My first blog topic will be on my four week long experience with The Paleo Diet! This diet has always intrigued me. To me, it’s not so much a diet as a change in lifestyle. So what is The Paleo Diet, you ask?
It’s a diet that was developed by a gastroenterologist that mimics eating the wholesome foods our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate in the Paleoithic era. Basically, it’s suppose to be one of the best diets for our evolutionary make-up. The diet is comprised of eating fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, tree nuts, and natural oils (olive oil, coconut oil, etc…). If a caveman didn’t have access to it, then you just don’t eat it. Because bread and dairy are completely cut out, this diet is suppose to be wonderful for those who have food sensitivities to gluten and dairy (I guess cavemen didn’t have access to cows?). 😉 Just to be safe, I’ve added a calcium and Vitamin D supplement to my diet so I don’t develop a deficiency. According to my last doctor’s appointment, my Vitamin D level was already low, so I’ll be continuing my usual Viactiv chew twice a day. I can’t say I’m surprised my Vitamin D level was low. I’m hardly ever outside in the winter to gain exposure to sunlight (and when I am outside, I’m bundled up from head to toe!).
One of the main reasons I’m doing this diet is to see how my body feels when I cut out refined sugar. Prior to this, I was a bit of a junk food junkie. It wasn’t uncommon for me to get a large, sugary latte in the morning, follow-up with candy as a mid-day snack, and have some ice cream dessert with dinner. After years of eating like this, I simply started to feel like the food I was eating: JUNK.
I’ve been doing The Paleo Diet for three days now and so far I’ve learned some important things. If you’re going to do this diet, do your research. I accidentally botched my diet on the first day. I made a pot of chicken chili (chicken breasts, pinto beans, corn, onion, and tomatoes) and didn’t realize that beans and corn were also cut out of The Paleo Diet. Woops! Apparently beans and corn are part of the legume family, which came after the Paleolithic era and are known to cause stomach upset in many people. Interestingly enough, many legumes in their raw form are toxic. Legumes have to be cooked, fermented, and sprouted in order to be safe to eat. I had no idea! Also, beans contain a certain sugar that is difficult for the digestive system to break down, which is why they’re known to cause intestinal gas.
Because I made the whole pot of chicken chili, I decided to eat it anyway and not let it go to waste. I figure eating a few legumes is better than, say, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ;). Avoiding sugar hasn’t been too bad so far. I think once the novelty of starting the diet wears off I’ll probably start missing my old junk food.
Once I establish a set Paleo meal schedule, I’ll start posting pictures and recipes. The picture in this post is the cover of Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo cookbook I downloaded on my e-reader. Since I’m only on day three of the diet, I’m still gathering the necessary recipe ingredients and scrounging for random food in the meantime. But here is a list of some of my snacks and meals:
Breakfast: Virginia sliced ham and eggs scrambled with diced onions and asparagus
Snacks: Mixed nuts, sweet potato chips, dried apple slices, grape tomatoes, pomegranate seeds
Lunch/Dinner: A whole lot of chicken chili (not exacty paleo-approved, but I tried!)
As a side note, I don’t believe sweet potatoes are allowed in some versions of the diet, but I think they’re pretty harmless. I’ve cut out regular potatoes but I’ll allow myself some sweet potatoes every now and then.
Thanks for reading! More to come!