My Healthy Eating Journey
It all really started with a Paleo diet. But to be honest, about eight years ago I didn’t even know what that was. I always ate quite healthy and luckily my parents had taught me to try different international meals. But I was eating everything without listening to my body and it’s needs. This changed even more when I decided to see the world after college and went to Canada on a Work and Holiday visa. And since cooking and gastronomy is my passion, it was clear to me that I wanted to work in hospitality in Canada too. So, I was very happy when I got a job as a cook in one of the most beautiful ski resorts in the world, in the Canadian Banff National Park.
But what a surprise I got when I found out that almost all the food in the restaurant I was working at was frozen or extremely processed. Most sides were deep fried… The same surprise came in stores where they had beautiful vegetables and fruits (perhaps almost suspiciously beautiful), but their price also corresponded to the looks. But the shelves with fast-food products and cans were enormous in stores and their price was remarkably low. Today I would have chosen differently, but during my stay in Canada I wanted to save money for more travelling. Unfortunately saving on the important stuff – my health. At that point I was not thinking about the health effects of those meals. I would say that in one year in Canada I ate more fries than in my entire life. And as you could imagine this junk food ride, of course, had left some consequences.
I came back from Canada with an addiction to unhealthy food, about 10 kilos heavier, and among other things, due to the poor diet, with severe digestive and skin problems. Did you know the condition of our skin is quite strongly related to the condition of our intestines? I was also often tired, suffering from huge energy drops and mood changes. The same applied for my boyfriend from Australia who came to Czech with me. Yes, besides unpleasant extra weight and health problems, I brought home one very positive fact – a future husband. And he was the first initiator to try this Paleo “diet”. I deliberately mark the diet with quotation marks because it is not a program that you’ll follow for a month and you lose weight miraculously. Paleo is a lifestyle that focuses primarily on eating, but also on how we live, how we move, sleep, etc.
Anyway, when my husband first came with the thought to try Paleo, I rolled my eyes. I would not eat heaps of meat three times a day. Because I, like most of the population, had the idea that Paleo was all about that. Just meat 24/7 and maybe a little bit of veggies. But since I wanted to do something with my extra weight, I started to get a little more interested in the whole Paleo thing. And the more I read about it, the more I realized it was not just a diet based on eating meat and vegetables. That there is so much more into it. That it might be even worth the try. So that’s how at the end of 2013 my better eating journey started.
Gradually, I excluded grains, dairy products, refined sugar and legumes from my daily diet. I supplemented the classic side dishes with vegetables and began to discover new tastes, cooking methods and ingredients. And with the limitation of industrially processed foods and sweets, my taste got adjusted, among other things, and after a long time I began to fully enjoy the true taste of basic foods. And mainly because of the transition to Paleo, I began spending more time in the kitchen again and deepened my passion for cooking. And this experimenting with different ingredients and tastes has brought me to the old long-buried idea of writing my own blog.
Of course, none of that happened overnight, but I gradually gave Paleo a greater and greater priority over the conventional diet, because I simply felt better and slowly tossed the kilos collected in Canada. Finally, at the beginning of 2017, after testing the recipes properly on my husband and my family, I took the courage and established a blog with simple recipes from real foods. My online recipe book with the most popular tricks and hopefully a possible inspiration for those who want to give a chance to healthy meals and lifestyle, but they are not really sure where to start. And especially for those who want to cook delicious, healthy meals, without ruining the family budget.
Since the start of my healthy eating journey I went through a few transitions. I ate mostly Paleo and Low Carb and I did a few rounds of the Whole30 to have a little reset and see what my body really likes and how food affects my mood and energy. And I have learnt that our body will tell us what it needs if we give it a chance. And since I started listening to my body more I haven’t followed any diet or rules, but I rather eat foods that I enjoy and that make me feel well. But thanks to Paleo and Whole30 my taste buds got used to the real foods and I am also aware of the consequences of my actions. Which means that in most cases I really do crave healthy foods such as veggies with meat and healthy fats. And that if I really have a taste for something else I think twice about how my body will react to it and whether the momentary pleasure is worth it.
And because of the fact that I have been pretty in sync with my body I realised a few months ago that something isn’t quite right. I started reacting to many foods again and I didn’t feel that well (I felt horrible actually), even though I ate a very balanced diet. So I went through a few tests and decided to do the GAPS Introduction protocol (as a supportive diet, I am not planning to do the whole GAPS diet) and most importantly start working on my stress levels, because that’s a big issue when it comes to digestion. Because I know I nourish my body, but I need to concentrate on the other important things in well-being. But more about all of that in another post 🙂