Thursday, November 15, 2012

MY Paleo Philosophy

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As I'm walking through this Whole30/Paleo journey, this is the conclusion that I have come to on WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHY of the Paleo lifestyle and how strict it will be.  (The W's all overlap, so I'm just going to type up a paragraph and you can conclude which statements are valid for which "W" category.) I know my philosophy on this will continue to evolve, especially as I enter and finish my reintroduction phase, but here's where I stand at this point.

You should definitely try the whole "Paleo Thing" if you are dealing with some reoccurring symptom of illness.  It really could help you.  I think it is better to try to seek a more natural remedy for our illnesses than it is to pump our bodies full of drugs that tend to mask the problems instead of actually fixing them.  You should not HAVE TO (you still can if you want to) go Paleo if you are healthy.  

I would say that healthy is having relatively clean blood work done, being at a decent weight {Side note: I think some people become too obsessed over the "charts" of healthy weights, but it is definitely obvious when someone is unhealthily overweight.}, and being free of debilitating symptoms and illnesses.  I think it is easy to become obsessed over your food and make it an idol area even after you feel like you have control over your symptoms mostly.  

I think that whenever we take our primary focus off of God and place most of our energy into some other area of our life, EVEN IF IT IS A GOOD THING!, it has become an idol and needs to be pushed aside.  Therefore, take care of yourself through eating and exercising, but do NOT become obsessed.  

I also think that God created food.  Yes, He created all the WHOLE and NATURAL foods that are included into Paleo, but He also created the grains and the dairy and then legumes and the sugar.  So, are they always bad all the time?  They might be for some people if they really cannot tolerate them (going back to having ongoing symptoms/illnesses), but if you can tolerate them to a certain degree, then WHY NOT enjoy them?  They SHOULD be enjoyed!  

Sure, there will be times when you must be more strict than others.  You may have a season of time where you seem to be getting more fill in the blank (for me headaches) than other times.  Reign it in.  Get ahold of your eating habits, and after that's happened live freely again... hopefully mostly headache free.  

You may also notice that rice NEVER bothers you.  However, that doesn't mean that you should eat a huge plate of fried rice every night for dinner.  Would that be okay on occasion?  Sure.  I don't see why not.  Dairy might not be an issue.  Is having some plain yogurt and berries every morning alongside the rest of your breakfast bad for you?  I don't think so.  

Another thing to consider (one which I have been feeling a lot) is that of community.  Food is such an integral part of community and fellowship.  If your food becomes the focus or hinderance of where you can and can't go, it may not be healthy in other ways.  Do not let food control your relationships.  Obviously, if you know that grains or dairy will put you over the edge for a week+, stay away from it.  However, if you might have a slight headache the next day with little to no other side effects, take the blow and have that slice of pizza.  

Basically, it all comes down to balance.  Constantly weigh the overall outcomes.  "Will eating this cause me to be absent from my family this week?  Then I should stay away from it now."  "Will NOT eating this offed so-and-so, and I really could handle it okay? Then I should eat it."  "Do I just really want to enjoy this favorite food from the past and it won't put me over the edge?  Go for it." You get the idea.   

Balance is key.  Note- Balance does NOT look like:

Bagel and cream cheese for breakfast; grilled cheese, tomato soup, and chips for lunch; mexican cheesy chicken enchilada casserole for dinner; a piece of cake and bowl of ice cream for dessert. 

It may, however, look like:  

Sausage, spinach and eggs with a bowl of yogurt and berries for breakfast;  A Big Ol' Salad with a sprinkle of feta cheese or croutons for lunch;  Meat, green beans, broccoli, salad, and twice baked cheesy potato for dinner. NO dessert.  (For some people this would be WAY too strict still, for others WAY too loose.) Just use your best judgement for you and DON'T judge.  

Main thing: Stay away from HUGE trigger foods if you know what yours are.  Otherwise, enjoy the other ones in GREAT moderation.  Have them be treats and use them sparingly.  Don't avoid sugar SIMPLY because it's sugar... but also don't eat it just because it's there.  

Well, I think you can see what I think on the subject.  If you have ONE main point about your Paleo (or other food lifestyle) philosophy, what would it be?  

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