Thursday, July 12, 2012

Paleo update. Bring on the bacon!

So I have completed three whole days of eating primally or, as I like to think of it, Noahifically. I wasn't sure I'd have a transition period given that I already was eating low-carb, high-fat and protein, but guess what? I'm in one. Basically I feel icky until 11 a.m. and then BAM I have energy through the roof. And that's it. Other people have headaches, constipation issues etc. but I seem to have avoided that. And now that I've shared the negative let's get on to the positive stuff:

#1 My face looks better. Not sure if this has anything to do with cutting out refined sugar but hey, I'll take it.

#2 Energy, at least after 11 a.m. I even managed to return our Redbox movie on time (Clash of the Titans; don't rent it, it was worse than I thought it would be) and try on clothes after a full day of work. Go me.

#3 I feel lean. Haven't had many issues with feeling like I'm bloated and, when I have, I haven't actually been bloated. My jeans are still loose.

#4 I love bacon. And I can eat it now.

#5 My muscles seem to be more defined. I don't think I've lost weight-it's only been three days and I'm eating the same number of calories I was before this experiment. As with the better face, though, I'll take it.

I've run out of positives. Maybe I'll have more when I fully transition into the ketosis-thingy (as you can see, I'm fully cognizant of the scientific data supporting this lifestyle). I do have some concerns, though (not negatives, since my concerns revolve around myself), and they all have to do with legalism and how it might affect my relationship to food. You see, I turned down a bag of potato chips today. No real worries there, I wanted to see what a week of being fairly strict would be like, but what if I don't tone down that legalistic mind-set? That's how I went off the deep end last time and managed to look like a walking skeleton (not kidding you there. Because I shaved my head as well my mom got asked if I was a chemo patient). It doesn't help that several websites I've read promote being strictly Paleo and treat any slip-ups as failures (that can be learned from, but still, failures).

I don't want to be like that. I was before and it robbed my life of so much. I want to be able to eat a bag of potato chips and not feel guilty (although I might feel icky because I'm not used to it). To that end, thank goodness for the websites that promote a 80/20% approach to paleo: 80% paleo and 20% whatever you want to eat. That's where I'll be. I've already scheduled a pizza night with my parents. It's going to be epic after a week of not eating bread. I might even have ice cream.

Oh, and because it was so yummy I wanted to share what I ate today:

Breakfast: 3 eggs cooked in 1/2 Tbs. grassfed butter with 1 oz. cultured cheese and 2 slices thick bacon. Coffee with full-fat cream. 70% chocolate (which I might try cutting out as I think it might be a trigger for some of my facial issues).

Lunch: 6 oz. potato with 4.5 oz lean pork loin and 0.25 C. avocado drizzled with the leftover bacon grease. Cucumbers, celery and cherries rounded out that meal. Oh and I had one of Starbuck's new Refresher drinks (50 calories for 16 oz).

Snack: slightly salted almonds

Dinner: same as breakfast minus the coffee and cream.

Snack: grapes

I think I could've skipped dinner. I wasn't actually hungry but my brain was telling me "look at the time! You MUST EAT NOW". I don't think I'm quite prepared to do intermittent fasting (google the term, it'll bring up lots of fascinating information).

Happy Thursday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Doing the Paleo thing.

I find it hilarious that I fell in love with the Paleo diet (the link is to a website that is a comprehensive guide to eating Paleo and explains what it is far better than I could) given that I'm a creationist, not an evolutionist. I figure that rather than imitating the primitive caveman I'm imitating Noah. Apparently some Christians are concerned about Paleo being unbiblical, though; if that is you, read this article. Personally I find the Paleo diet to be harmonious with how Noah probably ate (that being when animal meat became fair game) with maybe a few tweaks, starting with honey. One blog writer (don't remember which one, I have perused quite a few) said that honey wasn't eaten by our ancestors because it would've been too dangerous to gather the honey. I must admit I laughed quite a bit over that one; wouldn't it be more dangerous to hunt the meat that they were supposed to have eaten? And what about smoking the bees out? Or waiting until winter? Anyway, I have no problems including honey because John the Baptist ate it and if it was healthy enough for him it's good enough for me, although I probably won't be trying locusts anytime soon. /Shiver.

So, on to the food! And the results! 

I had already been lowering my carb intake. For the past few weeks it's been between 125-150 grams rather than my previous average of 175-200 grams. I've had no problems thus far; in fact, when I deviate from my Paleo meals and include carbs I feel horrible. Icky. Sluggish. I experienced that again today when we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. Chips and salsa, beans and rice and burritos slathered in a green chile sauce. Absolutely delicious but also completely soporific. It felt like Thanksgiving and I might have a food hangover tomorrow. Does anyone else get those? I've only begun to notice them in the past couple of years as our diet has become healthier and I've been eating more mindfully. It's a fascinating phenomenon.

So here's how I've been eating lately. It's not completely Paleo but I'm getting there:

Breakfast: 3-4 eggs with 1 oz. cultured cheese (the real stuff) cooked in 1/2 Tbs. grassfed butter (this is amazing). I use real cream in my coffee and have been trying to cut back on the amount of Stevia I use. We also usually have dark chocolate (70% or more). Every time I eat this meal I feel incredibly pampered (because of the butter and chocolate) and full. No need to eat anything else until lunchtime.

Lunch: some type of lean protein, carrots/celery/etc. and fruit. This meal is where I still tend to include wheat products, although I plan on skipping it this upcoming week.

Snack: it depends on where I am. At work I might buy a KIND bar or if at home more vegetables/fruit/possibly cheese. This week I'll be avoiding the KIND bars and sticking to cheese or nuts.

Dinner: same as lunch. I'm not much of a cook so my meals tend to be similar:)

I will note that the past couple of weeks have not looked like this (even though I mostly stayed within 125-150 grams of carbs). We've had people coming and going and different people doing the cooking. I'm grateful for every meal cooked (and they all tasted wonderful) but it was definitely carb-heavy and I've been feeling the effects. I don't feel like a lean, mean fighting machine. I feel more like a doughnut. Not a great feeling. I'm really excited about this upcoming week; it'll be the first time I've tried to completely stick with Paleo-meals. I'll report my results of course. And then I'll report Damm's results when I get the opportunity to experiment on him (he's easy to experiment on; he'll eat whatever I put in front of him).

So has anyone tried eating Paleo? Any thoughts?