Paleo – My 30 Day Experiment

I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition and have tried many different diets over the last 10 years, depending on my goals at the time.

At the extreme end, I lost 50lbs with a very strict calorie counting, carbohydrate rotation diet. It felt a real achievement, however it was completely unsustainable and I was miserable most days – I eventually snapped and went back to eating rubbish again.

My fitness goals to date have always been weight, body-fat and physical appearance related.

Today things are quite different.

Whilst I still care about how I look, I’m more interested in a being in good health and feeling great. I know it needs to be a lifestyle.

I’ve been looking at the Paleo diet (aka caveman diet) recently and picked up The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf a couple of weeks ago – it was eye opening. I must admit, I skipped a lot of the technical parts of the book (I wanted a non technical why, but more importantly the how), however the case for a meat and plant based diet is laid out in a very compelling way and covers many examples of people who struggled with all types of illnesses which were dramatically improved by eating a paleo diet. The book also goes beyond nutrition, covering aspects like sleep, stress, work / life balance etc.

It makes sense really. Our ancestors kept things simple – they gathered their own food by killing animals and foraged what they could from the land. Their lifestyle was also relatively low stress (other than the threat of being eaten by something bigger than them :)) – they slept long, rose when they happened to wake up and spent less time working (gathering food) than they did connecting with family and friends. Is it a co-incidence that they didn’t have the levels of obesity, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease we seem to be having?

I’m in. It feels like the a solid, sustainable way to live if your goals are to be in good health, feel good and look good.

So, for the next 30 days, I will be avoiding dairy, grains, processed foods, sugars, legumes, starches and alcohol. I’ll be eating fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, nuts, seeds and healthy fats.

Once you get your head around what you can eat, read some paleo recipe books and star planning, you realise there is actually quite a lot of flexibility and options. For example, today looks like this:

  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs with tomatoes, mushrooms and bacon
  • Lunch: green salad with eggs, bacon, avocado, pistachios and cashews.
  • Dinner: home made burgers and salad (might have some sweet potato wedges too – generally sweet potatoes are allowed)

I’ll post how things go over the next 30 days – wish me luck 🙂

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