Being a healthy person is becoming an increasingly relevant goal for a lot of society, which is great! Our ancestors obviously didn't have the poisonous alternatives when it came to their diet. Of course, there were diseases and other health issues that they were not capable of treating, but there were no fast food restaurants with bright lights in your face 24/7.
Sometimes it's a weird feeling to be an outcast from the mainstream, especially when it comes to the roadblocks and struggles that you deal with when finding paleo foods when you go out with your family and friends to eat.
I will discuss that aspect of the Paleo lifestyle along with some other roadblocks that you may encounter and how you can conquer them. If you would like to email me with a roadblock that you have encountered please feel free to comment below.
Here are some of the speed bumps I've encountered on the Paleo journey and how I've managed to power through them:
Maintaining confidence when you are new to exercise
When I first began my workout routine 4 years ago, I wasn't sure how the machines worked, how to change the bench from an incline to a flat bench, or the proper form to perform a dumbell lateral raise. Since then, I have learned from friends that are personal trainers, spoke with natural bodybuilder professionals, and multi-sport athletes and have culminated my own workout routine.
Depending on your self-confidence level before you enter the gym (you have no reason to feel ashamed), this will determine how long it will take you to really get into the groove. I suggest practicing some deep breathing/meditation and stretching right as you enter the gym in the locker room or wherever you find room or feel comfortable. This will set your mindset for the duration of the workout.
Remember that your workout should be no longer than an hour long. The stress hormone cortisol will be naturally elevated due to exercise. Too much cortisol caused from overtraining combined with excess stress creates a state of catabolism. Sound like catabolism? It is. Your body eats itself. Excess stress hormones will decrease your results and lead to other problems such as high blood pressure, depression and increased symptoms of PMS.
If you are into all the bright colored shoes, neon shirts and tight pants with extravagant price tags just for the logos, that is fine too, as long as you are giving effort. I have met people who prance around the gym just wanting to be seen rather than actually wanting to workout and make progress on their bodies. Stay away from these people and stay out of the gossip circle that can exist at these places, focus while you're in there and get out!
The best part of life is probably not in the gym or making all this delicious food us Paleo people eat (well the eating part being the best part of life is debatable), but this journey is mostly to help you be healthy enough to enjoy the best parts of life.
Finding Paleo food when going out to eat
There are a lot of restaurants and food trucks that are popping up with an intent of providing natural, organic, free range food, which is amazing, but strictly Paleo items are still a pretty small category in the "out to eat dining world".
Once we start using common sense towards our food again, hopefully the rest of the population will understand and join us. For some reason, it actually feels cooler that we are part of this happy, healthy community that the mainstream hasn't caught up with.
The idea of getting Paleo food anywhere should be very simple since the actual food items we eat are simple. Fruit, vegetables, meat, fat, healthy oils and nuts. However, I've had trouble finding these items at some restaurants! For restaurants that don't seem to cater towards plain, healthy food, you probably shouldn't eat there anyway, but if you do..
Order a piece of grilled meat or fish, see if they offer fresh fruit as a side and some seeds! You're probably thinking I'm not giving any advice here. What I am saying is, dissect the menu and opt for the simple items that may not be listed on the actual menu. I don't eat there anymore, but at Olive Garden, you should be able to order the seasoned chicken breast that would go into their chicken alfredo along with some berries that would be on top of their dolcini (dessert item), along with some asparagus and onions as a side; pretty Paleo right? Is the chicken going to be steroid-free and free-range? Probably not, but is eating Paleo items regardless of being organically produced better than not eating them at all? Absolutely.
Here we have a restaurant called Frisch's which can actually be Paleo. I order grilled chicken which comes with some seasoning on it, a side of pineapple or cantaloupe and some sunflower seeds. It's a simple concept, just let your server know that you prefer plainish things and are avoiding pasta and bread etc. and ask for recommendations. Most of them will be willing to help.
You just gotta be able to adapt to whatever situation you're presented with. This applies to all aspects of life, we can't get too consumed with this whole diet process. Sometimes, I will splurge and eat a side of apple sauce with cinnamon! I consider it splurging because it probably has added sugar at that restaurant. Trader Joes actually carries some Organic Cinnamon Apple Sauce, which is great! It's around 50 cents per cup (If you read this in 2020 it will probably be $5 a cup, or will all money be digital and will be measured in time instead? Who knows).
Staying consistent with your eating schedule and exercise plan even though you have "no time"
I work 40 hours a week, go to school for 3 hours a night, 3 times a week after work, come home, cook dinner, maintain my relationship(s) and workout, then warm bath with essential oils. This schedule can be exhausting, I can imagine that your lifestyle is at least this busy and probably even busier, you can do it! Don't give up!
Is our work schedules, waking up to an alarm (even if it is a peaceful sound), driving a car, being surrounded by artificial lighting in office buildings paleo? No, but we have to make as many small changes away from the artificial ways of life, within realism, that we can.
What people who have "no time" are really doing
Watching TV and mindlessly browsing the internet! Can you count the number of hours that you watch TV a week on one hand? I can, the answer is ZERO. Well that's all part of creating a more minimalist lifestyle, but you don't have to go that far if you aren't ready to free up time and mental clutter for yourself.
Use technology as a tool to your benefit and create productivity with it.
These are the people that ask you about the newest episode of some show that I didn't know existed. These alternate realities on the TV will distract you from your own life and can lead to poor diet choices, lower quality sleep due to the reduced amount of the sleep hormone melatonin (podcast #3 here has some info about melatonin and sleep), and what I call the "hollywood complex", which will leave you feeling like your life is not special and you will never be as beautiful or achieve happiness or wealth like the people on TV.. Don't worry, they are generally miserable. This comes from meeting millionaires at a previous job that looked at every situation with the most negative mindset. That lifestyle will keep you too busy trying to maintain all your toys anyways. Hope you related to that mini-rant.
What else are people doing that "don't have time?"
Overbooking themselves. Write down your daily or weekly schedule and figure out how much time you actually have.
There is only 24 hours in a day.
The most important roadblock to conquer when living the Paleo lifestyle; staying focused and achieving great results when everyone around you could care less about their self/diet/body.