Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gone Paleo

What exactly is this new Paleo thing I am doing?
Good question. Let’s focus on the what I AM eating on this plan: lots and lots and oh my is that another vegetables, lots of organic, free range, barn raised, grass eating meat, plenty of avocado, and a little bit of fruit.
And now, let’s consider what I am NOT eating: no grains, no legumes, no dairy,  no alcohol and no sugar.  No processed food. PHEW.

Even I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it for 15 days and am not dreading another 15.

Why Paleo for me?
I have been counting calories and STARVING. I lost a few pounds but I couldn’t stand myself. I went to a BBQ while considering paleo and talked to a guy who has been Paleo for years. In my mind, that was a sign that it could be done and I should try it.  I stalked him like a creeeper chatted him up for a couple of hours and felt more prepared. Plus, I felt as though I could go ahead and prove this lifestyle wrong. Paleo promises a bunch of things I was pretty sure it wouldn’t deliver. What the heck. I’m game.

Ok, before we get to the diet, what do you the Great Justine, think of it so far?

So glad you asked! I am amazed by a few things.  Unlike when I am counting calories, I am not starving all the time. Indeed, my hunger is pretty much in control, unheard of for me. My stomach is quiet. Typically, when I diet my stomach is LOUD. Seriously loud. It growls when it’s empty and I swear it growls after I eat too. So far, my stomach has rumbled a few times but then I go feed myself some turkey wrapped around avocado and cucumber and I’m fine. 

I don’t get shaky. I have always had issues with my blood sugar, especially when I try and restrict calories. This time out my blood sugar has stayed fairly stable. Once or twice I felt shaky, but then I ate some almond butter and celery and felt fine.

Shockingly, I haven’t craved sugar, at all. WOW. When I did that little 3 day sugar challenge I couldn’t wait for day 4. Not so this time. I have completely stayed away from dried fruit because I find that is one food I can happily sub out for any desert with added sugar . I find myself cramming fistfuls of raisins in my mouth and feeling like some kind of drug addict the whole time. Problem? I don’t have a problem. I could quit these raisins any day. Just not today, oh please for the love of all that is holy, not today.So, I’m just saying no to the dried fruit.

This stuff? Love it so much I can't even have it in the house.

Come on. You can’t possibly have given up all that stuff this whole time. Tell us about your fall from the wagon of righteousness.

Caught me. 
Once I had a salad that inadvertently got an edamame on it and I ate it. 

I accidently ate one  peanut. 

This VERY MORNING I tried a sample of freshly made iced coffee at Starbucks and found that, naturally, it was full of sugar. Who does that? Just adds a bunch of sugar to iced coffee and then calls it iced coffee? Starbucks does, that’s who.  My bad. 

Finally, on a special anniversary dinner out I decided before I left to have wine with dinner. Everything else was Paleo. AND I’ve decided to have wine one night on this long vacation weekend we have planned. Gasp In Shock.

Have you lost a ton of weight? Take a before photo?
I don't mean to be bad. I'm just drawn that way.
On this 30 day program I am not allowed to weigh myself, but who are we kidding, of course I have. Once.
I found I had lost 2 pounds, which made me happy. Furthermore, my stomach is not so bloated all the time, something I suspect happens from dairy and not from the salt I used to blame. 

A lot of people out there take a before photo. I considered it. The problem is that in my black lycra work out shorts and a sports bra I look pretty much just fine. Those shorts suck you in like nobody's business. So I tried on a pair of jeans that are neither to big or too small. Muffin. Top. City. No way on God's green earth am I taking a photo of THAT. Heck no. I'm adding heels, a blousy top and BOOM  I'm long and lean again, so please take a snapshot or two. 

I decided I'm just not a before and after kinda person. I'm more of an after and let's pretend there was no before type. So, heck yeah, after I am lean like a long cool glass of water on a hot summer's day, then I'm taking a bunch of after photos. You know, to document my progress and all that.
Why no grains?

The Paleo diet claims that grains and dairy cause inflammation.  Furthermore, grains cause kind of a funky response in our system.  Grains are composed of carbohydrates, and those carbs are turned into glucose (a type of sugar) in our system to be used for energy and various other tasks to help our body function – any glucose that isn’t used as energy is stored as fat.
Grains evoke an inflammatory response in the gut. They spike insulin levels. They have an acidying effect on the body. Ultimately, they are “empty calories.”
Here’s a page that nicely explains each of these points:

What about artery clogging saturated fat?
To know me is know that I am by nature an inquisitive creature. I do no take your word for it. Nor do I blindly believe some half assed, poorly run study funded by a major corporation with a dog in the fight. I did a lot of reading. You can too. Google saturated fat + paleo diet.  Suffice to say that I am no longer at all convinced it’s bad for you.

Is saturated fat healthy?

If you don’t want to click and read here’s an excerpt from Mark’s Daily Apple:

“As you can see, there is a faint, weak correlation between fat intake and heart disease, but it’s just that: a correlation. It shouldn’t confirm anything except the need to run controlled experiments to directly measure the effects of dietary fat. Unfortunately, that correlation was enough to get Keys the front cover of Time and widespread acclaim as the father of dietary science. His hypothesis gained traction in the scientific community and mainstream CW, a position it has never really relinquished. Subsequent controlled experiments to measure the effects of saturated fat have been either inconclusive, poorly designed, or completely unsupportive of the saturated fat-is-evil hypothesis, but because the starting point assumes it to be true, those inconclusive or unsupportive results become aberrations while the poorly designed studies become canon.”

So that's what up for me during this 30 days.

So far?



  1. Very cool! I'm so glad this is working for you :)

    I went gluten free almost 4 weeks ago - similar research about gluten and inflammation links - so far, so good.

  2. You should check out

    He's got a posting on his take about this stuff...I think he makes a good point about fish
    being not such a good idea these days vs Paleo times.

    Im a bit from Missouri about this (i.e. the "show me" state).

    Personally I like the mediterranean diet and I think it's pretty healthy. M 8> olive oil.

    I think for some gene groups (e.g. eskimos) saturated fat is good. Also perhaps with mega exercise we can get away with it too...but for most couch potatoes it's bad.

    The recommendation about eating minimally processed foods is I think a generically good idea.