Yesterday, June 4, 2012, marks the first day of my new “cavewoman” lifestyle! I am adopting a new, simplified way of eating and hoping that it will carry over into many more of my life’s decisions. I have begun the Paleolithic (Paleo) Diet, more specifically, I’m embarking on the Whole30 journey.
You might recall from Sixth Grade Social Studies class that “Paleolithic” refers to the Stone Age. You know, cavemen and women sporting their Wooly Mammoth hides accompanied by their clubs and spears adorned with Saber Tooth Tiger teeth inlays. Yep, that Stone Age-- back before the Agricultural Revolution, before the abundance of grains and flours, before the availability of year-round strawberries, before the development of monosodium glutamate (MSG) and carageenan. Well, anyhow, the Paleo diet draws on the “hunters and gatherers” or Stone Age mentality. What can be hunted or gathered (meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits) are all that is to be eaten. It is ideal to eat a lean protein with complex carbs (from veggies and fruits) and healthy fat (oils, seeds, nuts, avocados, etc.) at each meal. That’s it!
Yes, you read correctly! No dairy (not even cheese, much to my chagrin), no grains (including all kinds of grain flours, cereals, and corn), no legumes (including soybeans and soy products as well as peanuts and peanut products), no processed junk (those products with lists of ingredients that go on for days because they’re composed of 18-letter words that only scientists can pronounce), no added sugar (the real stuff or the wannabes—honey, agave, maple syrup, stevia, Splenda, etc.), no additives (like the carageenan, sulfites and MSG sorts), oh yeah, and no white potatoes.
As I understand it, these products on the “forbidden” list are known to cause inflammation which leads to migraines, general aches and pains, and bloating. This diet of whole, unadulterated foods is intended to return one to the way one was originally intended to feel after eating—satisfied, without the baggage of bloat, blood sugar spikes, migraines, GI discomfort, etc. According to the Whole30 testimonials, a LOT of folks have had a turn around of some serious and some not-as-serious health problems after embracing this new way of life (See the website for full details. I don’t want to steal someone else’s glory and there really is SO much more than I could tell in one simple blog post!). And on top of all of this, making better food choices might lead to weight loss and better stamina to handle the daily tasks of life and athleticism. These food choices are supposed to be ideal for supporting athletic endeavors from every day tasks like bludgeoning a mountain lion to training for the Crossfit competition. While I don’t intend to have any run-ins with mountain lions and I’m not even close to being about to compete in the Crossfit competition, I am trying to be more purposeful about being active and kicking my own butt into gear!
I think that you probably get the point by now, so instead of continuing to beat a proverbial dead horse (I bet cave people didn’t beat horses after they were dead), let’s just cut to the chase. After much research and planning, I composed a menu for the week, went grocery shopping, and prepared myself for my adventure. Only problem was that I had planned to eat leftovers all week for lunch, but didn’t consider that on the first day, there is nothing to be leftover because nothing has yet been made! Oops! So, here’s what I ended up eating on Day One of my thirty day journey:
2 eggs with fresh spinach and fresh mushrooms
1 bundle of grapes
1 bottle of water
Blueberry Muffin Larabar
3 oz of baby carrots
1 bottle of water
Ground turkey tacos in lettuce leaves instead of taco shells
Homemade pico de gallo
Sauteed zucchini and onions
1 1/2 bottles of water
1 Apple pie Larabar
Notes: I know I should not have had two Larabars in one day. While it fits into the plan, the bars in conjunction with the grapes and banana probably added up too much sugar for the day. Better planning for tomorrow will equal less Larabars (And thank goodness! I can see how those could possibly get costly! If you ever find them on sale somewhere, please tell me!) and less sugar.
In spite of the fact that I was craving macaroni and cheese all day (pasta… no, cheese… no, milk… no) and the fact that everywhere I looked someone was telling me it was National Cheese Day (rub it in my face, why don’t you?!), Day One is now behind me! I have fought the battle and come out victorious. Now only 29 more days to go and a lifetime of wise food decisions thereafter.
Here’s to becoming a modern cavewoman!