Yes! Let me explain.
To me Paleo/Primal/Wholefoods is freedom.
- Free from being trapped on the sugar/carb roller coaster of energy and mood slumps.
- Free from not planning things on weekends until I know how i'm going to be feeling.
- Free from saying no to things because I have a cold or headache.
- Free to be more active without my back pain.
- Free from isolating myself because I'm in a low mood
- Free from always thinking about when the next meal would be because if I didn't eat regularly I used to start feeling sick and get really cranky.
- Free from just plodding through life.
- Free to be a happier and calmer mother and wife.
- Free to lift my head to the world. When you are struggling it takes all your energy to just put one foot in front of the other and focus on your immediate needs. Now I feel I have the energy and head space to look up and out; to build new connections, learn new things, follow my dreams and help others.
“Through discipline comes freedom.”
I don’t feel deprived or constantly hungry. I get to eat FAT!!! Everything tastes so good with fat! I now get to eat the crackling on the pork, the skin on the chicken and cook in lard - no restrictions.
The variety of foods I have started eating has increased so much. The variety of vegetables, cuts of meats, the inclusion of fermented foods has increased. I've gained the confidence to buy an unfamiliar vegetable or taste something new. When your taste buds awaken to the real taste of fresh clean food, it taste amazing. Variety is the spice of life, and I'm loving all the foods I'm eating. My mother has commented in a amazement a number of times on the variety of foods both my husband and I now both eat.
I don't count calories, I don't count carbs. I eat whatever I want and need from my own personal template of Paleo that works for me. I CHOOSE to eat this way, because I really like feeling healthy and the food is delicious. Simple.
Paleo guidelines are just that...guidelines. Everyone is different and reacts to food differently. I'm not strict 'Paleo' as I do have some full fat dairy. I do this because it seems to work for me. I enjoy a glass of wine. I still love my coffee. I will have a rice cracker if i want a crunch. I am 100% gluten free though. (Strict Paleo guidelines help with the initial healing process, depending on your state of health some additional food can be added back into diet over time.)
I still go out, I still socialise, I still get invited out with friends.
Being proactive and suggesting the restaurants, bringing a dish to share, packing my own food really helps with this. When it’s someone’s birthday at work i join in with a cuppa and just say no to the cake. Yes it's OK to say no. With time comes the self confidence to own your decisions with minimal fuss.
Chocolate is still allowed. Enough said.
While I do say 'I'm in this for life', I also aim to be open to continuous learning. If my current personal template appears to not be working for my body at different stages of my life and activity level, I will modify. What I will be in 'for life' is clean, whole foods.
Restrictive? Sure you can focus on all the old meals and foods you don't eat any more, or you can choose to look at all the foods you can eat and what you have gained. Do i think Paleo is restrictive? No way...for me it's FREEDOM!