Nikki Francois’s paleo journey hasn’t been smooth sailing. Her relationship with food has been up and down since childhood, eating anything and everything she wanted before developing an eating disorder in late grade school. Even though she recovered after two short years, she still struggled throughout her twenties; some days were more difficult than others where bingeing took over and the next day was a crash diet.
More often than not, with an eating disorder mentality, food becomes either “good” or “bad,” and it becomes difficult to break that pattern
After the birth of her first daughter, choosing healthier food options was her path. Despite being a normal weight, Nikki was diagnosed with high cholesterol; heart disease is something that runs rampant in her family. Nikki’s turning point came through a quote she read — “the only way you are going to change is by doing something different that causes real change.”
After this, something clicked. It was a moment of realization that something really needed to change. She started to research lifestyle habits and clean eating, and dove more into the realm of paleo.
Once she decided to give paleo a try for six months, Nikki could feel both a mental and physical difference. Her energy levels were better, she could think clearer, and no more brain fog; her cholesterol levels had dropped, her bloating was gone, her digestive system was back to normal, and her skin was clearer.
But the best outcome she received? Food freedom. Nikki no longer counts calories, carbs, sugars, or points, and she replied that food is neither good nor mad, and sometimes it’s okay to indulge. Currently, she’s been following paleo for over three years and has completed multiple rounds of the Whole30.
Her advice for people looking to start paleo: Figure out what works for you by listening to your body. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day or overindulge at a party or on vacation, because we all do. The best way to set yourself up for success is to plan ahead and meal prep!
Curious to try one of Nikki’s best recipes? Check out her Spicy Orange Chicken and Cauli Rice Recipe.
Here are some more tips from Nikki:
- Plan ahead your meals a week at a time
- Cook in batches or double recipes so you have lunch for the next day if you don’t meal prep
- MEAL PREP, MEAL PREP, MEAL PREP!
- Choose quick meals during the week and new recipes on the weekends so you have more time
- Have snacks ready to go and a variety of them
- When in doubt, keep things simple!
- Don’t be afraid to try new food
- If you don’t like a food, don’t eat it. You will not set yourself up for success by making things you don’t like
- Herbs and spices are your friends
- Join a Paleo support group. it’s a good way to meet new people starting the same journey you are
- Before you start Paleo, clean out all non-paleo foods in your cupboards and refrigerator
Follow Nikki on Instagram @nikkishealthyliving!
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