These Humans of Paleo posts were inspired by the Humans of....Facebook pages. This is our attempt to share very personal stories of Paleo with you, hopefully inspiring you to make changes with your diet and lifestyle. ENJOY!
We'd love to hear your story, please reach out here if you'd like to share!
Meet Dr. Alessandra Wall, a psychologist based out of San Diego.
What brought you to eating Paleo/clean?
After giving birth to my first son I couldn't lose the baby weight. I had never dieted in my life, and found that eating in moderation had worked for me. After pregnancy that just didn't seem to work anymore.
Desperate, and unrealistically set on getting back to pre-baby condition I relented and gave in to what was supposed to be my first diet. Needless to say nearly eight years later, I didn't find a diet, but a lifestyle. There was no going back after experiencing the widespread benefits of a Paleo lifestyle.
What has been the toughest part?
Dealing with the judgment and "advice" of people who understood little about nutrition and lifestyle beyond what they wanted to hear or what they had learned via government lead advice. That and accepting that real meals take a minimum of an hour to make and, therefore, that cooking could not be an afterthought. Giving up french fries was also kind of tough...
What has been the easiest part?
Sticking with it after the first few months. The benefits of eating Paleo were so evident (weight loss, better skin, increased sex drive, increased energy, improved moods, the absence of common aches and pains, and a new outlook on lifestyle management) that deciding to stick with it became pretty easy. I was lucky enough, however, that my husband was along for the ride. I cannot stress how much easier this is if you get your household to join you.
What is the most satisfying part?
I don't worry about food anymore. I am not concerned with the idea of gaining weight as I age. I know how to eat for health. I know how to make it taste good and I am certain that my choices are right for my body now and later on in life.
What are you going to conquer this year?
Last year I successfully conquered fear of failure. Using that, this year my goal is to become a better business woman. I have been a healer and a helper in one form or another for so long, it's been hard figuring out how to stay true to that identity and build a kickass business.
I also want to read/listen to 50+ books this year.
What is your best quality?
I'm assertive. I say what I mean, I mean what I say. My friends and colleagues don't have to guess at what I think, feel or believe and they can trust me to bring up any issues I may have. I am not ashamed of who I am or what I think and feel, which means I don't feel the need to hide it or keep is secrete. Assertive does not mean that I speak without a filter, however, just that I am honest and authentic.
I wish I could teach everyone to speak up, the world would be a better place if people felt they could be who they are and we all just stopped playing social games.
What was the happiest moment of your life?
Haven't lived it yet, ask me on my death bed, but some of my happier moments involve books, quiet moments, song birds and a cup of smooth, bold and very hot coffee.
One piece of advice to someone starting Paleo?
Be patient, and take your time - it can take a year or more to figure out exactly how to make this Paleo thing right for you. Don't get too caught up in the details, the basic rules are a damn good start - eat veggies and animal protein, limit sugars, partake of some starch, be mindful of how much fruit you consume.
Never leave the house without:
(Me? My underwear) The reader? A deep breath. Taking a single deep breath and releasing tension on the exhalation sends a signal to your brain to shut off the fight or flight response. It is such an easy way of shifting your perspective on a world that can sometimes feel dark and overwhelming.
What is your exercise regime:
Parkour, and I try to make it to the gym a few times a week.
Snack of choice:
I don't really snack anymore, thanks to Paleo, but when I do it will be cold cuts (salami and mortadella).
Sleep and mascara
Use oils instead of soap, and Combat Balm to hydrate during the day.
Best advice from MOM:
Behave like a lady (to be interpreted however you choose, but basically conduct yourself in a manner you can be proud of).
A must read book recommendation:
Where can we find what you are up to?
Check out the latest freebie from Life in Focus. It's a 7-day challenge to practice doing a bit of nothing and restore both control and balance 2-min at a time. It's called the Art of Nothing, and it's freaking awesome (by all accounts, not just my opinion) here's where you can sign up.
Alternatively, here is a piece I wrote on the importance of limiting noise pollution and creating and the link to the challenge is in there too.
Too much reading...
How about dessert?