Last Updated on January 4, 2021 by Renee’
Then the Paleo Lifestyle is the way to go. In this post, I will teach you how to go Paleo in 6 weeks from the SAD (Standard American Diet).
No matter what your reason is, whether it be health-related or just plain vanity (Nothing wrong with that!), the Paleo Diet is probably one of the healthiest diets out there. I don’t like to think of it as a diet, more a lifestyle.
A little bit of my History:
When I was in my 20’s, 30’s, even 40’s, diet was more about looks. I have always been pretty “healthy”, or so I thought, so I didn’t think about dieting for health. It was mainly to look good in jeans! “We’ve all been there, right?”
Knowing what I know now, I realize that I dieted myself sick. I no longer eat (or starve myself) to look good, I eat to feel good.
When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I had no idea what had caused it. Then my daughter was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s at the age of 12. By this time she had 2 autoimmune diseases. I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis & Sjogren’s shortly thereafter. To read more of my story, you can read it here.
As a mom, nothing will get you motivated faster than something being wrong with your child. I started reading everything I could about autoimmune diseases.
Even though, by this time I was already on Thyroid medicine, I refused to be one of those people who just believe everything the doctor tells me. I have never been one to just drink the “Koolaid”, (or take a pill).
I wanted to know why? What caused it? How do I prevent it? How can I put it in remission? Unfortunately, most doctors only know how to write a script for the symptoms, not how to get to the root cause.
Be your own Advocate:
I learned to be an advocate for my own healthcare. If I had not, I would be on a handful of meds, & so would my daughter.
Not to mention, having to take meds for all the side-effects of the meds that they have you on & so on.
Two of the first books I read were Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis. This was the first time I had read anything about the connection between diet and autoimmune disease not to mention other illnesses such as dementia, ADHD, diabetes etc…
While these books didn’t totally recommend any particular diet, they definitely were on the same page as the Paleo diet.
What is Paleo?
Thousands of years ago, cavemen hunted for their food. They ate meat, fish, berries, fruits, nuts, seeds and veggies. They were lean, & muscular. They didn’t sit inside on their computers & i-pads or on their x-box’s as we do. They were always on the move. They didn’t eat all the junk (processed oils & foods) that we have today. They didn’t have the GMO’s or the chemicals in & on their foods that we have now.
They ate real food! Everything was organic, non-GMO.
Does this mean we have to start hunting & gathering our food? Of course not. With that being said, the quality of food is important. But, don’t stress about it. Do the best you can.
What happened after I went Paleo:
Since adopting this way of eating, I have not only reduced my thyroid antibodies, but also my thyroid meds. I have more energy, less brain fog & just plain feel better.
I stopped taking Synthroid & started taking a natural thyroid medication, (against the advice of my Endocrinologist) I had to get my Gynecologist who practices a more holistic approach to write it for me. I never went on meds for my Rheumatoid Arthritis or Sjogren’s even though the doctors wanted me to.
I decided to clean up my diet first & see if it helped. I was amazed at how much better I felt. Within 2 weeks of going Paleo, I could tell a huge difference & had lost 8 lbs. My husband lost 12 lbs. This was a plus. We weren’t even trying to lose weight. Why do men always lose more weight than women? So not fair!
Ok, so let’s dive in. If you are ready to take the plunge but don’t want to go cold turkey, here is the plan for you. This is how I did it with my family. We all did the same. My husband was very supportive. My daughter didn’t have a choice. I Am Her Mother!
My daughter had 2 autoimmune diseases by the time she was 12 years old. She needed to do this as much as I did.
So What Can You Eat?
- Organ Meat
- Healthy fats & oils (ex: Tallow EVOO, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee, etc…)
- Nuts, & Seeds
- Bone Broth
- Fermented Veggies
- Grains (including corn)
- Refined Sugars
- Refined, processed foods
- Processed Oils (ex: Vegetable Oil, Canola Oil, Soybean Oil, etc…)
- Chemicals & Additives
Step by Step Plan:
- Stop eating grains
All grains, that means, no more bread, pasta, rice, corn, oats etc… This is going to be your hardest week. Expect to go through withdrawal.
- Stop eating dairy (yes that means milk, cheese, etc.)
- Stop eating all processed foods including processed oils & margarine, (if it has a label, it is probably processed)
- Stop eating legumes (yes, that means peanuts & soy too, they are a bean)
- Now it’s time to ditch the sugar. This is the hardest for most people, but you have already detoxed from grains, so it’s relatively easy now.
- Yay! Pat yourself on the back! You should be feeling awesome!
On the Paleo diet, you eat lots of vegetables, meats, seafood, nuts, seeds, eggs, healthy fats & oils.
A few Recipes to get you started:
- Roasted Spatchcock Chicken
- Pan-Fried Chicken Thighs
- Paleo Chicken Adobo
- Ground Beef and Broccoli
- Korean Ground Beef over Cauliflower Rice
- Spinach Artichoke Chicken Bake
- Mediterranean Chicken
- Coconut Chicken Soup
- Easy Paleo Beef Chili
- Cauliflower Rice
- Pan-Fried Okra with Bacon
- Italian Spaghetti Squash
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Sausage Breakfast Hash
- Blueberry Plantains
- Always buy the best you can for your budget. Preferably, 100% grass-fed beef, organic fruits & veggies, pastured pork, free-range chickens & eggs & if possible, grow your own or buy from your local farmer or farmers market.
- Ask about how they grow their fruits & vegetables & if they use pesticides or GMO’s. Also, ask how they raise their beef, pork & chickens. If their livestock is 100% grass-fed, pastured and free-range. This is truly important if you are healing.
- Only buy wild-caught fish. Avoid farm-raised seafood at all costs!
- Use Coconut Milk or Almond Milk (homemade)
- Instead of Pasta, make Spaghetti Squash or Zucchini Noodles.
- Instead of Rice make Cauliflower Rice.
- Eat lots of good fats, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Real Grass-Fed Butter, Ghee, Lard, etc… nuts & seeds, (No processed oils)
- Use natural sweeteners, such as raw honey or maple syrup (in moderation of course)
- Drink lots of bone broth. This is one of the best things you can do for your gut. If you have never made it before, read this article and this one on why you should be.
I have people ask me all the time about convenience snacks/foods. I order from Thrive Market, Amazon & Costco. It’s easier today than when I started. Most grocery stores carry a lot of Paleo items now.
I know it seems overwhelming, but hang in there, you will thank me!
Do you need to do the AIP diet?
If after doing Paleo for a while & you are still not feeling a 100%, especially if you have an autoimmune disease, then you might want to consider going Paleo AIP (autoimmune protocol).
The Paleo AIP diet is an Elimination Diet to find food sensitives & allergies that could be triggering your health issues & to continue the healing.
Sarah Ballantyne, Ph.D. has written an in-depth book, called “The Paleo Approach” Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal your Body that I highly recommend reading if you have any Autoimmune Disease.
In November 2016, I went to my Rheumatologist to retest for RA & Sjogren’s. For the 1st time in 2 yrs. my tests came back normal. I was thrilled. My doctor looked at me & said, “I don’t know why you are still coming to me, you don’t need me.” I told her, yes that I needed her to do the tests for me. She told me that if all her patients were like me, she’d go out of business! Yes! Proof that it works!
In February 2019, I finally put my Hashimotos in Remission.
Yes, it is a little overwhelming at first, but you’ve already done the hard part! Congratulations!