A Letter to a Friend

I have been ueber busy as of late and feel really badly that I haven’t had a chance to write on the blog.  That guilt turns in to being overwhelmed which keeps me from writing even if I have time.  Ugh.  Anyway, my sister in law wrote the following to a friend of hers.  She sent it to me to have a looksy before she sent it and I was overtaken by how good it was.  I got her permission to share it with you and begged her to come here and write from time to time.  Her name is Jennifer Chase.  She has a wonderful knack for writing in such a way that you actually want to read it (unlike me).  I hope you enjoy!

Before you begin.

Be honest with yourself about your shortcomings, understand when you are making an excuse versus having reached a genuine hurdle, and know that this isn’t going to be easy, but it is going to be worth it.  Just like your Christian faith, there will be trials, especially just when you think you have it all figured out.

Paleo is not a verb type diet (eating and drinking sparingly to loose weight), it is a noun (habitual nourishment).  Food is not good or bad.  Food is not a reward.  Food is not comfort.  Food will not overcome boredom.  FOOD IS ONLY NOURISHMENT FOR THE BODY.

What does sustainable modern Paleo look like for me?

The basics are simple.  Eat meat, veggies, fruit, and healthy fats.  Avoid pretty much everything else.  There are gray areas.  Some people have issues with food from the nightshade family; others eat white potatoes and cheese and are fine… The best approach is get to a point when you can go 30 days strict then add foods back in gradually.  If it gives you an issue, then you know it doesn’t promote good health in your body and you should exclude it.

I love eating this way because for the first time, I have found something that does not couple math with biology.  We are God made, not man made – human, not machine, therefore the whole calorie input output diet is not contusive of good health.  You will eat whole natural God-made foods and move the way God made your body to move.  No calorie counting.  No weighing and measuring.  Eat when you are hungry and eat to satisfaction.

Put yourself in Eve’s shoes.  You’ve just been kicked out of the garden, now what?  This rational is applicable to most scenarios.  For example, nuts… how many nuts are acceptable to eat?  Well if you came across the nuts in the wild, how many would you consume if you were the one cracking them open?  A handful, maybe?  Definitely not a Costco size portion.

Take your time getting to the exercise part.  But, when you do begin to regularly incorporate it, how should you move?  Eve certainly never thought, ‘I haven’t had enough cardio today’.  She would have walked A LOT with the occasionally sprint (to chase food or run from it), she would squat and bend and stretch while foraging, and she would occasionally lift heavy things.  To sum it up, walk every chance you can and 2-3 days a week, do these exercises (http://www.benderfitness.com/2012/07/full-body-workout-for-beginners.html).

Special Note about kids and exercises.  First, kids need to move.  Second, kids already know how to move appropriately.  Third, learn from the way kids move, mimic if possible.  Kids play until they are tired, they rest, and then they play again.  You typically will not see a kid with adrenal fatigue because they put out too much effort in the gym.  When kids play, they run, jump, and climb, they play tag, hide and seek, and wrestle around.  We as adults may feel silly playing with them in such fashions, but if we do, we will promote good health for them and gain good health for ourselves.

Podcasts:

Everyday Paleo – I cannot speak enough praise for this podcast.  Please please please listen to episode 18.  It will change your thinking.  Oh and episode 24 is all about thyroid health.  Then, listen to the rest because they are all amazing!

http://everydaypaleo.com/paleo-lifestyle-and-fitness-podcast-episode-18/

http://everydaypaleo.com/paleo-lifestyle-and-fitness-podcast-episode-24/

The Paleo View – these two moms are full of practical knowledge and transitioning tips for families.  I love listening to them because I learn something new every time.  Because both of them have autoimmune issues, their idea of Paleo is 130% compared to my 90% but I still listen.

http://paleoparents.com/the-paleo-view-podcast/

Tips for Success:

  • If you want fast and easy, things will seem hard, BUT not impossible if you put forth the effort when you can.
  • DO NOT be discouraged by the success or failure of anyone around you.  The only person you should compare yourself to is the person you were yesterday.
  • DO NOT take on 100% of the burden yourself.  Enlist the help of your other members of the family in the kitchen.  (This will save time and build your family unit.)
  • In your child’s transition, ask her to list her 10 favorite foods, and then (of the listed foods that are acceptable) try to always incorporate some of those in the menu each week.  We do this with carrots for our daughter.
  • Use fruit to kick your refined sugar habit.  Just know that in order to achieve weight loss you will need to cut them back.
  • Snacking can help with the transition also, but it is the same as fruit, will need to be cut back to achieve your weight loss goals.
  • Keep something healthy with you at all times (like some jerky, coconut, sweet potato chips, or even Larabars!)

The three things that save me:

  1. Paleo Pancakes!  I have already sent you the recipe for these.  They may be just what you need to get that ‘bread’ fix as they do test just like banana bread to me.  When I cook them, I make them about 3 inches in diameter.  I eat just a couple (even though you could eat a whole batch, they are acceptable for good health), and save the rest for fast reheating the next few days.
  2. Coconut chips!  I buy my coconut through Tropical Traditions (http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/organic_dried_coconut.htm).  I end up eating about a bowlful throughout the day.  They are full of fiber and protein.  The more you kick you sweet tooth, the sweeter these will taste.  I love them!
  3. Chocolate Pudding!  This recipe may sound yucky but as you kick your sweet tooth, yuck will turn into OMGosh good!  Once again, you can eat it as one portion, but it is the equivalent of two pudding cups.  Recipe, 1 square unsweetened Bakers chocolate (I buy the box that comes with six squares, I have not tried this with unsweetened cocoa powder, if you do, tell me how it goes), 1 banana, 1-tablespoon nut butter (whatever I have in the house at the time, typically sun nut butter).  Instructions, using a microwaveable bowl, melt the square, add the nut butter and banana, and mix thoroughly!  That easy!

Speedy Tips:

  • Make double for leftovers or a different night when you have less time to cook.  (Example, it takes 45-60 minutes to cook squash, so don’t make just enough for that meal.)
  • If you cook meat in advance for the purpose of reheating later, cook it just shy of being done so when you reheat, it will not be dry and rubbery.
  • Prep ahead when food is bought.  (Example, if you want sweet potato hash in the mornings with eggs, grate them when you buy them and store it in a Tupperware container.)
  • Canned!  Just because fresh is ideal and all that blah blah blah, doesn’t mean canned is forbidden.  We do about half and half canned/fresh veggies throughout the week.  Also, canned meat.  Salmon patties are pretty fast, easy, and Paleo.

Fast recipes we love:

  • Broccoli!  My daughter even eats this one.  In a saucepan (skillet) I fill the bottom with chicken stock, set it to med-high heat.  Add 1 head of broccoli (cut to bite size).  Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until done, stirring occasionally.  This works with cauliflower too!
  • Burgers!  We buy the patties already made and frozen.  Grill until done (or pan fry if y’all do that) serve it wrapped in lettuce.  This is a great way to get lots of veggies in, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and/or avocado.
  • Sweet Potatoes!  No doubt that oven baked is the best, but who has time for that?  We wrap them in plastic wrap and microwave them until done.  (About 5 minutes ish.)