When I first got pregnant (and didn’t know that I was pregnant), I was following a Paleo diet. My husband and I had just ventured back from our honeymoon and we were excited to take the fall to get fit for reasons that were not related to our wedding. We were excited to take on a lifestyle that is known to reduce auto-immune diseases and prevent them in the future. We stocked up on all the best foods and tried to buy local.
Fast forward to just 6 weeks after we said “I Do” and 5 pregnancy tests were telling my husband and I that our lives were changing in ways we most definitely were not expecting. Approximately 1 week after that, the vomiting started and I soon found myself without enough energy to get out of bed let alone cook meals. Our Paleo dream lasted about a month before my husband’s world began to consist of take out, fast food and eating alone on a different floor than I was on in hopes that I could go one night without getting sick.
When I started to feel better (around 22 weeks pregnant), I decided I would try the whole ‘be in the kitchen and enjoy it’ thing. The problem? I had just taken a 4 month hiatus from food and I had no idea what to do with or about it. I knew I wanted to be eating healthy, but my food aversions were still often and broad so I was at a bit of a loss to say the least. I decided that a real food diet (with quite a few things still on my “NO” list) would be our best bet! And guess what, it was and still is.
Now that I am just a few weeks from meeting the little person who has flipped my world upside down, I get a lot of people telling me that I look really great. Little do they know that the reason I haven’t gained much weight is because the early stages of pregnancy were by far the most effective diet I have ever been on and I still hate the sight/smell/anything of meat. In other words, my eating still isn’t what most people experience in this arena of life.
The best part for me about adopting a real food diet has been that I don’t have to think about what I eat 99% of the time. Can I just say as someone who is attempting to stay healthy so that I can keep someone else healthy that this is a huge burden off of my shoulders. And although pregnancy is ending soon for me, the demand on me being healthy for others isn’t. Fingers crossed, I’ll be making someone else’s food for the next 12 months, and then I’ll be chasing around that little person before it all begins again with another pregnancy.
My body isn’t my own and it won’t be for a very long time. For this reason, my health must be a priority! Following a real food diet has allowed me to do just that without getting into the “fad diet cycle” that is so easy to fall into. I find that shopping for groceries has become unbelievably easy, as well as planning meals and even making them. My husband has remarked that he feels (in terms of his intestines) much better when we eat real food.
So why in the world did I just tell you all of this? Well, you see…. I don’t think most people realize what a real food diet is and I really wanted to share with you how to transition into a diet that consists of real food at least 80% of the time. Just to show you how real that 80% is… I just ate a snickers bar last Friday and it was wonderful!
Eating real food has been described in many ways…
“Eat only what your great-grandparents would recognize as food”
“Only shop the outside of the grocery store”
“Stay away from white foods”
“If a wild animal wouldn’t eat it, then you shouldn’t either”
“Make sure your plate has at least 5 colors on it”
… and so on, and so forth. But what does this all mean? Well friends, it all means that we as American’s are eating wrong! All of the above statements are true and can definitely be practiced while adhering to a real food diet.
Staying away from processed goods (let’s not even call Oreo’s and tater tots food) is most definitely the first step in transition into this diet. Eating lots of fresh foods; fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as beans and specific grains, is a great way to get the important nutrients your body needs. In fact, with saying that, I like to define a real food diet as one that gives your body the optimal nutrition it needs to exceed in life!
I think that in our society liveable diseases are so common and so “normal” that people really don’t realize just how sick they are on a daily basis. As a society, we are dying from the inside out in the name of convenient, cheap and chemical ridden food. Can you imagine waking up and not needing a cup of coffee? Or how about feeling good at 3 p.m. because your body is still working and not begging you for a break? What would you think if you body could distinguish between hungry signs and thirst signs? Or how about the idea that you as a human do not HAVE to crave sugar on a daily basis in the form of breads, baked goods and candy.
By following a real food diet and by getting your body the nutrients it needs to not just survive but also thrive, you can completely change your life.
I’m serious… you are having a hard time believing me because what I just said sounds like a cheesy statement from an infomercial but it’s the truth. When your body has everything it needs to work, it won’t send you signals claiming it needs caffeine, sugar and other chemicals to just simply get through the day. Instead, your body will send you signals to get up and moving in ways that help you enjoy life. I have even found that my mood has received positive benefits from following a real food diet.
A real food diet really will change your life… and just to prove it to you, I have planned that this week and next we will go over more details about this lifestyle so that I can help you transition into it easier.
Below I have for you my grocery shopping list… in fact, this is the exact one I am using to go shopping today. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what foods we eat on a regular basis and what foods we stay away from. Remember, maximized nutrients is key for us!
Come back on Wednesday to see what a day on my plate looks like. Just a little hint, a lot goes on my plate throughout the entire day. I eat 5 or 6 small meals and I promise they are as delicious as they look.
I also have a recipe post for you this Friday and next to show you just how easy swapping out fake food for real food has been. And I hate to break it to you, but if a pregnant chick can do it, you can too!