Why we love our Butcher

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Rob and I are both big fans of our local butcher shop Hörrmann Meats Farmers Market. We buy almost all our meat there. As well as other goodies like roll butter, seasonings, and locally grown produce. Here are some of the reasons we love to shop there.

Staff:
We’ve shopped here at least once a week for the past 4 months and I’ve only ever worked with 3 employees. They know us, and we know them. They are always polite, knowledgeable and helpful.

Products:
They offer a wide variety of products. Including seafood, deli meats and cheeses, local wines, seasonings, omega 3 eggs, all kinds of beef cuts, and lots of different gourmet sausage products. They also sell some obscure meats like frog legs and duck and turtle meat, although I’m not that adventurous yet. I like that they offer such a wide variety.

In the cooler they also have freshly processed beef and chicken. This is where we buy our steaks, (pro-tip, the “stew meat” we buy there is usually sirloin, that’s what we use for steak soup, usually around $4 a pound)

The freezer section is organized by different types of meats and each section is labeled with signs like these.
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So you can buy your meat after educating yourself on where the animals lived, what they were fed and how they were cared for. The beef we buy us 100% grass fed, not grain finished. It’s lean and full of flavor that’s different then grain fed cattle.

Prices:
Very reasonable. Veg comparable to the prices at Hyvee, and locally grown. Grass fed beef, and locally made sausage runs about $1 a pound higher then grocery store prices. We’re happy to spend a few dollars more to support local farmers and business’s.

They also offer the “Carnivore Club,” for every $125 you spend you get $10 free. It sounds like more them you’ll spend on meat in a year but we’ve actually received a lot of free product from them.

Location:
Directly across the street from our grocery store. Close to our house, always available parking.

I post this to encourage you even if you don’t live here in Springfield, there is an excellent chance there is a good butcher selling quality products near you. Start asking around, do a web search. Ask you grocery store butcher about grass fed beef. It’s great to know where your food comes from. I don’t live in a major metropolitan area. But there are a lot of quality grocers around. If you do live in the Springfield area stop by Hörrmann’s or check them out here:

http://www.horrmannmeat.com/index.html

Before and during.

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These pictures were taken about two and half months apart. The first one in May about two weeks before I started eating a Paleo diet. The second just Friday (August 23)

I don’t post this as a before and after, because I’m not at the end of my weight loss adventure.

I don’t post this because I want the world see. -No one likes seeing bad pictures of themselves, let alone publishing them.

I post this because it’s attainable. The girl pictured on the left, did not think change was attainable. She was wrong.

Two and half months.
Be intentional.

The Moral Issues Related to Meat Eating

In speaking with others about Paleo I sometimes encounter people who have philosophical or moral concerns with killing animals, or eating meat, or the meat industry. I’ve heard more than one person say that regardless of the health issues involved, the moral issues related to eating the flesh of (formerly) living creatures is a more pressing concern for them.

And I think that’s ok. It’s ok to have those concerns. There are a lot of issues with the meat industry that I think people have legitimate reasons to be concerned about. Product safety, genetic modification, labeling, farming practices, feeding practices, government protectionism, price fixing, environmental impact, and many, many other issues are all perfectly good reasons to have questions and concerns about including meat in your diet. It’s ok to be concerned. It’s ok to have questions. It’s ok to have beliefs in what is right and wrong that you aren’t willing to compromise on easily or at all.

Sometimes people feel like in order to eat healthy they have to surrender their core philosophies. They may feel like it’s wrong to kill animals, but they feel like they have to do it anyway to survive. Sometimes people make other people feel like wimps or weaklings or losers if they think it’s wrong to eat meat. Sometimes people feel like they have to reject the way they felt or believed or lived before, which they thought was based on sound morals, in order to follow a new path that runs contrary to all their previous behaviors.

You don’t have to get caught up in all of that emotional flagellation. It seems to me like eating an appropriate amount of meat is an important part of being healthy. But if you have strong feelings that eating meat is a moral wrong, then don’t eat meat. It’s your life. I’m not going to tell you how to live. I’m just telling you how I live, and that you can do it to. You’re an adult. No positive obligations. Do what you think is right.

If you think that the political, or environmental, or economic aspects of the meat industry are a problem, then you can take steps in your own life to mitigate those issues. Avoid doing business with the companies you object to and support the producers whose practices you agree with. This can be challenging, and certainly you won’t be putting any major farming concerns out of business on your own. But if you can find a local butcher, and learn a little about who he does business with, you can go a long way towards buying meat that is at least “less” morally reprehensible. I actually feel pretty good about the people we buy meat from. They know me, I know them, they are very open about which farms they do business with and how those farms operate. There’s an open chain of communication and information all the way up and down. They’re still selling me slabs of animal flesh, I’m not deluded. But I feel fairly comfortable about the processes that led to that animal flesh coming to my table.

You have a right to your feelings. You have a right to your concerns. Many of them are fully legitimate. Some of them can be mitigated. Deciding to eat meat doesn’t make you a hypocrite or a villain or a fool. It’s just a decision. Some people are comfortable eating poultry or fish but not red meat. Fine. Some people still think vegetarianism is the proper path. Ok. Do your own research. Learn about nutrition. Decide what’s best for you.

But understand, it’s ok if you aren’t sold. It’s ok if you disagree with the way corporate farms operate, or you think farm subsidies are coercive, or you question whether major corporate entities should also be heavily involved in writing industry regulations, or you have concerns about sodium nitrite or the effects of hormone treatments or genetic manipulation of the food you eat. You can choose not to eat meat, or you can choose to be careful about the meat you do purchase and eat, or you can just keep on eating whatever gets passed to you in a bag through a window. That’s your choice as a free person.

For a lot of people, making these kinds of changes involves a process that brings a lot of really powerful emotions to the surface, and can often bring up painful family histories, or challenge long held relationships or beliefs. Giving up donuts is hard. Changing your morals, or the people you hang out with, or the things that you believe in, can all be infinitely harder. Try not to let that be the reason you don’t make healthy decisions. It’s ok to take your time, and get educated, and carefully consider each of these issues. It’s ok to only move forward when you’re ready, and only in a way that you’re comfortable with.

For me, Paleo is easy. I’ve always eaten meat. All I had to do was stop eating it between slices of bread. For some other people I’ve known, it brings very different challenges to the front. Each of us is on their own journey. You can’t compare your results to anyone else’s. It’s not about doing what I do or what worked for Robb Wolf. It’s about making conscious, objective, educated decisions about your future and your health. It’s about taking control of your own future. And if you have some questions you need answers for first, then by all means go get your answers.

It’s ok to think for yourself. It’s ok to be guided by your morals. It’s ok to do this the right way. In fact, I recommend it.

What I didn’t eat today…

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Sometimes eating paleo is more about what you don’t eat then what you eat. Where I work there is never a shortage of sugary goodness or reasons to celebrate. I’m a firm believer that you will never win the battle of will power. But so I try not to use the word “cheat” I’ve replaced it with “treat”. Where I have failed on diets in the past allowing “cheat days” with a paleo lifestyle I’m more likely to have an occasional “treat” fully enjoy it and stay on plan the rest of the day.

“Treats” are something I look forward too, eat sitting down, enjoy, savor, and they aren’t for every day.

When I walked into work this week and saw this most recent pile of chocolate and 5 lb bag of candy. My first thought was “yum!” But my second thought was “today is a little to busy for me to deal with a stomach ache I’ll have a treat another day”

The cravings that used to scream in my ears have grown silent. Because my body has adjusted to eating whole nutrient dense foods. I used to eat plate after plate of sugary goodness, but now I usually get a stomach ache. It’s harder in the beginning, but the more often it happens it gets easier to say no.

Most importantly, don’t think of yourself as a failure if you eat the cake. Focus on making the next choice a good one. If you are constantly making the next good choice, you’re going to become a healthy person, and that after all is the goal.

Fatty fatty fat fat.

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One of the great things about paleo is that fat is not the enemy! It took me a long time to accept that eating fat won’t make me fat.

Let there be praise.

On that note these are the fats we’ve deemed acceptable for daily use, and how we use them.

Coconut oil- Great because it has a high smoke point, and subtle flavor. It’s good for savory or sweet dishes, solid at room temperature tastes great in a cup of coffee, and all baked goods. Also has a ton of other non food uses.

Extra virgin olive oil- Packs lots of flavor, great in all things savory. Does have a low smoke point, but still great for foil packets on the grill, or as a salad topper, liquid at room temp.

Butter- Hard to beat the taste of butter and veg. It just tastes great. Good for baking can be in savory or sweet dishes also great in the crock. To be honest it’s not my favorite in the skillet because I tend to burn it. But it always gives that extra bit of “homemade” flavor to a dish.

I know lots of people are anti butter on a paleo diet. I buy roll butter, made from the non- whey cream. That’s the best option I’ve found from my grocer’s and we feel good about it.

If you’d like to do more research here is a great article about the benefits of butter on a paleo diet.

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/the-many-virtues-of-butter/

So eat up fatty. It’s for your health.

The Spiritual Benefits of Paleo

I used to waste a lot of time with negative self talk because of my diet. I knew it was killing me, that was obvious, but I also couldn’t stop. So I’d eat a whole bag of chips with cheese dip and then I’d spend the rest of the evening telling myself what a loser I was for giving in to temptation. Or I’d go to the sandwich place and order the extra large with everything and then feel awful about myself the whole time I choked it down, and the rest of the day I’d repeat to myself again and again that no one would ever love me because I was fat and weak.

There are a lot of misconceptions about fat people. And one is that they must want to be that way because otherwise they’d change. There is a certain truth to that. But most of them aren’t happy being fat. They might pretend to own it, and even tell themselves that they embrace it happily. But most of them don’t want to be unhealthy and unattractive. They want to be fit and strong and accepted and appreciated. But their addiction to food is stronger.

And so begins the cycle of self abuse. I’ve known a lot of overweight people who beat themselves up all the time for their food choices. It’s in the cultural subconscious. Remember the villain in the movie Dodgeball and his unhealthy relationship with food? Many overweight and unhealthy people spend a significant amount of their lives telling themselves they’re weak and they’re failures and they deserve to be alone because they had a piece of cheesecake with dinner.

That sucks. That makes you a sad, isolated person. And all your self hate becomes your destiny. And because you don’t understand why you keep eating the way you do, you keep falling deeper and deeper into despair.

And here’s one of the best side effects of living the Paleo lifestyle. One I never expected or could even imagine. One it took me a few weeks to fully realize.

All that negative self talk, disappeared. The tape loop of failure and degradation that used to play in my head twenty-four hours a day, for so many years I didn’t even hear it anymore, disappeared. The constant hum of “you’re weak you’re not good enough you don’t deserve to be loved you’re a failure you’ll never be healthy” that played forever and ever deep in the recesses of my mind, disappeared.

It took me a while to realize it was gone. And a little longer to realize why. Suddenly I had all this time and mental energy that I could put to more productive tasks. All the work I wasted punishing myself for my unhealthy lifestyle I could now put towards my karate training and my marriage and a new job and new projects. Like a blog! Instead of spending four or five hours a night slumped and defeated, I was positive and motivated and I felt great and I had all these freed up resources to devote to building myself up instead of tearing myself down.

I wasn’t alone in my old lifestyle, and I’m not alone in my new one. I’ve spoken to other Paleo friendly folk who’ve experienced the same change. It’s wonderful and empowering and just one of the small ways you will change your life. Eating healthy foods doesn’t just make you look sexy naked. It heals your body, but it heals your mind too. And it heals your soul.

Maybe this is meaningless to you. Not every reader will empathize with every part of my unique experience. But if you’re one of the people who knows exactly what I’m talking about, my message is this. You can be healed. You can be happy. Your relationship with food can be one that makes you strong and confident and optimistic. You don’t have to live in your prison of negativity. The key to the cell door is in your hands. And even if you think you aren’t someone who needs this change, you might be surprised by how you feel after even a few days of “guilt free” eating.

I can gorge myself on peppers and onions and chicken and steak and broccoli and mushrooms and never feel the guilt I felt from just one bottle of soda or piece of pie. I can eat more and better foods than I ever did and walk away feeling good! about my decisions.

If the way you’re living doesn’t make you feel good now, consider making a change. Consider what you could do with a positive tape player playing in your head and a lot more free time and energy. Consider what you could accomplish if you were working WITH your mind, body, and spirit, instead of against them.

Why you don’t have the will to win

I have a pretty high opinion of myself. I’m intelligent, charismatic, attractive. I’m a winner. People like me. And yet despite all my awesomeness, most of my life I was controlled by my desire for food. I knew I was fat. I was ridiculed and abused and bullied for it. I knew it was unhealthy. I knew it was holding me back. Socially, athletically, romantically. Being overweight was an unhealthy way to live. But seemingly no matter what I tried, I couldn’t fight it. I came to the conclusion that I must just be weak.

And that’s an unpleasant way to live. I tried and I tried, but I couldn’t get control of it. I would go out as a young person and try to work out. I lifted weights. I tried running. People kept telling me I just needed to eat less and be more active. Just eat less, and be more active. But I couldn’t seem to control my diet, and I wasn’t a very active kid. I felt really helpless, and was just sort of resigned to my fate.

As I got older, I would try to practice portion control, but it always seemed like torture. If I ordered a six inch sub I just desperately wanted the “other half” of the sandwich too, and regretted not getting it. I always wanted every dish on every menu. I actually got to a point where I asked my wife to point out to me when I was ordering two entrees in a restaurant. It didn’t seem like how much I ate, a large pizza, a super deluxe sandwich, two cheesesteaks, plate after plate at a buffet, it seemed like I was never full. I would stop eating when I was in pain, but I never felt a feeling of being full. If I wasn’t so fat, I might have thought I had a parasite. There were times I wished I had a parasite. I tried a lot of different approaches to this problem over the years, but without finding any solutions.

When we first started reading about how to get started on Paleo we saw several sources recommend that you just get all the bad stuff out of your pantry and throw it out. In Chapter 11 of The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf there is a section where he describes the powerful addictive qualities of grains and sugars, comparing the way the chemicals in them effect your brain to the effects of heroine, opium, and crack cocaine. The cards are stacked against you. You simply won’t be able to resist the junk food if it’s still in your pantry. His advice? “Clean Out Your House.”

So the first weekend that we started eating Paleo my wife went through all our cabinets. She took out the soda and the twizzlers and the ramen and the chicken and stars and the hamburger helper and the minute rice and the oatmeal and the flour and the granola bars and the cereal and the chips and the noodles and all the other stuff that we don’t eat anymore and we threw it all away. And then we didn’t have to worry about fighting the will power battle anymore, because the food simply wasn’t there anymore.

But that’s only the first part. The second is not replenishing your supplies. You can’t win the will power battle. If you have twizzlers in your pantry you WILL eat them. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually. The High Fructose Corn Syrup will win. It’s stronger than you are. It’s a drug, and you’re addicted. The time to exercise will power isn’t at dinner time when you’re standing in front of an open fridge trying to decide between carrots and chocolate cake. It’s when you’re at the grocery store.

You are an adult. Nobody’s putting a gun to your head and forcing you to buy or eat the foods that you KNOW are killing you. You decide what goes in your body. You decide what goes in your fridge. And you make that decision when YOU DECIDE what goes in your CART.

Don’t pick up the Captain Crunch. Don’t go down the chip aisle. Don’t grab the box of cookies. Don’t put that stuff in your cart. Walk around the outside store, buying fruit and vegetables and meat and eggs and then hit the registers and LEAVE. Don’t subject yourself to a battle you will lose. Don’t bring temptation into your home. Falling prey to your drug addiction, and that’s what it is, doesn’t mean your weak. IT MEANS YOU HAVE A DRUG ADDICTION. Alcoholics don’t belong in bars, meth heads shouldn’t hang out under bridges, and you aren’t gonna do yourself any good standing around in the ice cream section thinking about the good old days. Don’t buy drugs! Buy medicine instead.

Fresh vegetables, organic meats, brightly colored fruits, those are your medicine. They will break the cycle of addiction, heal your body, and make you healthy and strong. You make a decision about the food you’re going to put in your body every time you put food in your cart. Drugs or medicine. One will take your eyes and your legs and your heart and rot your flesh and you will die. The other will heal your skin and your joints and your spirit and you will thrive and you will still die. Nothing you can do about that. But you don’t have to die so soon, or so terribly.

You can’t win the battle against those foods. If they are in your diet, even a tiny little bit, the addiction will continue to grow until it crowds out all the good foods. But once you give them up entirely you break that cycle and in a very short period of time you don’t crave those foods anymore. You see them for what they are. And you see the healthy foods for what they are too. And then you’re making conscious rational decisions and not just succumbing to a chemical addiction.

You aren’t weak, or stupid, or lazy. You are fat because for most of your life you have been given false information about nutrition and have succumbed to powerful cultural programming that is increasingly destructive. You have been fed lies and corn and wheat for years and that’s what’s killing you. Start feeding yourself some information and everything else will follow naturally from there. You may not have the will power to resist eating those foods, but you can resist buying them and then you don’t have to worry about it. And the more you learn the easier that becomes. Fight the right battles and winning the war becomes a breeze.

You can do this. It’s not hard, it’s not expensive.  Just throw out the drugs, fill your fridge and your pantry with medicine, and start healing.

You can do this!

My Paleo Testimony

My wife wanted me to write something about what the Paleo lifestyle means to me. The simplest answer is that I’m trying to avoid the following foods, more or less in this order of importance. Grains, dairy, processed sugars, and beans. The more complex answer is, well, more complex.

I’ve been training in martial arts for most of my life. As such, I’ve been exposed to a lot of information about fitness, health, diet, and nutrition. And yet despite having that knowledge, I have been grossly obese most of my life. I could still train and teach, but I was a big fat guy. At one point I was training in karate and weighed 340 pounds! And it led to me eventually developing some serious health issues including a series of escalating joint and muscle injuries to both my legs.

In my youth I had actually lost all that weight once before. I did it by adhering to an extremely stringent and UNHEALTHY diet plan combined with near constant exercise. I would eat one pop tart or granola bar for breakfast, another for lunch, and a small dinner, like maybe just a single pack of ramen noodles. My diet was almost entirely grains and sugar, and I had reduced my caloric intake to around five or six hundred total a day. It worked, I lost 130 pounds and got thin, but I was never super healthy and a few years later when I went back to a “normal” diet I immediately gained back all the weight and more.

I had a lot of emotional baggage and stress tied up in my lifestyle. I’d eat a whole bag of chips and then excoriate myself for hours for being unhealthy and weak. I’d resist and resist and resist and then break down and eat a box of donuts and feel like a failure. Or I’d just give up and say “can’t win/don’t try” and just go along with the Standard American Diet, telling myself that the inevitable diabetes and rotting death I’d end up with was simply inevitable.

Before Paleo, a typical day of eating for me was a large supreme pizza for breakfast, two pounds of Chinese buffet for lunch, and a bag of tacos and burritos for dinner. Wash it all down with four liters of soda. And almost no water, ever. Like for weeks at a time. And that’s no exaggeration. I had back problems, knee problems, digestive problems, and lived in a state of more or less constant pain and discomfort. And I never really thought that was because of my diet. I just thought that was normal. After all, I was in my thirties now and they say it’s all downhill from there. Right?

During this time I was still training all the time. Maybe more than almost any time in my life. And a lot of the guys I was training with we’re getting into the Paleo lifestyle. I kept hearing about it, and I noticed that the guys doing it were the highest energy, most fit guys in the dojo. So I was intrigued, but I also thought there was just no way I could do it. No sandwiches? No dairy products? No beer? I could think of a million foods I couldn’t possibly live without. It seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Can’t win. Don’t try.

But I wanted to try. And then one night my wife came home and said, “Have you heard about Paleo? I think I might wanna try it.” And I said “Yes! Let’s do it!” And I started almost immediately.

The first few days were a little challenging. I still wanted to eat the same stuff I always did before. But pretty quickly those foods just didn’t appeal to me anymore. One of my challenges was that at the time I worked in two kitchens where I had pretty much unlimited access to foods that were killing me. And being poor, I felt like I had to eat the free food because I couldn’t divert the money away from my other responsibilities in order to eat healthier. One of the transformative moments for me was when my wife asked me, “If you worked in a rat poison factory, and they gave you unlimited free rat poison, would you eat rat poison for every meal just because you could?” And that changed everything for me. Once I really started to see things like pizza, and donuts, and ice cream, and cheeseburgers, and soda not as food, but as poison, I suddenly didn’t have any desire for any of it at all anymore. It became easy to say no to pastries and pasta and pop.

And once I started down that path, it became easier and easier and easier. At first I was still eating the same size portions of food. But I noticed pretty quickly that now that I was eating more nutrient dense foods I was getting full much quicker and leaving a lot of food on my plate. So I started eating smaller and smaller meals. And I was still full all the time. It used to be that I couldn’t get my meals below 12-15 hundred calories. Now my average meals are around 4-5 hundred. And where a lot of those calories used to come from foods that were difficult and even painful to digest, like bread or cheese, now I was eating foods that didn’t weigh me down or cause me discomfort.

And in addition to feeling comfortably full, I also noticed I had a TON more energy than I used to. I used to wake up a zombie and lurch through the first part of my day, until I could get some caffeine in me and then I’d get amped up for a while, and then I’d crash again and go back to dragging myself around. Before my day was filled with highs and lows, but since I started eating Paleo my energy levels evened out and elevated. I woke up alert and well rested, cruised through my day, and went to sleep easily and slept comfortably through the night. And in turn, I was becoming more active. I was working harder in the dojo, I started supplementing my karate with resistance training, and I even went running for the first time in years. My body started healing, even chronic pain from old injuries that had plagued me for months and years began to recede, and I was losing weight at an incredible pace.

I’m still new to this lifestyle. It wasn’t all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows everywhere. There was a transitional period in the beginning, for a few weeks, where I had occasional discomfort as my body detoxed from my previous lifestyle. I had to learn what restaurants I could eat at and what foods to order. From the outside it seems impossible. How could I ever eat Paleo when every food I was familiar with was “off plan?” But from the inside the answer is simple. Once you eliminate those old habits, you don’t have any choice but to find creative new options. Suddenly you’re eating at new restaurants and trying new foods. Trying things you’d never even considered before. I started ordering fish and salads and potato gnocchi. I started eating steamed vegetables instead of fries and ordering sandwiches without the bread. I started noticing Soup and Salad restaurants I’d never realized were there before and getting excited about the grilled chicken breast waiting for me in the fridge after work.

From the outside it seems impossible because everything’s so different from what you’re used to. But from the inside it seems easy because you’ve changed your whole perspective. You think “I could never live without mom’s lasagna!” And then you realize that you don’t have to, and that mom’s lasagna isn’t the issue, and that you were just using that as an excuse not to take responsibility for your actions and your decisions and the consequences thereof, and ultimately, that mom’s lasagna doesn’t have that much culinary appeal to you anymore anyway. So if you want to eat it, go ahead. But you can have a perfectly fine time with your mom eating salad instead, without it affecting your relationship or your fond memories of your childhood.

I’m really excited about all the changes I’m seeing in my life. Everything I’ve experienced and learned since starting this lifestyle has reaffirmed my decision to practice it. Every time I’ve gone back and eaten one of the foods from my old lifestyle, bread or cheese or sugar, I’ve experienced all the discomfort and negative side effects that were a part of my daily existence before, further reaffirming to me that I don’t want to put that stuff in my body anymore. I still have a long way to go on this journey. I still have weight to lose, I’m still healing. I’m still learning. But this has been a really positive experience for me. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds. Or to share it with you!

What is Paleo?

Sometimes it seems there are as many definitions of the “Paleo diet” as there are people on the Paleo diet. If you’re new to this site, or aren’t familiar with the idea, here is how Wikipedia describes it:

“The paleolithic diet (abbreviated paleo diet or paleodiet), also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed ancient diet of wild plants and animals that various hominid species habitually consumed during the Paleolithic era—a period of about 2.5 million years which ended around 10,000 years ago with the development of agriculture and grain-based diets. In common usage, the term “paleolithic diet” can also refer to actual ancestral human diets, insofar as these can be reconstructed.

Centered on commonly available modern foods, the contemporary “Paleolithic diet” consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, and dairy products potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.”

wiki link

That being said, here is what it means to us:

He said:
For me living the Paleo lifestyle means trying to avoid, more or less in this order, Grains, Dairy, Processed Sugars, and Beans. I try not to eat soy derivatives or vegetable oils and I try to keep nuts and nut products to a minimum. But I don’t get too wrapped up in reaching for perfection. To me, this isn’t about “being Paleo.” It’s about learning about food and nutrition and making healthier choices so I can live a longer more fulfilling life. If I want an ice cream, or a funnel cake, or there’s a sprinkle of cheese on my grilled chicken when the waiter brings it over that wasn’t mentioned on the menu, I don’t have a heart attack or throw a fit. I’m just trying to be conscious of when I need fuel and when I just want to eat poison, and making responsible decisions. It’s not a prison sentence, or a set of rules. It’s taking responsibility for the things I put in my body and being conscious of what effect those things will have on me.

She said:
I know that I feel the best when I eat vegetables and meat. I try to keep my focus on eating a wide variety of proteins, vegetables and fruits. I try to avoid grains, legumes, dairy, processed food, and processed sugar.

But I am human.

Sometimes I want ice cream.

…or melty cheese, french fries or sugar in my coffee and I eat it.

I don’t feel guilt about it.

I eat every bite. I even enjoy it.

Paleo is the plan I stick to 80% of the time, because I believe it is the path to my healthiest self. However sticking to a strict good food/bad food list for the rest of my life to me doesn’t sound like the path to my happiest self.

Eating isn’t a moral issue for me. I don’t experience any food allergies and rarely feel discomfort even after “bad foods” At the end of the day I want to have made more healthy choices then unhealthy choices. But I also want to live my life. So in summary;

-Food is fuel, cookies are delicious.