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My Paleo Experiment
In case you missed my post, I’m going SUPER strict Paleo for the next 40 days. My first mistake that I “think” I made was putting coconut oil in my coffee this morning. I know coconut oil would usually be fine on a paleo plan but I’m only doing green vegetables and meat/fish/eggs, so I’m not sure coconut oil is a part of that. the more I think about it though, the more I’ll probably keep it in the plan just because of all the crazy health benefits. My whole goal is to eat as clean as possible and coconut oil would definitely help.
Then my next “error” was at lunch. I had a bowl of spinach, a tuna cup, and a half a bag of steamed edemame. Idk if edemame is even paleo to begin with b/c technically it’s a soy bean. But steamed and fresh right out of the pod–well–it’s GREEN and that’s my goal—green and lean. So idk what to think about that….any advice?
For a snack this afternoon I had 2 hard boiled eggs with some mustard. I figured mustard was ok…mustard seed and vinegar…and for dinner I ate a GREAT meal that Erik made…porkchops and broccoli cole slaw…in which he picked out all the carrots by hand! he made a cole slaw dressing that was nothing more than vinegar and mustard–just to make sure that I wasn’t eating anything I shouldn’t.
So that’s about it. I’ve missed my almonds terribly, and I constantly want to snack on them. But otherwise I’m ok. I actually feel a bit as if I have a stomach bug–nothing from today’s eating–I just really feel like I might have picked up something. I’m pretty sure peptobismal isn’t paleo, but I took some anyway.
Day 2: I was SO FREAKIN’ hungry today!!! Of course, this really isn’t any different from any other day. Honestly, I’m always hungry. It’s just that today, I felt like I had nothing to snack on. I wonder how many extra calories I take in from almonds or peanut butter or almond butter when I’m “snacking”?? Today I had taco meat (ground turkey and taco seasoning) with cauliflower for lunch. I had about two tbs organic salsa to top it. For my afternoon snack, I ate 3 hard-boiled eggs with a dab of spicy brown mustard on each. After teaching combat at Gold’s (and my second workout of the day) I had to meet Erik at Costco I was freaking freaking freaking STARVING. I walked in and saw 2.5 lbs of milk chocolate Easter eggs for $11.99. FML. Jelly beans. FFFML. Why is everyone who walks by holding a cheesecake or chocolate almond bark?! Almonds….ahhhh….
So we speed through Costco to get exactly what we need…a bunch of “gluten free/no preservatives/no msg/no nitrates meats, a few veggies, coffee, and allergy meds for Erik. When I finally get home, I’m RAVENOUS. I finished off a bag of steamed edemame (I know, screwed up with this one but I’m not wasting food.) and then ate some cold taco meat while feeding the dogs. For dinner I had more taco meat, (theme for today is TACO) with a few brussels sprouts, and some more salsa on top.
It’s really really hard to stare at all the nut butters and almonds in the house and know I can’t have any but again, I’m so eager to see what difference it makes. I feel like honestly this whole paleo thing is not a bit different to how I normally eat, except I’ve given up all dairy and nuts. And cheating is not allowed. So we’ll see. Right now I’m trying to chug some water (I need to get better at this) and I’m thinking about a protein shake before bed.
Happy Valentine’s Day, ya’ll.
I THINK EDEMAME IS MAKING ME SICK. Ok so I’m only eating meats and veggies, right? Well I’ve also been eating edemame (raw soy beans) because, well, I bought them a couple weeks ago and I thought it’d be a good snack option b/c it’s so high in protein, fiber, and low in calories and, carbs, and fat. It’s been hailed as a “perfect food,” and even though I’m NOT a fan of consuming SOY, I needed a snack option since I was giving up everything else out of my diet for Lent. Well I’ve been eating edemame for 3 days now. For 3 days now, I’ve been randomly feeling ill here and there. Today, the FIRST thing I ate–before ANYTHING else–was edemame. I got sick–immediately. I don’t know if it’s b/c I let it thaw on its own and didn’t cook it–but why would you have to? I don’t know if I’m not used to soy? I threw the bag out and will throw the rest of it out when I get home but I am STUMPED as to why edemame would make me sick? I’m talking super nauseous.
So I did some research. The FDA makes a KILLING off the soybean b/c it’s so damn easy to produce. Almost every site spoke of it as if it’s the holy grail of health foods. Then I stumbled upon another site. Here’s some of what I read:
The soybean did not serve as a food until the discovery of fermentation techniques.1 Soybeans were used for crop rotation to add nitrogen to the soil. They were not eaten. […]
Unfermented soy is not healthy at all and large quantities, such as the levels currently consumed in America, is very detrimental to our health.It has been linked to hypothyroidism, early puberty in children, loss of testosterone, and many other hormone related health problems. 2 The American soy industry took the unfermented soybean, genetically modified it and bastardized it into an unhealthy food that nature never intended. What is further compounding the problem is the relentless multi-billion dollar marketing campaign to convince us that soy is health food and we should eat it in quantity. […]
Soybean producers pay $80 million annually to support United Soybean‘s program to “strengthen the position of soybeans in the marketplace and maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets for uses for soybeans and soybean products.” […]
Maybe you have heard of Edamame, the new “healthy” baby green soybean pods. While eating at a local Sushi restaurant recently I noticed tables of customers around me happily munching on Steamed Edamame appetizers. Surely this must be good, right? Wrong!Edamame is crap too! The good news is these baby soybeans still in the pod are tender and more palatable. They also contain less of the harmful plant estrogens that diminish testosterone. So I would compare them to light cigarettes. […]
If you are not eating organic, you should know that 99% of the non-organic soy we eat is genetically modified and has one of the highest percentages of contamination by pesticides of any of our foods.1 This processed, genetically modified “American Soy” that we know, ispoisoning us and causing illness and disease.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/718182
So I guess I got my answer? At least I’m hoping I did. I know I cut and pasted almost the entire article, but if you’re interested, check out the above link for more info. Whether he’s right or wrong, I’m still throwing out the edemame. If I’m sick tomorrow, I guess we’ll have our answer. :/
Here’s a link to a post on 50 Paleo foods you can buy at Costco. Imma have to save up for this trip!
Thanks for opening this up so people can respond now. Concerning edemame there is a lot of stuff coming out about soy. You may be interested in this: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2005/02/26/soy-myths.aspx
Ah! I had no idea that people couldn’t reply! I was wondering why no one was making any comments–SEO shows that tons of people are reading–that explains it! Sorry guys…I’m still new at all this. Thanks for sticking by me, and please, respond to this! I want to know your thoughts, opinions, and snack ideas!
And thanks Erik for the soy info. Very interesting stuff and and I think I’m going to buy the book listed above. For anyone else interested in the above site, here’s a few things that are pointed out about soy:
Soy is not a health food
Soy is not the answer to world hunger
Soy is not a disease-preventive panacea
Soy has not even been proven safe
Soy impedes the sexual maturation of boys (p. 335)
Soy accelerates the sexual maturation of girls (p. 339)
In newborns, the hormonal effects of soy may be irreversible (p. 333)
The average daily dose of soy estrogens in soy formula (38mg) is higher than the amounts that cause thyroid problems and endocrine disruption in adults (p. 334)
If you’re interested in reading “The Whole Soy Story,” I added the book to the Strong Figure Amazon store.
Ok back to my paleo adventure. I posted yesterday on feeling incredibly ill from eating edemame (soy beans). I threw the rest out when I got home and I have felt 100% better since I last ate them, so I’m assuming that was what kept making me sick. And edemame isn’t even paleo; I was just trying a new snack option. Paleo = 1, Steph = 0. Learned that lesson quick.
Day 3 continued….Last night for dinner I made some Applegate Farms Chicken Sausages that were gluten free, hormone free, nitrate free, msg free, etc. Too bad they weren’t calorie free :/ But they tasted AWESOME! And to be fair, they weren’t really high calorie and they were much lower in fat than regular sausage, so that makes me very happy. And since I got them at Costco, I’ll probably eat several more this week because I think I still have two whole packs left. But I had that and about half a bag of broccoli that I sauteed in coconut oil. Seriously, if you’ve never sauteed veggies in coconut oil, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s freaking unbelievable. If I had eating veggies like this as a kid, I swear it wouldn’t have taken me this long to love them.
And today has been awesome so far. I got two crazy good workouts in this morning and then met up with a friend for lunch at one of my fave downtown spots. I ordered a chicken and arugula salad and asked for no cheese, no grapes and the vinaigrette on the side. I’m sure the vinaigrette wasn’t 100% paleo but I thought I did pretty well considering everything else. I even picked through the walnuts and only had a couple.
There is ONE THING that I think is confusing people and I really want to make this clear: I’m doing a stricter version of paleo as a personal challenge for myself. Walnuts and almonds, nuts/seeds, berries are all OK on a Paleo diet. Paleo is the Caveman way of eating. If it was available for the caveman, it’s probably paleo. I’m restricting some of these things for two reasons: 1) I want to stay ultra low carb, and 2) I eat too many almonds and nuts as is–I need a bigger challenge and I need to convince myself that I don’t have to eat a hundred almonds a day to survive. (I realllllly overeat them normally so that’s why I’m excluding them now. They ARE paleo. And in 36 days when this challenge is up, I’ll add them back in…but hopefully in a much more reasonable manner.)
So I definitely wanted to clear that up. People have been asking me“how’s that paleo thing going?” and I definitely think it’s been easier than I expected. My biggest challenge has been the no diary and no almonds. I think yesterday I counted 6-7 times that I normally would have grabbed a handful of almonds or a spoonful (which typically would turn into 3) of almond butter. So I think I’m saving myself big calories. Snacking is hard but I’m finding that I’m just eating more protein, which duh, is great. I’m still doing protein shakes of almond milk, whey, and supergreens powder so that’s been a real nice treat. I constantly remind myself that I can’t have that piece of cheese or that bite of yogurt (I keep forgetting!), but overall, I’m liking this change and I think it’s something I can probably stick with for the long haul. Well, with a few more almonds thrown back in.
I just feel good, you know?!
This was a great snack idea. I found English Cucumbers at Costco and sliced them up and put them into zip lock baggies. Snacking on cucumbers is not my most fave thing to do, but it’s there when I open the fridge and I don’t have many options, so it works for now. The best part of it is that I poured in some apple cider vinegar–which btw is super good for the body/digestive system/etc. So that keeps it interesting…kinda reminds me of summer time with bowls of fresh cucumber soaking in the vinegar water….
And this was another great idea that was SUPER SIMPLE! I had left over ground turkey taco meat, so I poured probably a half a cup (? maybe more?) of egg whites over top and microwaved til the eggs were done. I topped with salsa and thoroughly enjoyed. Both Atty and Laila thoroughly enjoyed licking the bowl when I was done.
WARNING: NOT FOR QUEASY GUYS!!!
Ok so best thing about the Paleo experiment so far? No PMS signs. Aunt flo hit me today and I had no idea she was even on the way. No pre-bloat, cravings, etc. The ONLY thing I can attribute that to is the paleo diet. I’ve read a lot about low carb diets lessening PMS effects and I definitely think it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong…I’m pretty lucky anyway and don’t experience a ton of major symptoms anyway, but this time, I was really taken by surprise. I’d have to say that this is definitely the best part of the plan so far. The worst part? Snacking. Today I’ve snacked on peppers, hard boiled eggs, and cucumbers. My only big meal (about to go fix dinner) has been bacon and eggs–which I love. But snacking–on my super strict ultra low-carb plan–has been tough. #WILLPOWER!
Those of you who are Paleo eaters, what do you snack on??? Let me know! Share in this experiment!
DAY 7!! I am soooo tired and I really need to get to bed but I have been wanting to report about my paleo experience ALL DAY! I just realized about an hour ago, that I’ve lasted a whole week so far! I know, only 33 days to go, right? :/ Well the first seven have flown by. The hardest thing–again–is the snacking issue. I knew I ate too many nuts before, but realizing now how many times I crave that handful of almonds or spoonful of almond butter makes me think that I was really overeating some calories. And don’t let me forget to add, nuts (except peanuts) ARE paleo, I’m just removing them from my diet for the personal challenge.
So today might have been the most challenging due to the fact that I’m working my ASS off in the gym. I could NOT seem to get full today! Normally I don’t even eat til lunch (I sip on coffee all morning) but today? Hell no. After my first workout at 5:45 this morning, I was left feeling ravenous. I drank my protein shake on the way to work (I was trying to save it til 10). And then, I actually took a beef jerky stick off a kid while teaching –all before 9am. (Don’t worry, he actually gave me the jerky; I didn’t really take it from him.) And by 11:30, I was finishing off my brussel sprouts that I brought for lunch. By my actual lunch time, our Ag/FFA department hosted a pork bbq for the teachers so I piled up an entire plate of it–no sauces. Just meat. I ate a chicken sausage on the way home from work and then for dinner after my second and thirdworkout of the day, I had a protein shake and an ENTIRE FREAKIN’ package of bacon and asparagus. It was the first time all day that I felt full. I do feel a little guilty for eating so much fat and sodium from the bacon, but I’m trying to guzzle water to combat that. I also know I sweated buckets during my workouts today so a little sodium replacement isn’t really that bad.
Overall, this paleo thing is rocking. My friends have given me SO MANY recipe ideas that I can’t wait to have the time to whip up some projects–including snack foods! The best part of it all is that I just feel healthy. I mean, protein and veggies–how can I not? I don’t feel bloated, I have energy, and I get to eat eggs, bacon, chicken sausage, ground turkey and all the veggies I can fill up on. I don’t count calories and I keep my protein shakes, coffee, and coconut oil on hand for assistance in cooking and keeping full. As soon as the next 37 days are over and I can start adding almonds back, we’ll be on a plan that I’m hoping to maintain for the long haul.
Talk to me in this forum b/c I would love your opinions and thoughts. Are you giving up any foods for Lent? Are you trying new foods? Are you a paleo eater or are you curious? I would love some interaction here. Oh and btw, if you wonder why I’m not a big breakfast fan, click here:SKIPPING BREAKFAST!
Day 8: I could not do a DAMN THING right today!!! It all started when the alarm went off. I was exhausted. For the first time since early January, I almost stayed in bed. But I didn’t–thank God for my workout buddy. I picked up Dana and headed to the gym. There, I couldn’t move. I couldn’t row anything under 2:06. I couldn’t jump a rope. I’m not kidding…I couldn’t jump a flippin’ jump rope! No double unders and I couldn’t even jump singles. I thought about sitting down and crying. The rest of the day was similar. I’ve felt off ever since combat last night and all through today.
And then I had a moment of clarity. At the end of my day today, itFINALLY hit me why I felt so “off.” I had actually–successfully–done something I’ve deemed as super hard to do before…but this time I did it without consciously thinking about it: I depleted my body of carbs. YES!According to recent studies, it takes about 6-10 days to completely rid the body of carb stores so that it will efficiently start burning its own fat for fuel. But in order to get there, you have to go through a state of ketosis first.
Bodybuilding.com defines ketosis as a metabolic state in which the quantity of ketone bodies in the blood have reached higher than normal levels. When the body is in a ketogenic state this means that lipid energy metabolism is intact. This means that the body will start breaking down your own body fat to fuel the body’s normal, every day functions.
This, my friends, is good. My body is in full on fat-burning mode. BRING IT ON! And according to physicist DH Kiefer, I should be able to get stronger, break barriers, build muscle–once I’m through this foggy state.
So yay for this experiment…so far I can tell something is definitely happening and I’m embracing the change. My buddy Laken asked me tonight (after texting me that she made low-carb lasagna) and asked me how this super strict plan was going. I told her that I’m craving almonds and peanut butter like crazy but that I haven’t ONCE craved carbs! This is SHOCKING to me because I’ve always been a lover of carbs. I guess whenever I ate “low-carb” I just replaced calories with nuts and nut butters without really thinking…and what I did think about were all the carbs Icouldn’t have. When I took away the carbs AND the fat, I thought I’d crave carbs but I don’t! It’s just the fat! For the first time in my life, I really don’t crave carbs. Crazy, or what?! Carbs are officially overrated in my book. When Lent is over I’ve already decided I’m sticking to this Paleo plan–AND adding almonds (and a weekly fun cheat meal) back in.
So how is Paleo coming along so far? Well it’s only 8 days but so far, I’d have to say I’m ok. I like it. I really do.
I have always expected that you specifically, and women in general, hold on to glycogen stores for a really long time. I expect most men would have hit this stage much sooner. I would’ve hit it in three days tops with the level of working out you did.
If you ever wonder why men can lose body fat so much quicker than women — this may be your answer.
Now insofar as this is true, it seems to make sense that women do not need much in the way of carbs. You ate sushi. Not pasta. Not an entire pie. You ate a few rolls of sushi and it took 8 days of intense workouts to hit a ketogenic state. Think about that…
Wow…that is totally crazy when you put the sushi comment above into perspective, Erik. Thanks for pointing that out because I never would have pieced that together on my own. You’re totally right; I was eating low carb before my sushi night–which was my one big splurge before my paleo challenge. And that’s not even a huge splurge. So eight days to get those carbs out of my system…that’s just crazy. I know my body typically holds onto that stuff more than others but that really does put into perspective why I can gain weight faster than most people I know. Wow. (Have I said that enough?) Maybe this will help me control my carbs more in the future now that we’ve figured this out. For everyone else, it really is amazing what a little experimentation can help you learn about your body! Thanks E!
By now you know the biggest challenge that I’ve faced on this paleo challenge is snacking. First of all, let me say that the responses I’ve gotten from friends and followers have been incredible! It is SO COOL that you guys are helping me out! My fave snack inspiration so far has been the “muffin” idea. At least three people suggested baking a meat/egg/veggie mix in a muffin pan to have quick paleo friendly snacks whenever and wherever. Well I ended up mixing spicy turkey sausage, broccoli, spinach, and eggs together, and produced 12 wonderful protein-packed snacks. I made these Thursday night and right now–Sunday–there are only two left! I made another ground turkey inspired dish that I’ll post under recipes very soon (along with the other recipe as well).
The other thing that’s helping me through on such a strict plan is my protein shake. I’ve been saving my protein shakes for my “dessert” at night before bed and it really helps to have something to look forward to. And when you’ve cut all things “sweet” from your diet, it really feels like a treat. I use non-sweetened almond milk, dymatize whey protein isolate, and my favorite chocolate greens powder. Sometimes I’ll add a dash of cinnamon or even a spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder to make it a bit chocolaty.
But yesterday, I hit the snack JACKPOT. I had just completed a SUPER tough workout at the gym and I came home and decided to go ahead and make my shake early. Because I felt like I worked a little harder than normal, I decided to add some coconut water (a great hydration/replenishment supplement) to my shake. So I blended coconut water, almond milk, whey protein, L-Leucine (an amino acid essential for muscle repair), and ice in the blender. I made too much so I stuck the leftovers in the freezer for later. What I found was AMAZING. My shake earlier tasted “ok,” but the frozen mixture? I’m not even exaggerating when I say it tasted like ICE CREAM!!! I ate it with a spoon and was in HEAVEN! It’s by far the BEST treat I’ve had since starting the plan. Maybe I’ve just gone too long without real ice cream, but if you’ve ever tried coconut ice cream or non-dairy ice cream, it’s really not much different from that and in my opinion even better. I’ve decided I’m going to experiment a little and keep it as a staple in my diet. Just now I blended almond milk, whey protein, ice, and cinnamon and put the smoothie in the freezer to see what that tastes like later. I LOVE cinnamon so I’m hoping this one will turn out awesome too. I think tomorrow I might experiment with cocoa powder and see if I can make a sugar-free chocolate version.
If you’re up for trying this at home, I might even suggest adding Stevia if you need your smoothies/desserts a little sweeter. I probably would have tried it out of curiosity, but I’m fresh out!
If you guys end up trying this, let me know what you think! Any suggestions?
OK, this is weird…I don’t know where my last post went to (it just disappeared?) but IMMEDIATELY after posting the one above, I went to bodybuilding.com to check out some supplements for a friend and the very FIRST article on their home page was “3-Ingredient Protein Ice Cream.” ?!?!?!? Seriously, did they steal my idea already! Ha, no, they have a recipe that’s VERY different from my frozen smoothie idea, but it looks a lot like real ice cream. The three ingredients are cottage cheese, a banana, and banana flavored whey protein. Now of course it isn’t a paleo recipe and it’s not even ultra low carb, but it DOES look good. And I guess if you’re going to have ice cream, these three ingredients make a much better substitution for rocky road. So here’s the recipe and I’m dying for someone to try it and tell us how it really is. Any takers?
Day 13: OHMYGOSH where do I start? Today has been a GOOD day. Very enlightening. I’m starting to get a lot of energy–more than normal–my cravings for snacks might have actually lessened, and my mental “sluggishness” seems to be fading into a dreary abyss…
But seriously, I woke up this morning after about 7 hours sleep (getting enough sleep is always a big challenge for me) and headed off to the gym at about 5:45. I felt good as I pushed through my workout and then went on to have a great, productive day at work. When I came home (usually “starving” and ready to crash) I actually got a LOT done. I ran three VERY important errands for our business and then took care of the dogs, did laundry, took out the trash, went back to the gym for some lifting and stretching, and then came home to feed dogs, make a sausage/egg/spinach carb-free paleo quiche (see recipe below), more laundry, and then showered, had dinner, and now am writing this post. I’ve gotten more done today–and I feel FABULOUS–than I’ve accomplished in a while. Maybe it’s just a good day and maybe nothing is related to my challenge, but whatever kicked in today needs to keep kicking!
Other developments: my clothes are getting looser. YES! My mood swings–yesterday–got really bad. NO! I recently haven’t been doing well at remembering my vitamins so I popped my multi, a calcium, a vitamin D, and a handful of pumpkin seeds for the good fats (just in case) and I’ve been fine since. NOTE TO SELF: DO NOT FORGET VITAMINS! (On a further note, I’ve always noticed that if I get really depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, or angry, usually all I need is a B-vitamin supplement and I’m fine–instantly. I really need to look into this and do some research as to why/how this works.)
Moving on…things I’ve figured out so far: Getting through the first eight days of this challenge were not fun, but every since Thursday of last week, I’ve felt strong–mind and body–like I can do anything. Also, frozen chocolate protein shakes are a life saver and they taste like a Frosty from Wendy’s. Ah-maze-ing. Three ingredients: almond milk, whey protein, unsweetened cocoa powder. Blend, freeze, and BOOM! Love it.
This challenge is totally doable. Anyone who’s considering it, should really try it out. If I can make it without my favorite snacks, you can too!
Carb-Free Paleo Quiche
- 2 lbs sausage of choice
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 pint egg whites
- 1 package frozen spinach
Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Brown sausage and drain excess fat. Mix sausage with rest of ingredients, pour into a pan greased with olive oil, and bake for 55 minutes (or until eggs are done.)
Day 17: VALIDITY: The state or quality of being valid. VALID: Having some foundation based on truth. Archaic Translation: Healthy or STRONG.
Yesterday was so awesome for me. I went and had my antioxidant levels checked to see how healthy I am on the inside. I was so nervous that my heart was RACING in my chest. I got tested on a “Biophotonic Scanner” and it’s the same test Dr. Oz had performed on himself and his audience. If you’d like to see the video clip from his show, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om6kfdp7l1I
Well, I ended up at the same level of health as Dr. Oz himself! I can’t describe the way I felt when I saw the results. I know I’ve made it my LIFE to eat as healthy as possible, but when I saw that my choices, my supplements, my greens powders, my everything, is paying off…I actually shed a couple tears on the drive home. I think about how four people in my family have battled (and two have lost lives to) cancer, and it’s much more to me to be healthy than just trying to get an aesthetically pleasing body. It’s my life on the line and it has to be. Validity. I feel like I got it.
And as for “gym stuff”? Well, I still feel strong, I still have plenty of energy, and I feel like my body is performing better than it has in a long time. Of course, I could be having a good week…everyone has a good week here and there and everyone has a bad one too. This could be my “strong” week and my weaker days could be around the corner…who knows. Women are funny that way anyway; just read about how the female body works here in my “Battle the Bloat” article.
As for food and cravings, I really don’t have cravings–at least not many–anymore. I’m fine with eating my sausage/egg/spinach bakes, my turkey and broccoli, or tuna and cauliflower. Erik has made some GREAT Indian dishes that are paleo–I’ll post recipes soon. My almond milk/whey protein/greens powder smoothies are really pulling me through. And one of my friends asked me if I had an idea for a “crunchy” snack so I thought I’d share what I found for her:
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil l
- kosher salt
- 1. Heat oven to 400° F.
- 2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread in a single layer.
- 3.Roast, stirring once, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes
I haven’t tried this but I’m excited to maybe get a chance to do so this weekend. Maybe tonight? A little veggie popcorn and a writing marathon at my desk? Ooh what fun!
Anyone else out there have an idea for a crunch paleo snack that doesn’t involve boring celery or high calorie nuts? Please share!
Day 21: For some reason, Saturday, I could not get full. I “think” it’s because of the super tough workout I had in the morning, but I just wanted to snack all day!!
Other than that, this “paleo challenge” feels more like a healthy lifestyle now instead of an “ohmygosh I can’t wait to be done with this” diet. I don’t really crave almonds anymore and I’m much more satisfied with my body than I’ve been in a while. Don’t get me wrong, there’s room to go, but I’m not displeased by any measures. Snacking is still rough every now and then but honestly, keeping to such simple foods is helping to keep my calories in check. People say to me “I don’t know how you do it,” but the fact is, I enjoy this so much that I’m actually kind of scared for Lent to be over. What happens when I can’t say “Oh I gave that up for Lent?” Just “Oh, I gave that up?” Have you ever said that to anyone before? The looks you get are incredible.
So here’s what I’m eating these days:
- Breakfast/Post workout shake: coffee, coconut oil, whey isolate, leucine (an amino acid)
- *snack: tuna cup and peppers (if I’m hungry)
- lunch: turkey sausage, egg, and spinach quiche
- *snack: beef jerky stick (on the ride home from work), or hard boiled eggs (a better option I’m sure), or sometimes a small protein shake.
- dinner: ground turkey made with taco seasoning, steamed vegetables, salsa.
- *snack: frozen protein shake: almond milk, whey isolate, Amazing Grass superfood greens supplement, a dash of unsweetened cocoa, and stevia.
And that’s about it….every chance I get (usually on the weekend) I have bacon and eggs, and my frozen protein smoothies are like my ice cream dessert now. I could totally stick to this for the long haul if I had to. I think I might???
Day 27: I cannot believe I’m 27 days into this challenge. Erik’s sister asked me on Facebook earlier how Lent was coming along, and I figured I’d just update you all with that same convo:
Erik’s sis: how is Lent going?
Erik’s Sis: Same here, the soda hasn’t been any problem at all, until yesterday it was ALL I wanted.
ha–sounds like we had a similar weekend then–I totally wanted comfort foods! A couple times throughout the past 20 or so days, I’ve had to stop myself from grabbing a diet soda out of just sheer forgetting that I can’t have it. Cheese is another thing that I forget about. Several times I’ll go to grab a cube, stick, slice, whatever, and I’m like, “oh yea, can’t have that either. guess I’ll grab that pickle instead.”
cheese would be the hardest thing in the world for me to give up, haha
I haven’t figured out what’s been hardest. Some days it’s almond or peanut butter. Other days it’s that one bite of chocolate. A few times I’ve desperately wanted a beer or glass of wine. I have to admit though, the benefits have been pretty amazing. I’ve hit PRs in almost all my lifts, my workouts are killing it, and my muscles are really starting to pop. I feel lean/clean/and well, green. lol. I’m really going to try and stick with it after lent.
I love that clean feeling!
I suppose it’s funny, thinking over this past weekend, I had one of the biggest moments of “clarity” in this whole experiment on the same day that I had my biggest craving for “cheat foods.” I will definitely credit my performance to my diet–both physically and mentally. I just feel clean and clear and it’s hard to explain but overall, my body just feels good. I don’t feel like I need to shovel in a ton of crap pre-workout and my body is fueling off a ton of protein.
I think so far, this diet, combined with the rigorous training of crossfit, is the best experiment I’ve ever done. Sure, I have moments of walking through the grocery store and I catch myself drooling over the Cadbury eggs, and I can’t promise you that on Easter Sunday, I won’t make myself sick by stuffing my face into all the chocolate and peanut butter I can find. But I know I will feel miserable after that day and it won’t take but a quick restart to hop back on this plan. I think I’ve found my food solution here!!
Some of my foods I’ve been eating and buying:
So it’s officially been 38 days of my Paleo challenge. I cannot believe that I only have 2 days left and I’m done with this! I’m actually a little sad…I love the will power I’ve gained over these past few weeks and even though my official challenge is coming to an end, I plan on stepping up my game and re-starting right after Easter. Here are some of the things I’ve learned throughout my challenge:
1. Snacking on a paleo diet (in which I’ve also eliminated nuts, seeds, fruit, and berries), is TOUGH.
2. Hard boiled eggs, raw veggies, and low carb protein smoothies make amazing snacks.
Frozen smoothie…almond milk, chocolate whey, cocoa powder, ice, and cinnamon.
3. MY body functions better on fewer carbs. In fact, I don’t think my body needs them at all. I feel healthier than I ever have and my gains in the gym have been pretty darn good. I overall think it can get better–but that’s where my next cycle will fall into play.
Slowly but surly…getting stronger every day!
4. I don’t miss or crave carbs, sweets, or wine….unless I smell or see it.
Who craves carbs when you live with the BEST COOK EVER?!
5. I do NOT need to eat as many almonds and nut butters as I was eating before. I actually realized that my body craves fat before it actually craves carbs. All this time I thought I was eating nuts to battle carb cravings and when I eliminated the nuts I realized THAT was what I wanted most. Not carbs. Go figure. Erik did some interesting research on this and found that some bodies burn carbs more efficiently while other bodies burn fat more efficiently–guess which I am? Yup…not the carb burner. Stay tuned on this though….I smell an upcoming article.
6. I love bacon. Oscar Mayer makes a nitrite/nitrate free bacon. I love bacon.
I ate this every Sunday. And sometimes then maybe some other days too.
7. I ate too many high-sodium foods trying to get by on a “meat diet.”MUST and WILL clean this up in phase two.
Probably not the healthiest…but they were SO GOOD!
8. I ate so much broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and spinach in the past 40 days that I scared Erik away many a night.
GREAT for me!! Not so much for those around me…
9. I can see my abs for the first time in…EVER.
I’m usually not a fan of posting these kind of pics, but if you’ve been following me throughout this plan, I’m sure you want to see progress. PS…I asked Erik if you could actually see abs in this pic or if it was just my imagination, and after he squinted at the screen, he said, “yeah, they’re there. Can you shade them or something?” uugghh. :/
10. I can do any damn thing I set my mind to. I don’t think many people thought I could stick to protein+green veggies for 40 days, but pending Sunday, it’s DONE. So bring it bitches, I’m ready for ANYTHING!
So I guess on Sunday, my first Paleo experiment will officially be over. I still haven’t decided whether I will eat candy all day to celebrate or if I’ll just keep it safe and have a fun “cheat meal.” I’m kinda thinkin’ a big Mexican dinner with lots of chips, salsa, and guacamole sounds heavenly. My friend Dana wants to celebrate with cupcakes from one of our local gourmet shops on Monday so I may just skip out on candy so that I indulge in cake and icing! Now THAT sounds heavenly.
Pic by H. Sions Photography…”Like” this company on Facebook! Oh and yes, that’s a bacon cupcake. I’m SO getting one of those.
I think the most important thing that I’ve learned through this experiment is that we all react differently to foods. I’m still not where I’d like to be, but in reality, 40 days is not going to get many people to their ideal shape. I do know that THIS WORKS FOR ME, and I will be following a Paleo plan–more than likely–for as long as I can stand to.
Starting the day after my cupcake splurge, I plan on undertaking a new 40-day challenge. This challenge will be a more relaxed Paleo challenge–just to tweak things now that I’ve learned so much, and to get a feel for what my body can handle. I am just starting to see the results that I’ve been wishing for, but I feel as if I have a bit more leaning out to get to where I want.
My next challenge will look like this–and since it’s much less strict than my previous challenge, I REALLY WOULD LOVE TO HAVE SOME PEOPLE JOIN ME!! And then maybe I won’t be the only one chatting to myself in this forum. Anyway–this will be what I’m doing…probably starting Tuesday.
- My diet will be made up primarily of leaner cut/lower sodium meats. This means more chicken breasts, more tuna and fish, more steak and even more eggs/egg whites. Less sausages and maybe only one serving of bacon per week (OMG).
- In addition to the protein, I’ll be eating a FULL range of vegetables. Not just green ones + cauliflower this time–ha! So lots and lots and lots of veggies.
- I am going to allow myself one serving of almonds a day! Let’s pray I learn to stick with this.
- Though I’m still an advocate against too much fructose (i.e. fruit) in a diet, I am going to have some fresh or frozen berries on days I workout–probably frozen, and probably in my smoothies. And probably a little more coconut water to help with hydration and muscle cramps…and maybe even, dare I add it? A banana or two.
- What I’m most excited for is to add a “cheat meal” into my plan once a week. By “cheat,” I just mean some healthier carbs. Like rice, sweet potatoes, maybe a smoothie bowl from Pulp, whatever. I’ll still eat healthy, just a bit more lenient that meal. And that will be the same day that if I desperately crave a glass of wine, I’ll have one of those too.
So I’m super eager to see what this next phase will bring. More gains? Setbacks? Who knows. But I’ll keep you posted, make adjustments as needed, and I’m hoping someone out there might take the challenge with me. Anyone?? #PaleoForLife!!!