I think sometimes when people hear you’re trying something new with your diet they tend to think you’re trying to be trendy or you’re going through a fad. Let’s be serious for a moment: nothing stresses me out more than thinking about food. I have deep seeded issues with food, calories and weight. You can read more about that here and here

So I’ll come right out and say it..that’s the ugly part of paleo, at least for me. I hate to admit that it took sitting down with my therapist and a nutritionist to really settle my nerves and anxieties about food, planning and prep. I could sit here and talk to you FOREVER about what led me to a new way of eating, the anxieties over food that nearly broke me and much, much more…but that’s not any fun, trust me. The reality is that my life centers around how much food I put into my body. If I was so focused on it, why not ensure it was good for me, right? Right.
So, let’s get started. Let me first preface this post by saying that YES, I understand it is near impossible to eat a diet that is completely parallel with how our ancestors ate. I did not create the name for this lifestyle of eating, but I am committed to doing what is best for my body, which is what led me here.

Ultimately, our goal is to follow the 80/100 rule, which means 100% paleo, 80% of the time. The extra 20% gives us a little wiggle room on the weekends, but the more and more we integrate fresh, healthy and organic foods, the less we are craving other stuff.

Now…
THE GOOD
Dane and I have successfully been committed to an all paleo diet for 4 weeks now! And I’m alive to tell you about it! Just kidding. I will admit, the first week was a bit scary, but once we got into the swing of things, we began kicking ass. The real key for us has been having a meal plan in place, an itemized grocery list and prepping things in advance. Oh, and dips. The key to meal survival is dips. Thank you Kelsey for that tip 🙂
“But isn’t paleo food all dry and disgusting?” Well, I don’t know about you, but dry and disgusting doesn’t fit the bill at my house when it comes to food. Here is what we’ve been eating…
This is, of course, just a small sampling but meals have included: Dijon Rosemary Porkchops, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Coconut Shrimp Cakes, Chicken Pecan Lettuce Wrap, Avocado and Spicy Mayo Stuffed Burders and Cauliflower Crust Pizza. The best part? They get the official husband seal of approval, which let me assure you, is not easy to come by!
We feel healthier, less bloated and have more energy than ever before. This speaks volumes considering I think we are the only people we know who get up at 4AM to go workout. We also don’t miss sugar anymore — cowabunga!
THE BAD
We are snackers. Big snackers. So initially we were like…what the heck do we do? We are hungry! We battled this hard on week one — so hard that I think Dane was beginning to doubt we could actually make this lifestyle work. But we persevered and I’m happy to report we are now LOVING snacking on dates, mango and Paleo Treats (more them tomorrow!). 
Dane and I also enjoy a good date night every now and again. Read also: imbibing in a cocktail or two. When we first began, we swore off alcohol entirely — we didn’t want it getting in the way of our commitment to a healthier life. Two weeks ago, we enjoyed our first drink in two weeks and we both admitted that we felt like we enjoyed it more because it was more of a treat. We’ve only had 2 drinks each in 4 weeks, so I think that while alcohol is not on the paleo diet, we will continue to allow ourselves a treat every now and again or for special occasions. After all, we need something sustainable and I’m a firm believer in finding a plan that works well for the long haul. 
So what next? Well, we’re doing this thing! We’ve got a meal plan laid in place for the next couple months (almost through the end of the year…GULP!) and things seem to be shaping up quite nicely. If you’ve participated in Whole30, eat paleo or are just a firm believer in eating healthy — I’d love to know your tips! I’m still new to this and any and all help is, of course, appreciated 🙂

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  • While we eat pretty healthy, we haven't jumped on the paleo bandwagon. I love that it doesn't have 'fake' foods filled with sugar but I don't really like how some paleo-recipe creators encourage frankenfood like pizza with cauliflower crust….that isn't pizza…just call it something else! 🙂 I am also allergic to tree nuts, so that eliminates a lot of the diet for me as well. I don't think I'd do well Paleo. Haha. However, the majority of the people I know who are Paleo feel great so there is something to the lifestyle/diet change!

  • I've considered going "mostly" Paleo since finishing up Whole30. Snacking was HUGE for me before Whole30, and definitely was a habit that was hard to break. As in, I don't think I broke it and just kept snacking only on healthier things 😉 Once I realized that I wasn't really denying myself anything, and I was still getting to eat DELICIOUS food, it was much better. All that food looks SO yummy!

  • You guys are rockstars! My biggest tip from my Whole30 (which goes along with dips) is make your own mayo and it's super easy! I followed this recipe http://thehealthyfoodie.com/fail-proof-home-made-paleo-mayo-whole30-compliant/ and it makes amazing mayo in like 30 seconds which you can then separate and add other flavors to. Curry was my fave 🙂

  • My husband and I have been meat free for 5 years, so a diet like this would be impossible for us… ok, probably not totally impossible since we eat fish, but not realistic. I'm so amazed by the people that stick to meal plans. It is our biggest goal now to stop wasting food and cook at home. Do you shop once a week or more often?

  • My husband and I have been trying to commit to this, but he is a meat and potatoes guy, and I am a picky eater. Any tips? Where do you get your recipes from? I try Pinterest, but it's just an over load for me…

  • This is something that I have wanted to do for a while, but I am so overwhelmed by the whole getting started part. Any tips for getting started and where to get good recipes??

  • I always say we are "paleo-ish." We try really hard to follow the 80/100 as well because we feel so, so much better when we do, but it's been a lot harder since we had kids to plan + prep. Is wine not paleo? Haha…hence the "ish"!

    P.S. I really appreciate how real and vulnerable you are sharing about your food anxiety, it is more impactful than you know!

  • Whaaat? Good are yall! You know I've got food issues too and I'm happy to hear this is working out for you and you're staying healthy and sane (it's hard to do). Dan and I really need to get it together or I am going to gain weight when I stop nursing. How do you meal plan? Tell me your ways.

  • Jen

    Good for you guys! I don't believe in the paleo diet but we really try to make half our plate veggies and to me that's good enough. I will never give up rice and cheese. They can pry it from my cold, dead hands!

  • Good for you guys!! I think the hardest part is the initial switch. We don't eat a paleo diet per se, we kind of adhere to the whole30 guidelines and then when we cheat we just cheat. Like no excuses, eat the damn pizza. And then we jump back on. Dips are everything in this house, and I have to say I have a love affair with homemade mayo. It's all about balance….we've had this conversation right? haha 😉

  • Jen

    Good for you guys for sticking with it! I'm not sure I could do it.

  • Wow, good for you guys! And thank you for sharing. "If I was so focused on it, why not ensure it was good for me, right?" is exactly what I needed to hear right now… When you've got these issues, it's so anxiety-inducing to imagine a life where you just let go of that focus (even though that food focus causes anxiety in itself – an annoying paradox), but shifting the focus on food, rather than trying to eliminate the focus, seems much more attainable. And look at you go! Everything looks/sounds really good – that was a big thing I found with Whole30. People wonder what the heck you eat on this restricted diet, and I say look at this GOOD FRESH STUFF! I love the Well Fed cookbooks – definitely check into those for more recipe ideas.

  • Inked as it's going well for you! I understand the struggle of wanting to eat healthy or not eating something for health reasons and telling people about it who just think you are jumping on a bandwagon. I hate it. I have a gluten sensitivity. I always feel weird telling people this. Mostly because it has never been officially diagnosed by a doctor but I don't need a doctor to tell me something is bad for me when it makes me feel terrible when I eat it. Ya know. I should have no shaming in eating gluten free and telling people I have a sensitivity to it. I also hate when people ask or make a big deal of you you eating healthy. Really? Why can't I just sit and eat my salad in peace? No thanks on the commentary. Now if you're asking about my delicious dressing? Let's talk 🙂

    Sorry for such a long comment! I should have just emailed you but I seriously struggle with this so much and it shouldn't be an issue. I should just be confident enough to tell people that yes sometime I do eat gluten but yes I do still have a legitimate sensitivity to it.

  • Great post about Paleo! I have gone back and forth about whether to try it and I think I just know myself well enough to know that it isn't realistic for me, but that might just be an excuse because it isn't easy or fun a lot of the time to follow a diet like this, so props to you guys! I like the 80/20 rule. No one can be perfect all of the time, that leads to binging and falling off/getting back on the wagon every week (been there). Thanks for this info!

  • WOOHOO, cheers to a food lifestyle you enjoy. it is amazing when you find one right? We did Paleo four years ago and the first time I tried it was miserable. I had the carb flue something bad and we didn't really have as many options online as there are now. Out second attempt was much better, but it wasn't the right fit for long. This year we did Whole30 and it was an incredible experience. It was the first time I really stuck to any kind of eating plan and I learned so much about food, my taste buds and that I CAN say no to a treat.

    Here is the link from my first whole30 http://pinkypersistence.blogspot.com/2015/03/whole30-food-for-thought

    and here is a link to my second round. http://pinkypersistence.blogspot.com/2015/06/youre-such-spaghetti-squash-and-whole30

    I loved Nomnompaleodotcom, she has some great recipes. I'm excited to watch your journey and am here for any Whole30 questions!

  • Hi! I'm stopping by from HodgesPodges. My family is mostly Paleo too, and your food looks amazing! Where can we find links to the recipes you used? I'm always looking for new ideas.