In the end, after a prompting by the doctor for all of us to use our resources to increase health and wellness, I felt inspired to offer my blog as a resource and even left a stack of my new business cards with the receptionist. Dr. B says he'll email out the blog address to everyone on his mailing list and recommend it as a potential resource.
Wow! I was not expecting that at all. That's really exciting.
So now, I feel it's important to make a post to welcome any newcomers to my blog that happened as a result of accepting the invitation to come speak.
Okay, so for those of you who didn't hear me speak, I'll provide a quick recap of the highlights:
I began receiving chiropractic care last autumn after some severe back pain left me doubting the help (basically pills) that my MD was able to provide. But in talking to the chiropractor, he shared with me how many of my other health issues probably stemmed from a number of subluxations in my spine. He wanted to me to start coming in three times per week for adjustments and hoped that I'd see improvements overall -- not just with my back pain.
After the initial slight tenderness following the first couple of adjustments, I started feeling ten times better. I was able to move more freely, I had more energy and I slept better than I had in years.
Soon after, I attended a workshop about "ways to improve our health nutritionally" (now I know that as the "Paleo workshop") with my son, H. We left there that evening feeling really charged up about wanting to take on the 30-day challenge, allowing us to detox our bodies of grains, dairy, sugar and a lot of artificial stuff we regularly consumed (i.e., diet soda).
So we started that night. Regular chiropractic care in combination with the dietary changes we were making made huge changes in my overall well-being. I was able to decrease some of my prescription medications and as I journaled each day's meals and weight loss, I included a line about my general mood upon waking and before bed. I started noticing that I was not only losing pounds, but I was beginning to write the word, "happy," on the mood lines. I think, "peaceful," made it in there, too, a couple times.
I no longer dreaded getting up in the morning to start my day and I didn't end each day stress- and anxiety-filled. It was awesome.
When the 30 days was up, H decided to take what he learned and adapt his lifestyle to making some better choices in his diet, but he had no intentions of staying Paleo after that. He just loves bread way too much. But I decided to continue, allowing myself the occasional treat of bread or cheese, but generally sticking to the Paleo principles.
With my husband's help, I had a Paleo-Thanksgiving, but when Christmas came and we were traveling, staying with extended family members and tempted by a large number of "treats," I tried to stick to Paleo best I could, but let's face it ... that time of year is just really tough (or it was for me) to live grain, sugar and dairy free.
However, after the new year and I returned from a second trip to California in two weeks, C decided to do the 30-day challenge and I decided to detox again to start the year on a high note. We're a couple weeks into this second challenge (of mine) now and I feel great. I had lost about 13 pounds overall between November and December and since this new challenge began, I've lost nearly 10 more.
I intend to stick with Paleo for a long time -- giving allowance for occasional treats now and then and extending myself grace at the really challenging holidays.
I wanted to list a few resources here that I have found extremely useful in sticking with Paleo (and still finding plenty of joy in life).
Some of my favorite Paleo blogs I've found (this is aside from the resources on my chiropractor's website), are:
- The Paleo Mom - She's a very educated woman, a scientist, who decided to be home and raise her family. She struggles with autoimmune issues, so she has to be even more nutritionally strict than many Paleo Peeps (as my mom-in-law calls us). Her recipes are amazing and wonderful and I love the way she explains things using solid facts and evidence. She has great ideas for helping families eat better, too, which is perfect for me and our family of seven. Her blog has been so helpful for people that it's being transitioned into more of a Team Paleo Mom effort very soon.
- PaleOMG - Here's another blog with just fabulous recipes (and delicious photos) that we have returned to time and again. I, personally, differ with this author in values and lifestyle from what I've read, but gosh, can this girl invent fabulous food! So I still visit her site almost daily.
- The Clothes Make the Girl - This blog/site has so much information on Paleo (and healthy living) that I can't begin to summarize it. Just go. Go there and read her stuff. Then order her cookbook, Well Fed, because it's beautiful and yummy. We sent it to my mom-in-law for Christmas and I got it for C at the beginning of his 30-day challenge. He loves it! (There's even a free 30-page preview available on her website if you're interested.)
In addition to online reading and research, I've found that our local natural stores carry a lot of the additional ingredients we Paleo Peeps like to have in our pantries. I'm so excited but we'll be getting a Whole Foods Store closer to home very soon! In the meantime, I make cross-town journeys quite often to visit Trader Joe's, which has the best Coconut Oil (product and price).
I remember when my weight plateaued for a bit in my first 30-day challenge and the doctor said, "You need more fat in your diet." It sounded absurd and I still can barely type it without chuckling. But as soon as I started cooking most things in coconut oil and enjoying bacon more often, my weight loss continued! My health improved! It's insane, but it works.
I also love the variety of nuts and almond butter Trader Joe's keeps in stock. We buy our bags of greens there, too -- not too pricey and all prepped and ready to put in the pot with some broth and bacon, of course! And don't forget to pick up some Dark Chocolate Honey Mints for a little treat when you're craving chocolate.
At Sprouts, another local natural food store, I've discovered the slightly pricey, but very delicious So Delicious ice "cream." It's all organic and made with coconut milk and therefore, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free and sweetened with agave instead of sugar. (Please don't be confused with a similar brand called Soy Delicious.) I see on their website there are several flavors to pick from, but most regular stores carry only vanilla (which is actually one of my least favorites of the flavors I've tried), while Sprouts carries chocolate and mint chip as well. Mint Chip is the best so far, in my opinion, but the chocolate is good, too.
Okay, well, if this is your first visit to my blog -- I apologize for being so long-winded. I just have a lot to say on the subject of working towards better health (spoken from the heart of someone who has spent a lot of years in not very good health). I hope you'll join us again (or follow me!) and enjoy the updates as I continue to make lifestyle changes, as well as sharing stories about my everyday life.
Click HERE to read some of my older posts about my Paleo journey.