Tag Archives: Paleo

30 Days Completed

When I was thinking about starting the Paleo diet, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to stick it out for the 30 days. What is the Paleo diet? Basically, you eat nuts, seeds, lean meats, vegetables, and some fruit. You do not eat grains, legumes, gluten, and dairy. Dr. Cordain, Robb Wolf, and others posit that our (humans) biology hasn’t evolved or changed much in the past 10,000 years. What this means is that our bodies are not equipped to eat grains and legumes because we can’t digest them properly. In fact, the grains cause damage to our internal organs (stomach, intestines) as they move through our system undigested. This leads to inflammation and in return some of the more common diseases in society today.

I’m a carbohydrate addict. Not just carbs…but highly processed carbs like cakes, cookies, pancakes, breads, and other yummy goodness. So, in taking the 30 day challenge (eating paleo 30 days, no exceptions) I was going to have to stop eating all of those cold turkey. April 2009, I stopped drinking diet sodas (well, any sodas at all) and that was tough. I expected the first couple of weeks to be quite hard on me in cutting out the grains. However, it wasn’t too bad. Yes, I craved chocolate and sweets, but I was able to pass them up. The only time I had a point where I thought I’d give in and eat the forbidden fruit was at the dinner after my Grandfather’s funeral. First, the meal was composed of pastas and salads made with dairy products. The only thing I could eat was the ham, strawberries, and blackberries. Oh, there were a couple of carrot sticks as well. So, I ate what I could of those. Then they brought out the desserts. There was chocolate cake, carrot cake, chocolate chip cookies, M&M cookies, peach cobbler, apple pie, and some other things. I stood at the table and took in all of the smells.

Source: oldfashioneddiner.tripod.com

“One bite won’t hurt” went through my head followed by “if you just eat one cookie it won’t hurt anything too bad. Just one cookie and that’s it.” This was dangerous. I was talking myself into eating stuff I knew I shouldn’t have been eating. I was about 20 days into my diet at this point and hadn’t had any sweet cravings for a while.  I took one more sniff of all of that sugary sin and made myself walk away to a different building. If I stayed any longer at that table, I was going to break down. I wasn’t even hungry. I didn’t want to eat them because I was still hungry…I would have just been eating to eat them. That was one of my biggest personal victories.

I noticed my body shape changing some about 2-3 weeks in. My lumpy thighs weren’t so lumpy anymore and the pod of fat on the side of my hips wasn’t as big when I ran my hand over it. During week 4 I was able to fit into a size 16 pants! I didn’t weigh myself at all during the 30 days. I had made an agreement with myself a while back that I was only going to weigh myself once a month. Let me tell you, it was hard not to dig the scale out and weigh early when I knew I had to have been losing weight. At the 30 day mark I stepped on the scale and found I had lost 12.6 lbs..outstanding! I had also lost about 6 inches.  

Many people claim that the Paleo diet gives them so much more energy, they can think clearer, they feel younger, etc. What can I say? I felt my attitude shift from being mostly negative to mostly positive. My anxiety was little to non-existent and while I didn’t feel a great influx of energy, I wasn’t falling asleep at my desk anymore at 2 in the afternoon. The results have been great, in my opinion, and I will continue to eat this way. That being said though, I will allow myself some of the things I enjoy from time to time. I’m not giving up cake for the rest of my life! Yesterday I had one of those small personal sized boxes of Lucky Charms for a snack (since I was out of my 30 day challenge) and I wasn’t too hip on them. They weren’t good. Plus, I got realllly tired about an hour later. Is that related? I don’t know but I would think so.

What’s next? Just keep on keeping on. I stopped consuming artificial sweeteners last Monday (1/24/11). It hasn’t been as hard as I thought it would be not to have sweet-n-low or splenda in my iced tea. I do miss it, but I’m doing just fine! We’ll see how the next 30 days go without the artificial sweeteners.

I’m Learning…

On a recommendation of my fellow blogger, Sasha, I decided to saute my green beans tonight. I also added some nice spices to the chicken called “Kick up Chicken” spices. Basically it had several kinds of pepper, garlic, onion, and a few other things. It all turned out quite good, if I do say so myself!

The chicken was nice a juicy, not dry. The main difference was I cooked until the meat thermometer read 170 indicating the meat was cooked thoroughly instead of just cooking the snot out of it. I’m always paranoid that I won’t cook chicken enough and get food poisoning!

Fight Gone Bad

ouufff….tonight was a little tough. It’s called “Fight Gone Bad”. Why? Well….because an MMA athlete said that’s what it felt like afterward. For a look at the workout and to get the full explanation of the name check out this video.

Our’s was slightly modified. We don’t have a rowing machine (which I love using…my favorite equipment at my other gym) so we replaced the rowing with a 200 meter run. The girls used an 8lb medicine ball and a 35# bar for the deadlifts and push presses. I also had to do step ups because I can’t do box jumps yet. Plus, we had a 2 minute rest. So…what was my score? 182 (doesn’t include any points for the run).

Here’s the breakdown:

Box Jumps (Step Ups) 21, 16, 15 for a total of 52

Sumo Deadlift High Pull (35#) 22, 19, 19 for a total of 60

Wall Ball (8#) 11, 11, 10 for a total of 32

PushPress (35#) 16, 10, 12 for a total of 38

Yes….it was tough and I’m pretty sure my arms are going to be hurting tomorrow and Saturday!

For dinner tonight, I had some nitrate free Fajita Chicken Sausage and roasted green beans. YUMMMM. The sausage was a little scary looking (very white) but it tasted great. I made myself eat the whole thing even though I’m hardly ever hungry after CrossFit. My total calorie count for today was 1341…much better than previous days!

Easy Like Sunday Morning

Today was a rest day for me. So, I get to relax and spend a little time on dinner. Tonight I tried to make some decent hamburger patties/steak with some onions, garlic and cilantro. I have to say I don’t think it was very good. Next time I need to use less onions and garlic. I am going to have some bad breath tonight and tomorrow morning!! We also roasted some broccoli. I tend to like my vegetables more al dente than my husband, so I cooked them a little longer tonight than normal. This resulted in a nice compromise of crisp yet not crunchy…if that makes any sense.

 

 

Ignore the brown lump in the back, but doesn’t that broccoli look yummy?! So green!! I liked the broccoli, which is kinda sad because that’s what Mike prepared. I just put them in the oven. Oh well, I never claimed to be a good cook! In the past I just cooked a lot of frozen meals or went out to get food, so this is a step in the right direction.

 

They tell you not to worry about counting calories when eating Paleo, but I like to keep track of my calories and carbs still. My carbs are staying between 50-60 but my calories are quite low. Some days I don’t get over 1000. It’s not because I’m starving myself, I’m just not that hungry. So, I’m trying to make sure that I’m getting at least 1100 calories a day from this point on. I don’t think it’s healthy to eat below 1000 and I know with them telling you not to worry about counting calories on Paleo is more in reference to not worrying about eating 1800+ calories because you’re eating healthy food. I’m pretty sure they’d tell me to up my food intake. I’ve been feeling pretty good the past week but a little tired. Hopefully that will pass after I get my food intake up and my body gets adjusted to all these vegetables I’ve been throwing at it lately. I think I’ve eaten more vegetables in the past week and a half than I did last year!

 

Anyone have any recommendations for preparing bell peppers?

 

Oh, on another note, I signed up for the Texas Marathon (in Kingwood) for next year! So, 1/1/2012 I will be walking/running 26.2 miles. Every year the marathon has an animal mascot (e.g. Year of the Monkey, Year of the Bear). This year it was the Year of the Yellow Rubber Duck, which cracked me up. I was hoping next year would be something like a Lion or Cougar…you know…something fierce. What did I get? The Year of the Pig! hahahahaha….well, it’s fitting I guess. I used to love pigs when I was younger, even collected them in different shapes or forms. So, while it’s not a fierce animal (although they can be mean!) it makes me laugh. I’m wondering if I should wear a pig snout for the run. Just kidding!! I’m not one for wearing costumes/odd items out in public!

 

The Hamster Wheel

Tonight’s workout was the typical walk 4 mins/run 1 minute. I ended up going a little over 2 miles in 36 minutes. Told ya I wasn’t fast! Since we get home so late and don’t really have a good place to workout around the house, I always use the treadmill in our garage. Sometimes I think it might be more interesting if we had a big wheel like hamsters do. You could really get some speed going…and if you fell, you’d get a bit of a roller coaster ride too!

I felt pretty good. I didn’t get any shin splints this go ’round, but I could feel my lower shin (left leg) just by the ankle start to get a little tight at points. Nothing that a little stretching afterward couldn’t help! Today starts my second week eating Paleo style as well. The first week went alright. I was craving the carbs, but once I got the refined sugars and flour out of my system it got better. I asked Shane what I should eat after an intense workout like CrossFit and he said “Don’t eat a salad since that’s made up of mainly water. Eat some good, hearty vegetables. And don’t just eat a chicken breast, eat a whole chicken!”. In other words, get a good meal in. I’ve also been reading (in The Paleo Diet for Athletes) that it’s important to eat a majority of your higher Glycemic Load fruits and veggies after a workout because your body will use them more efficiently and can use them to replace any lost glycogen stores lost during the workout (If I remember that correctly).

So, for dinner tonight I had some berries (blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries), a chicken breast and some asparagus.  I was quite stuffed afterward. I’ve gotten to where I just don’t have much room for food after I workout. I’m also finding that my calories are much lower now that I’m going Paleo, but I’m ok with that for now. I’ll be interested to see any changes in my stamina, attitude, and physique after a month of eating this way.