Monday, November 14, 2011

Paleo, Here We Go!

I have been talking a lot about wanting to try different diets - paleo, vegan, raw vegan...  But I'll be the first to admit that it's been All Talk!  So after a few days without power, I realized that it was the perfect time to finally walk the walk.  I had to get rid of 90% of what I had in the fridge, so why not use that as an excuse to only fill it with diet-specific foods.  Am I right?

So here we go..  I'm going Paleo!

For one month, I will be going Paleo.  I admit upfront that I have not read a lot into the specifics of what can and cannot be consumed under the Paleo diet because from what I've read, much of it disagrees with itself.  So I'm going with the basic premise and making it my own.

What am I allowed to eat?
For one month, I will eat only what cavemen had access to - vegetables, fresh meat, fruit, nuts, beans.  I will not eat anything from a box, can, or container of any kind and nothing will have been processed in any way.  However, I am allowed to cook any way I like.  I am also allowed to process the raw ingredients any way I like (I already have ideas for making tomato sauce for eggplant parm).

There are a few exceptions that I am allowing throughout the month including my daily vitamin, which admittedly only ever gets taken every 2 or 3 days (I'm bad at remembering to take it), and any items needed for illness (Airborne, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.). On top of that, I will most likely skip the diet for two Thanksgiving dinners and my work Christmas party.

What is going to be difficult?
Shall I list them all?!  No dairy, no OJ (I might just squeeze my own), no tea, no hot cocoa, no "quick meals" (I've become accustomed to the speed of boxed foods), only drinking water, cooking all the time, keeping all my veggies/fruits fresh, convincing friends that I'm not insane, and figuring out what to use as alternatives to come common non-Paleo food.

My Predictions
I predict I'll learn to live on a majority of fish and salads.  I bet I'll pick up some cool alternative ingredients for common meals and I might even learn to cook something new (I'm already working on multiple butternut squash ideas).  My guess is that I'll get sick of my normal veggies within a week.  Hopefully that will help me branch out and find at least a couple more that I didn't know I liked.  Also, I have no doubt that my food bill (already hovering around $45/week) is going to increase. 

I will do my best to keep a log of things I've learned including new ways to cook foods, new foods I really like, or new food combinations that turn out really well.

My call for help!
If you have any Paleo recipes or ideas that you've tried, know of, or heard of, I'm all ears!  Also if you know of a good Paleo substitute for cooking oils or bread crumbs, let me know.  My best guess for now on the bread crumbs would be crushed nuts, but that seems like a daunting culinary task.


1.  Have you ever tried the Paleo diet?
If so, what were your thoughts and do you have any suggestions?  If not, is there any reason you haven't?

2.  What's your personal opinion on experimenting with your diet?
I personally love experimenting, so aside from the annoying work of relearning what to cook/eat, I'm looking forward to a fresh new perspective on food.

Swim fast.  Bike smart.  Run hard. 


Ironmom (Julie) said...

Great choice!! I'd recommend you do the Whole30 challenge. The only difference from what you've described is that it doesn't allow legumes.

The conflicting information is just various people who've found that their bodies can handle certain foods -- i.e., some can do dairy, and some find out after giving it up that they just can't.

But try the Whole30, and you eliminate every possible source of inflammation. Then experiment with putting various foods back in your diet. Trust me, it is great!

Ironmom (Julie) said...

P.S. Nuts would be a great substitute for bread crumbs. Or try the "crumbs" used in this recipe:

And you should run out right now and buy coconut oil and grapeseed oil. I use coconut oil for frying things like eggs, but it's a solid at room temperature, so you'll need the grapeseed oil for things like dressings. Olive oil is also legal, but its taste is too strong for me.

Coy Martinez said...

My friend Michael over at Slowly Tri-ing is giving this one a try! It actually sounds like something I might like!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i didn't htink you could have beans on paleo?

I dunno I looked at it a few times, but realized that grains really make me feel and look my best so I just couldn't ever stick to it.

good luck! can't wait to see what you think

danny said...

No idea about "paleo". But I will say this: making your own is a lot more interesting if you cook with flavor and for taste. Some things I would add to your shopping list: fresh limes, fresh ginger, cilantro, cayenne pepper. They can really help liven up food and make meals more enjoyable.

Matthew Smith said...

I wonder how you'll like your new diet. That sounds pretty difficult to stay away from anything processed. I'm a vegetarian, and it's a good deal, but I've never tried Paleo. Good Luck!

Michael said...

I just got the book Paleo Diet for Endurance Athletes...haven't started it yet, but plan to soon. good luck!

Scott Cannon said...

No dairy? I couldn't do that. Besides, can't you imagine a caveman running after a bovine-like ungulate on the savannah, throwing himself under its belly, and latching on to a teet as the animal runs away? OK, well, neither can I. But it's possible :)