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Diet vs Lifestyle

Monday, May 21, 2012

I wrote this entry as a part of a Paleo Diet thread I share on. As I was writing, I realised that this is the sort of thing a lot of us think about. What is the difference between diet and lifestyle, and is diet and lifestyle just another fancy name for eating and exercise. In writing this entry, I realised that from me it is so much more than jogging around the block and eating right.

I set aside this year to consolidate the lifestyle changes that I started making last year. Last year I was introduced to Paleo, but there was no pressing directive to give up anything that I didn't want to give up. So, I ate Paleo+.

What I call Paleo+ is the version of the diet where I began to change things, like adding fresh organic fruit and veg juice in the morning. Slowly breakfast became green juice and a fresh raw organic egg. Sometimes I'd add a shot of probiotic. But we still ate porridge and other grains in the morning. Lunch became big salads with nuts, but we still ate bread whenever we wanted, and I would go out with friends and eat whatever so long as there was salad or veges on the plate. Dinner was mostly fresh meat and veg, but we ate pasta.

Over the year, things began to drop out of the diet. Pasta dropped back to once in a very long while, until it was rarely ever there. The kids ate wrap bread, but we didn't buy loaves of bread any longer. Then at Easter, I brought all my kids together and we cooked serious Polish food for Easter. (Easter has become our new Christmas because my youngest children need to travel out of state during the summer and winter school breaks.)

The stuff we cooked was flour based, and there were a lot of jams and sugary foods as well. I finished the Easter weekend and I felt really sick. I had a migraine that lasted a week and a half. All the kids became ill too. We became snappy and drowsy. I put on a stack of weight, nearly 5 kgs. It was awful.

At the beginning of the year I said, this year I would lose the weight and get fit. After Easter, it didn't become a desire, it became a need. I just can't eat the stuff I used to eat as a kid, not even in small quantities, without paying a significant price. But diet is so much more than food, it is a lifestyle that is connected to my ancestry and which connects my kids to their futures. That's why the Paleo lifestyle is important to me. I need to rediscover the power of my natural heritage. When I visited Poland in 2009, I could count the number of over weight people I met on one hand, and I was one of them. Obesity is not a part of my heritage, whole health is.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So true - when you commit to a healthier lifestyle - you become more in tune with your body and notice the effects that different foods have on it - I feel so much better since I gave up grains and diary. Lifestyle is so much more than just food and exercise - sleep, relaxation time, meditation, spending more time outside in nature and sunlight, having fun with family and friends etc also make up some of the other essential aspects of a healthy lifestyle for me.
    Great blog!
    3204 days ago
  • WILSLM70
    Thanks for sharing a great blog... congratulations on wonderful lifestyle choices.
    3205 days ago
    great blog. To me the diet word is harder than a new lifestyle. How many times have I broken a diet and ended up worse than before. Yet I have been dong this for 22 months and still going. Yes I do slip up now and again but I start back the very next meal. I am not perfect. Like you I have given up many foods and do keep improving all the time. Which to me is a part of the lifestyle changes that we have made. Surprising how many foods I do not like now and I never thought this would happen.

    You are doing a great job and it is all a learning tool and hopefully we will keep on improving over time.

    Again great blog. I enjoyed reading it.
    3205 days ago
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