My Paleo Story – Svenja CG, The Cavewoman from Germany
*Editor’s Note: I am excited to bring you a guest post by Svenja. She lives in Germany where they love to eat lots of bread and the paleo diet is not as well known. She and I began talking about paleo on Twitter and I asked if she’d be willing to share her story with my readers. She was, and here it is. Enjoy! -Lindsay
Well, how did I first hear about paleo?
It must have been about 2 years ago, when I was checking out a new restaurant called Sauvage, the first paleo restaurant in Berlin. Since I was there for work, I had the chance to speak quite intensely with the Belgian owner. He told me about his major inspirations like Mark’s Daily Apple. When I expressed my concern to be able to change my diet to paleo because I love chocolate too much, he gave me a pack of raw chocolate. To be honest, it wasn’t really my thing as it is not what I expect from chocolate so I kind of forgot about paleo until about 4 months ago when I went to try out Crossfit. They had a paleo challenge going on. In our Facebook group everyone exchanged plenty of recipes and pictures of their meals. New workout, new people, I thought to myself, I might as well establish a new eating routine.
Luckily I found many amazing, inspiring websites and Facebook sites to make the transition easier. Of course it was quite a challenge to cut out bread, pasta, pizza, sweets, dairy and processed food from my routine, especially in a country like Germany that is so well known for its bread and sausage. However in the end it is just a matter of taking little steps. First step: Restocking my kitchen and finding new ingredients, that could get me excited about my new challenge. Urgeschmack.de, PaleOMG, Paleo Diet Lifestyle and Nom Nom Paleo (all on Facebook) have just been a few of my inspirations.
Restocking my kitchen and taking a few hours on the weekend to actually prepare for my first paleo week was fun. The week went by leaving me feeling strong and healthy. The second week went very well as well, but in the third week my cravings started: Kinder chocolate, ice cream, burgers, pasta with creamy cheese sauce…. ooooh the cravings! I thought to myself: I might as well allow myself a cheat day to make the whole transition easier. Oh well, I made that calculation without my stomach who actually gotten used to the new diet way faster than my head. Two scoops of ice cream and a burger meal later the stomach cramps I hadn’t had since I changed to paleo were back stronger than ever. I felt miserable, to say the very least. But the good thing was since that cheat day my cravings gotten weaker.
I’ve noticed so many positive changes within just three months: My skin has gotten clearer, my hair is stronger, and FINALLY no more stomach cramps which I always thought were just a part of my body and I should get used to it. Last but not least my silhouette has changed for the better: I have never had any big issues with my weight however I was never happy with the distribution of my little “extras” on my hips, which made my hips look a little “unfortunate”.
Yes, it is a big transition, cutting out cereal, dairy and sugar, but for me it was the most rewarding change. With a little bit of preparation the change in diet is very manageable and after a while it is actually really easy and exciting. All the new flavours, all the new ingredients. For example have I never tried out preparing sweet potato before or okra, or to coat slices of tomato with almond flour and roasting them. And the best part of it: you never go hungry again! I actually lost a few pounds and got more toned without ever being hungry.
All the best,