Going Paleo

I’m going Paleo. And I’m terrified.

I’ve already cut down on dairy because it gives me stomach and intestinal pain. If I do consume something with cheese or milk, I usually take a lactase pill to control it a bit.

I tried to go gluten-free out of sheer curiosity last year, but I barely lasted a week.

I mean, I love me some bread. And pizza. And Oreos.

I could go on and on about things that I like to eat. And of course none of them are considered Paleo. At least not the ones sold in most stores.Paleo diet, not Paleo diet

But this “diet” has been suggested to me by people I know, as well as others whose stories I have only read online. And they seem pretty convincing to me.

The main reason for introducing this change to my lifestyle is for health reasons. I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease about a year and a half ago. Before the diagnosis was official, I had 2 major flare-ups during the two years prior to that. You can read my blog post about it, but basically, in order to maintain remission, I’m on meds for the rest of my life. So far, so good; I haven’t had a flare-up since my diagnosis in October 2012.

However, prescription costs add up. I’ve had to switch insurance plans (and therefore meds) 3 times due to moving downstate and enrolling in and graduating from graduate school. Monthly co-pays for my meds have ranged from really cheap (as in paying $1 when I was on Medicaid upstate) to now paying over $100 with Empire Bluecross Blueshield. Thanks a lot, Obamacare!

Plus, it’s a real pain in the ass having to take multiple pills multiple times per day. I was originally taking 6 pills twice per day with my first set of meds. When I went to the doctor near campus in NYC, he suggested I try another kind, in which I would only have to take 3 pills twice per day. Heck yes! Well, now on this new plan, my insurance won’t cover that medication, so I’m back to taking more pills – three pills, three times per day.So many colorful pills! Looks like candy!

At this point, I’ve been taking so many darn pills for so long that it has just become routine. But that’s not to say I wouldn’t love it if I could simply get through the rest of my life without being a pill-head. One less thing to worry about.

Back in 2011, my now-fiancé Tom was the first person who told me about this Caveman/Neanderthal/Paleo Diet. He was convinced that it was a great idea; it’s based on what cavemen and women used to eat, so obviously it’s natural and healthy. Sure enough, he lost weight. But I think it’s mainly because he was sleeping during the day, working in his basement apartment at night, and mostly only consuming foods very high in fat like nuts. Oh, and cups upon cups of coffee. He didn’t stick with it very long as there were some, ahem, crappy side effects and he started looking very sickly.

Since then, it has become a popular diet. Many people partake in this and other “fad” diets to lose weight or to reap the health benefits. But still others do it just to say they are partaking in X, Y, and Z. Like I said, I’m more in it for the health benefits; losing weight and maintaining it would just be a bonus. I’ve got a wedding dress to fit into!

Personally, I think I’ve gotten too lazy and have started taking my health for granted now that I have it back (with the exception of those dang pills). So I’m making a commitment to start introducing Paleo meals and guidelines into my diet. I’m not going to just dive all-in all at once because I find that this is more difficult to stick with than making small efforts here and there. I would hope that in the near future I can be mostly Paleo. And maybe pill-free?

I’ve started looking into recipes, cookbooks, blogs, etc. on all things Paleo. One blog that I’ve come to love is called Against all Grain by Danielle Walker. Her story is similar to but even worse than mine – she dealt with crazy abdominal pain, lost tons of weight, and had multiple blood transfusions and iron infusions, before she was finally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (which is similar to Crohn’s).Against All Grain - Danielle Walker

She changed to a Paleo-style diet and has seen remarkable results. She posts Paleo recipes, has her own Paleo cookbooks, reviews of others’ books, and even writes about her struggles with not eating those comfort foods we all know and love. Definitely relatable and inspiring. And so dang gorgeous!

So the first step would be to pick out some Paleo meals to replace my typical ones, get the ingredients, and try this thing out! Suggestions, personal accounts (successes and failures), or favorite Paleo recipes would be greatly accepted and appreciated!

Conscious (un)Box(ing)

I have seen a lot of YouTube videos (remember my secret obsession? Read about it here) about monthly subscription boxes. Companies send subscribers a box of products depending on what type of company they are; for example, some send out only beauty items, others are full of products for your pets. Usually the person is being sponsored, so they received their box for free, and were asked by the company to unbox the package and do a haul/review.

Unfortunately for us normal folk (at least us poor college kids), we actually have to pay for these items that are less than necessary. And some of these subscriptions can get upwards of $50! No way Jose. Luckily enough, I had signed up for weekly emails from a company called Conscious Box because one of the aforementioned YouTubers had hosted a giveaway through the company and signing up was one of the rules.Conscious Box

Usually I just delete these emails because I think that I can use $20 per month on more important things. However, I received one that advertised a free box with the use of the provided promotion code. Now, when I say free, I mean I did not have to pay the flat $20; I did still have to pay $7.95 for shipping and handling. Either way, I jumped on that offer and signed up to receive a box in June.

Now the cool thing about Conscious Box is they are dedicated to providing subscribers with body and earth conscious products ranging from beauty to food to household (You can read their Mission here). They have 3 options: Classic, Vegan, and Gluten Free. So you can choose which type of box you would like to receive and they ship a box of goodies to your door every month. If you are either unhappy or don’t want to continue receiving products, you can simply pause your subscription (Check out their How It Works page here).closeup open box

So anyways, on to my June Conscious Box. As you can see above, the packaging is so neat and cute. The box was surprisingly heavy when I picked it up and was completely full of products, unlike most orders where there is more styrofoam or bubble wrap than actual product. There is also a card inside that lists all of the products and descriptions.[hr]

Chicken Poop lip balm – Although this is not made from poop, I dislike the smell immensely. I think it is the lavender – it is just too overwhelming, especially since my lips are directly under my nose. Like everyone else’s…chicken-poop

[hr]Son For Men Organic, Vegan, Non-GMO Soothe – I am tempted to use this after I shave. No, I don’t shave my face. I am just a little hesitant because I prefer to smell guys, not smell like one. Maybe I’ll have Tom try it and get back to you.son for men

[hr]Bottle Bright Water Bottle Cleaner – This is such an awesome idea! I was actually just talking to my friend about what a hassle it is trying to clean water bottles. I will definitely be trying this out.

bottle bright cleaner

[hr]Sea Foam Face and Body Lotion – This lotion is unscented, and even though I like scented lotions, they are good for those of us with sensitive skin. The sample size is great for traveling, so I will be testing this out for sure.

lotion

[hr]Nature’s Baby Organics Bubble Bath – The smell is nice and fruity – the scent is Tangy Tangerine. I do not have a tub to try this out with but hopefully someday I will get the chance to use it.

bubble bath

[hr]ACTZ Glycerin Soap – This soap claims to save lives…except it is shaped like a cupcake and I might want to eat it! So cute! And it’s in the scent “Shower Candy and Desserts”, so it smells divine.

cupcake soap

[hr]Lotus Moon Hibiscus Flower Facial Moisturizer – I plan on trying this out tonight after I wash my face. It smells nice – kind of fresh and clean. It says it is meant for all skin types and is vegan, gluten-free, non-gmo (that’s Genetically Modified Organism), and 82% organic. So please don’t break me out. kthxbai.

lotus moon lotion

[hr]Slumberland Sleep Squares – These are super intriguing – chocolate squares that help you sleep? And they’re only 15 calories a pop?! This package contains 2 squares, so this is potentially two nights’ worth of chocolate-filled, dreamy, restful nights.

sleep squares

[hr]Organic Flavrz Drink Mixes – I’m not a huge fan of flavored water, so I was kind of disappointed to find 4 of these packets. My philosophy: either give me plain water or give me something with tons of sugar; none of this halfway stuff. I tried one of the berry ‘Revive’ mixes tonight with a bottle of water and it was okay.

flavrz drink mix

[hr]Sneakz Organic Nutrition Milkshake – The name is kind of lame – it refers to adding veggies into your child’s lunchbox without them realizing. You sneaky mom! Unless of course they can read. Then you’re screwed. I’m excited to give it a go. And I can read.

sneakz chocolate milk

[hr]Alt Peanut Butter Cookie Fruit and Nut Bar – You had me at peanut butter. And then cookie. This sucker is gluten free, dairy free, non-gmo, kosher, and vegan. Hopefully we can add delicious to that list.

alt bar

[hr]Skout Bars – These have an even longer list of fancy things: organic, vegan, gluten free, non-gmo, dairy & soy free, naturally occurring protein, fiber, and vitamins, and no refined sugar or fillers. Whew. I tried the cherry vanilla one for a snack today and it was really good!

skout bar

Also included is a $50 gift card for Naked Wines, so that is absolutely amazing! Overall, I am really satisfied with my $7.95 purchase; this was a great box to receive because it was packed with so much great stuff. I don’t even think I would have minded if I had paid the full price for this box. I will definitely consider subscribing for another month!