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: Intro, Week 1, Week 2, Week 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?