Saturday, February 9, 2013

Guest Post: What I Have Learned From the 30-Day Paleo Challenge, Part 2

More from C on his insights into the 30-day Paleo challenge...

3. I can live (mostly) without breads
As you move through your day, take note of how many things are wrapped in bread. We are a sandwich culture. I love sandwiches. They are my desert island food choice without question; cheeseburgers being the pinnacle of all sandwichdom. Why would I eat with a fork when I can encase my entire meal in a delicious, chewy, edible wrapper? It's just inefficient. It's also probably the single most destructive bad habit I'd developed over the decades. I'm not going to lecture on it here. There are plenty of articles on the why. Go read about gluten, lectins and leaky gut. ThePaleoMom has great info on the subject. If you're having challenges surrendering breads, that should do the trick.

Now, will I never have a cheeseburger again? Will I never bake another loaf of bread? Of course I will. However, knowing what I know now, I can easily avoid gluten products most of the time. Do I really need that basket of bread? That huge tortilla alongside my New Mexican restaurant meal? Those croutons on my salad? Not really.

So what about cheeseburgers? That which I love and which exceeds all other foods in supremacy? How will I live? Good question! Aside from homemade burger patties sans bun, the Carl's Jr Low Carb Burger (no cheese, of course) is a reasonable alternative to it's fully-bun-encased brother. That bun alone has 230 calories, 7 grams of sugar, 44 grams of carbs and virtually no flavor. Sonic also makes a good lettuce-wrapped burger but you have to ask for the conversion. It's not on the menu.

With lettuce-wrapped burgers, I am still eligible to be fully American and eat food that is delivered to me out of a window. This is important. We are a mobile culture and I do not always have the ability to sit down with a fork and a plate. I know it's not healthy overall but I'm not eating them every day. This is the sort of compromise I'm happy to make as it will allow me to keep away from low-quality, low-taste, throwaway gluten products.

Luckily for me, I was never a huge pasta fan to begin with so that's an easy one to get go. Short of the Myzithra Cheese and Browned Butter dish at Old Spaghetti Factory, I have no habits or addictions to wrestle through here and since the nearest Old Spaghetti Factory is hundreds of miles away from me, I'm reasonably safe most days. If I ever visit Italy, well then fresh, handmade pasta and I will have words but for now I'm fine to let that one go.

4. I can snack better
Before the 30 Day Challenge, a snack was whatever happened to fall into my path when I perceived I was hungry or bored. I work in an office environment full of donuts, candy and muffins most days. This is a dangerous situation. I am significantly more deliberate in my snacking now. Fruit, celery and nuts are now my go-to snacks. They satisfy salty, crunchy and/or sweet which, as snacks go, are the big three that drive my cravings. I keep stuff like this at my desk so I can take care of the little cravings as they come up and before they tempt me toward the bowl of little candy bars that, as I sit at my desk right now, are mere feet from my reach.

5. I cannot live without real desserts
This is probably my #1 reason why I'm glad to be past the 30 Day Challenge. Paleo desserts are predominantly made from dried fruit, nut butters and coconut products. There is absolutely no comparison between that sort of dessert and the bombardment of joy that comes from a single bite of homemade pie, cake or cookies. Can I surrender store-bought desserts and candies? Absolutely. I wasn't much of a fan anyhow. Can I surrender restaurant desserts? Absolutely. Too expensive anyhow. Do I need dessert every day? Definitely not. But once a week or so, desserts made by my hand with mostly real food ingredients shall return. There shall be cake, my friends. Oh, yes. There shall be cake.

1 comment:

  1. I agree the fruit and nuts are very good snacking foods. Eye appeal, texture appeal and salty/sweet.

    Interesting commentary,C.