A few months ago, I spent some time with a friend of mine who had recently converted to a vegan lifestyle. Naturally, being that I give everyone a chance to speak their case, I listened to her talking to me about the wonderfulness of a lifestyle that consumes basically nothing that is an animal by-product. I did some research and some reading and some more research and thought, "hey, why don't we try this?" So I talked my husband into letting me introduce a few meals a week that were vegan (or vegetarian). He agreed to do this, but asking a meat-and-potatoes kinda guy to have a meal with no meat in it is like asking a lion to turn down the gazelle and eat some grass instead. It. Ain't. Happenin. Needless to say, that lasted only a few weeks. Listening to him complain and cry about the meatless meals just wasn't worth it. Plus, he would just turn around and buy himself CRAP food that made him happy after eating a meal that left him feeling unsatisfied and ultimately unhappy.
We went about our lives. Then I stumbled across this hilarious woman blogger at www.nomnompaleo.com. I was searching for a recipe and she had it on her page. After clickety clicking through several links, I realized that she follows the paleo diet. In a nutshell, the paleo diet is one in which an individual cuts out grains, legumes, and sugar from their diet. The diet mimics that of the paleolithic era, prior to the introduction of the use of grains for dietary consumption. It's not as dramatic as the Atkins or Zone diets, nor is it as dramatic as a gluten free diet, but it does sort of throw a person into a reduced-carb, reduced-gluten world. I figured I would try it out because obviously the eat-everything-I-want diet is not working for either of us. This also works very well for my hubby since he LOVES meat and also vegetables. We are loving following this diet. Our kids still eat breads and cheeses and stuff at breakfast and lunchtime but we have pretty much cut all of those types of foods out of our daily dinners and my husband and I have been following the diet during the daytime as well. He has lost 5 pounds so far and he hasn't worked out at all! (Disclaimer- I totally don't condone the lack of exercise, I only use that to emphasize how well this is working for us even in its' absence.) I have lost two pounds myself.
See, I'm not a nutritionist or anything but I feel like there isn't one dietary plan that will work for everyone. Each person needs to find something that will work for them. A vegan lifestyle can be pushed and pushed and pushed on you, but if you don't really buy into it, it's not going to work for you. In my husband's case, he just couldn't wrap his head around a life without meat, milk, or cheese. It would never have worked for him because he didn't believe in it. Partly because he wouldn't give it a chance and partly because his body was telling him it wasn't the right route for him. This paleo diet is something he whole-heartedly believes in. He is willing to give up the sugars and the grains for it, even though he is bread-junkie. And his body is responding well to it. I'm looking forward to seeing more results as we move forward and start hitting the gym full force!!!!
PS-Keep your eyes out for a review of the book, Run Like a Girl, which I have read and re-read its so good!! I'll be posting that later this week.