In the middle of March, per recommendation of my Dr. for some weird healthy issues I was experiencing, I embarked upon a 30 day trial of the Paleo eating method. I made it 24 days before I
caved cheated fell of the wagon. I hopped back on for the remaining days, so I made my full 30 days, just not consecutively.
Here are a couple things I learned; the good, the bad & the ugly, and what I plan to eat now that the experiment is over.
1. I do eat pretty clean.
Starting a new challenge or making a switch in your diet or exercise can be discouraging. It can be overwhelming to feel like you are starting at Square 1 and have SO far to go. You feel sore, you have cravings, etc..., and instead of feeling good about yourself; you're cast into the throes of feelings like you'll never get where you want to get physically. Switching to Paleo seemed pretty intimidating, but I was surprised to see how clean I already eat. It was encouraging to see that the list of foods I was eliminating from my diet was pretty short.
2. I don't like candy until I know I can't eat candy.
I've never been one to be tempted to eat candy. I can count the candy bars I eat in a year on one hand, with fingers to spare, and they were eaten atop froyo. For some reason as soon as they got crossed off as 'off-limits' foods- suddenly every morsel of candy I saw was a wicked temptation, except for Peanut Butter Cups- hate 'em and will always hate 'em.
3. I graze.
While the food I eat is healthy, I find that actually cooking a legitimate meal happens frighteningly irregularly. Because my schedule is weird, I don't eat at normal meal times and when I do eat, I keep my portions ultra-tiny. A 3 meal/3 snack ratio of healthy, balanced foods is excellent for your body. My ratio would probably be better classified as 8 or 9 snacks broken up throughout the day. I could blame it on my schedule, but it's honestly more of a laziness issue. I definitely need to prioritize prep-time to cook actual meals.
4. Telling myself NO is hard.
Pushing myself in a workout has never been a challenge for me. I can keep going, push till I puke and keep trying just that little bit harder. But telling myself 'no' is extremely difficult. I like to be my own boss, and it's not easy to follow rules- even rules that I've imposed over myself. Telling myself no was not fun, and I didn't respond very well.
The Paleo method was a good experience, and I did appreciate the new things it taught me about me and food- even though some of them weren't the easiest lessons to learn. While it didn't change or help any of my health issues, it was a good place to start and we can build from there.
The basic concept behind Paleo-- to eat unprocessed, all natural, whole foods is something that I have and will continue to prioritize. Our bodies need nutrients and vitamins. You can try and be as healthy as possible, but it starts with your fuel. If you don't use good fuel, you've lost before you've even begun.
I didn't feel particularly energetic while observing the Paleo rules, but I will be keeping some of them. Reintroducing wheat and other grains didn't go over very well so I will continue to omit grains- wheat especially, from my diet. I am bringing back greek yogurt, homemade kefir and small quantities of cheese.
Do you have a hard time telling yourself NO?
Have you ever tried Paleo?
What's your favorite 'quick' and 'easy' yet totally healthy meal??