Mornings here at the Visconti household tend to look a lot like this:
Bibles open: check.
Fresh flowers from the Ballard Farmers Market: check.
Paleo breakfast (veggie scramble + pan-fried sweet potatoes) : check.
Nick & I are almost two months in on our new Paleo diet and lifestyle change. For those of you who aren't familiar with the biggest diet phenomenon since vegetarianism, Paleo is based on the diet of our hunter-gatherer Paleolithic ancestors who thrived on wholesome and unprocessed foods found naturally in nature. If you're thinking plant roots and honey you're not far off. Based off the book The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D, Paleo (also known as the Caveman Diet) allows meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds and exempts bread products, refined sugars, dairy and anything processed. The idea behind it all? Staying active, thin, energized and healthy while lessening the chances of developing diseases like diabetes later in life. That's the reader's digest version, but if you want to learn more check out the official Paleo website here.
Now if you know me, you know I have a love affair with two things: sugar and pizza. I've had neither in two months (probably for the first time in my entire life #firstworldproblems) and you know what? I'm not craving or missing them. At all. I have spent the past two months retraining my palette to appreciate natural and healthy foods and have begun to crave things like kale, sweet potatoes, lamb and shallots. Being limited to such a strict diet forces creativity in the kitchen, which I've been loving as well. Nick and I really enjoy cooking together, and since eating Paleo often requires longer food preparation, we spend that time together. It's like a date night in the kitchen before the date night even begins.
So why the health obsession? When I moved to Seattle last summer and started dating Nick, a professional snowboarder and one of the healthiest people I've ever met, I was at the most lethargic point I'd ever been in. My life revolved around social events: going out eating and drinking with friends. I rarely exercised and constantly felt tired. My metabolism had started to majorly slow down and my clothes began to fit differently. Over this past year I have started to adopt Nick's active lifestyle and have absolutely fallen in love with it. Slowly but surely I began to cut out all the things I previously ate without any concern like sugary cereals and cookies. When we learned about Paleo shortly before getting married, I had an A ha! moment and knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this was something I had to do. Not just as a trend, but forever implement an entirely new level of awareness as to what I put into my body and how I stretched my body physically. That's why we like to refer to Paleo as a lifestyle, not a diet.
More than anything, I just want to be healthy.
In my struggles coping with retinitis pigmentosa, one of the hardest things I've had to come to grips with has been my lack of control. It's an incurable untreatable disease that is robbing me of my vision. I can't do anything about it but sit back and pray.
I can handle the emotional and physical challenges that are presented through being visually impaired, just give me something to work towards God... give me hope!
I feel like He is giving me that hope through teaching me how to treat my body better by exercising regularly and feeding myself delicious nutrient-rich foods. There is no proof that eating natural and organic will sustain my vision of course, but it certainly can't hurt. And in my heart of hearts, I think it's going to help. It already has.