My Paleo Journey Day 1
I used to hear so much about the Paleo diet. Not so much recently...but last year when I felt there was a huge Paleo "boom." I have never really read up on the Paleo diet thoroughly until today when I was mindlessly searching for "the best diet for fat loss" on the internet.
I browsed a few articles that had diet plans similar to what I follow (or try to) now. I have been great at trying not to follow "magic" plans that promise "if you do this, you will lose 20 pounds in 30 days!" Of course if you don't eat anything besides broccoli and spinach you will lose weight...but that doesn't necessarily mean it is healthy. Paleo wasn't very attractive to me simply because I didn't know what it really was aside from pictures of veggies and fruit on Pinterest. YUM! (NOT!) But when I saw that word, "Paleo," pop up in my search results, I just thought I would take another peak at it.
At first, Paleo seems intimidating because you see a lot of foods that are restricted that you think you are in love with: cheese, dairy, toast, cookies, peanut butter. Feelings of familiarity began to stir in my mind as I thought "this is why I never gave Paleo much thought..." I think I do pretty good for the most part during the week...it's the weekends that really get me. For some reason, I feel like I have accomplished a pancake on a Saturday morning for all my "hard work" during the week...but that can carry on throughout the day, which then tends to be counter-active. But before I exited out of the article I was browsing, I decided to give the author a shot and read on at least until the end.
The first thing I did was look at the list of foods that are approved on the Paleo diet. This consists of an array of non starchy veggies, lots of lean protein, nuts, fats, and some fruit. One of the first things I am skeptical about is the lack of "good" carbs that we have learned so much about. Sweet potatoes, quinoa, etc. These are nowhere to be found on the list and are actually part of the no-go or "in moderation" list.
The second thing I did was compare these foods to my daily diet right now. The bottom line is that I don't actually consume many of the foods on the "NO" list on a daily basis. Cheese: no. Dairy: not really. Cookies: no. Soda: never. Beans: no. I do though have an undying soft spot for a. Peanut butter, and b. Sweet potatoes. I just love them. And with my diet/workout regime I think I need them, which will bring me to my next thought...
The third thing I noticed about some lists is that there are certain things you can have in "moderation." This all depends on the benefits you wish to reap from following such a diet. If you want to lose weight, you should steer clear of starchy veggies, fruits, and healthy starch (like sweet potatoes). However, if you feel the need for them from time to time, throw 'em in there.
All of these factors allowed me to formulate a mini plan: I am going to give this Paleo deal a try with a little twist and see what happens...can't hurt, right? Here's what I plan to do:
1. Change my eating habits from 6 small meals per day to 3 and a snack (this seems to be normal Paleo procedure)
2. Eliminate carbs from all meals except for lunch time (I just don't think I can eliminate all together while keeping my regular workout regimen)
3. Replace peanut butter with pistachios and walnuts (This is going to be hard...but doable!)
4. Still take a protein shake after my workouts (This is a gray area of the Paleo diet. Is whey protein forbidden? Will it sabotage my weight loss goals? We shall find out...)
5. Add a little more non-starchy fruit to my diet (Berries!)
My approach will be an "almost" Paleo approach, let's call it 75%. Some of the articles I read mentioned that those who followed a Paleo "like" diet still saw favorable results. My goals are to have a gradual and sustainable weight loss over the next few months - 10 to 15 lbs. I will attempt to weigh myself a few times per week and take notes on changes in mood, weight loss, and energy.
To help follow this path, I plan on looking to Pinterest as a starting point for recipes and snack ideas. I hope this will turn out easy-to-follow recipes and tips on things like grocery shopping and meal prep (oh yeah, did I mention I'm trying to save a lot of money?). I'll share notes and tips as I move along.
So here it begins. Day (1/2?) of starting my own version of a Paleo diet. At 136lbs I will begin with a steak tonight and some sort of veggie :p. Tomorrow starts the real day 1.