I had hoped that putting my struggles with getting back on track would reinvigorate my determination towards completing this phase, and thus being able to move forward with the experiment in general. Unfortunately it has not. Instead I’ve gotten so frustrated with the process that even the daily logging of food, moods and other markers seemed to become a chore. Keep in mind that this is something I have done daily, religiously for 3.5 years and at no point in time did it ever seem like a chore until now. Until I build up some more reserves or get my groove with that again I’m going to punt back to a more free form way of eating. I’m still going to try to emphasize whole foods over processed foods. I’m just not going to be so mindful of what I am eating in any given moment in terms of whether it fits some preexisting eating style label. I’m afraid if I try to power through with it then not only will I fail to actually achieve those objectives but that I will also break the 3.5 year span of data that I have successfully collected and want to continue to collect for the foreseeable future.
When I went on vacation last week I knew I was going to have some minor breaks in my Paleo protocol. With a month and a half off I didn’t think a lobster roll or two, or maybe a beer, would impact things too much. I would say each day I had one transgression, usually for a pretty good cause. By a “good cause” I mean I wanted to enjoy the flavors of the New England coast (where I was) without going too far off the rails. Sometimes it would be some bread with a sandwich. Another time it would be trying an IPA from a local brewery. I also had the occasional slice of pizza or ice cream cone. All of this are very not Paleo, and in a post-experiment world I wouldn’t even think twice about it. I did however give myself a minor mental beating about it, although not enough to deter me from doing it another day.
The real problem came when I got home. I know human nature dictated that this would happen, but I was hoping that if I left the Paleo transgressions on vacation they wouldn’t follow me home. Unfortunately they’ve gotten worse with each passing day. What started off as an indulgence of one ice cream sandwich is now two a day. Yesterday I added cake to the mix as well as some fried wontons. I don’t need these calories. In fact I think my hunger levels being elevated are a direct result of eating this highly processed foods. I’m not even indulging in healthy non-Paleo food. I’m simply downing junk food. For one week, while on vacation, it was an understandable and acceptable violation. At this point it’s just me being lazy and lacking will power.
Don’t get me wrong, I love all the foods on my whole food Paleo protocol. I crave salads, tomatoes, berries and so on. Still, I crave ice cream and bread more. If I was indulging in some good ice cream, like my homemade Oreo Cheesecake Ice Cream, or some fresh crusty homemade Tartine bread I would again be willing to say it’s worth it. However I’m instead eating these mediocre at best products out of sheer boredom or laziness. What the hell, dude!
I’m hoping that writing this to myself will get some of this apathy out and get me more back in line with eating the whole foods Paleo for the remainder of this experiment phase (to the end of August). I’m hoping that two weeks of divergence doesn’t totally skew things when I get my blood test a month from now. I’m thinking that it shouldn’t but that this was less than ideal. I do know that overall I’m not feeling much different than when I’m eating the whole foods Paleo protocol. There are some minor differences but it’s really in the noise. The only substantial change is my level of hunger and craving for junk foods. I go into “Cookie Monster” mode very easily now. I’ve picked up those few pounds of water weight from the increased glucose store levels that accompanied the increase in carb consumption, but I’m not going to worry about that. My digestion also doesn’t seem to be as regular as it was before and through the vacation either. I don’t know if that’s because of the indulgences in these non-Paleo types of foods or if it’s the substantial reduction in the volume of plant food that my diet has taken on recently. I’ll be playing with that last variable when Mediterranean Diet hits in September.
Here’s to seeing if I can get my shit back together…
This seems to happen with each of the diet phases, at least the first two. Like most people that change up their lifestyle we settle into a routine. Once we are in a routine the goings on of a given day are actually quite boring. While I could sit here and type out each day that I ate eggs (or a shake) for breakfast, had sushi (or a Chipotle Paleo Bowl) for lunch and had a huge salad (or one of other three options) for dinner, I really don’t see the point. I have a food journal for that. Some days may be interesting and worth blogging about. Maybe I’ll try a new recipe. Maybe I’ll have some training event that is especially noteworthy. Other than that though it’s all starting to sound rather repetitive. I’m therefore going to drop back to only blogging on days that really stand out to me and leave the rest to summary reports at the weekly and/or monthly level.
Sorry, but there is no way to abbreviate that any more. I’m a guy that likes spending time with people in a social setting surrounding food. Call that the curse of my ethnic background but food, and often drink, is a standard part of that arrangement. We aren’t talking a gourmet foodie Instagram worthy meal every time, but we also aren’t talking about just hot dogs and hamburgers either. Abstaining from the wine or drinks is pretty easy, there are other rather good options. Abstaining from almost all the food is another matter.
With Hurricane Arthur right off the coast our previously oppressively hot and muggy weather has turned almost spring like. What better way to enjoy the weather than with some running and then watching Fourth of July fireworks with friends.
So much for being on a roll. One free day turned into two, but will not turn into three. At least I held myself to a good clean Paleo diet all day.
A Muslim friend of mine pointed out to me that I should try fasting like they are doing right now for Ramadan. I actually have informally been doing that periodically, but have looked at doing that once I hone down what my personally optimal diet is. But once I started eating I didn’t want to stop. At least being on Paleo without any Paleo-labeled (so not really Paleo) junk food around the house, it was highly nutritious eating.
With one month of Paleo behind me, I look forward to continuing the success that I have had so far as well as to hopefully get a little more cooking experimentation in. With some holidays and vacations mixed in that won’t necessarily be easy, but we’ll find out how that goes soon enough. As it was, today was a relatively ordinary day with some good eating and finally a roll on the exercise front.
With a day of training, but with some necessary errands mixed in, I didn’t plan on doing much more than eating my huge vegetable and nuts snack, eating some salad then coming home and repeating the same routine. Boy did I call that wrong!
Okay, I’m seriously going to go running today. I promise!