Saturday, November 17, 2012

Paleo Update 1

Hello Friends and Family!  How are you doing as the days go racing towards Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Wow!  This year has really flown by.  Am I the only one thinking that?

Anyway, it's been four days since H and I started doing life Paleo-style or however we're supposed to call it.  I really don't like calling it a diet.  While I don't know if I'll attempt to be this strict forever, I am hoping that this way of eating will help me make better choices as I continue on.  But these first 30 days, I'm trying to be really, really careful.

The most difficult things I've noticed so far, are eating out and my lack of knowledge still about Paleo.

Our family likes to go out to eat kind of frequently.  Mostly, I think, it's because we're lazy or tired from raising all these kids!  We definitely can't really afford to go out as much as we do, but because H and my choice to dine a la Paleo, we also don't want to be the party-poopers who make it so we can't dine out anymore.

But I will say that finding stuff on the menu that even theoretically fall in line with this plan is difficult enough.  Finding stuff that fits it exactly is practically impossible.  So I'm sure I've blown it somehow a couple times.

However, that said, here is what I ordered when we ate out...

  • Chipotle:  I ate a salad.  It had lettuce, carnitas (the only meat on their nutritional information sheet that does not include soy), fajita vegetables (peppers and onions), their green tomatillo salsa and guacamole.  Notice that I did not have any dairy or the dressing, which had unknown ingredients.
  •  Panda Express:  (I am really trying to avoid fast food now altogether, but this was a spur of the moment plan and I made the best choice I could think up.)  I had the two-item combo with Mandarin chicken x2 (no sauce) and steamed, mixed vegetables as my side instead of rice or chow mein.
  •  Chili's:  I had beef fajitas with none of the sides and no tortillas.  I did add a side of guacamole to top it off.
Now, in all of these cases, I'm sure that what I ate could have been made healthier at home.  I'm pretty sure the mandarin chicken -- even without sauce -- still tasted a little sweet, which means there was probably sugar on it.  But in all three cases, the choices I made were like 95% better than whatever I might have ordered at these places before Paleo.

I did make one major mistake.  I got the kids McDonald's on Friday evening when C and S went to her teen group across town.  While I was there, I was famished and wasn't going to be eating till after C got home late, so I ordered myself a small strawberry-banana smoothie.  They are made with actual fruit, which is Paleo-friendly, but they also include a lot of sugar, which isn't.  As a result, I gained back one of the pounds I had lost since Tuesday night.  Boo.

Anyway, this leads me to the second difficult thing and that's not knowing what I'm doing really.  I'm learning as I go.  C usually brines our Thanksgiving turkey before he cooks it.  His brine has sugar and salt.  Salt is okay for Paleo, but not sugar.  He was getting kind of frustrated with me about Paleo because as the awesome cook he is, I'm asking him to change his entire way of cooking things he's done a bunch of times.  It's like tying one hand behind his back.

But, after some research, we learned that he can use cider for brining and it's completely Paleo-zen.

So that's how I'm having to do it.  We have a question or a moment of frustration about "how do we?" and then I get to work researching how we do things.  It's great except when I'm not home and have no Internet available to me.  It's so much to learn and understand, I wish I was better at memorizing it all so I would have the knowledge I need, wherever we are.

On the bright side, I have already lost 6 - 1 pounds.  I did lose six, but then I put back on one -- I blame that stupid McDonald's smoothie.  I should mention that at the beginning of 2012, I was nearly up to my highest weight again.  I lost 42 pounds earlier in the year, but as my medications got switched around by the doctor, I managed to suddenly gain 20 back.  Sad.  So, while I'm happy to have lost five pounds total in four days, I'm ready to get past that 20 I put back and continue adding to that 42 I'd already lost this year.

H, has lost two pounds so far (but he has much less to lose)!  His doctor will be ecstatic.  While he's not super chunky, his doctor has warned him to be more active and to eat healthier so he doesn't go down the wrong path too far.

H has been kind of angry about this diet so far, but that's kind of his personality anyway.  But as often as I remind him that it was his choice to do this and if he wants to stop at any point, we'll still be proud of him for giving this a try.  He's been eating lots of things that he'd never eat pre-Paleo.  Broccoli, for instance.  He insists that he's not quitting for at least 30 days and after the first 30, he doesn't want to go back entirely to his old sugary, carb-loaded way of eating.  So already, he's been impacted by the way he feels stronger and healthier.

I, too, feel satisfied at the end of my days and I think I'm sleeping better and less anxious during the day.  I've been journaling as I go, including what I eat and my body's progress and stuff, but I'm also recording my morning and evening moods.  I actually wrote, "happy," for yesterday morning.  It's been a long time since I've woken without that old familiar friend, Dread, lurking just outside my bed.

I think I like happy better.

More to come...


  1. Hi R...know your pain of the yoyo effect...suggesting a great book with lots of common and uncommon sense in your walk...Made to Crave...check it out...everything that is permissiable is not necessarily beneficial! This quote is over my kitchen sink to see everyday!

  2. I was part of a ladies' Bible study group and that was one of the suggested books for the next study ... but then the group disbanded for the summer. So maybe it's time to start it back up. :) Thank you for the suggestion!

  3. I'm sorry it's been so long since I commented. I am following your progress and will try to catch up with your posts. I feel like I am out of the loop right now.

    Congratulations on your progress, so far!

    Love, Mom

  4. I understand, Mom. You were out of the country ... I think that qualifies as a good excuse. :) And thank you.