to fill up at least half of it with your vegetables, about a third of it with your meat and the remaining sixth of it with a fruit or even a starch like sweet potatoes. Try and make the main point of attraction in your day your veggies. I will give you a sample day:
3 eggs with Avocado and tomato slices
Side of berries
Snack: either in morning or afternoon
Cottage Cheese with handful of Nuts & Seeds
Drizzle with a small amount of honey
Grilled Chicken over Spinach or Kale with Lemon Juice drizzled over it
Cooked or Raw Veggies – carrots/turnips/cabbage/bell peppers
Grass-fed Beef or Fish
Cooked Veggies – brussel sprouts/asparagus/mushrooms/broccoli/zucchini
**cook veggies in either bacon fat, olive oil or coconut oil
The reason I say snack either in morning or afternoon is because we often eat too much out of boredom when we really do not need the food energy. I encourage you to try and think of food as fuel for your body. We eat to fuel our bodies to get through our days, period. We have made food/eating too much of a social setting and often forget that the purpose of our intake is to simply fuel our bodies to operate through the day. Also remember to drink enough water. It is so important to stay adequately hydrated.
Lets touch on Herbs & Spices – we use tons of these in our household. We season everything we eat. We add turmeric and pepper to our eggs in the morning, we put paprika, garlic, pepper, chili powder, cayenne, etc on our veggies and meats. We make sauces out of healthy fats, spices and herbs, and acidic lemon/lime juice. It becomes fun to put together recipes and see what is yummy and what needs a little work. 🙂
I leave you with this…..try to eat this breakdown of food for 10 days and see how you feel. I promise you that you will feel amazing!
20% Lean Meats/Fish/Eggs
10% Healthy Fats
5% Herbs and Spices
5% High Fat Dairy/Nuts/Seeds
Enjoy your food but do not live to eat, try and live by the mentality that we EAT TO LIVE!
Hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!
#myfoodpyramid #ourprimallife #healthyliving #eatinghealthy