So as some of you know, during April I experimented with eating paleo for 30 days. This was a big deal for me as a 20 year vegetarian. I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, but I think you’ll forgive me when you hear what I’ve been up to. On Thursday, we moved into our new home, which is super exciting and I hope I never move again (this is related to the big announcement)! We were “in-between” homes for a couple of weeks there, staying in my mother-in-law’s 2 bedroom apartment with four people, two big dogs, and a cat. The transition was a bit insane. The good news is, I stayed MOSTLY on my paleo food plan despite all the upheaval. My major breaks, honestly, were mostly booze! During that stressful time, I caved to the after work cocktail 3-4 times. (okay, okay, on one of those occasions, I caved to 3-4 of said cocktails). In addition, I had a bite of a brownie, which I promptly threw out because I realized right away that it wasn’t very good, and I had a few meals at restaurants where I simply worked with what I had (like organic tempeh instead of meat, but skipped the rice, etc.) So, by and large, I got the full taste of the experience.
I had decided to continue beyond the thirty days, but the first several days after the 30-day experiment ended, I had a few days of just eating whatever (for me this still tends to be pretty clean, no gluten, a touch of organic cheese on a salad, maybe some potato chips…). Here’s what I noticed: after a month of feeling noticeably more energized and upbeat, I took an immediate tank. Aches and pains started creeping up, the energy just drained right out of me, and I got moody. As an intuitive eater (IE), all of this impacts me emotionally very differently than it used to back when I was a dieter. As a dieter, I would have beat myself up with guilt for “failing”. After the first or second “transgression” I would have thrown in the towel, or at least turned each one into a total blowout. Had I “made the thirty days”, I would have been counting down the days until I could eat two grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner with a few pints of beer.
But instead, I just listened to my body and myself. When I REALLY wanted something outside the plan, I had some. I stopped to check in with myself: is it delicious? Am I enjoying it? Is the stress reduction of this martini healthier for me than the blood sugar swings the alcohol will impart? How do I feel an hour later? the next morning? How do I sleep? What kinds of foods do I crave the next day? In answering all these questions (which has become very natural and automatic for me), all of this just works itself out. The paleo is working for me right now. I tend to be a 90/10 kinda girl. Eat the foods that serve my body best 90% of the time, and leave room for the 10% of the things that are off plan but really satisfy me. No guilt, no problem. With enough years of this level of self-reflection, the list of foods in the 10% gets healthier and healthier. The whole continuum moves toward wellness. You know you’re generally eating great when a glass of red wine and a slice of organic, grass fed, goat cheese becomes your junk food!
And finally, for my news! I am officially opening the doors on my new health coaching practice for just two clients. I will be working individually with women who want to build a more balanced relationship with food, nourishment, dieting, and your bodies. Why now? Because my lovely new home in Lake Oswego has room for us to meet (phone appointments are always welcome)! I will be combining my mental health counseling background with my health coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. If you are interested in more info, visit my website: www.dandelion-coaching.com. I offer free initial health consultations with those who complete a health history form at my site. If we decide it’s a good fit, we go from there. We can meet weekly or bi-weekly. Sessions run 50 minutes for $70. Spread the word!