After reading a fascinating book called "The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet", by Robb Wolff, and finding little argument with its reasoning (thanks to the fact that it is well-supported by a great deal of scientific research), I embarked 2 weeks ago on a new and somewhat innovative healthy eating/healthy living plan. I've always been "health focused", but that has led mostly to athletic conditioning (running, yoga, light weight-training) on a somewhat consistent basis over the last 10-15 years more so than me following any kind of specific diet or eating plan. A lot of that has to do with my lack of knowledge of, interest in and natural ability to cook - until now!
To give a little backstory....the main components of a "Paleo" diet are that you should eat hormone, preservative and nitrate-free, preferably grass-fed meats and eggs, plus lots of fresh veggies and fruits, while avoiding gluten/grains, sugar, dairy and overly processed foods. Although that may not sound appealing, it certainly didn't sound complicated. So imagine my surprise to discover just how many products contain gluten and sugar! Eating out - something we did far too often - became a huge challenge since there was no way to know for sure what was in every recipe. This was a HUGE problem. Cooking, for the better part of 20 yrs, was for me like scuba-diving or running or yoga might be for others. It seemed foreign and intimidating, too time-consuming and not at all appealing. I had so psyched myself out to NOT like it, that I never really even tried it. Imagine my surprise then that as of two weeks ago, I have been cooking like a mad-woman, trying out new recipes, experimenting with spices and different cooking methods....and ENJOYING the heck out of all of it!! Who knew cooking could be so fun??!!?
While I think the above book should be required reading for EVERYONE on the planet, and especially anyone with Type 2 diabetes, high-blood pressure, high cholesterol or other eating-related health issues, the bigger lesson here for me is that people really can change and you just never know what you might like (or excel at) if you go are open-minded and go into it with the right attitude. When i committed to my new eating plan and realized I wouldn't be able to eat out (or get carryout) 5 nights a week anymore, I told myself, "I can do this! I'm smart and successful and capable and cooking is not a big deal." I went into it with the intent to have fun with it and focused on the health benefits i would gain vs. how much work it would be or time it would take and it worked like a charm. It's amazing how a tiny shift in perspective can make such a big difference. Now I'm wondering how I can apply this insight to other areas of my life. Where have I been avoiding things that would make my life easier, just because they are unknown or intimidating? I say, let's all get out there and try something new today! I'm off to explore what's next. I'll keep you posted.