Friday, February 1, 2013

Paleo Adventures - The Beginning

It seems in 2011 I started a trend - unknowingly.  I made my very first New Years resolution and actually followed through.  That year I was resolute about being a "blogger".  I learned what the trick is to resolutions that year too.  At least what the trick is for me - only picking one.  For me, too many balls in the air means one or all of them will eventually fall.  Juggling one at a time is much more manageable.

So in 2012, I decided to make learning how to use my  big girl camera my resolution.  And while I'm no professional, manual mode doesn't own me - I tell it what to do!  The biggest blessing from that resolution is the portfolio of photos I now have of my children - of which my favorites came from our Christmas card photo session.

Continuing this trend, I've decided to make 2013 the year that I focus on health.  My family and I went gluten free for personal health reasons last August, and this January we decided to "go Paleo".  I truly believe the following statement.

Raw for Beauty
My first official paleo day was January 8th.  If you're unfamiliar with the paleo lifestyle/diet this is a great place to start to learn more.  The paleo diet also known as the caveman diet is basically about eating the way our Paleolithic ancestors did.  Sounds weird at first huh? - it did to me too.  The truth is though when it comes right down to it - it's really about eating good whole unprocessed food - meats, veggies, fruits, and nuts.  This is not a "diet".  In fact it's the only supposed diet I've been on and not felt like I'm dieting.  I mean - this is what I've been eating (which you already know if you follow me on instagram).

Does this look like a "diet" to you?  I have lost a few pounds, but more importantly I feel great!   I have hypothyroidism, and one of my major symptoms is fatigue.  Eating this way has made a huge difference in my energy level.  I bought a couple of cookbooks to help me kickstart my new paleo adventures.  By far my favorite and the one I would highly recommend is Practical Paleo.

Diane Sanfilippo is the owner and founder of Balanced Bites.  Her book isn't just a cookbook - it's a guide and a great learning tool.  The beginning of the book gives you so much easy to understand information about overall nutrition and a great overview of what a paleo lifestyle is really all about.

And the recipes are legit!  I've been a meal planner for quite some time now.  These past few weeks I've especially enjoyed planning our weekly dinners.

So that's my resolution for 2013 - in a paleo nutshell.  ;)

I'm not quite done with my first 30 days, but here's what I've learned/experienced so far.

 - I can actually live without Diet Coke - you have no idea how huge this is for me!
- Grocery shopping is easier because I almost completely skip over the center of the store.
 - Planning ahead is key!
 - I'm not very hungry between meals, and when I am a healthy snack does the trick.

Speaking of healthy snacks, I'm over at Honey We're Healthy sharing one of my favorites!

PS - Don't worry - Our Fifth House is not turning into a food or health blog, although I may share a recipe here and there.  I just wanted to share the news about my new adventure because that's what this blog is really about  - sharing - about whatever, whenever, because that's what friends do.

Are any of you paleo peeps?  gluten free?  on a healthy mission this year?

Happy Weekend friends!

Oh and you can check here for the deets on my diy chalkboard menu board.

And I'm announcing the winner of the Charles Emerson Giveaway on my Facebook page.


  1. Interesting.
    I live in Europe, I think the eating culture is different anyway, but my approach is always: I don't buy what I can make myself. So I almost always just buy the basics (vegetables, (very little) meat, egges, pasta, grains, etc) and make dishes with that. I plan my meals based on vegetables (not: meat with sidedishes). Better for our health, and better for our budget :). Furthermore: I don't buy 'diet-food', ever. I don't trust ingredients that are invented in a labaratory.
    So 'real' butter, no margarine.
    If you want to drink Coke (as my husband likes to do, sometimes) drink the real thing, and not the 'diet-Coke' with all the scary sugar replacements. My children don't get soda-drinks at all. We do drink milk and eat yoghurt and cheese. (hey, we are Dutch!). And: everything in moderation. Good luck with your health mission!

  2. In the past 1.5 years i have tried to cut out as much processed food in my household and make majority from scratch. Whole foods, not chemicals induced foods from the lab. Much 4 kids might not understand why they don't have Doritos and Oreos anymore, but I try to make home made healthy snacks. One good site is 100 Days of Real Food. I really love her recipes too!

  3. My husband went Paleo in early November and has done great even over the holidays. He did it to be healthier at the urging of our adult and buff son who has been Paleo a couple of years. Husband didn't need to lose weight, but probably has lost 15 pounds anyway. I love to cook and miss preparing some elaborate dishes I used to fix. Anyway, although I haven't given up bread completely, I have gone along for the ride. I am also buying organic, and the grocery bill has gone down because I am not paying for junk foods, pastas, etc. Plus, grocery shopping is easier because I'm pretty much sticking to the outside aisles where all of the fruits, produce, and meats are located.

  4. I agree with all this... especially no "diet" foods. I just have a hard time sticking to it. A few years ago, I was a rock star at sticking w/whole foods and low sugar and I've since fallen back into bad habits. :( Hoping to jump start back on the REAL food way! Thanks for the inspiration.

  5. I started Paleo last April and haven't had grains since, except in liquid form but that doesn't count, right? I lost 20 pounds since and kept it off. I am the only one in my house that eats this way so it is a pain to cook when others want pasta and pizza but I make it work.

  6. I started Paleo last July and just finished my first Whole 30 yesterday. and while THAT sucked I love paleo. It's really changed the way I feed my kids. I'm not going to put goldfish in MY body, why is it okay to put it in theirs? My typical week is pretty strict and I eat whatever I want for dinner on Saturday, plus wine, I mean, come on, I'm only human!
    I love Practical Paleo and Well Fed. I get cookbooks from the library before I buy them- not all of them are stellar.
    Good luck, doing it for ourselves is one thing but with a family... harder!

  7. Hmmm... Something to think about. I eat pretty much gluten free (with a little cheat now and then), but my energy levels suck right now. I, too, have hypothyroidism and I'm all over the place with high energy some days and total fatigue on others. If you've notice a difference, then perhaps I should give it a go. I think I eat pretty close to this way anyway so it would likely require only a few tweaks. Thanks for the tip on the cookbook. Enjoy your weekend!

  8. i have a few more days on the Whole30 - then i'm switching to Paelo - it's THE way to go :o)

  9. Good luck! We have been following the paleo diet (as best as we can...) for a while now and it has dramatically changed the way we view food. My former sugar-addict husband now complains that things are too sweet!

    I love these two websites and also have some recipes on my own blog:

  10. I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Paleo! I started doing CrossFit last November & have been eating Paleo since the beginning of January. I figure that if I'm busting my butt to get in shape, I have to clean up how I eat.

    I'm hooked!!

  11. I've been gluten-free for 4 years now. My mother and my daughter also have Celiac Disease. It's so much easier now than when my mother was diagnosed back in the 80's.

  12. So happy for you Carmel! Eating healthy is a GIFT we give to ourselves and our family. You are doing something huge for them! And giving up the Diet Coke- good for you! Thank you for your post today too- people love it!

  13. Hi Carmel! I think that its great you and your family made the switch together! I know only what you posted about the Paleo diet, thanks for sharing! I switched to a vegetarian diet on Dec 9, and January I weaned myself off all dairy and eggs to be following a vegan diet. February I plan to kick the white sugar. Changes in moderation, and my family is also making similar changes though not as extreme. Goodluck and Keep it up!

  14. My boyfriend tried paleo couple years back. Worked great for him and he said his energy level improved too.

  15. I went paleo in the past year, and it makes a huge difference in how I feel- physically and emotionally. Another website to love (if you haven't been there already) is Elana's Pantry- so many yummy paleo treats!

  16. We may have to go gluten-free when we have children. My husband's mom and sister both have Celiac disease and it runs very strongly in their family, especially the women, so we have like a 60-70% chance of one of our future daughters having it.

    We don't really eat too much gluten on a regular basis, but it would still be a change for us.

  17. Hi Carmel! I'm a member of a mommy workout group in my hometown (Winston-Salem, NC) and we do short spells of Clean Eating. It's very similar to Paleo - no processed foods. Easiest description (as our "fearless leader" says): anything that came from the earth or had a mother. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, meat. No dairy, no processed grains, no processed sugars, etc. I know that most grains aren't Paleo, but many times they are still healthy and fine! For some clean-eating inspiration, check out for some guidelines and recipes. I find it slightly easier than Paleo, since you can add grains, but I agree. Lifestyle change and NOT DIET! Good luck!!

  18. Did you use a bun for your curry burger?

    1. I made sweet potato cakes and that's what we used for a bun. It was a nice combo with the curry - sweet and spicy!

  19. My husband and I are currently doing the Whole 30 and we are in love. We are on Day 19 and we are extending it to a Whole 45. After we are done, we are going to do our best to continue eating the way we do with the Whole 30, but we will surely allow ourselves the occasional glass of wine/beer and sweet treat. But we feel so amazing after making the changes that we don't ever want to go back to our old way of eating. And our old way of eating wasn't bad by regular standards. Part of the reason we love it so much is that there really wasn't too much of adjustment in the amount of time spent shopping, planning, and cooking. We also ate a mainly whole diet before so there weren't too many things we needed to eliminate. But the stuff we did eliminate has made such an impact. Good luck on your journey!If you care to read about our experience, I've posted weekly recaps of our Whole 30 on my little blog:

  20. I love that you are doing this! It is so true that WE have the power to fix our health care crisis and it all starts in the kitchen.

  21. I initially came to your blog today via a pinterest organizing pin. Then once I found out you eat Paleo I got super excited!! Welcome to the paleo world. :) I've been eating this way for 2 years. Best decision of my life.

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