Hello 2013. Goodbye sugar! And gluten. And dairy. And… Quinoa?
Jes and I began eating a strict paleo diet January 1st. We are taking the first 30 days of the new year to kick the sugar addiction and focus on a new way of eating.
Starting the Paleo Diet
On day 16, I posted the following on my personal Facebook profile:
Day 16 of paleo eating and going strong with NO sugar. The thought of most sweet stuff makes me sick.
An old buddy from high school (well, elementary school!) commented on that post and asked about my true thoughts on the diet. How hard/easy is it? Here goes…
Paleo Diet Research
After some research, we went the Whole 30 route to get started on the right track.
More strict than a normal paleo eating regime, we’re consuming NO SUGAR (including honey) except that which is naturally occurring in fruit, and excluding breads, wheat, gluten, dairy, beans and legumes (including peanuts and peanut butter), soy, whey and quinoa.
We’ve found a lot of contradicting thoughts and statements during our research on what we can and cannot eat on the paleo diet. Many sites suggest avoiding dairy, but then offer up recipes with sharp cheddar. Butter is another one that we’ve noticed people either avoid or use in moderation.
Jes discovered one point: goat’s milk and various derivatives (think feta cheese) are okay. When in doubt, avoid cow milk and other products derived from it, like most cheese and yogurt.
But we’ve had a bit of cheese and butter but aren’t worried about it. It doesn’t seem the same biting into a donut, for example.
The Paleo Diet while Breastfeeding
Jes wants to make sure she is eating healthy while breastfeeding our third little one – keeping baby’s and mama’s health a priority, obviously. But it was in fact breastfeeding that led us to the paleo lifestyle.
Jes was researching safe eating and exercise plans to try while nursing and she stumbled on some thoughts by a personal trainer who happens to be a mom of three. Paleo is the way to go, the trainer said, and is completely safe and healthy for everyone.
So, how hard is the paleo diet?
Honestly, if you are ready for a change in how you feel and are committed to eating to live instead if living to eat, I think you’ll love the paleo diet.
This is my favorite way of eating – no, living – compared to the many, many diet plans Jes and I have attempted in the past…
- We’ve tried losing weight on the Atkins diet.
- We’ve tried losing weight on the South Beach diet.
- We’ve tried losing weight on the G.I. diet.
- We’ve tried losing weight on Weight Watchers.
- We’ve tried losing weight paying crazy amounts of money at L.A. Weight Loss.
- We’ve tried losing weight and getting in shape by joining Bally’s gym.
Before our paleo discovery, the only diet I would recommend was the G.I. diet. Jes and I lost 50 lbs. each … basically following the principles outlined in the G.I. diet book by Rick Gallop, while exercising 3-5 times a week.
I don’t remember exactly how I felt while on the G.I. diet, except excited to lose that weight. However, I know I’ve never felt as good on any other diet as I do now. It’s crazy how all those bad carbs and sugar will get to you.
Now I drink mostly water, or have unsweetened tea as a treat. My stomach turns at the thought of many sweet things – soda, sweet tea, and many desserts. On occasion, I will have a craving for something sweet like chocolate chip cookies. But the feeling usually passes.
To me, I’ve notice the cravings aren’t as bad as I might think. And I’m taking a mental count of all the things I would have eaten if I wasn’t eating paleo. You see, I thought I was eating “pretty well” but would have a piece of candy or diet soda here and there. I thought it was more of a rare occasion that I would munch on a not-so-bad-for-you-right? treat or snack. Turns out, a lot more crap — especially sugar — was slipping into my mouth than I thought.
It’s not that I’ll never have those things again, but I’m committed to the Whole 30 … And it’s the first time a “diet” has been easy to stick to.
I’m still new to the paleo diet and learning every day. What do you think?