Sick has a lot of connotations and varies in degree and severity, of course, so for clarity, here are some of the symptoms I was regularly experiencing:
- upset stomach
- chronic fatigue
- aches and pains (for me, these were quite severe)
- frequent headaches
- trouble seeing/dizziness
Now my health situation is surely unique from yours, and likely some factors are related to an autoimmune condition, that I'll openly share more about as I continue to undergo testing and educate myself. But, as an American, subject to processed foods, drugs and stress, I'm sure you can relate in some way or another by experiencing at least some of these symptoms.
In recent months, I've made large strides to become "healthy-ish." I exercise regularly, eat many fresh, organic foods, and make a point to avoid at least the triggers that I know adversely affect me [Exhibit A: Gluten.] I stepped away from my corporate lifestyle in Manhattan, and with it some of the obvious unhealthy components affiliated with it: a sedentary lifestyle accompanied by alcohol, high stress levels and sometimes, performance-enhancing drugs [more to come on this.] But after noticing that my body AND mind were in reactive states, I worked to rethink the way I perceived stress, which funnily enough, comes down to perception. With this, I was able to start two companies: a marketing consulting company and what you're reading right now. I was also able to make a conscious change to live simpler. My definition of this was needing less and learning more.
But despite my ambition to live a "healthy-ish" lifestyle, I was still experiencing some of these problematic symptoms. So what was causing these? How did I fix them? What is this "clean method" I've been talking about?
As I strove to define "clean eating" and apply it to my life so I could then candidly share the results with you guys, something funny happened...an OT and a personal trainer, with a niche for nutrition and overall wellbeing, happened upon me.
By the grace of God or karma or whatever you call it, Chris came into my life at the right time, and like all people: for a reason. He challenged my definition of health, and by doing so, opened up an opportunity for me to follow his clean eating regimen, which is less of a regimen and more of a lifestyle.
Immediately, he recognized that foods were adversely affecting, or "insulting," my body. That weird rash on my arm that the derm wanted to prescribe a strong, synthetic cream for? "Dairy," deemed Chris, with an unmistakable confidence.
I knew Chris was onto something, but if anyone was a hard sell for a strict regimen, it was me. I didn't want to feel restricted. Been there, done that, I explained to Chris. [Part of this mentality developed after seeing an Eastern doctor a few years ago when I was desperate and sick, who had told me I had to AVOID 20+ foods at all costs.]
Plus, as I originally told, Chris, I didn't have time. I was too busy and...here comes the boot-strapped businesswoman in me... I didn't want to lay out the extra cash.
Ya da, ya da, ya da.
You'd probably say some of the same things I did. But as I soon came to realize, fueling your body with the right stuff is what gives you the energy to get through both the challenging and the fun stuff, and affords you the ability to FEEL GOOD with the time you do have.
Still, you're not interested in dieting right? Good. Because neither was I. And that actually means you're the ideal candidate for this. It's not a diet. It's...cha-ching...a way of life.
What does it mean to be a Paleo?
Underlying the Paleo lifestyle is the belief is that us humans remain best adapted to the diet of our Paleolithic ancestors. Why? They had 2.5 million years to adapt their nutritional needs to certain, available foods before the advent of agriculture and domestication of animals. Paleo proponents claim that our metabolisms have been unable to adapt to many of the foods that have since become avaialble, which include: grains, legumes, dairy and high-calorie processed foods. Undoubtedly, many of these are a staple of modern diets, especially American diets. Proponents also posit that our inability to metabolize these relatively new food types has been linked to modern day problems that appear to being running rampant in America and include heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Essentially, those that sanction this diet believe that humans should go back to eating whole, unprocessed foods that are for optimal health. Again, "go back," because for 2.5 million years, we were eating like this.
What can you eat as a Paleo?
Luckily, many yummy things! As a Paleo, you can enjoy:
- Grass-fed meats
- Fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetables
- Healthy oils (olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado, coconut)
What does Chris' 8 Week Clean Eating Program look like?
Weeks 1 & 2
Chris buys, preps & provides instructions on all of your meals (I was provided with a nice self-explanatory spreadsheet)
Weeks 2 & 3
Chris shops and prepares all of your meals with you (so you learn step-by-step, how to do it on your own)
Week 5 - 8
Chris is regularly available for text, email and/or Skype support to keep you on track & motivated, as well as to answer any questions you might have
For me too, it felt like hard work to dive into a program like this...to lose the "ish" and just embrace my ultimate state of healthy.
Your chronic problems? True, they won't go away overnight because that, just like processed foods, would be unnatural. But at the end of week 1, tell me how you feel. [Literally, tell me. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.] Lighter, happier, more energetic? What about less stressed?
That's what I felt, too.
At the end of eight weeks, share with me again how you feel. Stronger? More capable? What about an increased sense of discipline?
I don't preach things I don't believe in. I'm telling you candidly that I am grateful for finding Chris at a time in my life when I was sick, as he enabled me to feel healthy again.
I'd recommend him to anyone searching for health, happiness or spirituality, as he also embarks on his health journey with the exciting opening of his private practice: I CAN HEALTH.
If my journey into health means anything, it is to create an open platform for sharing with you.
You deserve to wake up everyday and feel great. After all, what is life and purpose without your health?