As a fitness professional, I always encourage my personal training clients to eat real food. Your food should come from the earth, and shouldn’t have ingredients that put you in a verbal twister when trying to say them out loud. Today many of us run to easy pre-made diets, and underestimate the power of “this is getting old!” The truth behind the diets that work is that they connect you with real cooking, real food prepping, portion control, and above all fresh food! If none of those connections happen how will you ever make the diet long-term? Rachel Gelfman, a personal training client of mine, has truly found her working diet. This real food diet is one that won’t hurt to try!
Katherine MacPherson BS, ACSM HFS & Personal Trainer at UVAC
My Paleo Diet Story
By Rachel Gelfman
(Pre/Post Personal Training and Paleo Diet Picture)
Ok, so it’s time for a story. Since we are all yapping away about food, let’s talk about why we are really here (besides the fact that we love to eat)–to get healthy and stay that way. So I will share my story since this week marks a year since I went Paleo. It’s a long one, so grab some grass fed jerky and read on…My life has been very much influenced by food, nutrition, and health from a young age. I grew up with a mother who is an incredible cook (a chef actually), and she and my father owned a big restaurant, catering hall, and bakery when I was little. After they divorced, they ended up working together years later and owned many Nutri System weight loss centers. My father survived multiple major cancer battles and has healed himself after chemotherapy with nutrition and remains a health nut to this day. At 9 years old I was drinking fiber shakes, organizing his vitamins, and changing his IV bags. From a young age, I was exposed to the miracle of both nutrition and healing. I went to college at the University of Delaware and earned my BS in Nutrition. After I graduated I worked for one of the top Nutritional Docs in NYC, and after a few years decided to become a Physician Assistant. I did that and graduated in 2004, just before having my first son. I have always been thin. Not super skinny model thin, but at over 6 feet tall, I was always considered thin–even when I really wasn’t. Height alters perception. After three pregnancies where I gained 50-70 pounds, I had my third baby. The end of my pregnancy and the period following it was awful. I was in excruciating pain every day with my hips being out of alignment and my core was weaker than ever (I had 3 c sections and BIG babies). I lost a lot of the weight but was still about 15-20 pounds heavier than when I started having kids and calling me out of shape was an understatement. Yes, I have boys and run around with them but the last pregnancy left my back a mess and my hips filled with daily pain. After 3 months of Physical Therapy, I was cleared to start exercising again with a brace. I started running (couch to 5k) slowly and loved it. I did weight watchers and lost 9 pounds, but I still felt crappy. Lucky for me, Stacy of Paleo Parents was a friend whose blog I had read for years (she and I crossed paths when our oldest boys were cloth diapered toddlers). I watched as she melted away pounds and raved about how much better she felt having gone Paleo. I asked her once about it and she directed me to Robb Wolff’s book. I got it and it sat for a few months. Then, the first week of March I had it. I felt fat, lethargic, and my gut was killing me. I knew at this point I had a gluten intolerance that I had for years blamed on other stuff. So I asked Stacy for help and she was more than happy to answer questions and point me where I needed to go. That week I went Paleo and went strong until the summer when things got hairy in my life and I let my priorities get out of whack. When my stomach got bad enough, I brushed myself off and got back on the wagon. I have been fully Paleo/Primal ever since. I also enlisted the help of a trainer at that point and made fitness, not thinness a priority. I spent my whole life being “skinny fat” so I really needed to start building strength. I started lifting weights, running intervals, doing suspension training and spinning. It’s been 9 months now and I am in better shape than I have been in my whole life. My outlook on life is positive and my energy is through the roof. I am so thankful to have found this lifestyle. It has been life changing for me. I would love to hear other people’s stories, so feel free to post!
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