Kim’s story was originally featured in our June/July 2012 issue.
Kim Ludeman has been a personal trainer for the last three years and a nutritional consultant for the last two. After finding Crossfit and the Paleo diet last year, she finally ditched the grains and legumes and hasn’t looked back since. She credits the Paleo lifestyle for giving her the ability to perform better than ever before and giving her a boost in body image, energy and focus.
PM: You’ve been a nutrition consultant for the last two years and just heard about Paleo a few months ago. What were you eating prior to that? How were you having your clients eat?
KL: I have spent the last seven years trying various diets (South Beach, no sugar, low carb, low fat, Blood Type). About six months before Paleo, I had begun cutting out dairy and sugar because of how it made me feel. I also cut out grains after reading books called, “Wheat Belly” and “Eating for Your Blood Type”. The Blood Type Diet, for me, being O+ is actually the same thing as Paleo! So, the transition to Paleo was really easy for me and really natural.
I can’t say it enough…I love Paleo! I had the worst stomach pains and gas for so long! I went to doctors for years and no one ever questioned what I was eating. I am so thankful, not only for the physical freedom it has given me from pain and discomfort, but also the freedom from “restriction”. I know that sounds weird since Paleo has many restrictions, but I love how it makes me feel, and for me, not focusing on calories has brought a lot of emotional freedom. I love to eat (big time) and I feel like I can eat anything that I want to because of Paleo.
I have my clients log everything they eat. From there, we limit the sweets to one a day and eventually just to fruit. I also make sure they get protein and vegetables at every meal and I discourage late night snacking. I used to have them eat five to six mini meals a day, but since learning about Paleo and how fats play an integral part in satiety, I now have them eat three to four times a day with more of a focus on how they’re feeling instead of counting calories.
PM: Has starting Crossfit changed how you train your own clients?
KL: Definitely! I have always loved the idea of shorter, more intense workouts, because they are what get results. I have never told my clients to do long workouts or long bouts of cardio, which has been weird for a lot of them. I tell them the actual work out is 10-20 minutes and they are shocked.
Since I don’t use weight equipment to train my clients, I use Tabata a lot, as well as twenty minute AMRAPs to achieve fatigue. I have incorporated moves like double unders and wall walks too! It has definitely stepped up the level of intensity for a lot of my clients.
PM: You mentioned the transition was natural for you. Did you have any sort of “detox” period when you first started Paleo? What was the roughest part of changing your diet?
KL: Great question! I did a lot of detoxing actually! I would wake up at 3 am every morning, ready to go for ten days straight! I would have dreamless sleep too. I felt really tired for the first week as well, which was accompanied by intense hunger, since I was used to grazing and not big meals.
The hardest part of changing my diet was, and is, giving up bread, soy and peanut butter, even though I know they hurt my stomach. I miss peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on hikes! I also miss Dave’s Killer Bread…I loved their Robust Raisin!
PM: While you eat Paleo 90% of the time, what do you eat the other 10%?
KL: I work at Peet’s Coffee and Tea one day a week and that is my day to have a soy latte. I love soy milk, so that is my little vice. I will also sometimes have a Think Thin bar once a month or so. Maybe that makes me more like 97%? I always strive to eat Paleo 100% of the time, but I do allow for those two things to help keep me sane.
PM: Have you lost weight or has the scale stayed the same and the clothing sizes have changed?
KL: Ah yes, body changes. I have definitely noticed a difference in my clothes, which is awesome. I don’t weigh myself of do bodyfat testing because I do not want to focus on the numbers. I want to stay focused on using how I feel, perform and how my clothes fit as markers of success. I have gained a lot of muscle, that’s for sure, so I am sure the scale hasn’t moved much in either direction. I do not have a 6-pack, but I’m working on it!
PM: How has Paleo changed your energy levels?
KL: My energy is like that of a kid! I don’t seem to get tired at all during the day and can function well on 7 hours of sleep, which before, I would need closer to 8 or 9. My energy in workouts has really improved too! I got my first 7 minute mile last week! I feel like not only has my energy increased, but my focus too. I don’t have a “brain cloud” anymore.
PM: As a female, do you think eating Paleo Paleo has affected your hormones at all?
KL: Definitely. Not sure if this is TMI, but the combo of Paleo and Crossfit caused me to lose my cycle for 6 months! I have never been “regular”, but that was a long stretch. I noticed though, that my PMS symptoms are drastically reduced – my cravings are not bad like they used to be, my mood is more stable and I don’t even get cramps anymore. As far as emotionally, I have not noticed a big difference other than feeling more stable with moods.
PM: Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us!
KL: Thank you for this opportunity! I love sharing about Paleo!
Note: Kim would love to hear from anyone who has a story to share or has any questions about her journey. You can contact her via her website, www.trainer-kim.com.