Amber from Melbourne, Victoria took a paleo journey with us when she signed up for one my 8-week paleo reset and reintroductions program (formerly known as the HBF program). She had been familiar with paleo eating guidelines prior to signing up, but life gets in the way sometimes the way it does, and some bad habits snuck back in.
As well serving complete beginners, the program can also really help someone who already has a foundation set up, but finds it difficult to stay committed after a series of life events, a health scare or just a lack of creativity. Amber found just that , and she kindly shared some of her story.
What was your ‘WHY’ going into the program?
My WHY was to get back on track, to lose weight, and to feel healthier and fitter. I was sick of feeling tired and unhappy with myself. I had been eating 70/30 paleo for a while, but with moving house, I let a lot of bad food creep back in, and I was feeling crappy. My partner also had a bit of health scare, so the program came along at the right time when we could focus on ourselves.
What was your progress like? What effects did the program have on your life and well being?
There were so many transformations throughout the program! Weight loss was one of them which was great, but I soon found I wasn’t focusing on the scales, but rather how my body shape was changing, and how my clothes were fitting better. Although, I am pretty happy that I lost 6 kg. in the 8-9 weeks!
My complexion has been a huge change, and one that a lot of people comment on. With these two things, I have felt my self-esteem lift and I’m feeling a lot happier with myself. I don’t need as much caffeine as I used to, and my sleep is so much better, which then means I wake up feeling ready and energised for the day! My digestion has improved greatly, and I have hardly any bloating. I make sure I make the time for exercise everyday which was something that could get skipped on a busy day – not anymore! I need to do it for myself as well as my health.
What are some of the most important things you’ve learnt along the way?
I feel as though I’m really changing my relationship with food. I love cooking and trying new recipes, but during the program, I realised I was putting a lot of undue pressure on myself. I followed the meal plans fairly closely which helped getting our portions correct, but it also helped me relax. I wasn’t always thinking: “What should I cook for dinner?” all the time. Since the program has finished, I have continued to write down a meal plan each week and what my meal prep is for the weekend. I feel a lot more relaxed about food and quite happy to throw something together with what we’ve got rather than planning elaborate meals all the time.
What were you most surprised by throughout the program?
That the program isn’t just about diet and exercise. It is so much more! The program is really about evaluating and changing your whole life not just your diet. The program covers so many areas such as; sleep, reducing stress/toxins/negative influences in your life, self-care, finding what you are passionate about and making time for it and going out to play and have some fun! All of the extra information throughout the program was interesting and really informative.
What was your absolute favourite part of program?
My favourite part was the interaction with the coaches and the community. It was amazing how people from different parts of the world, of different timezones, ages and gender came together and shared so openly their stories, wins and speed bumps. Everyone was so supportive and encouraging that I found it really helped keep me motivated and accountable.
What was the most significant thing you’re taking away from the program?
Funnily enough, I think the most significant thing I’m taking away is needing to change to a more low-tox lifestyle. I have very sensitive skin, so I’ve always used natural and organic skincare, soaps, makeup etc., but I hadn’t really thought about all the other aspects of my lifestyle. I’ve made some little changes already, but I really want to work towards a low-tox household. I already understood the benefits of real food; grass-fed and free-range proteins, organic fruit and vegetables as much as you can afford, but I hadn’t thought of all the other ways you can add toxins to your body.
What are your top three favourite meals from the meal plan?
Hmmm… this going to be tricky because everything I tried was delicious!
- Grain-free maple granola
- Turkey meatballs in kale, lemon and garlicky broth
- Beer bottle roast chicken with pumpkin & salad
What three tips or pieces of advice would you offer to future participants:
- Get involved! Don’t be shy or afraid to share your story or the good/bad times. The coaches and community are so supportive and encouraging. The more you open up, the more you open your mind and heart to changing your lifestyle for the better.
- If you’re not into cooking or don’t usually cook, don’t be deterred from the program as the meals are easy and delicious. The recipes are easy to follow, and doing some meal prep on the weekend makes the week at lot easier.
- Be honest with yourself and the loved ones around you. The more people you tell that you are doing the program, the more you won’t be afraid to say, “I don’t that eat eat,” which really helps you to be more successful in make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Also, try and get your partner, family, housemate, etc. on board with you. My partner loved it and lost 7 kg. during the program!
Thank you Amber! Did you find anything that resonated with you in Amber’s story? I hope you enjoyed reading about the way my paleo program can be accessible to just about anyone!