Chef Sam Monsour, left, and fitness instructor Astrid Bengtson. Photo: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro
It is estimated that more than 100 million Americans resolve to change their life somehow in the New Year, but fewer than half actually stick to their resolutions.
But two North End residents believe that all it takes to change your life for the better is getting back to the basics of human nature.
Throughout the month of February, Paleo power couple Samuel Monsour, a chef, and fitness instructor Astrid Bengtson will teach students how to adjust their diet and mindset to lead happy, healthy and meaningful lives based around the Paleolithic diet.
The pair created #true28, a mobile app that lets users take health into their own hands by bridging the gap between their lives and how humans lived for 2.6 million years. The recipes and meal plans provided throughout the provisions feature of #true28 were created strictly using Paleo foods.
The Paleo diet mimics the diets of our caveman ancestors and includes meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts. That means no grains, dairy, legumes, refined sugar, trans fats or alcohol.
“We’re not trying to be cavemen. We’re not saying we should quit our jobs and eat roasted meat,” said Sam, executive chef at Boston’s jm Curley. “It’s not just a diet, and to us it makes a lot of sense scientifically. There are a lot more enriching qualities of that lifestyle than just a diet.”
Whether the issue is smoking, finances, weight or alcohol, Bengtson believes a Paleo-based lifestyle shift will help people stick to their resolutions because it approaches resolutions from a holistic angle.
“A lot of us make our career our life passion, but it’s a slippery slope when that becomes your identity,” said Bengtson. “The goal is to get people to be people again, and value relationships, personal growth, and have an innate desire to help their community.”
To keep participants motivated, Monsour and Bengtson will instruct four three-hour classes at the Boston Center for Adult Education every Saturday in the month of February – which conveniently runs 28 days.
Students will learn to utilize the app's features through hands-on workshops, tutorials, cooking demos and progressive exercise classes at the BCAE.
"A lot of times, people barely get started on their resolution, then get swept away as the year gets busier," said Monsour. "That's part of why we created this app. If you can just stick with this for 28 days, there is a good chance you can succeed."