Meet Another Paleo Newbie

Meet Jake!  Jake is one of my younger, funnier, more sarcastic cousins.  Sometime in November or December he started catching me on FB and asking some questions about eating up Paleo-style.  A few weeks later he was off and running with it. Jake is a husband and father in his early 30’s and doing straight Paleo, with no reason to suspect he needs Autoimmune Protocol.  Recently, I asked him some questions about going Paleo, since I thought readers who have not yet “made the switch” would be interested in a newbie perspective.  He works in a very labor intensive environment, so if Paleo is keeping him fueled up, it’ll keep you fueled up.  

Jake & his son sharing some wintery outdoor time.
1)  When did you start?  How long have you been doing it?
Jeez, it's hard to tell really.  Since before Christmas 2012.  To be honest I half assed it for about two weeks, telling myself I wasn't eating Paleo, before I got serious.  So say maybe six weeks +/- a few days.

2)  How did you learn about it?
I heard about it on the interweb machine, from Angie Alt!

3)  What motivated you to give it a try?
I joined Yellowstone Crossfit in Billings MT.  I wanted to compliment what I was doing in the gym to maximize my results. 

4)  Before you began, what seemed the most difficult?
Umm, I just didn't want to be the guy who has an eating lifestyle that defines him.  It seems to me that when you meet people who are vegan, that’s all they talk about.  I didn't want to be douchey like that.

5)  After beginning, what are the greatest challenges?
You know, I just got on board.  Working within the “Practical Paleo” cookbook and a few online sources has been very rewarding.

6)  What has been the greatest benefit? 
In such a short time the rewards are profound.  My moods are stable, not getting "hangry," I have more energy, improved body composition.
7)  What new info about nutrition surprised you the most?
Paleo is "pseudoscience" so take your pick of wild nutritional claims.  That’s sarcasim, I love the Robb Wolf podcast, mostly because it's from a sports aspect, but also because it's so real and they swear.  I learned a lot from listening to it.  You can either balk at it or you can get it and run with it.  Bottom line is that insulin modulation is the key to healthy living.  Eat meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, low starch and no refined sugar.  Learn the difference between your mouth and a vacuum, it's that simple.

8)  Do you plan to continue?
Yes!  My wife and I find any hassle of rounding up quality food negated by the health benefits.

9)  What is your new favorite Paleo dish?
The paleo pancakes from the “Practical Paleo” cookbook.  Hands down.  (Angie here.  If you have not bought this book yet . . . buy it already!)

10)  What non-Paleo food do you still miss?
Gas station food. Don't judge me!

11)  Have you learned new skills in the kitchen as a result of cooking so much more?
Variety!  Just mixing up the veggies and protein and making enough for work lunches and early morning breakfast.

12)  Have there been any unexpected changes? 
I work in a high dust environment and my eyes were always semi-blood shot.  I just figured that "it is what it is."  One day my wife noticed the whites of my eyes and the difference was amazing.  Although not completely clear, with a few stray red streaks, the whites of my eyes were snow white.  That's the moment when I was like "holy shit, it's working."

13)  Who would you encourage to try Paleo?
The only thing I can say is give it an honest four to six weeks of clean Paleo.  If you don't see positive changes, then you're doing it wrong.  Get past the transition period and see how you "look, perform, and feel."
14)  You have a young son & a pregnant wife, what is it like adopting Paleo as a family?
My wife is now six months pregnant and we started eating Paleo together.  Not coming from the AI side of the diet, she is more like 90/10 Paleo.  Sliding in some pregnancy comfort food with breakfast or before bed.  You see the pics of the food she makes I post on FB.  She's an awesome cook and has seen benefits in her mood and skin clarity.  As for our almost five year old boy, he eats what we eat for our three main meals a day.  We're not short order cooks.  We may present it differently on the plate for him then we do for ourselves, but the meat, veggies, and fruit are the same.  What’s for dinner is what’s for dinner, and with a rare exception he eats everything without fuss.  As for snacks we avoid refined sugar, but are fairly easy going on, for instance, kid’s organic cliff bars.  He's at a stage that if he tells you he's hungry he means it and we haven't gotten into portable Paleo snacks yet.

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