Like most people out there, I ate a typical American diet filled with lots of junk. While I almost always made home cooked meals for my family, convenience foods and processed ingredients were always a part of our life. I didn’t think anything of it.
Around 2006 I began making gradual changes to how I fed our family. I bought less and less processed foods, and began moving towards a more natural and organic way of making everything. I didn’t want to just fill bellies, I wanted to nourish them.
Around that time I also began learning about natural health, using herbs and things of that nature. One of the biggest benefits I discovered by doing these things, was that the chronic allergy problems that I and one of my children suffered from were drastically changed. My child’s allergy symptom of chronic ear infections stopped completely.
I had ditched all of my prescription allergy medications and began taking a couple basic vitamin and herbal supplements. I went from 6 months of the year (3 months in the spring and three months in the autumn) in complete misery, to about 3 or 4 days of springtime allergies. In my book, that was practically like being cured!
But over time, like many others out there, as I aged I found my body reacted to things differently. The foods that had always been good to me, weren’t making me feel as awesome any more. Natural and organic weren’t cutting it either.
I had begun putting on weight. My body was strong and relatively active – with the homesteading lifestyle. But strong does not equate to healthy.
I wanted to be healthy.
After watching the amazing results that several friends had after switching to the keto diet or paleo lifestyle, I spent a year doing my homework and contemplating doing it myself. I researched the difference between the two and learned about the pros and cons, but didn’t take the leap.
But one day, after editing a video on my YouTube channel and getting a good, candid and “other angle” look at myself, I knew it was time. That day I changed my way of living. I was determined to make the change and even went so far as to take a “before” photo to motivate myself.
Now if you had suggested even the week prior that I would give up breads … me, the “carbivore” … I would have laughed in your face! But after the first week – only 7 days – I had lost 11 pounds! That settled it. This was the right thing for my body, and I needed to keep it up.
Remember my mentioning the “before photo”? This was what happened after only one month of living the paleo lifestyle – and this was only the visual difference.
There were also all of the other benefits that you couldn’t see with your eyes. Like the fact that my body felt good! I slept well at night and had more energy during the day.
I had begun dealing with arthritic joints in my hands as an after-effect of contracting Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a couple years ago. Flare-ups happened frequently, with my hands being almost unusable, but having to “power through” and get everything done that needed to be done here on the farm and in the home. After going paleo, the joint pain and flareups completely stopped. The list could go on.
While I am not a nutritionist or a doctor, and I would never tell you that the paleo lifestyle is for everyone, this is my own experience. This is what it has done for me.
That said, the recipes here on Wholesome Skillet are really for anyone. You do not have to be “living paleo” to enjoy them. Delicious, wholesome and nourishing recipes are for everyone.
Just a Note: When it comes to determining what foods are “paleo” and which are not, there are some varying views out there. It really depends upon which book you read, or who’s guidelines you follow.
Is Dairy Paleo?
Some say that you can not have any dairy at all. Some say you can, if you don’t have any issues with it. Others say you can if you keep it to a minimum and only use whole milk/full fat dairy. The later is the theory I go with. I tend to keep dairy to a minimum, but do occasionally have it in my ingredients.
For more information about “what is paleo” and a free simple, downloadable cheat sheet, visit this article from Cosmopolitan Cornbread.
Recommended Reading: To learn more about the “Paleo lifestyle” and way of eating, I highly recommend this book. It explains paleo in an easy to understand way and makes it much less intimidating.