What made me start this diet? Instagram. Partially. And even some bloggy friends who are amazing fitness warriors. Also, desperation.
BR and I are good eaters. When I cook, we eat well. When left to our devices, we are assholes about it (truth). Bowls of mac and cheese, for comfort. Buckets of fried chicken, because protein (lies! Pure Comfort). And bread. Bread everywhere. Warm bread with cheese and sausage. Toast with breakfast. Big doughy sandwiches for lunch. At 5pm every day we were grumpy, bloaty, tired and unhappy. The solution? Eat More.
My bloggy friend as well as longtime friend, Sarah- healthy mom on the run- took on a NO sugar detox challenge over the summer. So, lots of paleo-esque recipes. I was looking at those recipes, and I liked them a lot! But, I still couldn’t decide to make the full leap to trying a paleo diet. Then, someone I keep in contact with via Facebook and instagram started his paleo journey and after 2 months still has amazing results!
BR and I decided together that we needed to try this. Not a fad diet, but to change our lifestyle a bit. I started doing my research (I love research) and thanks to hashtags on Instagram like: #paleo, #paleodiet, #paleorecipes, and #whole30, I had tons and tons of inspiration. Enough to get the ball rolling for us. I also decided to use Instagram to keep myself accountable, which means TONS of food pics. Everything I eat goes on instagram.
I won’t lie, some people don’t take kindly to news of “diets”. With every positive comment, you get two negative ones.
“I don’t believe in those kind of diets. I eat what I want. Just exercise more!”
“Wow, you are going to have really high cholesterol”
“Who needs a diet, just use common sense and eat everything in moderation”
And more times than not, the people that should support you without a doubt are usually the first ones in line to discourage you.
Despite it all, I persevered. And it’s not to prove anyone wrong. It’s to finally stick to something and decide for myself this is what I want. For anyone out there who doesn’t support what I am doing, I just ask that you please respect my decision. This is my platform. This is my life. There is no room for negativity. There will be plenty of non-paleo posts to come as I have a back-log of things to share with you.
But let’s start with week 1. It’s a constant learning curve and I love it. Learning how to eat. Learning what’s going on in my body. For the first 30 days, I will be strictly paleo.
No Dairy. No Grain. No Beans. No soy. No Sugar.
But there’s meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts and healthy oils on the YES list.
Bacon. That sold BR immediately.
My coffee was the hardest thing to adapt. I found a raw and grass fed half and half at the farmers market but minus sugar, it was pretty disgusting. I then added cinnamon and it helped a little.
Day 1: Bacon. Eggs. Coffee with raw milk with breakfast. Feeling Really motivated! Went for a 45 minute swim. Wasn’t hungry until about 4pm (shocking) so I baked some chicken wings with sautéed swiss chard and steamed cabbage. 3 chicken wings to be exact. Then around 8pm was STARVING. BR and I were ready to eat a jar of peanut butter (no-no) until he had the brilliant idea of ordering in. Steak with onions, green plantains, and a side salad. All paleo. Very satisfying- didn’t eat all of it.
Day 2: Won’t make the mistake of not eating enough! Can’t make that mistake. Used the leftover steak with avocado, leftover swiss chard scrambled into an egg alongside some… bacon. Extremely full. Went to the gym for the first time in months. Did the elliptical for 10 minutes, then started Day 1 of Couch to 5K. It was painful. Had lots of water after the gym and went for a swim too! Snacked on a juicy watermelon. Didn’t eat lunch. Dinner was a meatloaf made of grass fed beef and topped with sautéed mushrooms (in grass fed butter), more steamed cabbage, roasted beets and a cucumber salad dressed in coconut aminos, vinegar and a drop of sesame oil.
(Recipes are coming soon.)
Day 3: bacon. soft-boiled egg, watermelon, and a nectarine. Half a cup of coffee with raw milk. The coffee is probably the worst I have ever had. Decided to look into alternatives. Lunch is a breaded chicken cutlet (almond flour and coconut flour are approved and make for a great alternative!!!) with roasted sugar snap peas, leftover beet salad, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes. Finally my CSA veggies are getting ALL THE LOVE. Went to the gym after work and did a HIIT elliptical session for 30 minutes. I kept losing track of the minutes. Then I walked home briskly (1/2 mile). Made Bahn Mi Style burgers with ground pork and lettuce buns, sautéed baby bok choy (my new fave!) and half of a baked sweet potato with grass fed butter and cinnamon. Not super full after dinner but feeling content.
Day 4: Breakfast and lunch were the exact same as the day before. The thing I was looking forward to most, as was BR, was the oxtail simmering in the slow cooker the entire day. When I got home, I took a long walk with the dog then went home to make a cauliflower mash to go with it. It was perfection. It did not taste like diet food. A few slices of avocado sealed the deal. Was perfectly content all night.
Day 5: steamed broccoli rabe, scrambled egg, and- you guessed it- more bacon for breakfast. Didn’t waste my time on the coffee. Had a plan B for the coffee… just needed coconut milk. Lunch was leftover oxtail and cauliflower puree. With an overripe nectarine, sliced cucumbers, and sliced avocado. The envy of the office. After work, I went to the gym and had a great idea. Used my couch to 5K, week 2 podcast to time my HIIT on the elliptical. For a warm-up, I did level 1. For the brisk walk, I did level 3. For the Run, I did level 12. Felt AMAZING after. Went home for some pan-seared salmon, sautéed green beans and plantains. I love plantains!
Day 6: Bacon, eggs and broccoli for breakfast. A midday banana. Leftover salmon, green beans, with cucumber and watermelon. A big test today as we are going to a farewell party after work at a nearby pub. Did my research. The pub has bacon, grilled chicken and salad. Not prepared in the approved oils but still sticking with the plan for the most part. Grilled chicken, an avocado, bacon and a mixed green salad lightly dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. BR has chicken wings with bacon. A man’s man. We sip lemony water while everyone does shots. We get high fives all around. I leave extremely proud.
Day 7: I have a splitting headache. Attributing it to the change of weather, although feeling guilty about the non-approved oils and the non paleo salad dressing. BR tells me to shut up. Had a big breakfast of steak and eggs with avocado from the local diner. Going to the gym after breakfast makes me feel better. More HIIT on the elliptical – and some weights! Went to the pool but no swimming. Snacked on some juicy cantaloupe. Skipped lunch (seems to be the weekend trend) and came home to a slow roasted chicken alongside some bacon Brussels sprouts.
Thoughts on week 1.
– You can love bacon all you want, but it’s nice to not have it every day. There is always STEAK
– I really love my coffee milky and sweet but have been okay not having it.
– My stomach doesn’t feel bloated. At all. Not gassy either, despite all the roughage (TMI).
– Despite Saturday morning’s icky headache, I haven’t had a headache in over a week- had headaches/migraines DAILY
– So much energy. Going the gym 3-4 times per week and feeling good. Mentally and physically.
– Starting to get REALLY thirsty. I need ALL of the water.
– Resisted Free pizza at work! CELEBRATE ALL THE THINGS!
– So many Bakers at work just decided to bake everything I love on the same day- said NO to it all. Rejoice. Bring me all cute fluffy things!
Hopefully this entire post doesn’t bore you to death. But I hope it can help if you were considering a paleo diet. And if not, hang tight- regular stuff is coming too.