By Annie Gebel
Fifteen years ago, I was combing through Hollywood to find role models who looked like me. Ten years ago, I was picking up tips from Stacy and Clinton about how to dress for my body, which has never been a single digit size. I was fighting to be happy as who I was. Above all else, I wanted to feel mentally healthy. In trying to achieve that elusive prize, I always set my sights on looking better, being thinner, and losing weight. I thought somehow those things would lead to health and happiness. I was always wrong.
Four years ago, I finally found goals that were in line with what I longed for. I heard about Paleo, which is short for Paleolithic and refers to the lives our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived. While researching this new-to-me idea, I found guidelines for how to eat, move, and sleep differently than what I knew and was accustomed to. Paleo websites and books provided me with new objectives: increased energy, optimal health, and happiness.
Since the food part of Paleo is often the hardest thing for people to wrap their brains around, let’s start there. We try to stick with unprocessed foods – meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy oils. Breads, pastas, legumes, dairy, and sugars aren’t part of what our bodies are prepared to digest and, therefore, lead to gas, bloating, diarrhea, acne, mood swings, headaches, and more. So we frequently avoid them.