Stay Positive. Eat Food. Keep it Simple.

Living a paleo lifestyle, as with anything else that starts to become mainstream, will be accompanied by debate (can you say bacon?), differences of opinion, scrutiny, blatant sarcasm, humor, mean spiritedness, and politics. I have been asked by several people; what is my opinion about this, that, or the other, or are you ANGRY at something that might be happening, like the recent article spouting about “health officials” reaction to the paleo diet.

Here is my answer.

Stay positive, because the only way to truly make change is to start with yourself and to lead by example with a kind heart, gentle words, and a strong example.  The reality is, paleo living is saving, changing, and vastly improving lives by simply keeping it simple and that fact outshines any contradictory article that might be backed by “health officials.”

Eat Food. Enjoy it, make sure the Food that you Eat makes you feel, look, and perform your best.  If you are not feeling, looking, or performing your best take a giant step back and revaluate your life for a minute. What looks wrong – start by looking back over a day or two of your life and decide:  Too many paleo treats?  Too much sugar? Too much caffeine?  Not enough protein?  Not enough veggies?  Grains slipping back in?  Not enough sleep?  Not enough exercise?  Too much exercise?  Often, once people take a look at how they are living, they see an obvious problem that is easy to rectify that has nothing to do with making it so darn difficult but all to do with making it really freaking simple.

I used to make it super duper hard.  I would freak out, tweak out, and stress out over everything and good ol’ Robb Wolf would always keep me grounded with his simple and life saving advice:

Eat protein, veggies, and some fat with every meal.  Exercise smart.  Sleep at least 8 hours a night in a darkened room.  The only thing I would add to this prescription would be to: Stop taking yourself so seriously, laugh a lot, cry when you need to, hug more, make love more, and play until you are fall-down-tired.

Stay Positive. Eat Food.  Keep it Simple.  And as always.

Enjoy!

 

Comments

  1. Kim says

    Thanks for this! Just what I needed today. I have a mixture of all of this and these words are so dead on but so simple. Thanks for your continued inspiration on my Paleo journey!

  2. Adriane Munger says

    It’s funny how ‘Health Officials’ talk about how much we need grains and that they have so many beneficial nutrients and vitamins in them. No one, however, seems to be able to list out exactly what it is that we’re getting from grains??!! The poptarts commercials where they portray them as having ‘whole grains and a hearty fun breakfast’ makes steam come out of my ears. Lets send our kids of to school all jacked up on sugar and frosting!! America has and is forming increasingly horrid eating habits. You’re doing a wonderful job of trying to reverse this and it’s greatly appreciated!! Anyway, back to grains…when you cut them out of your diet (that i’ve found) there’s nothing but benefit. Keep on with the good wholesome meat, fruit, veggies and ingredients!! i love living paleo and it makes me feel so much better about myself and what i put out into the world everyday:)

    • Sarah says

      AMEN! I love living paleo too, for the first time my nutrition just feels right, there are no doubts, so much has vastly improved in my overall health, mental clarity, physical ability, and you are right, we get nothing nutritionally that we need from grains, only the inability to absorb the nutrients that we need to thrive! Awesome comment!

  3. John Torres says

    Well, that “article” was so ridiculous!

    Like the Seinfeld episode when Jerry tells George that if everything that he does is wrong than the opposite must be correct, if the “health officials” and the FDA say it is wrong for you then it must be correct! Haven’t they learned that the SAD that they recommend is what is causing this epidemic?

    Thank you for another great post. It is people like you that truly help others out there! :)

  4. Jessica says

    This could not have been written at a better time for me! After being about 70% Paleo, I decided to do a whole30. On day 3 and feeling great, but your positivity message really drives it home for me. Your messages on Paleo lifestyle are great for those of us who are juggling life/home/family/craziness. :-)

  5. mister worms says

    Well, that “reporting” on the paleo diet sure is a piece of junk. First of all, if there is insufficient data why not just say so instead of a poor score? Anyway, I think anyone who has the smarts to try out Paleo or similar diets could see right through these sort of expert reviews.

  6. says

    Great Site, I’m glad I found it. I’ve been on the fence about Paleo for a while now, I’ve been trying to stick to it lately. Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  7. Amanda says

    AMEN!!!! Stressing over whether or not you’re doing it right will only work against you. Excellent post Sarah!!

  8. says

    Thank you thank you THANK you. Well said. What got me into eating this way in the first place is how SIMPLE and enjoyable eating is supposed to be. What a nice reminder!

  9. Sheri says

    This is just what I needed to read. I have been slipping the past few weeks. I figured it out(after reading this) that I am over-doing it. I just need to focus and keep it simple.

  10. says

    This is a great little blog post.

    As a fitness professional I get caught up in these arguments all the time but I always try to bring it back to basics. For me it comes down to what I really truly believe makes sense and what is the most simple way for me to eat on a daily basis.

    Every diet, form of eating or healthy living principle comes under attack but if you truly believe it works and it works for you as an individual then stick with it.

    Food should be enjoyed and should not be an all consuming stressful experience. I love the paleo format because it is simple and makes perfect sense to me and is well balanced.

    Thanks for the post.

    • says

      Hi John,
      You are right, it’s very easy to get caught up in all of the arguments, but just focusing on the basics is exactly what most people need to make this thing work because the reality is, eating paleo is very basic and can be super manageable if approached with a simplistic view and a go-for-it attitude. Thanks for your comment!

  11. Marla says

    Love your site!! Still working on trying to get entirely on Paleo but having a hard time giving up Pizza and popcorn (it’s movie season :-) but what you say and what I have read makes complete sense. I do feel soooo much better when there are no slip ups. With that being said…. just bought your book, GREAT RECIPES, I’m making the stuffed peppers tomorrow. Thanks again!!

    • says

      Thank you Marla and best of luck to you, just stay focused on how good it feels to really feel good and that will help with the slip ups!

  12. sarah says

    Great post Sarah!

    I know this is personal, but I was wondering how old you are, because you look fabulous in that picture and so young! You are definitely and inspiration :)

  13. says

    Love this article, this has been everything we have been dealing with in our gym. I often make a joke of “the reason you cortisol levels are high is that you are stressed out about your cortisol levels”. The point is that stressing about living up to a unattainable law that usually you yourself have put on yourself doesn’t help. You notice that just because there is a law doesn’t mean that you actually follow it. If there is anything we can do to help each other is to remind each other that this is not that big a deal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, we will continue to be reading your blog, especially because it is so level headed.

    • says

      Thank you Dan and Sheilla and amen to your joke about cortisol levels being high as we worry about our cortisol levels!! So very very true… Deep breaths…

  14. Lisa says

    I’m just about to start my own Paleo journey, and reading this this morning is exactly what I needed! Thank YOU!

  15. Michael says

    Amen Sarah!

    I got an injury a couple of months ago and was getting down and depressed. So I decided to do something about my eating after visiting a gym that had a 30 day paleo challenge. While doing the challenge I searched the interwebs and by the grace of God I found your site. Don’t think I would have made it if it were not for your wonderful book and recipes. Keep up the fabulous work.

    By the way I told my wife you are my new internet girlfriend…..still working on the rest of the family going paleo but I’m taking your advice…..stay postive…eat food…keep it simple…

    • says

      Hello new internet boyfriend! LOL!! All jokes aside, I’m so glad that things are going well for you and hang in there with the family. As they watch you become healthier and healthier, they will want to get on board. It’s contagious, I promise! : )

  16. says

    I love this post for its simplicity and positivity! You said it right about enjoying your food. I read the article of the 20 diets that you mentioned, and frankly, I didn’t believe much of it. In reality, I know Weight Watchers is helping many, many people. I think that’s fantastic. However, between WW and many of the other diets listed, there is a lot of extra work involved (counting calories or points, meetings, etc etc etc). Where is the enjoyment of food? Yes, our bodies need food as fuel, but we should also actually like what we’re eating! I enjoy every paleo meal that I make for my family, and I doubt many people in those other diet programs can honestly say they enjoy their “diet.”

    • says

      Great comment and I agree with you about programs like WW might be helping people lose weight by calorie counting, etc., but it’s like treating the symptoms and not the disease. These folks still won’t be healthy without eliminating the grains, legumes, dairy and most people who lose weight on these plans end up putting it all back on unfortunately.

  17. says

    Can I add also “Get a dog” as a very positive ingredient of a Paleo lifestyle? To me, life without a dog is no life. And who thinks is not a “dog person” should think again. There is a dog for everybody! It completes and empowers you…

    That works with cats too, but I feel dogs are more important because they are, on average, more interactive than a cat is.

  18. barb says

    Nice post – I keep Rob’s quick start guide on my frig for his last paragraph about just keeping it simple.

  19. Lori says

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am starting a 21 day Paleo challenge Saturday with my fitness center and your website and podcast have been so helpful to get me ready. I’m going to get your cookbook this weekend. I have a 2 year old that done eat much veggies, so this will help me get him to eat some. Thank you .

  20. Amanda says

    Hi Sarah. I have been following your blog for a couple of months now. My heart is really wants to be strict paleo so that I can finally lose that exhausted feeling that I have everyday and also lose some baby fat. But as the mom of three kids 5 and under with a ridiculously stressful job, my mind keeps getting in the way. I’ve read your book from cover to cover but would appreciate it if you could continue this simplicity theme and give me three suggestions on how to make it “work” in this crazy world.

    Thank you for everything you do!

    • says

      Hi Amanda,
      Dedicate your next weekend to preparing a few meals ahead of time so that you don’t have to cook on your busier days. You can do this, and it does become easier I promise!

  21. Dana says

    Oh boy did I need to hear this! Still new to the life change. It was so fun and uplifting at first. Then over the past couple weeks I’ve been sharing my excitement with family and friends only to have them tell me I’m crazy, I’m going to kill my kids, and I’m going to go bold. (Didn’t know cavemen were bold did ya!?) lol Anyway, thanks for the uplifting message!

    • says

      Oh geez, I’m sorry Dana! Hang in there, and as your family watches you become healthier and healthier, they will leave you alone and maybe even join you!!

  22. erin says

    Great post! Driving home the thought that, yes, this can be simple is so important, because people have so much to gain from making these changes. Personal example for me and my family; my father-in-law, who at 40, had a major heart attack, and in his sixties was diagnosed as pre-diabetic, has made some changes. He fought his son (my hubby) for many months on the benefits of paleo. Finally, he removed grains (always trouble with dairy, so that was easy to remove). Lost weight, feels great. At his last visit with his cardiologist his Dr. raved about his “numbers”.
    I could rave at length about the benefits that my husband, myself, our four children and some of our close friends and family have experienced by adapting to a paleo diet and lifestyle. Possible by making simple and very doable changes!
    Hey! Thanks for all that you do. I think I make a grab for your cookbook (so much more than just a cookbook!) just about everyday!

  23. Claudia says

    I love this article, why do we make simple so complicated?? As I get older and am more reflective about my life and how I deal with it, this fits in absolutely perfectly, thank you.

    • says

      I agree Claudia, I too become more reflective as I get older and watch my children grow. Life is too short to make things so darn complicated all the time!

  24. Damian says

    I am loving this diet – on page. I am very overweight having gained back what I lost and all my life have pointed, counted, journaled, weighed, fasted, drank and many other embarrassing and probably life endangering diets. I am looking for a complete life style change and am motivated to do so, but the FOOD! Oh, how I love food, and so far this seems to be filled things I love. I am researching as much as I can about Paleo but it really sounds easy and not stressfull and good.

  25. Karen says

    I love your stay positive laid back approach to eating and life. In other words, it just doesn’t have to be that hard!!! So many of us have to relearn how to listen to our bodies. And then the next step is not to ignore them….. and the other thing is learning to ask for what you want or need. My most recent joy is going into the local diner with my family… ordering my fav veggie or meat egg omelet… and telling them “no cheese, no home fries, no toast….just some sliced tomatoes and lettuce on the side, please”… and, even better, GETTING IT!! yeah, like that was so hard……lol

  26. ROCKY says

    Sarah,

    I agree. Stay in touch with how you feel. I am on day 6 of the diet and loving it! It combines perfectly with a new swimming program. I’ve lost five pounds so far, and I have a new interest in working with food.
    Thank you so much!!

  27. Veronica says

    I just found your website and LOVE it! We aren’t completely paleo, but my toddler and I are grainfree – if only I could get my husband on board….. ;) He does claim to “suffer” from second hand dieting. Keep up the good work!

    • Sarah says

      Thank you so much Veronica and don’t worry, the hubby will come around, just keep on eating healthy paleo foods and living life to the fullest and eventually he won’t be able to help himself. I love the “second hand dieting” by the way, too funny! LOL!

  28. CathyN says

    Greetings from the Central Oregon Coast!

    Just re-read this post. Sarah, you have such a great attitude. This article is a good reminder when other people start jabbering about how eating grains and eating low fat are “healthy.” My husband and I are loving paleo, and our health is flourishing. And we are in our 60’s (the awesome age!).

    You are doing a great job. Thank you (BTW, love the book – gave a copy to my son)

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