Several months ago I made the decision to completely change my diet. The goal wasn’t to lose weight in a hurry or get my body bikini ready for summer; I simply wanted to embark on a new and healthier way of eating which would feed me with excellent nutrition and make me feel healthy and strong. I already knew which route I was going to take for this new healthy eating action plan; I’d been researching it for weeks.
I had decided to become Paleo.
Paleo isn’t a diet you follow or simply a change to your daily meals. It really is a change in lifestyle and is meant to be undertaken long term, if not for the rest of your life. So, what is the Paleo lifestyle?
Those who live Paleo believe that our bodies aren’t equipped to eat foods which were born out of the agricultural revolution. This specifically means grains, dairy and refined sugar. The reason for this way of thinking is that our bodies have evolved over millions of years – the first humans are thought to have lived in Africa around 7 million years ago – however, the agricultural revolution only occurred around 10,000 years ago. It is thought by Paleo followers that humans have not yet evolved to be able to handle processed foods that came from moving from hunting and gathering to farming, and modern diets are therefore responsible for much of the disease we see today.
Changing to a paleo diet certainly isn’t easy. I had to say goodbye to cheesy pasta for a start, and the preparation it takes for each and every meal can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, it is one of the best choices I have ever made. There are aesthetic differences in me since going Paleo; my eyes are brighter, my skin is clearer and my body is leaner. However, it’s the changes inside which have had the greatest impact on me. From my mood to my energy levels; the feeling of being fit, strong and healthy is wonderful. The paleo diet has even gone as far as to improve my working day, in a number of ways.
Having struggled with insomnia since I was a teenager, I now sleep through the night without any trouble. Not only do I fall asleep quickly but I wake up feeling alert and ready for the day. This has changed my productivity levels for the better as I can hit the ground running when it’s time to start work, whereas I previously needed time to be able to get my groove.
The feeling of alertness doesn’t just hit me when I wake up every morning. It’s level and balanced throughout the day. The healthy fats which I consume at each meal attribute to this energy boost, however it is the fact that my blood sugar is constantly balanced which makes the biggest difference. I don’t succumb to an afternoon hit of sugar, so I don’t have an energy crash either.
Have you ever heard of brain food? Foods which are termed in this way are said to heighten levels of concentration and also improve memory. Brain foods include oily fish, nuts, seeds, broccoli and anti-oxidant rich fruits such as blueberries and tomatoes. Of course, these are all in hefty supply on the paleo diet! I find that I am much more efficient with my work, can withhold more information and find on the job problem solving less of a challenge now that I am Paleo.
Since going Paleo I rarely get ill, and if I do then I recover faster than in my non-Paleo days. This is due to a strengthened immune system through a diet which is loaded in nutrients, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. The result is I don’t need to take time off work when I’m ill, which puts less stress on me as I don’t have to face the fear of catching up after a day off with the flu.
Are you tempted to embark on a Paleo lifestyle? You can expect to be eating lean meat, fish, healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil, as well as heaps of fruit and vegetables. You will have to say goodbye to buttery toast, cheese boards and pasta but it may well just be worth it. You could even improve your career progression being the new, improve you!