Meet Another Paleo Newbie

Meet Rebecca!  Rebecca is an old friend of mine that, as you will learn in this post, has some VERY big advantages on the rest of us when it comes to following the Paleo lifestyle.  I actually hesitate to describe her as a newbie, she's kinda' Paleo from the way back.  Late last year Rebecca started asking me questions about Paleo.  I gave her all the deets and encouraged her to go for it.  She set a date and got into things right away.  Rebecca is a very active woman in her late thirties, who is planning a summer wedding right now (can you imagine a better way than Paleo to look your gorgeous best on your wedding day?).  Currently, she is doing straight Paleo, but she may eventually kick it up a notch with AIP.  Recently, I asked her some questions about going Paleo, because I thought her interesting story would be awesome for all of you to read.

Rebecca out snow shoeing with a friend, 'cause she does completely bad ass stuff like that all the time.

1)  When did you start?  How long have you been doing it?
I started the Paleo diet on January 14th, roughly 11 weeks ago.

2)  How did you learn about it?
I learned about it from Angie, but now I see it everywhere.

3)  What motivated you to give it a try?
I was motivated to try it, because I have psoriasis and had heard that a gluten free diet can help with the symptoms.

4)  Before you began, what seemed the most difficult?
No bread, no oatmeal, no cheese.  Just changing my normal routine.

5)  After beginning, what are the greatest challenges?
Traveling.  Four weeks in we went to Colorado for ten days.  Eating on the road is extremely challenging.  Practically impossible, unless you pack everything with you.

6)  What has been the greatest benefit?
The biggest benefit, and I can not say this enough, you will feel better.  I used to hit this wall in the afternoon.  Tired, hungry, just dragging.  That is gone.  I've read that it has to do with my blood sugar.  Makes sense to me.  I just know how I feel.  I do not feel hungry most of the time.  I also don't have alot of food cravings.

7)  What new info about nutrition surprised you the most?
I wasn't surprised alot by the nutrition information.  I was really surprised to find out how much of our food has hidden gluten and soy.  Practically EVERYTHING!

8)  Do you plan to continue?
I do plan to continue.

9)  What is your new favorite Paleo dish?
My fave Paleo dish is chicken chili verde.  I really could eat it every day.

10)  What non-Paleo food do you still miss?
I miss cheese.  I have not been a perfect Paleo-er.  I've had cheese a couple of times.  Not on a regular basis.  A couple of times.  I did not go crazy with it.  My bottom line is no grain.  That's the real deal.  Like I said, I have had cheese.  I may have had a bite of John's (the fiance) ice cream when he and Maggee (blogger's daughter) got some.  I have ranch dressing occasionally if I am eating out.  I'm mostly good.  I've never been big on dairy, not a milk drinker.  I miss my oatmeal.  John used to make me oatmeal every morning.  Maybe I just miss him making my breakfast.  I know now he just made me some, because he was making his own.

11)  Have you learned new skills in the kitchen as a result of cooking so much more?
I did not learn new skills in the kitchen.  If you know me, you know I got this.  I used to cook for 65-70 people every day.  I love to cook.  I don't remember not knowing how to cook.  It's sort of second nature to me.  I definitely do things different now.  No more pork chops with mashed potatoes and cream gravy.  Ahhh, comfort food.  But I do love a good pork roast with steamed sweet potatoes and asparagus.  I don't deprive myself.

12)  Have there been any unexpected changes?
I'm down 14 pounds.  I feel fabulous.  On a side note, I have not seen alot of changes in my psoriasis.  Angie has mentioned and I have read, that may require me to go to an autoimmune diet.  I am not giving it serious consideration at this point.

13)  You have an interesting lifestyle that really supports the transition to Paleo, can you tell us about?
I may have an advantage over most people who try Paleo.  I have a garden in the summer (she's been gardening for a long time).  What I don't freeze, I can.  I have a freezer full of organic meat (which she hunts and fishes herself).  I get fresh eggs from a friend.  I was practically there already.  Today I am canning elk meat.  I'll use the canned elk meat for everything.  It's good by itself, and I know what is in it.  I also can fish.  It's amazing.  (Rebecca was sort Paleo, before Paleo was Paleo.)

14)  Who would you encourage to try Paleo?
I would encourage absolutely anyone to try Paleo.

15)  Any words of encouragement for people thinking of starting Paleo?
I do best when I can just grab something quick for lunch, usually that is leftovers.  There is nothing quick about Paleo.  It is alot of planning.  There are a ton of resources out there for newbies.  The best advice I could give someone who wants to try this . . . Just do it.  Have a plan.  Clean out the bad stuff so it is not there.  Make a list of things you can have.  Educate yourself.  Plan ahead, that way you don't have to figure it out when you are rushed.  Be realistic about how hard it is going to be for you.  Surround yourself with people who support what you are doing.  You can sabotage yourself easily enough without the influence of others.  Expect criticism, ignore it.  Do it for yourself.  It's worth it.

Rebecca's garden . . . ready for her to work her magic.
The garden in full swing.
Just a small snapshot of her amazing pantry.

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