First of all, I have at least double the amount of energy. I suffer from adrenal fatigue (my cortisol numbers were terribly low on my test), which makes me tired almost all of the time. Since beginning Paleo, I finally feel like I will be able to conquer adrenal fatigue and get my cortisol levels back into a healthy range.
Secondly, my mind and thought processes have been incredibly clear. Eating high amounts of carbohydrates makes my brain feel fuzzy and foggy (on the few occasions I have done this since eating Paleo). I have tested myself using KetoStix and have learned that my body has been using ketones as its main energy source, not glucose. That means my liver is converting fat into ketones which is then fueling my body. In a "normal" high carbohydrate diet, the body converts carbs into glucose. The pancreas then secretes insulin to bring blood glucose levels back down (however for many Americans eating a standard American diet, insulin levels never drop due to repeated high carbohydrate consumption, causing insulin to store fat and only burn glucose -- then you feel hungry 2 hours later once the glucose has been all used up). This leads to my final and most surprising affect of Paleo with my body:
I have lost weight. Okay, that may not seem like a big deal because many diets and lifestyles promote weight loss in their own ways. So let me re-phrase this: I am eating more food than I ever have in my life, I am eating more good-quality fat than I ever have in my life, and I feel better than I have in a VERY long time. I'm not eating Paleo to lose weight -- that is not my goal. When I started, I was 110 pounds and I'm 5 foot 3 inches, well within a normal BMI. But I began to slowly lose weight by eating low-carb so that I now weight about 105 lbs. For the life of me, I could not figure out where the weight had come off of my body -- my face was not thinner and my ribs were not poking out of my sides which is what usually happened to me when I ever got to 105 lbs. So I measured my hips and my waist -- I've lost 2 inches off both my hips AND my waist. I'm the kind of gal that despite being petite, I've always had a little extra storage in the trunk, if you get my drift. So the fact that my rear end has actually gotten smaller is just unbelievable to me. And I feel awesome. Did I mention that already??
Okay, enough talk about myself and Paleo and the great benefits. (Another day I'll tell you how much better James is doing.)
Here's a great gluten-free, Paleo recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner. James threw this together last night for dinner, and as usual, he did not disappoint.
Ham and Broccoli Frittata
f you do not have an oven-safe 10-inch skillet, feel free to use a glass pie dish.
2 tsp oil, butter, ghee, or lard
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 crown broccoli (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups), chopped into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup water
8 oz chopped ham (nitrate free), cut into small pieces
dash of red pepper flakes (optional)
6 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup cheese -- goat cheese or cow's milk cheese (colby jack, swiss, cheddar)
2 strips of bacon, cooked
In an oven-safe 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onions until lightly browned and caramelized, then remove to a bowl, set aside. Place broccoli in skillet and saute until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add water, cover and steam until broccoli is crisp-tender. Remove lid and allow water to evaporate. Add broccoli to onions and set aside. Place ham in skillet and stir until heated through, 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli and onions back to skillet, stirring to combine everything together. Pour beaten eggs into skillet and allow to cook until the edges begin to set. Place skillet in the oven under the broiler and continue to cook until egg mixture is set, about 3-5 minutes. Top with cheese and broil until melted. Crumble bacon on top. Cut into pieces and serve.