Friday, November 7, 2014

Guest Post from Camilla Carboni: Transitioning into a Paleo Lifestyle

The girls over at Paleo Pact have been on my radar for a while now. I love the tasty recipes and practical Paleo tips they post on their blog, so I was beyond excited when I found out they wrote a book! Their new book The Paleo Cleanse is the PERFECT book to get you started on a Paleo diet. With guidelines and support to prepare for the 30-day cleanse, as well as more than 100 mouth-watering Paleo recipes, it's like having your own pocket-sized health coach to help you through the transition.  If you've been wanting to make a healthy change, this book is for you. Learn more about the book here. I'll turn it over to Camilla with her tips for transitioning to a Paleo Lifestyle.

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Transitioning into a Paleo lifestyle can seem daunting, and for good reason. We live in a world with an abundance of breads, pastries, fast foods and sodas that are easily accessible and budget-friendly. How could one possibly give those up? As tasty as they are though, those foods are contributing to the rise of disease rates and the downfall of our human species. Ultimately, the convenience and cost savings of eating such foods today, generally leads to huge medical bills in the future. Luckily, while giving up grains, legumes, dairy and refined-sugar seems like a task easier said that done, there are proven methods to help you transition to a healthier lifestyle that make changing your diet a whole lot simpler and more practical.

A year ago, when I was preparing for my first week on the Paleo Diet, I had to visit numerous different grocery stores and health shops just to find the basic Paleo ingredients I had read about. I then went about trying to teach myself to cook with those new ingredients (without really knowing what to make) and attempting to bake with Paleo flours, and…let’s just say it took some failed attempts…and some getting used too!

To practice a Paleo lifestyle takes dedication—especially as you prepare to get started—and willpower, particularly during week one of your transition. That said, with a little guidance you won’t have the same difficulty I had getting started. Here are my top recommendations for transitioning to a Paleo Diet:
  • Cleanse your pantry before you cleanse yourself – get rid of anything that isn’t Paleo or that will tempt you to cheat.
  • Stock up on a variety of Paleo foods – purchase more than you think you’ll need, especially for the first week, to keep you from going astray. 
  • Always have snacks on hand and snack often – especially in the beginning you will still experience cravings triggered by food remnants from your previous diet, so be prepared with “emergency” solutions like nuts, dates (excellent for when you have sweet cravings), hardboiled eggs and fresh fruit.
  • Transition cold turkey – it may seem like it would be easier to transition gradually but, due to the opiates and acids found in most grains as an example—which are addictive—it’s actually easier to cut Paleo-unfriendly foods out of your diet all at once, or “cold turkey” as the saying goes. Doing this will rid your body of its cravings more quickly and, as a result, you will have a far quicker and easier transition.
  • Avoid over-complication – keep your food preparation and recipes as simple as possible in the beginning. Changing your lifestyle is a big (yet worthwhile) commitment, so make everything else as easy as you can on yourself. 
  • Join a Paleo Community – you will most likely encounter some criticism about your new dietary choices and it’s wonderful to have the support of a growing, like-minded community that share tips, resources and personal experiences completely free. Blogs like What I Gather and The Paleo Pact are great starting points for easy to follow recipes and helpful tips.
There really is a method to the easiest possible transition, and the good news is that it’s just the first week or two that requires conscious commitment in order to stay on track. Once the remnants of the foods you used to consume have left your body, your cravings will diminish and your taste buds will begin to adjust to the new Paleo foods that you are eating.

                                                              

After week two of following a Paleo Diet you will likely start to notice some welcome improvements to your energy and blood sugar levels, your skin tone and your mental clarity. The longer you keep up your new way of eating the more changes you will experience and, in many cases, these changes are what make people want to practice a Paleo lifestyle forever. In my case, the most welcomed change as a result of my dietary transformation is that I no longer get migraines. That alone makes going back to pre-Paleo eating unthinkable for me. Each journey to health is personal and the changes will be different for everyone. What will you gain?

If you follow the tips of those who have already transitioned, keep it simple, embrace what works best for you and keep going until you start to feel wonderful, you’ll be looking back in no time wondering why it seemed like such a big challenge to begin with.

"A healthy diet might not might not be convenient, but it's not half as inconvenient as a fatal illness." - C.J. Hunt

For a guided 30-Day transition into the Paleo lifestyle, refer to the Amazon Best Selling book, PALEO Cleanse. It comes complete with customizable meal plans and over 100 easy to follow recipes to get you started. Good luck and have fun on your personal journey to health.
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Camilla Carboni is the Founder of It Starts With Health, a brand of Create-The-Dream Academy, the Co-Founder of The Paleo Pact and the Co-Author of best selling book, PALEO Cleanse. She has a Master’s Degree in Media Reception Psychology and is a contributor to various lifestyle publications across the globe. Camilla currently resides in Colorado with her supportive boyfriend and adoring cat. Learn more at camillacarboni.com.