What Worked For Me
Part II, Dietary Changes Like Paleo and Keto
In the first part of my series on What’s Worked for Me, I covered a little bit about essential oils, how they helped me, and how they could help you. I did not go into great detail about all the essential oils out there, just a few highlights on the ones I used exclusively to make small, but important changes that have lasting effects.
In this second installment, I’d like to focus on the dietary changes I made that helped me lose twenty pounds, then stall, then implement a different, more strict — but in my opinion — less sustainable, choice, leading full circle to where I started.
As I said in the previous article, in 2014 after losing my mom to complications of PKD*, I decided to deep dive into changes in my routine to lose weight, get healthier, and learned a new way of eating that isn’t a diet, more like a lifestyle. I started with what I called the caveman diet, more familiarly known as Paleo.
In four easy steps, I had changed my whole way of eating, incorporated essential oils, had and increased energy which enabled me to exercise, until a few years later when my weight loss stalled and I changed gears and tried the Keto diet. Along the way, I started a blog called Alternative Lifestyle which can be found on my Pinterest boards but is no longer up and running as a blog.
When I first started with the Paleo diet, the first step was to clean house. By that I mean, get rid of everything in your pantry that comes in a box or a bag, ie; processed foods. Clean out junk food like chips, bread, pasta, table sugar, vegetable oils, and wheat. Keep fruits, veggies, meat, and eggs. Nuts are fine except peanuts.*
The next step in the process was to clean my body, no, not like taking a shower. What I did was rid my body of collected waste sitting in the colon and flushed out the toxins so I could enjoy the optimum benefits of my whole food diet. I did a cleanse. There are many products on the market to accomplish this, talk to your doctor or health care provider about the one that is best for you.
The next step on the list was the fun, yet in the beginning, expensive step until one has all the basics. Then, the next shopping trip will just be filling in the supplemental foods you eat every week. So that first shopping trip, I had to replace the vegetable oil with coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. Those are the only acceptable oils on the Paleo diet. I shopped the perimeter of the store where all the whole foods are for salad fixings, meats, eggs, almond milk, sweet potatoes, wild-caught salmon, or tuna. As a pasta replacement, I bought zucchini and learned how to spiralize it.
Other veggies work also, like spaghetti squash. I learned how to cook the best brown rice in the oven, Alton Brown style. Buying raw nuts, like almonds and walnuts, gave me snack ideas. I learned how to make bulletproof coffee, which I still drink to this day. No margarine, real butter-like Kerrygold, which is grass-fed. I couldn't afford grass-fed meat, so I just bought lean cuts of beef, pork, and poultry. It worked for me. Change fruit choices to low-glycemic types like apples or pears. My favorite snack is a green apple with no/low sugar nut butter. Making these changes allowed me to drop twenty pounds and feel better in general.
Incorporate essential oils like Lemon and Frankincense to aid with energy, improve moods, and balance hormones. I used them like this: one drop of each in my drinking water, or if a recipe called for lemon, I sometimes used a drop in food or drink.
I also changed my regular cinnamon for Ceylon cinnamon, thought to be the true cinnamon. It has been proven that many store brands of cinnamon are filled with sawdust and other fake fillers.
After a few years, I started allowing a few more processed foods which probably caused my weight loss to stall. It was then I read about the new trend in dieting called Keto, and I dove straight in. I lost weight again, but after a year or two, multiple losses in my family, stress, Covid, and the lockdown, I have to admit, the diet grew less sustainable and I have gone back to a more Paleo type of diet because that one works best for me in the long run. I have a cheat night a week when my husband and I go eat Mexican food and have a margarita. I mean, you have to enjoy life a little, right?! (I never got COVID, by the way, I just got lazy during the lockdown and ate for comfort).
The Keto way of eating is great for quick weight loss, yet hard to maintain. It is strict, you must track your macros to have success, and I really got tired of trying to figure out what to eat, it got boring having to account for every morsel I ate. Just being honest here. I could have kept it up had I been so motivated, but lately, I just need ease with all stressors that I have. So simple works better for me, it’s easy really. Breakfast is some low-carb choices like egg cups made with eggs, veggies, and meat-like bacon or sausage. Baked blueberry oatmeal is another good one, a pan lasts several days, so you can alternate between different things for breakfast. Boiled eggs, fruit, and meat are another good breakfast choice.
Lunch is a super salad with some kind of meat like chicken or salmon, or one of those pizzas with a crust made of chicken. Or skip lunch if breakfast filled you up. Or have a smoothie and toss some chia or flax seeds in for energy and digestive benefits.
Dinner is meat, a vegetable and salad. Get creative with salad and it can be less boring. I like something like a piece of chicken or a pork chop, a grilled sweet potato, and a super salad with nuts and all the veggies piled on.
Desserts are plentiful. When you are back to the Paleo lifestyle, keto desserts work, as well as Paleo desserts. My Pinterest boards are full of ideas. Fat bombs, homemade ice cream, keto cheesecake, one-minute cakes for one, puddings, stevia-sweetened candy…the list is endless, honestly. We can all make smart changes with our diets, it isn’t hard. Get rid of junk. Get off of sugar — it’s the devil and addicting as cocaine.
I hope you think about what goes in your body from now on and you will have better health, fewer prescriptions, (I got off my antidepressants all by myself), and the energy to at least take a walk. That will tone you up and help your heart. Drink water all day and if you choose to enjoy a drink at night, make it red wine, a diet soda with white liquor like vodka, or one of the new seltzer beverages like Truly Punch. Limit yourself to one or two and try a CBD gummy before bed. You will sleep better and your body will thank you for that, I promise!
Next installment I will cover my CBD experiments and report my findings. Hope you tune in for that one. Peanuts are not allowed on Paleo because they are considered legumes that contain phytates that prevent the nutrients in certain foods from being properly absorbed.