I’ve been almost Paleo for as long as I can remember. Meals are easy. I like eating eggs for breakfast, have been known to order freezer packs of grassfed beef directly from farmers, and absolutely love a nice fresh salad. It’s the snacking that always gets to me. As much as I love eating meat and vegetables, I also love eating chocolate, jellybeans and other sundry snacks. Sugary soft drinks were a problem when I was working as a teacher, and I find them slowly creeping back into my diet during high-stress weeks riddled with deadlines.
When I lived in Tucson, it was a lot easier to limit snacks to weekly or bi-weekly cheat meals. Living in Eau Claire has made this a lot more challenging. I can’t ride my bike to community acupuncture when feeling frazzled, and don’t really have anything that could be considered a support system (at least, not compared to my wonderful desert friends.) Finding an outlet has been pretty challenging.
However, as a long-time advocate of the Paleo diet (managing editor of the Performance Menu, one of the proofreaders for Robb Wolf’s book and co-conspirator in the T-Nation interview, etc.) I really want to put my money where my mouth is.
SO I am about to embark on the 30-day Paleo challenge. And as a huge believer in transparency, I’d like to cover this process openly. Here are the questions I’d like to answer for myself and, of course, for all of you.
- Is it affordable? I’m not really big on pasta or anything, but have been known to eat rice and other cheap carbs from time to time. I’ll be documenting the exact cost of groceries for the Paleo diet, as outlined in the Paleo Solution, for two people.
- Will it make me crazy? Specifically, I’m wondering if my mood improves after the first 10 days or so and how I feel on this diet (no cheats included). I was noting to a friend the other day that eating gluten always leads to existential crises, so even when I do start incorporating 10% meals again I’d like to completely eradicate gluten from my diet.
- Will it support my workouts and sport? I’m a BJJ player on hiatus and am about to start this killer intense workout program written by Troy Anderson to help me get my cardio up so I’ll be ready to train again after we move in just over 6 weeks. As much as I think health is important, I’d be lying if I said succeeding in the gym and on the mat wasn’t a priority. Will I be tired on such low carbs, or will it help me ramp things up and kick some ass?
- Am I going to lose weight? Actually, I’m more concerned with body fat percentage than poundage. Specifically, I am wondering how big of an effect my non-Paleo snacks have been having on my body composition.
I will not be doing blood tests at this time. The last time I got them checked my numbers were very good and my doctor even asked me if I was an athlete. It was a grand moment.
I’ll be posting weekly updates for the next month or so. Feel free to chime in if you’re also doing the 30-day experiment, or if you have any questions or anything to add.