The Lifestyle Change

Like most people, the hubby and I frequently make New Year’s resolutions to strive for better health, whether that be more exercise or better eating. The problem is, we have never kept to it for more than a week. By mid-January, we’re back to eating carb-laden foods, sugary treats and everything under the sun we’re not supposed to have…

“Mmmm… Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches…”

This year things will be different. We have learned from our failures and are attacking this year with a plan. Look out 2015. We’re coming for you.

2015 resolution: To make resolutions for one month at a time.

There will be 12 “resolutions” this year. One for each month. And if we fail one month, we will try again the next month. Of course, this begs the question as to whether or not we’re doing this because we’re afraid we might fail. Yes, of course there is that fear. It’s so much easier to tackle something when you know that you’ll have a clean slate to try again at the beginning of the next month as opposed to throwing in the towel for the WHOLE YEAR because you failed in March. On the other hand, it presents more of a challenge than just a daily or even weekly resolution.

“Meh, I ate an entire bag of M&Ms. I’ll do better tomorrow.”

The second reason we’re tackling one month at a time is because it gives us something new to work toward together. It’s an exercise in team work. And while I feel we generally work together well, marriage is hard work and we hope this will be an added boost to the team morale.

“You and me against the world baby!”

So, that leads to our resolution for January. It’s a resolution for the month, but we both hope that it will also lead to a complete lifestyle change.

We are taking on the Whole30 challenge. It’s a subset of the Paleo diet and is an elimination diet for 30 days.

Here’s a synopsis of what that entails:

1) Strict rules for 30 days. No slipping or cheating or you start over from the beginning.
2) NO: None of the following foods are allowed (even a little bit): Sugar or sweeteners (including honey, maple syrup or agave), grains of any kind, legumes (including peanuts and soy), dairy (except for ghee/clarified butter), seed oils, alcohol or tobacco.
3) No recreation of junk foods using approved ingredients (no paleo pancakes or paleo brownies).
4) No desserts.
5) No taking body measurements or weighing oneself during the program
6) YES: Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits (in moderation), natural fats.

They are not as stringent as some orthodox paleo followers that restrict certain vegetables due to natural fructose content, nor do they require you to attempt to live like a paleolithic human (like someone I spoke to thought)… I don’t have to cook my food over a fire, or run a mile before I can eat!

The whole idea is to reset your metabolism. Your hormones play a HUGE role in how you eat and how you process food and when those hormones are out of balance lots of bad things happen. The other piece of it is psychological. The concept is to eliminate the trouble foods to help your body and mind reset and learn how to self-regulate again.

I’m obviously paraphrasing here, but after lots of reading (the program is detailed in a book called It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig), the hubs and I are very certain that we’re leptin and insulin resistant. And we’ve got some unhealthy food relationships with things like sugar.

The book provides scienc-y explanations as well as practical analogies that makes it easy to understand why our bodies are behaving the way they do. After eliminating all of those items from your diet for 30 days, you can reintroduce certain things to see how they make your body react (things like rice, for example).

It may take us longer than 30 days to kick our cravings and reset our physical and psychological responses to food, but after we’ve completed the program, hubby and I intend on continuing a Paleo-based diet. Not as strict as the program obviously, but there are items that we will likely never touch again.

“Farewell, my dear Oreos.”

So, there you go. That’s the skinny. I’ll be detailing what we cook and how we’re feeling for the next 30 days.

“Bring it on 2015. We got this!”


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