Hi! I’m Carrie. I am a food dork. I am also fascinated with all things health and fitness related. I have been this way since I began eating and living cleaner and working out regularly a few years ago and downright obsessed since I recently went all out paleo, which for me means the elimination of all grains, legumes, processed foods, and dairy and the consumption of pastured, grass fed meats and eggs, wild caught fish, organic veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds.
The first thing I noticed, was that the food was freakin awesome!
I feel like Buddy the Elf, “I’m in love! I’m in love and I don’t care who knows it!” I had not expected that. I had no idea if I would even complete my first week, much less the first 30 days. I thought I would be forever craving carbs and sugar all day and don’t get me wrong, I did, at first, but after a couple of weeks or less that subsided. I do not feel deprived and I do not miss bread or legumes or dairy although I’d be a big fat liar if I said I didn’t miss pizza. But there is a paleo pizza and I am totally going to make that shit. I think the elimination of excess sugars, carbs and processed foods in my diet has awakened my taste buds and I can taste the amazing sweetness in things like carrots, sweet potatoes and fruit. Maybe my taste buds were in a carb coma and now they are awake and loving life! Think Kristen Wiig from Bridesmaids. My taste buds are “Ready to Parrrrrrrtyyyy!”
The second thing was that I felt satisfied longer. I was no longer eating empty calories, getting really bloated, crashing, carbing, crashing and drinking lots of coffee every afternoon. I felt much more even and not so up and down.
My workouts include a variety of strength and cardio. I do boot camp classes, spin, yoga, and Body Pump. I also work at a desk job and so I make sure to get up and go for a walk on my lunch break. Even if I work out regularly at the gym, walking as much as possible is so important, especially for those of us that sit for our jobs.
Beginning this I knew that I wanted to reduce inflammation, be stronger, more muscular and have more energy. I am not all about weight loss, although a paleo lifestyle can certainly do that for you because if you do paleo with a very low carb approach, it makes you burn fat and not sugar while supplying your body with what it really needs and wants: nutrient dense and satisfying food! It makes total sense for someone who is looking to lose weight in a safe and healthy way that they can maintain for life. I continue to eat lots of carbs in the form of vegetables and some fruit because my goals are to build muscle, strength and endurance and since I work out often, I need healthy calories to do that. Although calories count, they are not all created equal, and simply counting them in and out will not work in the long run. Those types of deprivation or yo-yo diets with shakes or a bowl of cereal always fail. I see people do this all the time and they always gain the weight back. You can’t drink shakes for the rest of your life and when you stop you just go back to eating processed and unhealthy food. Even if those shakes contain a long list of reconsitituted vitamins, they are not fresh or absorbed by your body as they are from fresh vegetables, fruits, meats and fish. I suppose you could lose weight by doing a low carb diet, fall off the wagon and start eating bread, sugar and junk food again, but it’s not as likely to happen if you can get through the first week or so. Once you get through the initial withdrawl of carbs, chemicals and sugars and start fueling your body properly, you are going to feel so much better and the food is really going to start to taste amazing too. Another and easier way to approach paleo is to do it like I did, in stages. First I eliminated processed food and focused on only eating real food. Then I stopped eating gluten. After I realized that was no biggie, I just eliminated the grains, legumes and then the very last thing to go was dairy. Throughout all of this elimination, I was focusing on replacing these inflammatory foods with nutrient dense and cleaner foods. You are more likely to over-eat nutrient deficient food because even if you get “full” from it, your body is still starving for nutrition and you end up over eating empty calories and gaining weight. It is possible to over eat nutritious food too and depending on your activity level, you still need to keep an eye on portions, but your body will be more satisfied. There is a difference between addictions (sugar, msgs, etc.) and the body’s cravings for vitamins, nutrients, proteins and healthy fats.
I am not an expert, nutritionist, trainer or even in the health care field. I am just a person who loves health and fitness and loves to learn, practice and write about it. This blog is about my experience and what I am learning along the way. At this point in time, I am seeing the benefits of a paleo lifestyle.
My philosophy is that we do better when we feel better. When we shift our focus away from what we can’t have to getting in all that our bodies need, we will do much better and be much more likely to sustain it.
My goals were to bring my fitness and overall health up to the next level and at 44 I am actually in the best shape of my life. I only wish I had learned about this sooner, but that is okay because 40 is the new 20 or something, right?
I have 2 super terrific fantastic teenage daughters and a very supportive and wonderful husband who are all along for the ride with me and don’t seem to mind it too much. They actually love all this crazy food I make: hamburgers wrapped in lettuce instead of buns, chocolate pudding made out of avocados – what!? and they use the homemade deodorant and toothpaste I make for them. They appreciate me for the weirdo I am today and the weirder weirdo that I will be tomorrow.
So join me on my journey as I share my love of paleo food, health, fitness and family life.