Me Eat Like Caveman
I’m sure by now you’ve all heard of the Paleo diet, right? Its another one of those fad diets that being praised as the next best thing. Or is it? Is the Paleo diet really a fad? I actually don’t think so. I think eating Paleo might just be the key to a healthy life that many of us are looking for and that it isn’t a “diet” but it’s a complete lifystyle. Now before you get all skeptical on me, let me just say this — I’m not pushing Paleo on you. I’m not saying its going to cure you. I’m just saying that its a great option for a healthy lifestyle that might have some added perks in terms of living with MS.
The principles of Paleo are easy—you eat like the cavemen did. So what exactly does that mean? Paleo has been coined the “caveman diet” because what you eat goes back to basics. We’re talking meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts and that’s about it. We’re also talking clean eating and what that means is that your goal is to eat as many organic fruits and veggies and grass-fed meats as possible. So this means cutting out all processed food…all of it. All sugar except those that are found in natural foods, in addition to all wheat products and most dairy. It means baking with almond or coconut flour and using coconut oil or olive oil to cook with.
The beauty of paleo is that you can go as deep into as you like. It’s sort of a “choose your own adventure” lifestyle. Some people go all in and never have “cheat days”, never eat any dairy and only eat organic. Other people see no problem in having a beer and eating a pizza every once in a while. In my experience, the great thing about Paleo is that you still see the benefits even if you’re not 100% all in. I mean, it’s hard to give up ice cream amiright?!
So with all this organic produce and grass-fed meat, its expensive right? I won’t lie, living a Paleo lifestyle can be a bit spendy but again this is a choice. The reality is introducing more protein via chicken or turkey into your diet will be good for you no matter what. Ideally, you’d pick grass-fed meats but if you can’t afford that, don’t worry. Just do as best as you can.
I have to admit, I have fallen off the Paleo bandwagon. I think I got sick or something, and for me with all of my IBD issues, when I get sick the first thing that goes out the window is healthy foods because they are hard on my stomach. But I can speak to my experience and say that I know I felt better, healthier and had more energy. I have recently started training for roller derby (cool, right!) and immediately I noticed that my energy levels were really low. I’m talking needing a 5 hour nap after practice, low. So I’ve been toying around with the idea of going back to paleo for overall general health but also to help get me through training. It’s a hard lifestyle to switch to, but its really not that hard to keep up once you’re doing it. It means a lot of trips to the health food store, a fair amount of money, and a whole lot of will power, but for me the benefits were very strong.
The final kicker for me to start eating Paleo originally was watching this Ted Talk from Dr. Terry Wahls.
The video is about 17 minutes but I assure you, you won’t be upset if you can take the time to watch it. It might change your eating habits and frankly it might even change your life. I really respect this doctor for her scientific reasoning and also her compassion for patients as she is a patient herself. Dr. Wahls doesn’t give her “diet” a name. She hasn’t marketed it. Its not a get rich scheme for her. The foods that she eats and that she talks about in this video literally changed her whole life. While I personally don’t believe that food is the cure to all that ails us, I do believe that eating healthier in general and cutting all the crap foods out of our diets will have a huge change in all of our lives.
So watch the video and let me know what you think. Is a Paleo lifestyle something you’d be interested in? Do you eat any particular way and does it help with your MS?