Today Paleo Comfort Foods heads north – WAY north of the Mason-Dixon line – to hear from Dustin and Cindy Sexton.
We had the privilege of meeting these two in person at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Los Angeles this year, and they are seriously about the nicest, most-down-to-earth folks you’ve ever met, with that “healthy glow” that so many at AHS seemed to have. Funny, smart, great cooks – what’s not to love? Like us, Cindy and Dustin (aka Dustin) have pretty busy lives. The two reside in Toronto where by day Cindy is a school teacher and Dustin is a very popular tennis pro. By night, Cindy blogs on the very popular PALEOdISH, and both are avid CrossFitters at CrossFit Toronto.
Like so many others, Cindy had a very personal motivation to start a paleo lifestyle (you can read more about her story here), and both Sextons have realized a whole new healthy life by implementing a paleo lifestyle. Here’s a little more insight into their paleo lives:
PCF: Who started paleo? Was there any resistance? What did you notice first in your experience?
Cindy: I started eating Paleo first! It was soon after a good friend of mine – Tyler Touchette, owner of Caveman Strong, introduced it to me about 2.5 years ago now. Funny enough, there was actually no resistance on my end. I dove in fully and completely, pretty much right after he recommended that I read ‘The Paleo Diet’ book, by Loren Cordain. It was actually fab timing, because we had just joined CrossFit Toronto in and around the same time. We started off in their ‘intro bootcamp program’ in the beginning stages, where they were running a ‘go-paleo’ 30-day type challenge. It was super helpful in getting us on-board, because we were strongly encouraged to log everything that we were eating on a daily basis for that month. They in-turn offered nutritional suggestions on how to tweak our food intake, based on our individual goals. Initially, the biggest change that I noticed was in my increased energy levels and improved mood. I felt more vibrant and alive!!!
Dusty: Cindy did! However, I started soon there after! On my part, there was little to no resistance at all. I could see how excited Cindy was to give this Paleo deal a try, so I figured let’s go! I also took the plunge into eating Paleo after being introduced to it at our gym. We decided to take part in a 30-day challenge to get things reved up and rolling. After several weeks, the first thing that I noticed was feeling less inflamed. Weightloss followed and improved performance while working out was evident. From there, neither one of us have looked back!
PCF: What would you say is the biggest advantage of having a paleo spouse?
Cindy: We are total food nerds and get super pumped when buying and trying new products. The biggest advantage would probably be the ease of being on the same page. It has become a lifestyle for us, which we live, thrive and embrace. I also love spending time on the weekends with Dusty, while venturing around to check out different farmer’s markets and butcher shops.
Dustin: The biggest advantage is the support that we give one another. On a day-to-day eating basis, neither one of us are bringing food into the house that makes us feel like crap. There is no power struggle.
PCF: What would you say your one “non-paleo” vice might be?
Cindy: Hmmmm…I am a definite salt lover, so foodwise…I would have to say chips. On the bevy side of things…a solid glass of red wine!
Dustin: One word – BEER!
PCF: If you had to eat one meal every single day for a week, what would you choose?
Cindy: I am total carnivore at heart and willing to try pretty much any kind of meat that is put on the plate in front of me. Oh my…one meal every single day for a week!? So difficult to choose…but ribs is my final answer!!! Not just any ribs though. They have to be the ones where the meat just falls off the bones and melts in your mouth! *drooling*
Dustin: I would choose duck eggs with wild boar bacon, because it is damn good! Cindy: Can you elaborate on that one? Dusty: they asked me what I would eat and I told them. I am never as elaborate as you! I am a bare bones question-answerer guy. LOL!
PCF: Food, sleep, exercise, fun…all are important in achieving and maintaining health. Which one of these do you find you struggle most with, and how do you go about addressing that?
Cindy: Good question. Food…check! Sleep…no problemo there! Exercise…got that covered! Fun…tied in with the concept of including more ‘play’ in my life are on the front burner. After attending the 2011 Ancestral Health Symposium in early August, I was completely inspired by Mark Sisson’s presentation on ‘The Lost Art of Play.’ It is an integral concept of the ‘whole person’ that is after overlooked (even though I watch the children in my class play without even thinking about it on a daily basis). Being more ‘in the moment’ and less ‘attached to the outcome’ are two things that I am striving for.
Dusty: Sometimes I feel like I struggle with fun, because I am a busy tennis coach, work long hours and am a slave to time. I have made it a point to set aside days on a regular basis to hang with Cindy and to really enjoy each other’s company. I also have started to go golfing with a close group of buddies once in awhile to let loose. I just recently booked an upcoming golf trip to Florida with the same group of people to chill and to pretty much golf our faces off.
PCF: Who does the (grassfed) cow’s share of cooking around the house?
Cindy: That would be moi! Although, I can’t complain…I LOVE cookin’ and Dusty does ALL the laundry. Not a bad deal if you ask me. P.S – he is notorious for chiming in and making a wee visit in to the kitchen, right at the second that I am ready to plate the meal to offer his two cents! (Afterall, he is the CEO of PALEOdISH don’t you know! Haha).
Dusty: My wife. She cooks me beautiful meals that are ready to be devoured after getting home late night from the courts.
PCF: Fill in the end of this sentence: The best thing I ever ate…
Cindy: (that Dustin made) was a beef curry dish loaded with a whole lot meat, veggies and spices. Nothing short of amazingness. An unforgettable flavour…
Dustin: (that Cindy made) was bacon-wrapped sweet potato fries. They were f***ing awesome!
Thanks to Cindy and Dustin for sharing a bit about their lives with us, and continuing to help the community through PALEOdISH!
For all you readers out there: how do you and your spouse/partner/family implement paleo in your day-to-day lives? What things do you struggle most with? What makes paleo work for you? We love hearing from you all – so feel free to drop a comment!