Being fairly new to Paleo, I was interested in interviewing someone who has lived the Paleo lifestyle for a while…
My first thought was a friend from high school – Steve. Steve’s a super cool guy, and has been living Paleo for some time now. But when I asked Steve, he had a better idea: talk to his friend Terri Rottle instead. He said she is a great example of what’s possible when you combine Paleo with CrossFit training. He was right. (Thanks Steve, you rock!)
Terri has been Paleo for more than two years. She’s 46, lives and works in the Port Orchard, WA area, has been married for 18 years, and is the proud grandmother of two beautiful girls. Terri runs marathons, is a Crossfitter, waits tables weekends at her sister’s restaurant, the Revenna Varsity Restaurant (which by the way offers great Paleo menu options if you live near Seattle’s U District), and Terri still finds time to play tunes on her guitar for her friends. That’s my kinda girl!
Below is a Q&A session we conducted with Terri. We think you’re really going to enjoy her take on Paleo, getting in shape, and staying healthy. As you’ll see, she had some real challenges along the way – but today she’s fit, healthy and a real inspiration to everyone – especially us Paleo newbies! We included a few photos of this crazy fit girl in action!
Thanks so much Terri for taking the time to share your personal insights with us and our readers!
PN: When did you start the Paleo lifestyle and why?
Terri: I committed to the Paleo lifestyle in March, 2011 – right after I got serious about CrossFit training (again!) At the time I was 25 pounds overweight. I had heard a lot of talk about Paleo at the box [a CrossFit gym] but it was my niece who actually persuaded me to give Paleo a try. She said, “Just try it for 30 days, you can do anything for 30 days, right?” It took her up on the challenge, and I’ve been Paleo for over two years now.
PN: Has Paleo changed your life?
Terri: Paleo has changed my life forever. Thanks to sticking to Paleo along with my CrossFit training, I am healthier now then when I was in my 20s. I find I need less sleep, have more energy throughout the day, and I’ve noticed a real improvement in my mental clarity.
PN: Is your whole family Paleo? How did you introduce Paleo to them?
Terri: No, not everyone in my family is Paleo, but the ones who are really love it. We’re slowly working on the others, mainly by being real life examples of what the Paleo diet and a consistent exercise program can do for you. Hopefully we’ll convince more family members to jump on the Paleo train soon.
PN: What are your favorite go-to Paleo meals?
Terri: That’s a hard question – there are so many I love. I will have to say, sweet potatoes cooked in coconut oil with onions, mushrooms, spinach or kale, topped with two poached eggs and a little avocado is one of my favorites. I always have these things chopped and ready to go; that way I don’t have to spend a lot of time prepping my meals.
PN: What made you start CrossFit?
Terri: I first took up CrossFit training in 2010 at WestCoast CrossFit, but only for a couple of months. Then I decided I would train for a marathon. When I completed the race, I came down with a case of planter fasciitis [a tear or strain in the ligament that supports the foot arch]. I suffered with the pain and inflammation from it for about eight months. Because it made even walking difficult at times, I put on extra weight. I knew something had to change, so I got back into CrossFit training in 2011 – and amazingly my pain went away within a week! I decided I would never stray from CrossFit again.
PN: What are your favorite forms of exercise and how does Paleo factor into your performance?
Terri: The WOD [Workout of the Day – a unique set of exercises posted daily at CrossFit gyms] is my favorite exercise routine. My favorite kind of training would be anything that involves metabolic activity – that is, high anaerobic movements for a short period of time. Paleo and CrossFit make the perfect combination if you’re serious about getting healthy and staying in shape. Paleo fuels your body with dense nutrition, so you can use your body’s energy more efficiently whether you’re working out, or just getting through your workday.
PN: What advice would you give anyone curious or brand new to Paleo?
Terri: It’s important to understand that Paleo is not another trendy “diet.” It’s really a lifestyle change that will take you some time to adapt to. My best advice is to just enjoy the process, and be kind to yourself. You will make bad food choices once and awhile, but that’s okay. You’ve just got to pick yourself up and keep going. Before you know it, you’ll start seeing results in how you look and feel, and others will notice too. Enjoy the journey, the benefits to your health and life will make it all worthwhile! By the way, a great book for beginners is It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It’s a good, easy read for Paleo newbies.