IS Paleo the Way?

Written by Bridget on . Posted in Food and Health Education, Weight Loss

IS Paleo the Way-

It’s so HOT TREND right now….

This Paleo thing….

So much so that TWO of our National Current Affairs programs aired stories about this craze on the same night, AND have committed to putting their “unhealthy, overweight” presenters through 10/12 week challenges on this regime.

I have somewhat become used to people’s fascination and intrigue with the Paleolithic Dietary way, although I have to admit a few years ago it really bugged me!

The truth is, I first learned about the Paleo Diet about 12 years ago at a conference hosted by MLA (!) and guest featuring Dr Loren Cordain.

I was really interested in his research and work after hearing him speak, so right there and then I made “buddies” with Dr Cordain and stayed in touch with him upon his return home to the US. We actually discussed the idea of me taking on a research role with him, however at the time I was juggling at least 5 different roles, so I declined.

I did however “digest” and “consume” all of the information and research I could find on this way of eating, including all of Dr Cordains books.

I was curious to see what it was like to “live like a caveman”, so I decided to do a little stint following his guidelines.

I had LOADS of fun visiting the Vic Markets to load up on fresh fruit and veggies, as well as some gorgeous seafood 🙂

Chilli, lime and garlic mussels became a breakky favourite!

Whilst I navigated Dr Cordain’s Paleo Guidelines – not strictly as I actually SUCK at “Diets” & have never actually done one (!) – I learnt a lot and for the most part felt really great!

I am aware though that EVERYONE feels pretty good for the first few months of any “cleaner/cleansing” dietary regime and that the true measure of a methods “success” cannot actually be properly assessed until at least 6 months down the track, and even then TRUE change is not “qualified” until it’s been maintained for FIVE YEARS! (yep, how many people do you know that continue to follow any new fad for THIS length of time!?)

Since I learnt that about change many years ago (what qualifies as TRUE change)- I drastically shifted my thinking and approach about the habits I would even CONSIDER introducing into my life. Instead of being seduced by “bright-shiny-objects” promising “overnight success”, I would stop and ponder, “Is this something I could maintain for 5 years and beyond?”

If the answer was a NO, then I simply dropped it like it was hot and continued on about my day and life! 🙂

This question has been SUCH a life-saver for me in terms of assessing where/how to spend my time and energy in my life, and I truly recommend that you borrow it to see if it works for you 🙂

So many of my clients, students and followers drain so much of their precious time and energy into pursuing paths that lead only to frustration, stagnation and at times giving in all together. I don’t want this for anyone, so I am FOREVER promoting ideas and information that is good for the LONG RUN and the WHOLE PICTURE of life 🙂

Anyway! Back to IS Paleo the Way?

In short, my answer is NO.

Personally, it is way too restrictive and there are many things about it that I don’t agree with…. It doesn’t FEEL right for me to live my life, and make food choices, based on a book, or research, or someone else’s (highly educated as it may be) OPINION.

I have learned through the years that I can ALWAYS trust my intuition and so if I am to put a name, or label, to “the way I eat”, it could only be described as Intuitive Eating. 

Though I learnt a lot from the research and sampling of Dr Cordain’s work, I took with me ONLY the aspects that INTUITIVELY felt right.

Today it may appear that I eat quite a “Cave Man” style of eating (you might have noticed from Social Media that right now I’m loving Lamb Shanks for breakfast!), however the TRUTH and REALITY is that I HONESTLY let my body guide me….

I drink wine. I drink coffee. I eat OODLES of fruit. I have no “out of bounds” foods.

My guide is simply, “What will make me FEEL best right now?” 

I encourage my clients to implement this way of eating too.

I tell them to give themselves TOTAL FREEDOM and CHOICE, always. 

The guiding mantra I “prescribe” to them is this:

“I can eat WHATEVER I WANT. There is NO right or wrong, good or bad. There is only what will make me feel GREAT now, and over the next few hours.

How do I want to FEEL? What corresponds to that right now?”

So to summarise where I stand on Paleo professionally……

It’s a NO.

There is NO ONE WAY for everyone!

We are ALL different.

Our DNA, our biochemistry, our history, our medical background, our lifestyle, our preferences, our culture, our “phase of life”, our values, our priorities, our beliefs…..

NOT ONE of us is the same as another.

Furthermore, our lives, and yes physiological state, has evolved enough from Cave Man days to make much of what was right/good/appropriate “back then”, irrelevant or redundant today.

But, REGARDLESS of any of the arguments one could make against “the paleo way/diet/system”, there is ONE resounding reason why I DONT recommend it….

No matter HOW you package a “diet”, it’s still a DIET.

If it has RULES; eliminated/out-of-bounds foods; is restrictive; analytical and most of all OVERRIDES and ASSUMES AUTHORITY over your VERY INTELLIGENT, inbuilt guidance system, ie your INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE, then it’s ALWAYS a NO from me. 

I have learned over the 23 years of living this lifestyle (the healthy, fit, happy one), and the 13-15 years of coaching, consulting & practicing professionally, that EVERY PERSON innately KNOWS what is right/good/appropriate for them to eat in ANY given moment.

The KEY or CLINCHER is CONNECTING our body to our mind and NOT operating as a “walking head”, as so many of us do!

Your body knows.

It is ALWAYS right. 

You can ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS TRUST it.

When you are in tune with your body it will ALWAYS give you the feedback that you need to navigate your moment to moment decisions on food, exercise, health in general, rest, recovery, in fact absolutely ANYTHING.

For reasons beyond our understanding or comprehension, sometimes what “they say” is right for us, actually ISNT.

How many times have you “known” something that “experts” or “doctors” or “authorities” couldn’t or wouldn’t agree with you on, and later you have discovered that lo and behold, YOU WERE RIGHT!?

How many times have you heard of these stories from others??

How many times have you discovered that the THING being recommend as the latest, greatest, hottest superfood or health hero been absolutely NOT ok for you??

For example, personally, my body does NOT do well on spirulina, coconut oil or green smoothies.

A client of mine knows that despite recommendations, she does NOT do well on red wine and responds much better to bubbly.

For some people HIIT is the BEST exercise strategy for fat loss, whilst just as many others GAIN weight when they do it!

There are endless examples I can give you of these “they say, but your body knows better” scenarios….I’m sure you have your own??

I have been in the “game” WAY TOO LONG to NOT know that YOU KNOW BEST.

Your body knows. Your wisdom knows.

The “game” is to get your head out of the way, or more correctly, CONNECT it to your BODY.

Many of us are SO DAMN afraid of trusting our bodies….

Of letting go of the rules….

Of embarking upon a road that has never before been travelled….

Of pioneering our OWN DAMN WAY….

We are fear-mongered into believing that we NEED to follow some special regime or protocol or DIET if we are to achieve the health, energy, weight and fitness we desire…..

Yet, its ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE….!

Have you ever seen an overweight animal in the wild??

NO.

Our inbuilt intelligence knows EXACTLY WHAT to eat and HOW MUCH in order to achieve and maintain optimal health and physical form.

We just need to learn to DISCONNECT from all that NOISE out there, and tune DEEPLY into our never-wrong inner guidance system.

With practice, patience, consistency and commitment this “method” becomes second nature, once again.

We never, ever need to analyse or worry again about “what to eat and how much”, instead we can simply tune in, receive and implement.

The feedback process is absolutely invaluable and whilst we may “appear” to make “mistakes”, we never actually do.

We’re ALWAYS getting feedback and if we embrace that with NO judgement, loads of curiosity and ample amounts of gratitude, we can begin to get clear on just what our body loves and thrives on, RIGHT NOW.

It will change. The only constant in life is change.

However, as long as you’re in tune, you will get that feedback!

You DONT need to FEAR or WORRY!

Despite what you may have been lead to believe, your body DEEPLY loves and cares for you and has only EVER done it’s best to support you to thrive and dominate 🙂

Think about it, without ANY input from you, it breathes, it digests, it unconsciously reacts in beneficial ways when you’re in danger, it does EVERYTHING that it needs to do for you to function, heal, stay safe and survive…..

It’s only ever been our over-loaded and informationally-inundated MINDS that have gotten in the way…

No???

So…..

Where are you on this journey?

Are you able to listen to and trust your body?

Are you ready to live a totally FREE and SELF-DIRECTED life?? No diets, no fads, no rules…. 

Or are you afraid? Stuck? Frustrated?

Somewhere in between??

I’d LOVE to hear from you…..

Please comment below or email me on [email protected]

All my love,

BridgetJane

Health and Happiness Coach
Dietitian~Counsellor~Psychology of Eating Coach
Founder of New Leaf Nutrition and The Glow Project

You can read client feedback and success stories on my Facebook Page and website
https://www.facebook.com/NewLeafNutrition

Curious about how I MIGHT be able to help you find YOUR own way on this happiness, health and weight loss journey? Let’s make time to chat! I always offer an Initial FREE 20 minute Consult so we can explore your goals, where you’re at and HOW you may be able to get there, with or without me 🙂 Email me [email protected] to schedule your free Initial Consult. 

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