Happy weekend, friends! If you’re just joining us in this series you can go here first and here second.

TheYearOfContentPhysical

I wanted to kick start this weekend with a bit on my husband and I’s goal to be better servants of our health both internally and externally. Andrew and I don’t have the best health record individually and as we slowly start to get a bit older and we continue try to start our family, we realize how important good health is. We’ve also started to realize good health is indeed a choice and a lifestyle that comes with sacrifice. Meaning yes, eating healthy, making it to the gym, taking vitamins, eating balanced meals, getting good rest, taking care of our mental health and so forth, requires effort. After my Mom was searching for a post chemotherapy lifestyle change a few years ago, she gave paleo eating a shot. Three years later she still sticks to a pretty regimented diet and for the most part feels really good (and for all of the parts looks great, I love you, Mom!). Andrew and I have on and off again adapted to the same lifestyle for the past two years but it’s incredibly easy to get sidetracked from a specific ‘diet’ especially with a busy schedule or in social circumstances. We’ve been working to change that this year.

Week Four & Five

What has not been working: I have a massive massive sweet tooth. If your diet is strict paleo you’re not supposed to eat processed sugar. But you can allow yourself things like fruit, agave, raw cacao, coconut milks, oils and flours, all natural vanilla extract and Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips in specific paleo friendly recipes (which has been our secret sauce). I still get major cravings for things like donuts and cake since I rarely used to say no to dessert and that’s been hard. I also dislike a lot of fruit so that doesn’t often satisfy what I’m looking for either. I’ve tried to have a cup of coffee each morning with homemade almond milk it in but the creaminess doesn’t make up for the lack of sweetness I am used to. Giving up sugar has been really tough. Also, because we cook from scratch for 99% of our meals now we are really racking up on the prep tools, dishes and dish soap usage. We get behind on dishes most days as a result of our laziness, making it really hard to prep for the next meal come time. Also, this leaves me frustrated with Andrew because I have to deal with the dishes myself since I work from home and he goes off to work. Cooking often feels tedious and like a chore.

What has been working: As I’ve mentioned on IG here and here, we purchased a new cookbook called The Paleo Kitchen before the beginning of the year and have loved trying new recipes together each week. It was important to us in creating new eating habits together that we didn’t feel miserable and deprived of delicious AND nutritious food (hangry feelings aren’t great for a marriage). Flipping through cookbooks that had recipes that appeal to both of our tastes along with ingredients we can find at our very limited grocery store was a big factor in finding our first paleo cookbook; I highly recommend Juli’s book! Also, prepping our meals and snacks way ahead of time so we feel less compelled to reach for something unhealthy or beeline to the chip aisle at the gas station, has been incredibly gratifying. Chopped Greek salads with the dressing on the side so it doesn’t get soggy, homemade soups (I’ll share some of my own recipes with you this year), leftover cauliflower mash and strips of steak, raw cocoa seed balls, avocado wrapped in prosciutto with a dash of infused EVOO; these have become staples in our fridge and are wonderfully satisfying and flavorful. Having to get creative with food has been difficult but it’s a rewarding experience five weeks in and I have to say there’s a ton of things I’ve loved eating that I would have shrugged off before. Also, I feel a bit more mindful of what I am putting in my body.

Short term goal: To continue our efforts with eating paleo since we’ve already come this far! I’d love to see how I feel after three months in. Already my skin looks brighter, softer (more on that later too) and I feel less sluggish throughout the day. I’ve also lost about five pounds which is a nice bonus since I wasn’t trying to lose weight. I can imagine after three months in the changes are even more incredible and I want to achieve that.

Long term goal: To crave healthy food choices. To view food as a type of fuel and not a comfort.

Feel free to leave your experiences below and to share them with the hashtag #theyearofcontent. I also encourage you to leave your favorite cookbooks and recipe links because I’m always looking for new ones to keep meal planning fresh!

Happy Weekend friends xoxo