Inside Out

Everyone seems very interested in my transformation. People are noticing my unintentional weight loss and my friend told me today that even though I was always beautiful; I shine now. That made my day. Her comment got me thinking about changing from the inside out and what that really consists of. There are many ways you can lose weight to look good on the outside, but that doesn’t mean you are healthy. Although this journey isn’t about losing weight for me, it is an added bonus and that is what people are going to see the most.

So, as I was thinking about the “inside out”, I thought that not only does that mean body but it also means your mind. Once you get past the detox portion of Paleo your mind really becomes a lot clearer. I wonder if it is because your body is just running smoother in general or because different chemicals are being released…I’m sure I could research it, but I would rather just ponder.

Paleo has not only helped me with getting my body healthy, it has also helped me with my anxiety, stress and overall mental health.

My anxiety is a lot lower than it use to be. I am grateful for this. Don’t get me wrong, I still have melt downs where I clean the house from top to bottom for no reason other than it helps me think, but they are less frequent. In fact, I actually left dishes in the sink!

My stress levels are far lower than before. I am positive that this is a direct result of me getting more vitamins in my body and on a daily  basis. The food that I eat is so nourishing that it allows for optimal absorption. Vitamin B is important to reduce stress and I am getting enough through my diet that supplements aren’t needed. It is a great feeling; especially since vitamins always made me sick.

Speaking of vitamins…they are a funny thing. We as humans take them because we don’t get the nutrients we need through our food sources. I only take one vitamin and it is a multi-vitamin. I am able to successfully get all of my nutrients through my food sources. I understand taking vitamins if you are deficient and can’t absorb or produce what you need, but why not cut the cost and just eat the right kinds of foods? The price of a bottle of vitamins makes me want to go eat a spinach salad instead. I would rather spend my money on a new pair of jeans or a cardigan. Plus, let’s be honest…if you don’t plan the intake of your vitamins with your next bowel movement; you will end up pooping it out anyway.

Anyway, I’ll get off my vitamin soap box.

A lot of people think that Paleo is a diet and I guess for some people it is. If you are doing Paleo to lose weight and then you achieve your desired results, the average person would then go back to their old ways and then it becomes the yo-yo game. I try to stress when I talk to people about this that it isn’t a diet. It is a way of life. It is just who you are and that’s about it. No diet, nothing extreme, just going back to basics and eating real food. When it is an actual lifestyle, there is technically no cheating. In fact, I encourage you to go out and eat a meal at your favorite restaurant. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that once in a while. I do! Plus, it might release some good endorphins in your body and actually aid you overall. Mental and physical!

I guess I would say, work on you as a person! Write down what makes you happy and what brings you down. Find ways to maximize your happiness and ways to reduce the negative in your life. Personally for me, I look at what I call “the grand scheme of things”. If I am finding that something upsets me, I try to think about how it is truly impacting me on a scale of 1-10. Usually, I find that it is very low and I work to remove the emotion. I’m not saying it works for everyone, but it works for me. In fact, when I decided to go through with this change; I cried. Oh, lord did I cry. I thought I was going to be so miserable and my life would be incomplete without these wonderful foods I had grown to love. It was so wrong. I stopped, I analyzed and I moved forward with my plan. I focused on me and how I could help myself from the inside. It’s working…join me with.

~Brandi

 

 

Stop Staring

Over the weekend, my family and I celebrated Thanksgiving. I knew that the traditional foods would be served and I had a plan of attack. Honestly, I don’t think that anyone should have to give up a holiday celebration meal. Sure, you can make alternatives, but when it isn’t your house that isn’t really an option. Plus, you can still make small good choices while attending to that delicious plate in front of you!

My Plan:

I knew there would be veggie platters, so I brought my Paleo approved ranch. People can stare…but at least I am taking out one unhealthy thing. Plus, I don’t have to worry about anyone double dipping in my own ranch!! I had pumpkin pie, but only the pumpkin; I didn’t eat the crust. I brought my own Sunbutter for dipping other snacks and all of these proved to work out well. For dinner, I opted for the smallest plate in existence and allowed myself small servings of what I enjoyed the most. I didn’t go back for seconds. I didn’t gorge myself until I couldn’t eat anymore. I was happy and satisfied. Not bad for my first Thanksgiving living a healthy lifestyle.

New Creations:

Last night I baked. I made what I have innocently named “Banana Balls”. I didn’t understand the giggles until someone explained the sexual nature of the name. I will press forward with the name. I like the giggles. I also made Sunbutter cookies (dryer than I wanted; working on that) and some homemade cinnamon apple crisps. It was a very successful night and I look forward to mastering my own recipes.

On top of that, I also made a spinach soup which was delicious. Tonight, I am going to conquer spinach ravioli. I’ll let everyone know how it goes.

More About Me:

I came down with a cold over the weekend. I am blaming it on a virus that was lingering in my body from when my partner had a cold a couple weeks ago. Whether or not that is true, that is what I am saying. I had processed foods (not much, but enough) two days in a row. On the third day, I woke up sick. I immediately began to “juice” up and by the next day, I was feeling much better. It really does help to keep those vitamins in your system. When you put in ugly, the ugly will find a way to everything else.

My overall health is improving. I’m still dealing with a lot of pain, but I notice that mentally it is becoming more tolerable. I wonder if that is because my mental clarity is better or because I am just healthier in general so I don’t feel so down. I am continuing to lose weight. People are noticing; it is a nice feeling. I suppose that is the extrovert in me.

My digestive tract is back on target. The only issues I ever have is if I eat something that isn’t raw. My body essentially tries to purge it. I can almost describe it as someone who has had gastric by-pass surgery and if they eat something on the bad list they will get sick and “dumping” occurs. I know that if I eat something that is not raw that within 30 minutes I will get sick. It never fails. So, 98% of the time I eat raw and the rest of the time, I prepare myself for the aftermath for the delicious goodness that I ate.

I wish other people would walk beside me in this journey. I look at some of my friends, co-workers, family members and I know how much healthier they would be if they did this with me. Sure, it takes time to get use to. You might want to give up. You’ll get bored until you find a bunch of new recipes. You’ll get tired of going to the store, cutting, chopping and preparing.

BUT

Get past that first month and your hurdles are gone. I promise you that your creative juices will start flowing. You will begin making things you never imagined. When you feel hungry and need a snack, you will juice or make a smoothy instead of opening a bag of chips. The preparing will take minutes, the chopping will start to look like you are a professional chef. It is amazing what 4 weeks can do to your body, mind and soul.  It will be second nature to you…or in the case of our cavemen, first nature.

My secret plan (which isn’t a secret anymore) is that I have everyone try my food when I make it. Whether it is good or bad, I have them try it so they can see that just about anything can be made Paleo style. 99% of the people who try my recipes like them. They have no idea they are eating something healthy; especially when I bring in my baked goods. Each person has their own preference, so I am big on asking for opinions and modifying as needed. Spices are important. Too much and the dish is ruined; too little and the dish is ruined. I’m new at this so I need all the help, comments and feedback I can get!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I’ll be uploaded some recipes within the next couple of days! Be on the look out!

~Brandi