Saturday, March 28, 2015

We're an Almost-Paleo Household (what the heck??)

In this second year of marriage, Caleb and I haven't fought very often, not really.  One of the nights we did, though, was about our diet.  Caleb comes from a rather active and health-conscious family.  His mom used to be a registered nurse and now sells Juice Plus vitamins, his sister is diabetic, and Caleb himself has researched the heck out of many nutritional topics.  When he came to me requesting that we cut out carbs and sugar from our diet, I knew he was coming from a position of knowledge and care, but something jolted in me (i.e. my love for ice cream), and we had an all in fight.

For the record, I firmly agree that refined sugars and refined carbohydrates are bad for your body.  The things they do to our our systems immediately and over time can have devastating consequences, and there are many other significantly better ways to reach your daily caloric intake.  Plus, so much of processed foods that are high in sugar and bad carbs have other things I try to avoid, too, like dyes and preservatives.  Really, Caleb was/is right in this conversation, but for the sake of all things delicious, I had to duke it out.

My not quite paleo diet
Picture by Webvilla via Unsplash
Actually, the reason why I felt threatened was that I felt like I was losing control over what I ate.  Caleb and I had already been trying to find healthy dinner options we agreed on.  Candidates  need to have a substantial amount of meat to please Caleb and a substantial amount of vegetables or dairy to please me (or some super delicious and tender meat).  The options I’d brought up prior to this debacle had been shot down by the carnivore, and with his proposal of cutting out all carbs, I didn’t feel like we had any hope of building a solid menu for a week.  No pasta?  No bread?  No potatoes?  Surely not even Caleb really wanted this to happen.

Also, just so we're clear, there was and is no way I will ever give up ice cream.  Ever.

The fight happened about 2 months ago, but we’ve almost made it all the way to meet Caleb’s suggestion, and it hasn't been that hard.  We’ve switched potatoes for sweet potatoes.  We still use whole wheat pasta, but we don’t have 3 pasta dishes a week anymore.  In fact, I don’t think we had any in the last few weeks, and we don’t have any scheduled for this week, either.  Caleb still has buns with his burgers, but I stopped eating them a couple years ago.  We’ve had more salads and vegetables, but we’ve also found some very solid meat options that both of us are excited about.  Mushroom swiss burgers with sweet potato chips and steak salad are new favorites.

For the last month, I've been abstaining from desserts and other sweet things like chai lattes from caf├ęs for a reason other than my health, but if I can share a secret with you, when I had a bit of one of my favorite ice creams last weekend, it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.  (I'm blaming it on the ice cream's freezer burn, though.  Surely I haven't changed that much!)

It’s strange to think that we’re just a step or two away from being paleo.  Paleo (or any other diet with a name) always sounded too stringent and restricting to me.  I never wanted to be a part of something so limiting, because I’ve believed that everything in moderation is all the restriction needed.  Learning more about what things are good and bad to put into your body, however, makes me more open to finding healthier alternatives.  I have yet to jump on the no-dairy bandwagon, and unless I befall the same sad lactose intolerant fate as my dear mother (please, no!), I don’t think I ever will.  Dairy is my comfort food.  Every kind.  Except Greek yogurt.

So we'll see how this progresses!  If you have any recipe recommendations, please send them along!

Do you follow a diet or do you have any restrictions?  What have your transitions to new eating habits been like?

1 comment:

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