I often get the question ”How long have you been eating Paleo and why did you decide to do it?” The answers are quite simple and I think a more important question is “Why are you still eating Paleo?”
I’ve been a fairly strict Paleo eater for about 2.5 years now. The short answer on why I decided to try it is that it was an experiment. When I first heard about eating “Paleo”, I put it in the same category as going Vegan…unrealistic, impractical, and a complete waste. As I became more serious about Crossfit, I began to learn more about nutrition. I read some books and learned about elevated insulin levels, diabetes, heart disease, and balancing hormones. As an endurance athlete I had always eaten as many carbs as possible and thought that was the only way to go. So as my nutritional knowledge increased, I gave up my morning cereal and began to decrease my carb intake. After reducing my carb intake and seeing some good results, I realized going full bore Paleo would not be that much of a stretch. So as an experiment, I gave it a try. Like I said, that was 2.5 years ago and I haven’t looked back.
So now, what I feel is the more important question, why am I still doing it? First, the most tangible difference is my health. For as far back as I can remember I always had at least 2-3, if not more, severe chest colds every year. These included deep chest coughs that frequently turned into bronchitis. Once when I was in college it turned into Pneumonia. I just figured these colds were a way of life and would push through, get healthy, start to increase my exercise volume, and then usually get sick again. Since switching to Paleo I have not been sick. Sure, I’ve had some minor colds, but nothing anywhere close to what I used to get. For this reason alone, I have no desire to ever to go back to not eating Paleo.
This first reason for sticking with it leads directly to my second. Not being sick has allowed me to train much more consistently and increase performance. At age 34 I am stronger, leaner, and faster than I was at 24.
Part of smart training and increasing performance includes taking de-load weeks and allowing your body to recover. I would never take time off prior to going Paleo because I knew if I wasn’t exercising I would be gaining weight (not the good kind). Eating Paleo allows me to reduce my training volume and not have to worry about putting on the wrong kind of weight.
So those are my 3 big reasons for sticking with it, health, performance, and weight management. Everyone has their own reasons for trying it and why they stay with it, those are mine. If you’ve been looking at it from the outside wondering how hard it is and if it will work, give it a try, you can always go back if you don’t see any changes.
My last video was about how we make/keep prepared protein. This one is about how we keep our favorite post workout meal on hand. From the time I initially heard the idea, it took me 3 years to try sweet potatoes as a post workout meal. Once I tried it, there’s no going back.