November and December are wonderful months. There is so much to love: family, holidays, vacation, food, pie, stuffing, corn pudding, food, sweet potato casserole, food. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Part-way through Christmas break, I began to suspect that our holiday eating patterns were unhealthy. Not sure what tipped me off, but it may have been when I noticed myself having several slices of pie for breakfast and washing it down with a cold glass of eggnog. Something had to change before we developed Stage I Hypertension. And thus, the idea for Paleo February was born!
What does Paleo February entail?
Our goal for this escapade is to establish a healthy eating pattern and hopefully come to enjoy new, nutritious foods. During the month of February, we will make a focused effort to eat well.
What we will try to eat:
- Lots of vegetables, especially fresh ones!
- Lots of fruit, especially fresh fruit
- Non-processed, lean meat, such as chicken
- Nuts, including some nut flours
- Olive oil
What we will try to limit our intake of:
- Dairy products
- Processed meat (deli meat, mainly)
What we will try to cut out:
- Grains (wheat, corn, oats, rice, et al)
There were a few foods we clarified our position on. Quinoa: absolutely ok; it’s a seed. Canola oil: fine, but we never eat that much of it. Peanuts: yes, especially because they are my main snack food. Beans: we never really eat beans, but I would not be opposed. Juice: ok, but it should be unsweetened and not in excess. Any other points of confusion we will address as they arise.
Will you make any exceptions or are you legalistic slaves to the rules?
Naturally, the rules are not set in stone. We have already foreseen several exceptions we’ll make. For example, when my mom comes to visit on Sunday, we’ll probably go out to eat. A life-or-death scenario would be another exception. For example: we get snowed in and can’t leave the house for two months. Our only source of food is a can of sweetened condensed milk. I say: “Eat the milk”. Another exception would be a situation where it would be rude to decline. For example: the Queen of England invites us over for tea. She offers us a tray of donuts. I say: “Thank you, I love donuts”. Exceptions are something we’ll handle on a case-by-case basis. Our guiding principle will be to make a healthy decision and not use the “exception” as an excuse to eat like hogs.
You may be wondering: “Why February? Wouldn’t it be better to jump right into Paleo January?” Well, it would, if we didn’t have so many delicious Christmas leftovers to eat. Admittedly, as I wrote this post, I ate a large bowl of ice cream and a cookie for lunch. But I had an apple too, so it balances out. Right?
We hope to come to February 29th well-nourished and happy. Once this chapter of the adventure comes to an end, we will be sure to update you on how it went. Will we thrive? Will we starve? Will we learn to enjoy eating mammoth? Stay tuned to find out!