After growing 2 babies in my body, I never quite felt like I “bounced back” to a healthy weight. To some, I may have looked just fine, but I knew what the scale said, how my clothes fit, and how exhausted I felt all. the. time. And after countless half-ass attempts to eat healthy and work out, I came to the conclusion that I needed a different approach.
So when a friend, and fellow Mommy of 2, posted her amazing fitness progress on Facebook, I took notice. Her weight-loss, muscle gain, and over-all happiness stemmed from a combo of boot camp-style workouts and eating a clean Paleo-inspired diet. I couldn’t be skeptical, because I knew the woman, and believed wholeheartedly in her transformation. So what did I do? I purchased the boot camp Groupon, and procrastinated for 2 months, of course. Until one day, I looked in the mirror, and I knew it was time: I was tired of looking and feeling unhealthy, so I took the leap.
I cleared out our pantry, shopped for Paleo-diet-friendly foods, and committed to start boot camp the following morning at 5:55 a.m. That’s right, I committed to wake before my 1 and 3.5 year old wake me from a deep, unsatisfied slumber. I’m totally nuts. But you know what? Even though the workout made me feel like I was going to throw-up, I loved it. The energy I felt for the rest of the day made me believe I was a SuperMom, and I actually looked forward to eating clean that day. I also downloaded the MyFitnessPal app, and committed to keep my calories under 1400 per day. This was 2 months ago.
Eating Paleo is nothing like going on a diet. It’s a lifestyle change. And it’s a lifestyle change I never thought I could commit to due to my love for all things dairy, wheat, grain, added sugar, and beans (I REALLY miss you, beans!). But guess what? Cutting those types of foods from my daily diet over the past two months has not only helped me shed nearly 15 pounds, but has provided me with a body that actually feels good! I have more energy, I’m less moody, and never feel bloated after a meal. Plus, because I’m munching on veggies, nuts, seeds, fruits, eggs, and meats all day, I am always satisfied, and can go hours before hunger strikes.
Changing your eating habits can be tough, but here’s a few tips to stay on track:
- Hang out on Pinterest – Seriously, folks. I am
obsessed withinspired by the world of Paleo-friendly cuisine on Pinterest. I also love that I am able to create shopping lists and learn more about the foods I am putting into my body. I find that most of the recipes I stumble upon are simple, and can be made from what I already have in stock (veggies, nuts, seeds, fruits, eggs, meats, nut butters, almond flour, coconut flour, and spices). Check out my personal Paleo Inspired Recipes board for some Pin-spiration of your own!
- Get to Know Paleo-Inspired Blogs and Websites – Some of the best recipes I have saved and tried (with success!) have come from the blog Against All Grain. Author, Danielle Walker, also several books which can be purchased on her blog site or on Amazon. Another helpful site is Paleo Leap — featuring not only recipes, but an education on eating clean and what it does for your body in the long run.
- Take Time to Prep Meals – This is HUGE. I find that in order to maintain a Paleo-eating lifestyle, it’s pretty much essential I take time to prep food items for the week (cook meats/fish, hard-boil eggs, wash and chop produce, etc.). This keeps me from binging on fast, easy, processed, or frozen foods. I often hear that prepping is what keeps people from maintaining a Paleo-eating due to the fact that it takes planning, time, and energy. However, as a mom of 2, I am already prepping healthy foods for my littles, so why not prep for myself while I’m at it? Where do I find the time? I sneak it in throughout the week–typically while they are watching a show or when they are busy eating.
- Buy a Spiralizer – Trust me on this one. I bought a cheap, handheld spiralizer, like the Veggetti, and never looked back! My kids think anything noodle-shaped is awesome, and it really makes salads and Italian dishes more fun.
- Add LÄRABARs to Your Shopping List – These healthy snack bars are pretty much the only “processed” food I eat. They are made with non-GMO ingredients like: dates, nuts, various fruits, and sometimes chocolate chips (derived from unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla). Theyare also gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. These snack bars are absolutely delicious, but can have more than 200 calories per bar, so I try to eat them only when I am on-the-go.
- Commit – Last, but certainly not least, my commitment to eating clean has gotten me through the tough times (like watching my husband devour his In-N-Out burger with the bun, cheese, and secret sauce), and has grown even stronger as I’ve watched my body change in a short amount of time. I have told many people that eating Paleo is the first healthy choice I can see myself sticking to. And although my husband and kids are not eating 100% Paleo, I think I have inspired the family to eat healthier by providing “clean” food options.
It’s been over 2 months (and nearly 15 pounds lost) since I started eating Paleo, and I have to say that I LOVE the food I am eating every day! What started out as a weight-loss solution, has become a healthy way of life. I feel like I can be more creative in the kitchen, and I am inspired every day to create really delicious, clean meals for myself and the entire family to enjoy.
There have been many successful Paleo recipes devoured in our home, but I leave you with just few highlights. Enjoy!
Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes – Filling and Paleo-approved!
Paleo Chicken Guacamole Wraps & Cauliflower Spanish “Rice” – Cook chicken breasts in the slow cooker, whip up some guac, wash some romaine leaves, and you have delicious Paleo tacos! Need a good side dish? That’s where the sneaky cauliflour rice comes in…
Paleo Turkey Meatballs – These are freezable, and great for the kids too! Note: I boiled spiralized zucchini and added Paleo-approved marinara sauce to make this Italian favorite complete!
Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies – When you have a craving for baked goods, whip these up and indulge responsibly!
Paleo Margaritas – These were too good to be true! Quite possibly the best margs I have ever had!
Paleo Baked Fish Sticks & Honey Mustard Sauce – I made them for Bubba, but he wasn’t a fan…however, Little Dude, the hubby, and I devoured them!
Paleo Iced Coffee – I use unsweetened almond milk to save calories, and it tastes amazing!
Paleo Chicken Tortilla-FREE Soup – YESSSSS. If you know me, you know I love Mexican food. I especially love Chicken Tortilla Soup. This recipe is tortilla and cheese-free, of course, but you will not feel like you are missing out on anything!
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