Corrie from Melbourne, Victoria joined the 8-week paleo program in September 2016. She was already rather well-versed in eating healthily, and she had a background in home cooking, but she came in with an open mind looking to try some new recipes. She had a family-focused goal in mind, with a mission to feed her family nutritious and delicious foods. While she had a baseline of knowledge, she also had a desire to approach health, weight loss and her relationship with food in a holistic way.
I asked Corrie a few questions about her experience during those weeks, and she provided us with some incredible insight we’d love to share with you. Maybe, you will see a part of yourself in Corrie’s story.
What was your ‘WHY’ going into the program?
I had multiple reasons to try the 8-week program:
- A blogger I respect recommended it and being a ‘foodie’, I love trying new and interesting recipes.
- As a busy mum, I am always on the lookout for sustainable and healthy ways of feeding my family with nutritious, real food for the long term – not just for a fixed ‘diet’ period. We can always do with more veggies!
- I have had 20 years of emotional eating and attempts at losing weight, and I know that the answer lies within a holistic lifestyle change. I believe this program looked at all aspects of healthy living – not just the food and exercise.
What was your progress like? What effects did the program have on your life and well being?
Early on in the program, I lost about 4 kg., but I think the most important changes were in my mindset. I think I finally came to realise that this journey I am on is not a quick fix or a short term solution. It has taken me 20 years to build these habits, and they are not going to be undone in a matter of months.
What are some of the most important things you’ve learnt along the way?
Appreciate the small wins and take each day at a time, enjoying the process and loving life as you go.
What were you most surprised by throughout the program?
There were a few pleasant surprises I enjoyed finding along the way. Paleo food programs and bloggers can be very passionate about strict food rules, and I was concerned that I would not be able to sustain or complete the program because it was not achievable and realistic for my family. What I found was a supportive, encouraging and open-minded team of program coordinators who understood that everyone is different, and there is not one way of eating for every person. It was refreshing!
The other pleasant surprise was how positive and encouraging the Facebook group was for the 8-week program participants. I have been part of a number of Facebook health and food groups over the years, and I have always withdrawn from them, but I did not want the program to end! Everyone involved was so eager to learn and share and encourage. It was such a lovely online experience!
What was your absolute favourite part of the program?
I cannot keep it to one thing! The support from the team, the participation and advice from Irena as the food writer, the delicious and flavour-filled recipes, and the incredible amount of research and information we received in articles over the program were all highlights!
What was the most significant thing you’re taking away from the program?
Focus on real food and reducing stress for the long term and this will serve you well!
What are your top three favourite meals from the meal plan?
The best thing I got from the meal plans was all of the amazing homemade sauces, dressings and marinades that can be quickly and easily made at home with common ingredients. For example – the sweet chilli sauce and Caesar salad dressing. These alone were worth the price of the program!
If I had to pick a few of my favourite meals, the Mexican Pulled Pork was the best I have ever eaten. The Turkey Meatballs and Kale in lemony garlic broth was surprisingly full of flavour, and my kids have asked for me to make it again soon. The Beef and Mushroom Shepherd’s pie will become a regular family favourite – and I have kids who don’t even like a mushroom!
What three tips or pieces of advice would you offer to future participants?
- Don’t hesitate in doing the program, just do it!
- Start building up your spice selection! Purchase curry powder, cumin, coriander, sea salt and paprika in larger quantities and you will be off to a good start.
- Start thinking now about when you will shop and do food preparation. Sunday afternoons worked well for me to set aside 3 or so hours to prepare my food and this made the week so much easier. It is worth doing the food prep!
We hope you enjoyed Corrie’s story! The participants in the 8-week program are what truly make it successful, and we love to share those victories with you!