Meet More Paleo Newbies

Meet Jonathan and Adrienne!  I've known this awesome married couple since about 2008.  In early January they invited me over to give them my Paleo pitch.  After that they planned a start date and began their clean eating journey.  Jonathan is a busy professor, father of three, and a coach in his early 40's.  Adrienne runs a daycare, is a mommy to three, and is a very athletic woman in her early 30's.  They are currently doing straight Paleo, with no reason to suspect they need AIP.  Recently I asked them to talk about their Paleo adventure, because their story is so inspiring for couples, especially busy parent couples, who are considering making the leap together.

Jonathan and Adrienne lookin' fancy!

1)  When did you start?  How long have you been doing it?
We started January 29, 2013.  We ate Paleo for 30 days, but indulged in some or our favorite sweets for Jonathan's 40th birthday, which was during our first 30 days.

2)  How did you learn about it?
The lovely Angie Alt!

3)  What motivated you to give it a try?
Jonathan and I were looking for a diet that would have lasting effects.  We have tried almost everything out there.

4)  Before you began, what seemed the most difficult?
Our major trepidation involved the loss of sweets . . . definitely a challenge!  Another concern was how were we going to incorporate Paleo into our daily routine.  We have three kids who we decided wouldn't go completely Paleo (though they do eat some of our meals).  Also, Adrienne runs a daycare, so making meals for them, such as lovely Tyson chicken nuggets, proved somewhat tempting.

5)  After beginning, what are the greatest challenges?
Not that it was really a challenge, but we found that we had to plan our meals rather than wing it.  We would use the old "we don't have anything to eat" excuse to justify a trip to a restaurant.  What we perceived as a challenge . . . cooking every meal at home, has really been a blessing in disguise, as it has helped us organize ourselves better, take ownership over what we eat, and actually helped us from a budgetary standpoint.

6)  What has been the greatest benefit?
For Adrienne, she has enjoyed the weight loss, and most importantly is comforted by the fact that she is eating food that is actually good for her.  For us, this wasn't about going on a diet per se, . . . but trying to alter how we eat and live.  As we have transitioned to Paleo, we are transitioning the entire family as well.  We are more diligent about preparing snacks when we go out, and outside of a few things, the kids are eating healthier.  Prior to Paleo, Jonathan was on medication for acid reflux, which he has not needed since starting on Paleo.

7)  What new info about nutrition surprised you the most?
In our first trips to the grocery store where we took time to read labels, we were shocked to see how often certain ingredients . . . like high fructose corn syrup and any number of related soy products, are found in foods that they seemingly have no business being in!  Get out of my food please!

8)  Do you plan to continue?
Yes.  After our 30 day program, we had a few slip ups, but we continue to eat the majority of our meals following the Paleo platform and are about to start another 30 day program.  This is a life change.

9)  What is your new favorite Paleo dish?
Adrienne's chocolate chip cookies!!  Ok, I like anything with bacon, but I do like a gumbo dish Adrienne made, and she likes the meatloaf and a cabbage dish.  Honestly, nothing we have had, outside of a few failed attempts at baking with coconut and almond flour, has been a disappointment.

10)  What non-Paleo food do you still miss?
Anything sweet.  We both like to indulge our sweet tooth, so that has been a challenge.

11)  Have you learned new skills in the kitchen as a result of cooking so much more?
We had skills already, haven't you watched us on Food Network?  Not sure if this is a skill, but we have become more adept at substituting ingredients and working with, for example, almond flour, instead of flour, etc.

12)  Have there been any unexpected changes?
For both of us, we feel as if we are the same, but it is clear when we stray from the Paleo plan, our bodies feel different, in a negative way.  For example, Adrienne feels more soreness in her knees after running or playing soccer if she has eaten something non-Paleo.

13)  Who would you encourage to try Paleo?
My dad and Adrienne's mom.  My dad has had open heart surgery and has diabetes and Adrienne's mom has some ailments as well.  We have been encouraging them to give Paleo a try and hope they will join the revolution soon.  I would say, however, that everyone should try it.  Paleo is not a gimmick, not a temporary diet that helps you drop a few pounds so you can fit into your bikini or speedo, it's a healthy, natural way of life.

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