It seems to me I first heard the words gluten free and celiac disease on a daytime talk show a few years back. I honestly had no idea what the girl was talking about, carbs...really? Grains, surely she was mistaken. How could a staple of our diet cause the problems she was describing. It didn't really click with me that day.
Let me tell you about myself. I am a wife, a mother of two gorgeous active little girls, and I am one busy lady. Ever since my early twenties I have been on the go. A constant state of training for a marathon, a half marathon, off to yoga class or spin class. Throughout this time my hubby and I would joke, I was in good shape for a mom. But at the end of the day (or even mid day!) if I unbuttoned my jeans and stood sideways I looked like I was 6 months pregnant! The next morning I would have my normal figure back.
Fast Forward a few years, after running yet another marathon I was introduced to a fun new way of life. It is called CrossFit and it is quickly becoming a common word in our society. For good reason. For those that don't know what CrossFit is, it is essentially functional fitness. It is a bare bones gym. You won't spend hours on the elliptical, you won't stand in front of a mirror and watch yourself do endless low weight hi rep arm curls. You will pick up heavy weights, you will jump, you will perform gymnastics movements such as a handstand pushup, you will sweat, you will grunt, and believe me you will have fun. It was at the box, that is what us cross fitters call the gym, that I was first introduced to the Paleo diet.
You may have even heard it called the Caveman diet or the Hunter Gatherer diet. It is a very easy way to eat. Basically, if you could hunt it or grow it you can eat it. Meat, vegetables, fruits, seeds, eggs. No grains, no dairy, no legumes. At first you think what can I eat? Actually you can eat a lot. It was never really presented to be to specifically "gluten free", but when you break it down, it is. I have suggested this way of life..I refuse to call it a diet...to several friends with known celiac disease, as a way to get new recipe ideas.
The reason being our bodies produce an inflammatory reaction to all of these processed food, such as grains. I have noticed throughout my process of CrossFit and Paleo that I no longer look 6 months pregnant in the evening. If I do it is because I decided to cheat and order a large order of soft pretzels:) Lately my hubby has really gotten on board and so it is fair to say we have overhauled the way we eat in our house.
I no longer cook out of a box. I buy meat, I buy vegetables, we eat fat. Yes, fat. Fat is essential to your body. How many times have you had the conversation, you know the one " forty and fifty years ago people ate eggs and bacon every day for breakfast and we don't have the obesity problem we do now. Why is that" I know that has been brought up in many conversations I have had. The reason is forty and fifty years ago people cooked real food. The trend of " low fat" came about and they had to do something to the food so they upped the sugar content. America as a whole became fatter than ever! Over the holidays I veered off track a bit, and I could really tell a difference. My workouts suffered, I was lethargic, I hit the afternoon slump everyday around 2pm, I was miserable.
It didn't take a New Years Resolution or even the thought of a New Year...I had my proof. I am better off Paleo. For those that pose the argument of not having the time or it costs too much. I have a challenge for you. Plan. That's it. Pretty simple. Plan your meals, do your research. There are tons of great websites to give you recipe ideas, talk about the Paleo lifestyle in detail. But I treat this just as I would my couponing. Every Sunday I plan our meals, I allow for leftover to use in our lunches.
My hubby and I search for good buys on meat..any type, chicken, steak, pork, bison, fish. And when we find a good price we buy it in bulk. we also scout out local produce, a farmers market or if you are in Cincinnati Findlay Market is great. I have found many great resources on the topic of Paleo/Primal eating, one is Mark Sisson the other is Rob Wolfe. They can explain in scientific terms how damaging the Standard American Diet is.
As a mom and a busy one at that, I look to Sarah Fragoso author of Everyday Paleo for meal ideas and inspiration. Just a rundown of some of the meals I have made this month: Paleo quiche with spinach made on Sunday for breakfast throughout the week, a balsamic garlic crusted pork tenderloin with fresh steamed broccoli, fresh spinach salads with vegetables and topped with leftover pork for lunch. I personally think this tops cheese coneys for lunch! My girls requested sweet potato latkes tonight with dinner. I have yet to find this way of eating boring...it can stretch as far as your imagination. For those looking at a gluten free option I would say give it a shot. From someone who has seen the results.
This post was written by Melissa's good friend Sarah Tomasetti. Mother of two, athlete, wife, Daisy Troop leader, MRI Tech and much more, she never ceases to amaze Melissa with her energy and ability to be a dedicated Mom and still find time to work out.
Sarah has been a huge support to me in my Gluten Free journey and introduced the idea of Paleo eating to me when I was suffering. I am thankful to call her my friend and appreciate the time she took to write this post for us all.
Have you heard of the Paleo Diet & CrossFit? Have you ever tried either?
Check out our Gluten Free Resources on the blog too!