The Paleo Experiment: My 30 Day Summary

If you’re not an avid blog reader,  you may not know that I’ve been diligently documenting a whole month of Paleo eating. (Here are links to the posts: IntroWeek 1Week 2Week 3 and Week 4). After I finished the challenge,  I took some after photos, and noticed that even though I’d only lost three or four pounds on the diet, the difference was visible and actually quite striking for only 4 weeks–especially since I’d been slacking on my actual workout for the last week and a half or so.

In the past week, I’ve been working on trying to reintroduce foods back into my diet and have found, predictably, that the adjustment to anything more than the smallest amounts isn’t so smooth. I think I can pull it off every now and again, but the bloated feeling from grains and other foods is probably not worth the short-term high I get from the foods. I am a big fan of the 90% rule but am considering eliminating gluten altogether. I would like to experiment a bit with raw dairy at some point.

This is one of the down sides of eating clean. There is something very enjoyable for me about eating ice cream, good crackers, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate with whipped cream, etc. Having to either limit it to very small amounts eaten infrequently or getting sick from them isn’t exactly a fun decision. Then there is social pressure of eating what everyone else is, which is easy to overcome but for me a good way to get lazy and indulgent.

Ideally, one would slowly ratchet up carbs in the form of extra food before any binge-fest, and find alternatives to food as pick-me-ups when necessary. For me this used to include acupuncture, riding my bike, sitting in a sauna or hot tub, etc. but of course healthy alternatives are always a good option–dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s, blended frozen cherries and coconut milk “ice cream,” almond flour pastries, etc.

I do think that my short-term highs from junk food will eventually fall to the wayside when considering the long-term effects of a Paleo diet. I’m interested in hearing your experiences. 1) Did you find that eating Paleo improved your mood and performance MORE after the first 30 days or so? Any experiences at, say, six months that you didn’t have at 1 month? 2) How do you deal with cravings and wanting to sometimes eat whatever is around at social gatherings or when spending time with family? (This question is primarily directed at people who don’t measure all their food and eat from containers.) 3) Any other thoughts or experiences?

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  1. Hi,
    I have seen a significant change in my bloated ness and overall digestive health since switching to paleo, and its only been 9 days.


  2. Awesome! Keep me posted. 🙂

  3. I’ve found that I’m fine with milk and since I don’t like cheese that’s easy. No social pressure to eat yoghurt so I just skip that. And ice cream is the cheat dessert that doesn’t make me feel sick (despite an ingredient list as long as your arm). But I won’t buy ice cream for the freezer – I’ll go and buy a scoop or two of Italian gelato and walk home while eating.
    For social things I usually cut up some fruit and serve for everybody along with the cake. And then ignore the cake. Some times I’ll eat the cake but only if it was home made.

    Long term… Paleo makes my tummy happy and I’m awake during the day. I am especially happy to be rid of the post lunch slump. Falling asleep at your desk everyday is just not useful.

  4. I am itching to try coconut yogurt!

    Agreed on the long-term benefits.

  5. I just found this post after reading you update on the WDS and Leo’s talk. Too bad we missed each other at the conference, I would’ve enjoyed talking to you.

    I actually made a decision during WDS to do a 1-month Paleo experiment after talking to Matt Madeiro. Glad to see other people have tried this crazy idea and ended up liking some of the adjustments. Looking forward to reading the rest of your blog.

  6. Yael Grauer says:

    Sorry I missed you! Definitely let me know how it goes.

  7. I did a paleo diet experiment and lost 13 lbs in one month with no exercise using it. But I find a paleo diet to be impractical for most people…

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