Back in early November, I wrote a short blog for you on some of the ways that eating AIP changed my life. Who knew that changing what one puts in one's mouth could make such a huge impact. I thought today I'd circle back to this topic so I could show you five more ways it has transformed my life:
Five Ways That AIPaleo Changed My Whole Life:
1) It changed what my cupboards & refrigerator look like . . . my kitchen is not overstuffed with tons of boxes, bags, & cans filled with toxic food-like substances anymore. There is no pasta. No pasta sauces. No frozen dinners. No cereal. No soda. No beans. No ice cream. On & on. It is all gone. Today is grocery day, so my pantry & fridge actually look very empty. That doesn't bother me a bit though. It means we bought all the fresh things we could consume and used up every bit in one week. Even in my pre-Paleo days, I worried alot about not wasting, so I love the new "buy just enough and eat up" method.
My Fridge: Top Shelf=eggs, jars of bone broth, raw probiotics for my daughter, fremented cod liver oil for me, Middle Shelf=spinach, half an avocado, pastured pork being thawed for the morning+patties I already made up, kraut, & a jar of coconut cream, Bottom Shelf=leftover pork loin, filtered water, Braggs apple cider vinegar, Drawers=fresh rosemary, carrots, half an onion, Door=cartons of coconut milk.
My Pantry: We really only need the one shelf for food storage these days, Middle Shelf=g-free pancake mix for my daughter, coconut oil, craisins, tapioca flour, black strap molasses, sliced black olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, & premade snack bags of raisins & cashews for my husband.
After we go grocery shopping, there will be ALOT more green and other colors, as we fill up the kitchen with fruits and veg.
2) It changed how I spend my money. This one is sorta' obvious. We almost never eat out now, so we've probably spent less than $200 on restaurant food in the last six months. We spend alot more on groceries though. The bulk of our grocery budget goes to meat. We spend a good chunk on grass-fed, organic meats, but we have to fill-in with conventional meats (I can't wait for the day we can afford all grass-fed, organic). We also just buy more food in general. We don't fill in the gaps during the week with a pizza or a stop at the drive-thru, so we have to have all that food on hand ourselves. We also make all our own breakfasts and lunches, so we need to buy enough groceries to account for all that. There are also other ways it changed how I spend, but I'll save that for a future post.
3) It changed what I value. I knew all about the importance of good soil, clean water, and a decent living for family farmers long before I went AIPaleo. I grew up in a very rural area and we raised alot of our own food. I knew about spreading manure over a garden to enhance the soil. I knew about how to feed chickens so they were happy and healthy. Even as an adult I've had the luxury of seeing first hand what it means when a population goes without access to safe, clean water. But now, I see the big web that connects my personal health, literally in my own gut, all the way to clean rivers, rich soils, healthy farm animals, and happy farmers. It matters to me in a brand new way.
4) It changed what I do with my time. If I value soil and water and animals and the people who raise the animals, then naturally it means I spend alot of my time learning all I can about the issues that affect those things. I spend at least 10 minutes of every day (my husband thinks it is much more than that) learning about the thing that is most valuable to us: water and food. What good food really is, how bad food makes us sick, how much water we need, how it gets polluted, how to clean it, the kind of support our farmers need, the systems that support good food, and the systems that eagerly produce bad food for huge profit . . . I read about and think about all these topics and more all the time. I guess it is like Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
5) Speaking of time . . . it changed how I cook. I'm not talking about the kind of food I cook, I'm talking about how I prepare food. I almost never just go into the kitchen now and make just one single meal. Yesterday, I made AIP legal cookies to take over to a friends for dinner, while also preparing two pork loin roasts that turned out to be enough for the friend's family and our family. One night last weekend, I made a roast chicken dinner, chicken and veggie soup (that added to my lunches all week), and started my own sauerkraut. Some nights I clean up the kitchen and throw bones into the slow cooker for bone broth, while forming sausage patties for weekday breakfasts. Dinner is always big enough for lunch leftovers. I've gotten so good at it making the most of my kitchen time, that I think I might need to do a future post on the topic. Maximizing your kitchen time . . . coming soon!
Have you started Paleo or AIP? How has changing what you put in your mouth, changed your whole life? Tell me. I would seriously love to hear about it!