I get the question a lot… “What does it mean to live a Paleo Lifestyle?”
People see the results I have achieved with my body and mind and they wonder how they can do the same. People usually ask questions like this to try and picture themselves living the same kind of life. They will then determine whether the Paleo lifestyle is for them or not.
I believe the order of achieving a goal goes something like this… You have a strong enough reason why you want to achieve something then you build a vision of what it will be like to achieve that goal. Your strong reasons and vision lead to taking appropriate actions to achieve your desired outcome.
I’m going to try to give you a glimpse into my Paleo Lifestyle so you can build your own vision of what it would be like.
Let me first start by saying…
It wasn’t always this way.
I used to be a physical and mental mess. I would eat like crap, exercise half-assed and just generally not take care of myself. The major problem is that I thought that I was doing a decent job of managing my health. One day I finally looked in the mirror and decided I wasn’t happy with how I looked and felt.
This lead me to start reading and researching nutrition and exercise. I was always interested in these things anyway so this part came easy to me. I still devour tons of information about all my interests. The challenge was never consuming the information but implementing it.
I Stumbled on the Paleo Lifestyle by Accident
At one point I got on this kick to be “low carb” and only eat meat, eggs, fruits and plants. I was reading some website that explained in a no-nonsense manner that if you wanted to lose fat then you need to cut out processed foods and junk like that. I tried it out for a while and got excellent results.
I went from my heaviest around 220 with a 34-35 inch waist down to 195 with a 33 inch waist. Not bad!
The problem was that I was still, on a regular basis, eating stuff that would stall my progress or even worse lead me down the path of unhealthy eating all over again. That’s when I ran across the Paleo Lifestyle. And I emphasize lifestyle because that’s what it is. Paleo is not so much a diet as it is a lifestyle.
If you decide to follow a paleo diet then you’ll realize that there is a lot of emphasis about “what” you’re putting into your body and the effects it has on your long-term health and well-being. Once I started to understand the science behind processed junk foods, high carbohydrate diets and sugar and what these things do to your body over the long-term it became very easy for me to say “no” to that big ass bagel staring at me at the board room meeting.
Here’s a Typical Day in the Paleo Lifestyle
Usually I get up fairly early like 7:30 AM or 8:00 AM. In an ideal world your body is meant to get up when the sun rises. It’s just natural. I know that’s not possible for everyone, including myself. But it’s important to know that our bodies have a natural rhythm and it’s best not to mess with it too much.
The first thing that I do in the morning is drink some water. Our bodies tend to dry out over night, especially if you live in a colder area like I do. So I usually drink 10 to 12 ounces of water first thing when I wake up.
The next thing for me is to get some breakfast. DO NOT skip breakfast. I know everyone and their mom says this but it’s a serious matter. You need to get the engines fired up as soon as possible. Your metabolism will thank you. I usually eat eggs in the morning with either regular bacon or Canadian bacon. I usually scramble up 3 to 4 eggs and eat 3 pieces of bacon. Sometimes I put some tomatoes and avocado on the side. I will sometimes have oranges or berries with breakfast as well. I love breakfast.
I know that some of you will say, “I’m not a breakfast person”… well I used to skip breakfast all the time. My body got used to it and I literally had to convince myself to eat something. After a while my body became very used to eating a healthy breakfast and now I can’t go without.
So usually I get cleaned up after breakfast and I’m out the door by 8:30 to 9:00 AM. I try to avoid any traffic as much as possible and I have the flexibility to work from home sometimes too.
I usually work from 9:00 AM until about Noon and then I go to the gym for a workout. I can’t stress enough that what you do in the kitchen is far more important than what you do in the gym. I used to spend way more time in the gym than I do now but I’m in way better shape now and look a hell of a lot better with my shirt off. Extra care in the kitchen with your meals means less time you have to spend trying to burn calories on a treadmill… yuck!
My workouts usually involve some circuit weight training and about 20 minutes of medium intensity cardio. I will also do sprints and interval training for cardio as well. Just do what you feel like doing. But take a hint from me… when you do weight training concentrate on doing lifts with your BIG muscles like your legs, chest and back.
Most people should never do a biceps curl. I get so tired of seeing guys stand in front of the mirror with a huge beer gut pumping out arm curl reps with 30 lb dumb bells. Do yourself a favor and do a barbell squat. Can you tell I get a little passionate about this topic.
Right after my workout I have a Paleo diet friendly protein shake. I usually mix it with water and drink it down. Then I hit the showers and get back to the office. Normally I’ll have a salad with some sort of chicken or beef within 30 minutes of my workout.
I usually work until around 4:30 or 5:00, sometimes later. But when I get home I usually eat a healthy dinner and even enjoy a glass of wine. I’ll usually choose something to prepare out of one of my paleo cookbooks. I actually enjoy cooking now more than I used to. I’ve learned lots of great meal preparation skills and recipes from taking the time to just prepare good paleo meals.
The rest of the evening is spent with family or friends, working on projects, doing more physical activities like taking walks or playing games.
Sometimes I want a Paleo snack at night. That’s totally cool. I’ll have some frozen berries and sometimes I’ll top them with heavy organic cream. I know that’s not 100% Paleo but it helps kick a sweet tooth and it’s 100000% better than pounding Oreo cookies.
Then it’s lights out around 11:30. I’m a night owl.
Well I hope this gave you a little insight into the Paleo Lifestyle. It’s really not hard to start implementing paleo lifestyle habits into your life to help you become healthier and more energetic.
I’ll add one final PS… If you don’t have a Paleo Cookbook to help you in your meal preparation then you’re making things hard on yourself. Check out my post on Paleo Cookbooks and choose one that makes sense for you. I personally am a big fan of the Paleo Recipe Book but I’ll let you choose for yourself.
Until next time… Keep living an active and healthy Paleo Lifestyle.