So our CrossFit gym did a Paleo Challenge last month. Eating “Paleo” means to cut out processed & inflammatory foods, including grains. You eat meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, seeds, healthy fats. We try to eat this way when we’re at home, but we’re never strict about it, and we still eat a good amount of rice, oats, and sometimes corn, so that’s not really “Paleo”. Also, I really like chocolate chips.
Here’s what we learned, and I’ll put some links to some new favorite recipes at the bottom.
1. Sleep. Such good sleep. By cutting down to 1 cup of coffee per day and no chocolate (I even switched over to decaf!) we found out how much even a little caffeine and sugar affects our sleep. I can’t decide now if I like sleep or chocolate better. I’ll take it day by day.
2. Wes looks amazing! He’s pretty trim after doing this for a month. He seemed to have more stable energy levels throughout the day, too.
3. There is now written evidence that in a given day, I eat as much as my 6’4″, 215 lb husband. I can’t eat as much in a sitting, but I am hungry all the time. Sometimes at 2 am. So if we were cars, he’d get 20 miles per gallon and I would get like 5 or 6. Which makes me a tow truck. I’m going to shred my food log. It’s embarrassing.
4. Due to that, I can’t actually eat strict Paleo and still function. After 3 workouts where I had to quit 10 minutes in, and a talk with one of our coaches, I found I had to add oats and brown rice back in to keep from getting dizzy and wanting to eat my own fingers. Turns out that everyone’s version of Paleo is a bit different based on their goals – that’s where having great coaches is super helpful, because I thought I was just missing something. I also figured out how much “extra” I need based on my activity level. And I found out you can eat oatmeal without maple syrup in it and not gag (???!!*$) Crazy!
5. Travel. Eating only fresh, whole foods while traveling is almost impossible, unless you like starving yourself. So we just do the best we can.
5. It’s not as hard as you might think. We take some time Sunday night to bake up a bunch of sweet potatoes, cut up some carrots, wash some lettuce, and plan out some meals on the white board. It is expensive, though. That’s why, going forward, we’re adding some rice and oats back into our day-to-day meals*. But overall, we’re going to try to stick with it.
*I don’t really cook special/different food for our kiddos, but I have one that is SUPER picky. So we did not apply the “Paleo Challenge” rules to thier diets – they kept on eating as usual, mostly gluten- and sugar- free, staying reasonable. And Abi definitely used “remember the paleo challenge, Mom!” as leverage to keep me from eating anything she wanted all to herself.
A couple of new favorites:
Paleo Pumpkin Muffins: http://www.paleoplan.com/2009/12-03/paleo-pumpkin-muffins/
Apple Pie “Granola”:http://www.multiplydelicious.com/thefood/2012/11/apple-pie-paleo-granola/