A lot of people are chiming in on Facebook and Instagram (which I use as a food diary right now) asking if this “diet” (they are skeptics) works.  I still get a few comments that really piss me off but I am seeing results so I take the comments with a grain of salt.

So here is the thing. I didn’t weigh myself when I started this journey. I didn’t take measurements. I also didn’t take a before and after photo. Why? Well, there is a reason most of my pics are of food. I hated taking pics before. Avoiding taking pics and letting others take pics of me. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. Not to say I hated myself but I just couldn’t face the reality that I gained weight. Out of sight, out of mind, right? In the past, I have always had a DAY 1 start. I’d get on the scale, see a number I didn’t like and then slip later in the day which only made me want to eat my feelings. And by Day 2, what diet?

I made the choice to start Paleo and just go with instinct. My bra is loose? Good. My tight pants aren’t tight? Very good. To most, it didn’t, and still doesn’t make sense.

“But how will you track your progress?” (by using how I feel to stay motivated and not by playing the numbers game)

“But don’t you want to tell people how much weight you lost?” (I’d rather show them how I have transformed)

“How much weight have you lost, anyway?” (I still don’t know)

Now that I have completed my 30 days, my face feels slimmer, my stomach feels less bloated and little more “flatter” (I’ve still got some gut to lose), and those pants I was about to donate to good will because they were just too tight, can zip again and feel great. So much of what I have been doing is paying off.

Even BR, who claimed he wasn’t seeing any results has been slimming down in his face and tummy. He looks amazing. He feels amazing and the other day he zipped up a pair of pants that haven’t fit since November 2012. And while he is working out, he isn’t very faithful to working out (he works late a lot). But if I may say so, those are some real results with or without working out. He is listening to his body now.

My goal now is to keep our meals mostly paleo and allow myself a cheat every now and again. And my recipes and meal plans will be for the most part: Paleo but every bit Delicious. The secret to our success was keeping our eats interesting. Nothing was boring (steamed chicken and broccoli-no thanks) and we ate different things every day. This felt NOTHING like a diet. And I loved it. We are eating clean and healthy.

Day 22: Since the smoked herring is not tasting as good to me anymore, I am still eating it but I decided to scramble it into my eggs to decrease the strong flavor. Scrambled smoked herring and eggs with mangu and onions with some almond milk coffee. BR craves chicken wings all the time and decided to pick up a huge batch of wings to bake whenever the craving hits. We had roasted wings for lunch. Since it was a Sunday, I like to make big batch foods so I made a new dish: Pastelon. A comfort food from since I was a kid. It’s a Puerto Rican Lasagna made of sweet plantains, eggs and ground beef. SO GOOD. Froze half of it for emergency dinners/lunches. Had a square of dark chocolate with some raw cashews for dessert. Total Cal Intake: 1501

Day 23: Hardboiled egg for breakfast with slices of organic black forest ham, half of an avocado and a banana. The weather has been changing and was damn near freezing out. Had leftover beef stew with cauli-mash and it was heaven sent. Perfect for the crappy weather. For dinner I made a New York Strip with a baked sweet potato topped with grass fed butter and some bok choy. Felt a little snackish after dinner. Had a cup of plantain chips, a square of dark chocolate and a handful of raw almonds. Total Cal intake: 1493

Day 24: Leftover mangu for breakfast with smoked herring and egg scramble for breakfast. Huge mug of coffee with pumpkin spice, almond milk and raw honey. Lunch was leftover pastelon, more bok choy, and a banana. Not a big lunch. Felt really hungry right after work. Tended to a sick dad and made him roasted butternut squash soup (paleo style), then made BR and I honey Dijon wild caught salmon with green beans and browned butter zoodles. BR had two filets and some leftover pastelon. Lunch was definitely too small. Had another snack attack. Cup of plantains. A banana with sunbutter and natural jam. Total Cal Intake 1473 (shockingly under 1500)

Day 25: Opened up a new brand of sardines for breakfast. They were disgusting. Smashed them into an egg scramble alongside some fresh avocado. Mom came over last night with leftover chicken stew– my favorite- so I had it for lunch with kimchi, green beans and an Asian pear. Came home and made some beef stir fry with green beans and bok choy. Not my favorite dinner. Was really hungry around 8 pm and shared an order of pork chops and plantains with BR. Total cal Intake: 1558

Day 26: Bacon and eggs with coffee!!! Oh bacon, how I have missed you. Grilled salmon over mixed greens salad and a balsamic vinaigrette for a healthy food diner with a kale and apple juice and baked sweet potato fries. Got injections in my lower back so wanted something comforting for dinner. Coconut Crusted Tilapia fried in coconut oil and a bowl of red pepper coconut curry with red bell peppers and zoodles. Most delicious and filling dinner ever! Snacked on dark chocolate and raw cashews. Total cal Intake: 1462

Day 27:  Leftover pork chop with a fried egg and avocado with coffee. Treated myself and BR to lunch at Chipotle! Haven’t been there in forever. Had mammoth salads topped with shredded pork and grilled steak with pico de gallo, salsa and a glob of guacamole. Didn’t even need dressing. Boy was it delicious! For dinner I went out with some friends for Ramen. I was quite victorious in ordering a bowl of bone broth ramen sans noodles but with extra vegetables and extra pork belly. The absence of the noodles made finishing the delicious broth extremely easy! After dinner ended up at a bar and drank a patron on the rocks… felt SOOOO guilty about it but I walked a ton that day and didn’t want to be THAT GIRL drinking water at the bar. Plus the bartender was much nicer to me after I ordered an $18 drink. Total Cal Intake: 1694 (did a ton of walking though so not sorry)

Day 28: Mangu, eggs, a TON of bacon, and avocado for breakfast with a mug of almond milk coffee. Went shopping with the parentals and spent way too much money. Came home and made asian marinated chicken thighs with homemade sweet potato oven fries. Went back out with mom to Shecky’s girls Night Out and decided to walk from midtown to the Lower East side. Came home to take out from a nearby café. Grilled salmon over veggies. Total Cal intake: 1350, Total cals burned: 1202

Day 29: Ordered in from the diner. Worst western omlette I have ever had. Had some sausage and bacon with it- that was the saving grace. Had our weekly chicken wing fix for lunch. Along with some leftover sweet potato fries. Cheated with a non paleo treat and felt sick to my stomach. Drank some mint tea to soothe my stomach and had 3 pan seared scallops for dinner. Total Cal Intake: 1336

Day 30: The LAST official day! Scrambled eggs in ghee with sardines. Grilled chicken breast with sea scallops, bacon Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. Came home to crock pot roasted chicken with buttery carrots and celery along with some roasted acorn squash. Snacked on some dark chocolate, plantain chips and a banana. Total Cal Intake 1514

Overall: I posted an unofficial before and after photo on facebook and instagram and got a lot of great positive feedback. I have a long way to go and really love how paleo has worked for me in the last 30 days. Not once (okay, maybe that time during my monthly) did I feel deprived or out of control with my eating. I have gotten very creative with my menu planning and have cooked at least 90% of our meals, leaving 1-2 meals out of the week to come from Seamless.

I have welcomed the F word. Fat. Healthy fats. I still get raised eyebrows and looks of disgust when I eat my Brussels sprouts that were sautéed in bacon fat, or the steak I ate with a spoonful of ghee on top. These fats are what helped me get to where I am and will keep me going where I need to go.

I also look at all the labels. I actually see friends drinking diet soda, which was my crack and just see it now as a can of chemicals. I only buy treats or snacks that have ingredients I am familiar with and look forward to experimenting with paleo baking.

I made a non paleo treat (recipe testing for the Halloween treats) and ate a small piece for quality control. BR ate a piece too. We both loved it and then 20 mins later felt like we had rocks stuck in our bellies. Nausea followed. An alarming, yet fascinating side effect. We are surely deterred from “cheating”. (for now anyway)

Is Paleo for you? Paleo required a TON of planning. I was on a budget so opting for grass fed/ antibiotic free meats that were on sale forced me to incorporate the sale stuff first. I froze a lot of the excess stuff for emergencies and prior to paleo, planned All of my meals anyway. It also requires a ton of cooking. This is a clean diet. You must know what you are putting in your body.