Going Paleo: In Dept Guide and Easy Recipe
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Blogger’s Note: This post is long, I know. You can scroll through the headers to find my results, a recipe, and what my cheats were if you don’t want 100% of the Paleo details.
Let me start with this sentiment: I LOVE GLUTEN. I LOVE ALL THE FOODS THAT HAVE GLUTEN IN THEM. I WOULD LIKE TO EAT SOME GLUTEN.
I don’t have a gluten allergy, and am not really a “granola-y” type. People that fall into those categories are just fine, I just decided Paleo was a promising route for other reasons. What are those reasons, you say? I knew you’d ask.
I…love carbs. I…enjoy desserts. I…eat way too much sugar. Neighboring those sweet teeth of mine is a love for naps. Not just because they are relaxing, but because by, like 3:30, I feel like I can only muster up the energy to crawl in bed for a while and rest my weary eyes. I’m totally zonked, and you can’t really be that way if you have children and a family and video games to play. So, too much sugar, no energy, must fix problem.
What is Paleo
I’m bout’ta break it down with a simple explanation, and a link to someone who can explain it a lot better than I can: Basically, a Paleo (Paleolithic) diet is focused on eating like the first humans did, before grains and processed foods were introduced. So, it’s like our bodies really can’t hang with the addition of a ton of carbohydrates and foods laced with things that keep them fresh, etc. It’s about taking it back to the root of things, man. So think things a caveman could and would eat: Meat, vegetables, some fruits, a few carbohydrates. (Some people go Primal and also eat Dairy.)
Meet Juli. She’s in charge over at my current favorite Paleo blog, paleOMG. She recommends taking a peek at this for more info about what Paleo eating is, and why we should do it. She’s also funny. I like her.
What did I do?
I had to ask about a few things here and there, like Popcorn and Peanut Butter, but it’s really pretty basic:
- Increased my proteins with the addition of eggs and meat to every meal
- Added a ton of vegetables
- Ate more fruut
- Stopped eating grains, legumes (Peanut Butter/Sad face), and processed sugar, most dairy
- Learned to love coconut
- Got a little tired of scrambled eggs
1. This took some getting used to. I liked meat before, but wasn’t a huge meat eater (TWSS). I started adding a meat protein to breakfast, lunch, and dinner with bacon, sausage, grass-fed beef, chicken, and lots of eggs.
2. Vegetables weren’t a huge deal. Fresh produce really goes a long way, and if you have meat or eggs, you can throw almost any combination of veggies together on the stove and come up with something delicious. I ate a lot of spinach salads with sprouts and strawberries, too.
3. I like fruit, I just always let the kids have more of it for snacks than I eat. The first week is sort of brutal when your body starts realizing it isn’t getting carbohydrates anymore, so I ate a lot of bananas and oranges when out of nowhere I’d be drowsy and feeling ravenous.
4. Peanuts are technically a bean… NOOOOOOOOO. It’s not so bad. You can eat almond butter or other nut butters which are delicious. And I plan on trying a coconut butter recipe. Cutting out the bread was more sort of like “Awe. I shouldn’t have that.” than anything else. By the end of the week it wasn’t really a thought. I didn’t even want a piece of cheese pizza the little ones were eating.
5. Coconut is incredible. I had no idea how versatile and delicous it can be. Unrefined Coconut Oil
is fabulous, you can literally eat a spoonful of it to get a dose of fat and stop carb cravings, and it tastes so good. Coconut milk, also awesome. Rich and heavy, totally satisfying in coffee and sauces. Coconut meat and Coconut Flour were also two things I used in a number of recipes, all of them good. Love the coconut. Hug the coconut. It’s full of nutrients and fiber and tastes super fresh.
6. Man. The eggs. I have never been an egg-eater. The texture sort of grosses me out and I would rather have waffles every day for the rest of my life. They were made better by vegetables and lots of hot sauce (which isn’t entirely as low sodium as I should have gone with.) Honestly, Paleo came after a large grocery trip, so I wasn’t as prepared as I could have been. We had a lot of eggs. I ate a lot of eggs. I’m over them for a few days.
Do you Cheat and What is Carb Flu?
Not once did I cheat.
Of course I did, and let’s talk about Carb Flu or also known as “Low carb flu”.
I chose a weird week to start eating Paleo. There was Easter, full of candy, my Birthday, and a friend’s birthday, then the Medieval Fair. These things are all filled with delicious, yummy, carbs and sugar. So how did I do?
I really wanted a Reese’s Egg. Please. Give it to me. I didn’t have one, but I did sneak these things:
- 5 Reese’s Pieces Eggs
- 2 pieces of a Sushi roll containing rice at my Birthday dinner
- 1 Screwdriver, and a Strawberry Limeade shot thingy, proabably high in sugar
- A few drinks at Rachael’s Birthday dinner
- Like 6 bites of delicious, glorious, magnificent funnel cake at the Fair
- Some American Cheese here and there in eggs and a piece of Swiss Cheese on a burger (bunless, of course.)
I don’t think I did terribly for a huge diet change. And that funnel cake was worth it.
Okay, Carb Flu, you bastard. Your body is used to carbohydrates and sugars because they are in a ton of stuff we eat. Most packaged foods, flavored creamer in your coffee, if you have too much fruit… sugars. They are everywhere. So when your body suddenly stops getting them, it weeps for you.
I felt great the First 3 Days. On Day 4 I was totally out of it. I would start tasks and forget what I was doing. I felt confused and extremely tired. I also had a general feeling of being plain bummed out. I woke up that night and felt like I was getting the real flu. I stayed up for a couple of hours thinking I couldn’t get out of bed because my joints were so sore. The next morning I was pretty cranky, but powered through it by eating a banana and drinking a bunch of water. I think I had another banana that afternoon just because I was having a hard time.
It definitely wasn’t fun, and I was shocked at the emotional reaction it induced. Since those couple of days I have felt really great, so I’m hoping my body is getting used to the new way of things.
Paleo Weel 1 – Rundown
I’m sticking with it for sure. It was a little strange at first, and I need to work a lot more on meal planning and prepping food so it’s ready to cook, but overall, I love the change. Here are some points for Week 1:
- Weight Loss: 7 pounds (!!!) I have been bitching about the 6 pounds I gained over the holidays since, well, the holidays. I immediately started seeing the numbers on the scale drop after cutting out “bad stuff”. After my birthday, the rare heavy drinks night, I had put a pound back on, but this morning am still down 7 total. I weigh at the same time every day before breakfast, and some of that is probably water weight, as we women do. I was totally jazzed about this, and expect it to slow down a bit after the first couple of weeks, which is understandable.
- The belly: This is more for women I think. Sometimes we feel like we look rather full. The lovely word “bloat” comes to fruition. It’s a terrible word, but easily applicable for us ladies. We like flat stomachs. Every morning I have gotten out of bed and been amazed at my stomach area. I feel like I’m eating a ton of food, but never feel like my jean buttons are tight. It’s totally awesome.
- I eat A LOT: I feel like I’m just powering through avocados and almonds and steak, but never have that terrible food-cloud looming over my head. I just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full, and the amount of fat you get from Paleo foods really keeps you full.
- You cook a lot more: This has been a bit of a struggle to keep up with. Like I said, going Paleo was sort of poorly planned, so I’ve had to wing it with a bunch of recipes, but I definitely think it’ll be easier the next trip. Cutting vegetables ahead and having them ready seemed to save me a lot of time, so I’ll have to try it with the meat, too.
- Eating in the car is virtually impossible: There’s a reason for that, we shouldn’t be having all the fast food we eat. But sometimes when we are out all day, it’s nice to hit the drive thru. Paleo makes this a thing of the past. I suggest finding a Chipotle, Qdoba, or some sort of unbreaded chicken salad if you can.
- More Energy: This takes a few days, really it took the whole week for me to not feel sluggish at some point. As long as I get enough fat in my meals, I feel great.
I’m definitely going to try to make this a lifestyle. It is a whole new way to eat and stock your kitchen, but I feel like the physical results I’ve had so far are awesome, and should only get better. It’s really pretty easy after the first few days, and you feel good about making more down-to-earth choices for your body. It seems to like them, too.
Recipe: Paleo Cereals
Now, my favorite Paleo recipe so far is one after my own heart. Cereal is my favorite food. All cereal. The nutty, the marshmallowy, the crunchy, the Cinnamon Toast slightly soggy. Here is my own recipe for a Paleo Cereal that I’ve eaten at least once a day since starting this thing, sometimes twice. SO GOOD. Paleo Cereal.
Ready for this? Because it takes about 2 minutes to make:
Calories: 457 Carbohydrates: 15 grams
- 1/4 cup Coconut Flakes
- 1/4 cup Raw Almonds
- 4 Tbs Raw Coconut Milk, full fat (the kind that comes in a can)
- 1/4 cup Coconut Milk – (the kind you drink, usually 70-90 calories per cup.)
Put your Almonds, Coconut Shavings, and canned Coconut Milk in your bowl, pour the Coconut Milk from your fridge over to mix everything.
That’s it. There’s your cereal. Full of delicious fats and incredible texture.
EAT THIS PLEASE.
(I added bananas because I’ve almost eaten all the almonds. So you can add fruit if you want, just look at your carbs for the day.) And thank you, Target, for Tim’s coffee cup.
I’m excited about this journey, and I promise the next 3 weeks of posts about the trek through Paleo won’t be as long.
- ¼ cup Coconut Flakes
- ¼ cup Raw Almonds
- 4 Tbs Raw Coconut Milk, full fat (the kind that comes in a can)
- ¼ cup Coconut Milk – (the kind you drink, usually 70-90 calories per cup.)
- Put your Almonds, Coconut Shavings, and canned Coconut Milk in your bowl,
- pour the Coconut Milk from your fridge over to mix everything.