At the end of February I started following a Paleo (or caveman) diet. Diet meaning the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group not diet meaning weight watchers, slim fast, nutrisystem, etc. Paleo in a nutshell is eating the way our ancestors (the cavemen) did – meat (preferably organic, grass fed), eggs (preferably free range organic) lots of veggies, some fruits, some nuts/seeds. No dairy, no grains (including corn), no beans/legumes, no added sugar. The exercise recommended is walking because (you guessed it) that’s what cavemen did. They had to walk everywhere.
Let me back this up and tell you why I decided to try this eating style – I was at my lowest weight 2 summers ago. My clothes fit well and I was comfortable. I slowly gained back about 10 lbs (thank you holidays) and while my clothes fit they were tighter than I wanted. So I wanted to lose those 10 lbs again. Well in the fall I started getting up at 530 am and doing the elliptical every day for 20-25 min. I didn’t lose a pound. I guess I can be happy I didn’t gain either – Oct thru Dec would be the main gain time with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. All we do is eat during those 3 months. So January came and I wanted to get down to business – Viva Las Vegas was only 3 months away! I continued to do the elliptical and weights in the mornings. I started tracking my food again. Nothing. I’d lose a pound and then gain it back. So now I was getting pissed. I came across a blog talking about something called “The Whole30 Challenge” – I read the book (“It Stars with Food”) from which this challenge stems. The Whole30 Challenge is more or less eating Paleo for 30 days. I read numerous blogs about this lifestyle and I didn’t find one person who said “This sucks.” or “It didn’t work for me.” Everyone had success not only with weight loss but overall health improvement, more energy, sleeping better, and clearer skin to name a few. So Feb 18-22 was my practice week – I would say I had an 80% paleo diet. Since the 22nd of February I would say I’ve been 97% paleo – I don’t make my own salad dressing – I am way too lazy for that. I also eat a little more fruit than I’m suppose to. But I guess fruit is better than chips and cake right? I also eat almonds when I’m in a pinch for a snack (almonds aren’t considered Paleo). I also cheated and had birthday cake and ice cream for my birthday – hello – it was MY BIRTHDAY. 🙂 The first week on paleo I lost 4 lbs. The second week I lost another 3. Mind you – I am not getting up at 530 am anymore to work out. My only exercise during this time was dancing – 15-30 min a few days a week (Lucas and I practicing Lindy Hop) and one 60 min class a week (in February only).
I’m not going to lie – this does require some thinking and prep – I do some batch cooking on Sundays. I boil up some eggs, bake some chicken for salads, and make some soups (one weekend I made chicken and veggie soup and turkey chili minus the beans).
My typical breakfast (at work) includes: hard boiled eggs (2 of them) and fruit (an orange or banana) and tea. If I’m at home on the weekends I might have scrambled eggs w/ veggies and fruit or I’ll juice and drink my veggies. Lunch at work is either soup I made over the weekend or a salad consisting of lettuce, chicken, hard boiled egg, avocado, carrots, and cucumber. Dinners have included salmon, chicken, pork chops, sweet potato fries or baked sweet potatoes, steamed veggies, salmon or tuna patties or salads. I don’t have a lot of variety right now because I’m still learning. There are a billion websites out there with Paleo recipes thankfully. I tried making “mashed potatoes” from cauliflower – still trying to perfect that one. Oh and Paleo bread -meh… I still haven’t found a recipe that was successful. It’s learning experience. If you follow me on Instagram (portia319) you’ll see some of my creations.
Here is a dinner example – salmon patties and salad.
Breakfast – scrambled eggs, strawberries and oranges.
Dessert – strawberries with an organic dark chocolate square
Dinner – pork chops with applesauce (unsweetened) and a sweet potato
Salmon loaf with bacon (mmmm) and salad
Am I going to continue this forever? Not likely but I’d like to try to stick to it 90% with the occasional pasta, baked potato, dessert, etc. I’m curious how I’ll feel going from no dairy and no grains to eating them. Most people say they experience stomach bloating, pains or just overall not feeling well. Doesn’t that sound delightful? I did experience some stomach discomfort and bloating after eating my birthday ice cream so maybe dairy isn’t my friend.
I’m not a doctor so please don’t ask me 100 questions about the scientifics behind Paleo. Don’t tell me I need to drink milk to get calcium – believe it or not that is the dairy industry doing really amazing marketing (brain washed everyone for many years didn’t they?). Read the book “It Starts with Food” – lots of questions are answered in that book. 🙂
At the end of the 30 days I’ve lost 8 pounds total. That’s not too bad. I’ve lost inches as well because my pants are pretty darn baggy on me. My stomach is flatter and once in awhile on a good day I can even see some definition. I would have probably lost even more but I honestly haven’t exercised much in March and there was that little thing called my birthday which consisted of about 3 days of “celebratory” food. I would say my skin has been pretty clear. No major break outs. I wouldn’t say I’m sleeping like the dead and have the energy of a 4 year old though – those aspects of my life have basically stayed the same so far. What’s next? I’m looking forward to warmer weather to walk the pups and I’m going to try really hard to find new recipes. Pretty sure Lucas is getting tired of chicken, salmon and salad for dinner. 🙂
Would you try eating Paleo? Do you think you could do it for 30 days?