Crossing the half way point the whole Paleo thing is certainly getting easier, but there are definitely tons of landmines to navigate still.
Day 3 went much easier for me, perhaps I’m finally getting into the groove. Restaurant eating is proving a bit of a dicey road but I think I want to intentionally try to eat out more to test my reflexes.
Waking up with a hangover (even though I didn’t have a drop of alcohol the previous day), not packing enough snacks and having a tasty but not filling lunch made the second Paleo day drag on, but it ended with bacon wrapped chicken and sweet potato pancakes so all ended well.
Ah, the first day of Paleo! The beginning of my one week Paleo expedition began somewhat auspiciously after an afternoon and night of feasting. The trials of breaking my daily routines, attempting to avoid Coke Zero, and to eat a pure Paleo way on a day when I woke up especially irritable to begin with, certainly posed some challenges. However by the end of the day the challenge of the diet wasn’t about what I wasn’t eating but what I still had left to eat.
After a fun afternoon and evening with friends at a pool party, which was decidedly not Paleo but very delicious, I get to start my first day of Paleo with a bit of a food hangover. I’m sure having 5 beers over 8 hours may be contributing a little bit too it, but that’s hardly the stuff of hangovers over embarrassing internet photos. The food on the other hand, especially with the dessert selections that I made sure to try one of each of, definitely put things into high gear. Try this, I ate over 3300 calories over the course of the party and that wasn’t with a bunch of grazing or drinking high calorie cocktails. Ouch! But today is the beginning of one of the “clean” diet phases so I can pretend to be detoxing or what not. So what are the steps for getting this week kicked off?
The diet that I thought would be the easiest to square away has turned out to be the hardest: the Mediterranean Diet. As I have highlighted previously it’s mostly about trying to dress up a Standard American Diet into something that sounds healthy so that people can feel good about trying to eat healthy. If it wasn’t just lipstick on a pig I wouldn’t find the concept so offensive. I still wouldn’t bother eating it for 3 months just to pretend to be picking up a new eating style, but at least there could be a claim of some health benefit. That still leaves me to try to figure out what I’m going to do for an actual Mediterranean diet. As I worked through my backlog of podcasts this week I think I found some hints to what I’m looking at in the form of the diets of the Sardinians and Ikarians.
It’s two days until I start my one week of Paleo Diet. Yes, between vegan and Paleo I decided to try the latter. I’d like to be able to include my partner in it somewhat, and there is absolutely no way I’d be able to get him to try more than a bite or two of any vegan food at all. In the grand scheme it’s also going to be far more difficult to adapt my snacking and during the day eating around Paleo as well. All my snack bars have grains in them. I’m a huge fan of rice-based dishes for lunch, whether it be sushi, or burrito bowls or Chinese food. I therefore consider it a bit more of a challenge than adapting to veganism.
By far the biggest adaptation day for me is going to be next Friday. We are supposed to hang out on the town, which would include eating out in a restaurant and going to happy hours at various places. I need to, and will, do all of those things still but I’m going to have to do it in a Paleo friendly way. That will mean at most having one drink of something like wine, but probably not even that. That will also mean that any place we hit up I’ll have to eat in a Paleo friendly way. Gone will be my favorite indulgences of bread and rich, sugar laden desserts. I’m going with a strict dairy free Paleo, which somehow still includes butter, so I won’t even be adding cheese or yogurt to my diet either.
Instead of concentrating on what I’m leaving out, it’s best to concentrate on what I’m adding in, which is lots of delicious whole foods and nutritious meats. To keep things manageable I’m going to spend a good part of that Sunday planning my meals for the week and prepping things like snacks, breakfasts and making sure that I’m stocked up for everything I need for each of the dinners.
From the time I wake up Sunday morning until the time I wake up on Saturday morning I’ll be zealously Paleo, minus any annoying evangelism or air of superiority that some adherents are known for (and if you do run across me in such a state, please bitch slap me). The big question is if I’m going to go uber-Paleo and skip all artificial sweeteners (aka Coke Zero) for the entire week as well. Kind of me is excited at the prospect of going cold turkey for a week, yet if you look at my success in weening off this past week, I’m still stuck in the 5-6 cans a day range.
Stay tuned for more updates after tomorrow’s pre-Paleo week pool party at my friends house :). Sorry, I just wasn’t going to miss all the delicious but non-Paleo food for the experiment yet :).
I’m really itching to give a much longer duration experiment, including weekend nights, in as soon as possible. I’d like the experiment to be with one of the extreme, for lack of a better word, diets that I’ll be cycling through. I’ve decided it will either be a week of Paleo or a week of Veganism. I’m going to start the trial on 7/28 and I’m going to end it the morning of 8/4. Once I select a diet I’ll lay out the rules that I’ll be following for that diet. I’ll be asking around to see if anyone has some suggestions on which of the two I should select. From friends and family I’ll probably get “none of the above” :).
I was quickly chatting with some friends over dinner tonight and the topic of my blog came up. These are some pretty smart guys but their overall comment on my monthly summary was, “I have no idea what the hell you were talking about.” I guess after several years of digesting and distilling data I had thought I had provided a summary short enough not to be boring but long enough to have some information. It seems some background information is going to be in order however. I’ll be trying to correct that in upcoming posts.
I’m doubling down on my theory about what is causing my leg stiffness. Today I was stuck in the car for multiple hours, when I wasn’t stuck in a chair somewhere for multiple hours. I walked in total just over three quarters of a mile. What’s worse is I didn’t have time to do my workouts, or even some basic stretching or yoga. The net result is my legs are even tighter than yesterday and I can feel it from my ankles to my waist. I have to figure out a way to get a lot more mobility in my day to day lifestyle.