[photo credit: Jose C Silva]
At the beginning of the year, I decided to cut out artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
I started with my 1-a-day diet soda - I tried to switch from Fresca to Zevia, a stevia-sweetened soda. I tried Lemon Lime, Grapefruit, Cream, and Cola, but haven't found a flavor that I actually like.
I also stopped drinking my morning coffee. I generally like my coffee pretty sweet and milky, so I used to add 2 packets of Vanilla Splenda, Torani sugar-free Vanilla syrup, and skim milk. But with no artificial sweetners, that had to go. So for a hot morning beverage now I drink about 3c green tea with mint - a bag Bigelow Green Tea with Mint, and 2 bags Celestial Seasonings Spearmint. I've found I like it chilled just as well as warm.
In mid-January, a friend of my husband's decided to complete a 30-day Paleo challenge, wherein she ate only "paleo-friendly" foods (PDF) - lean meats/protein, fruits, and vegetables. It was really interesting to read her posts and status updates, so I started researching it.
Like other healthy eating options, it's a "lifestyle change" - Paleo is about rewiring how you think about food and what you need to feed your body. It's about breaking yourself of unhealthy addictions that are gumming up your system and causing all sorts of health issues. Here are some helpful FAQ pages to learn more:
For the past month or so I've been following a mostly-paleo diet, with some elements of a Green Smoothie diet and Raw diet thrown in. I haven't been stritcly paleo - I'll have an occasional glass of milk, a cup of yogurt, sweet potatoes, corn, or peas. I just don't think those choices are going to derail my healthy eating success.
Along with artificial sweeteners, I've cut out most baked goods/gluten and processed foods. No more fruit snacks, chips, muffins, ice cream, or frozen diet lunches. I mostly eat fresh foods, or foods that are "whole" from the source (e.g. frozen green beans, nothing added).
I feel fuller and more satisfied after eating than I ever have before. I'm eating so much less - though this could be a mind trick I'm playing on myself. I started tracking my food on PaleoTrack today, so we'll see what my food log proves.
I have many other thoughts to share about all this, but I'll close for now with a few questions. Have you heard of the Paleo diet? Do you know anyone who has tried it? How has it worked for them? Any recipe links or suggestions?