Whew, let's talk about our family's experience with going Paleo. In December of 2013 I was challenged by family (as a combined effort) to make some future goals for my health and to start taking steps towards our goal. My biggest goals were to eliminate most grains and sugar from my diet, and to get flexible. ;) I knew I needed Zack in on this with me, as it would be impossible to do with just myself. He agreed to two months, and we stuck to it for a solid months very strict, while slowly introducing some gluten-free options and limited grains in during the 3rd and 4th months. It was HARD, I challenged myself more than anything but I am stubborn as shit and knew that I could do it. I felt good. Never got that yucky full bowel feeling after eating, stopped getting headaches, and had such a healthy feeling gut. We could pile yummy fresh veggies on our plate and feel good about what we were eating with our kids.
What was Paleo for us?
Paleo eating seems to be defined differently for everyone. I followed a few different guides and was incredibly strict to begin with (about 3 months before introducing "cheats"). We ate absolutely no grains. This included any bread products, chips, anything with flour in it. Also, we cut out refined white sugar and all by-products as well. I slowly introduced local raw honey as a sweetener for baking and coffee after I was able to "wean" from the sugar cravings. We also did not eat white potatoes or corn, as these were some of the restrictions for paleo eating.
We felt energetic, had no headaches, and felt like our digestive systems were on track.
Felt good about what we were eating, and what we were giving our kids.
Cooking: Cooking for Paleo eating takes TONS of prep, buying all kinds of new ingredients and more work then I was used to doing. I enjoyed it, but not everything turned out yummy. It was a learning experience, for sure.
Milk Supply: My milk supply dwindled immensely. With no grains, I was able to only pump 2 oz at times, when I would usually get 12 or so! In order to give my baby enough milk I would have to eat something with grains in it before pumping if I knew I would be going to a birth soon. This was one of the biggest downfalls, and why I wouldn't go completely grain-free again.
Cost: The initial costs of switching EVERYTHING were pretty tough.We had to purchase new sauces, yogurts, dressings, snacks and meats. It has definitely changed the way we look at ingredients, and now we stick with the same sauces (the ones that do not have any added sugar or no refined white sugar) and have come to love and prefer them.
Would I do it again? Yes, if for a short time. I still try to do most dinners with a no grain or sugar mentality but we do have bread sometimes, or an unhealthy snack, and I am ok with that! I would absolutely introduce exercise while you've gained back your energy because I think the benefits would be enormous. I was never able to get in regular exercise while doing this eating plan and I wish I would have, for sure.