Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paleo: 6 Months Update

We're six months into our Paleo lifestyle. You can read about what the Paleo lifestyle is and why we chose to try it here. It's hard to even describe all the changes that have taken place in the last six months, but I'll give it a shot.

We have completely changed the way we think about food. We eat lots of food that’s good for us. We try not to eat foods that can hurt our bodies because we truly believe the right kind of foods can be healing.

We've lost a lot of weight. Bryan and I have lost about 30 pounds each without even trying. I have gone from a size 12 to a size 2. I've never been this small in my entire adult life.

Buying clothes has continually been a challenge. Just when I buy something that I think looks cute and fits, it becomes too big. I have spent a lot of time in consignment clothing stores. Bryan had to buy all new work pants early on and is needing smaller pants again, too.

Figuring out what we could eat was hard at first. I felt like I was constantly trying to find recipes that could provide a little normalcy to our lives. Once I found a grain-free waffle recipe, a few sweet treats, and mastered some staple dinners, I felt a little better. I still think about food a lot and try lots of new Paleo recipes, but things are starting to feel a bit more normal.

We moved into the local food scene more than we ever had. We buy more locally produced food than food from the grocery store now. This seems to be the most mind boggling thing for people. I am constantly asked "how do you find out about all the local food you eat?" It was really very simple. We went to the Farmers' Market and we talked to the farmers. We found out what they provide and if they don't have something, they are more than willing to point you in the direction of someone that does.

We buy organic products now. I rarely bought organic foods/items before going Paleo.

We do eat raw dairy (although it’s not really Paleo, it’s called Primal if you want to get technical). The boys eat/drink way more than me. We made the switch to raw milk back in May and since that time, we have bought another share from River Cottage Farm. So we get two gallons of raw milk a week. We have made our own ice cream sweetened with maple syrup several times. We also try to buy raw milk cheeses.

Eating out has probably been the most challenging. I get asked all the time where we can eat out. Our choices, although still not the greatest, are Buckhead (burgers without the bun, salad, fruit), Home Cafe (burger night), Mariah's (grilled chicken/pork chops, baked sweet potatoes, and salad), Logan's (grilled chicken, baked sweet potato, and vegetable/salad), Chick-fil-a (grilled nuggets and fruit cup), Griff’s (chicken baked potato) and sometimes we pick up meat from The Smokey Pig. We usually leave a big pile of bread on our plates if we order burgers, but at least we can eat out occasionally. I’m sure there are other options especially the nicer steakhouses, but these are the ones we’ve tried and managed to eat at successfully. When we venture down to Nashville we have found Gabby's and Calypso. Nashville has a lot more Paleo friendly options. Here's a list of other restaurants we would like to try on our occasional visits there.

We started raising chickens because we use a lot of eggs around here. Our chickens are still too young to lay eggs, but we are getting closer to the point of productivity.

We started growing more food. We more than tripled the size of our garden and we are going to try growing foods pretty much year round. We have kale, swiss chard, and spinach that we have already harvested and more ready to be picked.
Because we feel great, we exercise more. We have energy to get out and move. Bryan and I are both running. Bryan ran 8 miles on Sunday!

I am conscious about getting enough Vitamin D each day. We make sure to try to spend at least 30 minutes (most days it's way more) outside every day.

I felt some tingling in my feet when we started Paleo, but after just a few short weeks it went away.  I also had some balance issues when I would squat down. I would squat down to pick up something that fell on the floor or help the boys with something and would fall backwards all the time. It was really embarrassing. I got to the point where I would just get down on my knees and avoid squatting all together. But the balance problems have now stopped. I also rarely need to take a nap anymore. All of my MS symptoms are gone.

Switching to a Paleo lifestyle seeps into the other areas of your life. Once we learned more about how food is processed and produced, we began to dig deeper into the make-up of other things. Eventually, we started to question the impact (on us and the world) of most of the things that enter our home. I'm constantly on the lookout for potential toxins. I don't want to live in fear, but I do want to be conscious of the things I can do to provide a healthier lifestyle for me and my family. So...

We no longer cook with non-stick cookware. We use cast iron, enamel coated pots, or stainless steel pots and pans. I also use wooden spoons more and would like to replace my plastic spatulas and soup spoon with metal ones.

We switched to glass food storage containers or mason jars for storing foods.

All of our hair care products are now from Aveda.

I’ve quit putting nail polish on my toenails.

Speaking of nails, our nails seem to grow really fast, as well as our hair.

We use Tom's deodorant.

We make our own hand soap. It's just half Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap and half water. I kind of miss the nice smelling stuff from Bath and Body Works, but I don't miss all the potential toxins.

We've also switched cleaning products. We primarily use vinegar and baking soda, and we just recently started using some of the Norwex cleaning cloths.

I'm really cautious about candles. I haven't tried them yet, but would really like to switch to beeswax candles in the future.

When I really want to chew gum, I make sure it's aspartame free and gluten free. I now buy my gum at Whole Foods.

I talk to people all the time that think this is just a diet. This isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle for us. It’s not some fad that we are going through. We made a conscious decision to literally change just about everything about the way we eat and do many other things. I’m sure things will change over time, but we know we definitely aren’t going back to our old food lifestyle. We are in this for the long haul.


  1. This was such good information! I wonder if you could share a few of your favorite dinner recipes with me. (If they are on Pinterest, just let me know the names of them so I can make sure I try them.) Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge !

    1. Shaundra, a lot of the recipes are on Pinterest. I will send you an email with more of the details.