Well, I managed to survive the last two days unscathed. I kept my Thanksgiving Paleo and even managed to avoid temptation when I took the kids today to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I.
I have, at once, the most annoying and coolest family ever. They’re annoying in the way families normally are. They’re the coolest in a number of respects. The latest cool thing was when I asked my mother what she was cooking for dinner on Thanksgiving and the first thing she said was, “Well, what can you have?” Best. Mom. Ever. In the end she said for me to make whatever I wanted and bring it.
My family is a little non-traditional as it’s actually unusual for us to have turkey for Thanksgiving. My favorite meat (ever!) has to be my mom’s roast beef so we usually have that. But, as I said, we’re a little unusual and it’s fairly common for us to go out of our way to do something odd. So this year the main course was meatloaf. Yes, I said meatloaf. Mom had found this odd ground meat combo made with beef, pork, and veal and she wanted to do something with it. Meatloaf seemed logical. I didn’t really pay that much attention to the rest of what she made since I couldn’t eat it anyway. But I made four of the items on the Thanksgiving menu from Everyday Paleo: Crab-stuffed Mushrooms, Sausage Stuffing, Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole, and Paleo Pumpkin Pie.
I was really surprised at how good everything was! I didn’t even need whip cream for the pie! My mom and step-dad were kind enough to try my Paleo dishes and said a few nice things about them. My step-dad will eat anything, however, so I can’t trust what he says much. 😀 Mom doesn’t like mushrooms so she just ate the stuffing part and said that she could just eat that on crackers. *headsmack* But the good part is that I have a lot of leftovers and so I will have plenty to eat over the weekend.
Then today when we were getting ready to go to the movie I took my own advice and packed some nuts, a Lara Bar, and a bottle of water. We got there early enough to eat before the movie and I had a Cajun chicken salad which was REALLY good. I love how real food just tastes better and better the longer I’m on Paleo. And I’m still in shock that I’m not craving all that crap food.
I do still keep waiting for those old bad habits to rear their ugly heads. Part of it is because I have a long history of trying every kind of diet under the sun and going right back to eating the way I had before. Part of it is just good old fashioned caution. I have to stay vigilant that I don’t start making small concessions. I know where that leads.
But my attitude about Paleo is completely different than it was every other time I tried to change my eating habits. For one, I didn’t have much choice in going Paleo. I was very sick and Paleo was the only thing that promised any hope and it delivered. I’ve been Paleo for eight weeks now and all of my auto-immune symtoms are completely gone, not to mention a number of other health issues that I hadn’t even attributed to nutrition.
It is impossible to describe to someone who hasn’t tried Paleo just how unbelievably good you feel. I may still be technically obese, but I no longer feel it. I no longer feel as if I’m dragging myself through every moment of every day. Paleo has fixed SO many things that I can’t even list them all. I don’t have any more mood swings or depression or difficulty sleeping. I have the stamina that I need to get through the day without feeling wiped out several hours into it. And unlike every other diet I’ve been on, I’m no longer waiting for that magical day when I can come off of it, because Paleo isn’t a diet in the sense that we’ve come to think of diets – it is for life. And for a lot of people, particularly those who are still eating the Standard American Diet, this probably sounds like a prison sentence. But if anything, I feel liberated. Paleo has freed me from my obsession with food and has taught me how to avoid falling back into the pattern of addiction. I’ve said a number of times that it has nothing to do with will-power, but that’s not exactly true. It does take a certain amount of will-power not to buy those crap foods. But it is far, far easier to refuse to buy them than it is to refuse to eat them once they’re in your home. Trust me – no matter where you store them they will call to you. They will wake you up in the middle of the night. If you locked them in the trunk of your car you will go outside at 3am for Oreos. Do yourself a favor and leave them at the store. You’ll sleep better.
In the six weeks I’ve been on Paleo I have run across a number of instances where it would have been easy to fall off the Paleo wagon. This is the one advantage to experiencing what it feels like to be deathly sick – it’s a whole lot easier to set your priorities. But most people don’t have that very vivid memory to fall back on so it might be easier for those folks to give in to temptation. Let’s face it – we’re ALL very adept at rationalization. I will be posting a lot of (what I hope are) helpful suggestions since these precarious food-oriented social situations come up routinely in this thing called life and I have to deal with them as well. Today’s topic:
Now movies were one of the frivolous expenses that I gave up in order to afford my good Paleo food and the increased health and vitality that they provide me. But even when you know it’s frivolous and in six months it’ll be on video there are just certain movies that it is imperative that you experience on the big screen. For me, one of these movies is the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows Part I. MUST SEE.
I know that my girls will want to see this with me and they’re going to want sodas, popcorn, and candy. It’s tradition. And honestly, were I a healthy Paleo individual who had been on Paleo for a year or more and seldom strayed, I would probably give in and partake of the crap and consider it a rare “treat”. (Although I doubt I would consider it a treat the next day when I felt like crap, but that’s a post for another day.) But I am not in that category and so I cannot afford even to consider it as a possibility. So what’s to do?
1. Take a Paleo-friendly snack. Here’s my own concoction (you can find the directions for it here):
2. Eat before the movie. This is crucial. Even taking a Paleo-friendly snack will only curb your appetite for a short time, especially when you’re surrounded by people passing the popcorn and offering you Milk Duds.
3. Don’t forget your bottled water. It would be sad indeed if you had done steps 1 and 2 and had forgotten a beverage. Thankfully, even movie theaters have bottled water for purchase so if this was your only oversight you’ll still be fine even though the theater will be five bucks richer.
Sounds pretty easy, huh? And it really is. If you keep yourself prepared it will be easier and easier not to even consider non-paleo foods as any kind of substitute.