Today I am going to write about my experience with the Paleolithic “diet”, also known as Paleo! I did it for one week. Now I know one week is not a lot of time, but it was enough time to make me notice how important it is to eat well.
For those of you that don’t know what Paleo is, its basically clean eating. Paleo requires you to cut a lot of things out of your diet. I am not allowed to eat wheat, grains, legumes, dairy, and anything processed. The only oil that you can consume is olive oil, avocado oil (!!??), coconut oil, mustard seed oil, sunflower oil, and walnut oil. The only “cheat” I am indulging in is salad dressing because I cannot eat a salad without dressing and salad is a very important part of Paleo. I went into this “diet” without any goals but just to stick with it strictly and to see if it is something I could do for more than just a week. I also just wanted to do it just to find better meal options that are healthier.
To learn more about what you can and cannot eat while doing paleo, click here.
Funny Story from my Paleo week:
One thing that you have to deal with when you are doing Paleo is making wise choices at restaurants. On Saturday I was invited to spend the day with some family friends. I knew this would force me to say no to a lot of yummy foods. We decided to go to BJ’s and I ordered a chicken sandwich, wrapped in lettuce with green beans instead of French fries, because potatoes are not allowed (insert crying face emoji here). My sandwich consisted of chicken, bacon, and lettuce. It was hard saying goodbye to the bread and the cheese but I knew I had to stick with it. I was feeling great about my decision to stick with it until the dessert menu came out. Every single person had his or her own personal Pazooki and I sat there, dying a little inside. My self-control was tested and it won! I obeyed all of the regulations and I felt great after I left (emphasis on AFTER I LEFT). Although, it was a great time to hang out with friends!
My favorite meal consisted of pork chops, asparagus, and mushrooms. I cooked the pork chops in a little bit of olive oil and once it was almost done, I threw in the mushrooms. After cooking the asparagus, the total cooking time was only about 20 minutes! It was very delicious.
I loved snacking on Trader Joes Plantain chips, and unsalted sunflower seeds. When buying a healthy snack while doing Paleo, it is important that you read the food label to see what oils your favorite snack is cooked in!
One struggle I had was getting a lot of sugar. My only source of sugar I could get was from fruit. So I would usually start my morning with a fruit smoothie. Be careful to not add your favorite fruit juice because that is not allowed! I just put in some mixed berries, ice and water. It turned out nicely! I would use the left over smoothie that I didn’t drink and freeze it in an ice tray that made oversized “fruit cubes” and added a stick! Later in the day I would enjoy a delicious fruit popsicles. The cool thing is that I could have more than one and not feel guilty about it! This small dessert was a huge treat!
- If you want to start Paleo start it during a week when you don’t have a lot planned. You need to have a lot of time to cook the food because it is hard to find cheap food at restaurants that follows the Paleo guidelines.
- PLAN AHEAD. If you know you have to babysit tomorrow night, make sure you cook that food ahead of time so you don’t find yourself in a position of not being able to eat the food the mom cooked for her kids.
- Know what you’re eating before you arrive to the restaurant. Also remind yourself that you have to stick to Paleo. Don’t think to yourself “I will just decide at the restaurant if I’m going to indulge in the bread basket”. Know what’s coming so you are mentally prepared to say no. Also, if you know what you’re going to eat prior to your arrival, you can get excited about what you can eat!
- READ! Read a lot of the Paleo Blogs out there and read your food labels! Make sure that your favorite garlic salt doesn’t have sugar in it or other non-paleo foods.
- Download the PaleoFood App. I like to call it the “Is it Paleo” app. It’s perfect when you are at the grocery store wondering if black olives are Paleo. You simply enter in the food you are wondering about and see if it is allowed or not!
- Have someone do it with you! I had my friend Luke there for support. We shared recipes with each other and even prepared meals together. It was great to have him to hold me accountable!
I am so glad that I made it an entire week without cheating! I noticed a huge difference in myself and for that I am grateful. I was less tired after eating and I didn’t feel bloated after eating. My stomach began feeling tighter and it gave me a lot of confidence. At the end of 7 days I had lost a total of 5lbs. Now I know that it is something I CAN do. I have overcome a lot of hard decision making when it came to ordering and preparing meals but I did it. And I am SO proud of myself!