Well, I read a post by a fellow Paleo person, Jared, and realized he's right... its hard to post when you've been Paleo over a year and aren't seeing the results as quickly or having as much fun experimenting with foods. Its not that I don't still experiment with food, but its become a daily habit.
They say to make a habit, one must do something for over 20 days. Well, I celebrate my Paleo-versary in August and it's my 2nd year. So, I BETTER have the lifestyle as a habit by now!!
What types of things do I do now that are habit? Glad you asked!!
1. Coconut oil in my morning cup of coffee. Yes. I drink coffee!! Even when I had West Nile Virus years ago, I told the neurologist that I couldn't go without it. That stands true today. What I don't put in the coffee is sugar. I use heavy whipping cream and coconut oil. It's SO creamy and delicious that some days I forget to eat breakfast it can be so filling!! Is it "Bulletproof"? Not yet, but some day I'll get that far...
2. Sleep. I religiously get 8 or more hours of sleep a night. Period. If I have to be up early the next day, I count back 9 hours and get my bum to bed then and the light is out no later than the 8 1/2 hours mark. This I truly learned from my hubby as he's been doing it for years. However, as a dutiful wife (lol) I had to read it on multiple Paleo blogs before believing it and doing it myself. Silly girl!
3. ALWAYS (did I emphasize that enough??) carry snacks with you when travelling. Yes, it is heavy at first, but if you're a water bottle carrier, you are used to lugging something extra around. Living in Japan makes it very difficult to eat gluten-free, much less grain-free. However, I've learned that even cheating with rice causes undesirable side-effects for my body. So, I make my own trail mix using nuts of every kind (well, no peanuts, but those are legumes, so they don't count), mix in a few different varieties of dried fruits that I cut into bite-sized pieces, a little dark chocolate nibs and put all in a ziplock baggie!! No recipe needed, but lots of folk as me for a handful... I'm share-y, so I make a LOT before a trip! I've also been known to travel with beef jerky (natural kind) or a Lara bar (not on my favorite list anymore, but they'll do in a pinch).
4. MOVE everyday. Do something! I'm 2 1/2 months out from my next PT test, so I'm beginning to do the specific components required for that. However, typically, I walk a LOT. I purposefully "forget" things upstairs to walk the stairs many times during the days. Take the escalator and climb it, or just take the stairs! Park far away from the building to walk (unless I'm in a hurry... I get that!). Take the dogs for a walk, they need exercise too!
5. Figure out what foods work for YOUR body and which ones do not. My first "does not work" food was beans. Yep, beans (legumes). When I was sick from the gallbladder stuff, the beans were THE food that would push the pain to a 10 out of 10 and me in the Emergency Room. I got a LOT of advice from the gal over at Gallbladderattack.com and that helped start me on my path to better health. However, once I started "going Paleo" I suspected I was gluten sensitive, then I read Wheat Belly and figured out that I truly AM wheat/gluten sensitive. THAT helped the most. If I'd listened to my physicians at that time... I shudder to think of how I'd be today!! NONE of them thought wheat was an issue. Partly since I was "fat", I didn't "fit" the profile for a celiac. Now, I know that many celiacs look like I did: 39% of celiacs are overweight or obese! (that number could be more as this study was done in 2006 and we know so much more about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity since that time)
6. NEVER trust a food prep person, possibly even the manager, of a restaurant as to if something is truly gluten-free. I cannot tell you how many times I have and still have a reaction to what I've eaten. Look at labels yourself, and if in a restaurant, demand NO spices on your food. Many restaurants use "natural flavorings" as a spice and think it's harmless... its not. If you DO go out to eat, and have food intolerances... clear your schedule for the next day "just in case"!
7. MAKE YOUR OWN MEALS from products that do not come in a bag or jar! I have discovered a whole entire new way to prepare meals that doesn't rely on Hamburger Helper or frozen meals. GUESS WHAT? It takes me about the same amount of time to cook my meals both ways!! Therefore, I wasn't truly saving time (as I thought I was buying foods that way). I enjoy farmer's markets and keep my "dirty dozen" app/list handy for buying produce. Basically, if you can peel it, it doesn't have to be organic. However, I also make sure I know what the GMO foods are and buying organic helps me to avoid those! USA top 10 GMO crops: sugar beets (if the ingredient list says "sugar" its from a sugar beet), potatoes, tomatoes, squash, oils - cottonseed, canola and rapeseed, salmon (yes, salmon... don't buy "farmed"), soy, corn, and rice.
8. EDUCATE yourself! I never stop reading research and the blogs that read it for me and give an unbiased summary. Too often we hear the news anchor tell us something like "Eggs are worse than smoking cigarettes " AND WE BELIEVE THEM! WHY?????!!!! Just because they are on air? Most, if not all, 'research' reported by the media are actually touting causation of one food on an entire part of human behavior/health. Always remember CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION!! (meaning just because a researcher saw a higher number of something within an unhealthy group does not mean that one 'something' was the absolute root cause of the disease.)
I know that in a few days or even hours from now, I will want to add to this list. These are the main things that fit into my daily lifestyle. Even if we eat a non-prepared meal, it tends to be meat and veggies... typically left-overs.
Be healthy... get healthy. Stop expecting your government to tell you what to eat because the root of all their suggestions is someone (or a company) making money to support their politician. Think for yourself. READ labels, books, blogs, etc. Figure out your body and do what it needs you to do.