That’s right, my 30 days of following strict Paleo guidelines, is over. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. First, a recap of what Paleo is. Paleo is a gluten-free, grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and alcohol-free diet. It is focused on eating whole foods, lots of vegetables, along with a palm size piece of healthy, antibiotic-free protein with every meal. How did I feel after 30 days? I felt pretty good. Although my skin only cleared up a bit. And, I didn’t have an energy surge, however I didn’t feel as exhausted as I did before I went Paleo. Since I wasn’t eating carbs, I never felt that “my stomach feels so full and heavy because I just ate a giant bowl of pasta” feeling. That was nice – I always felt kind of light. Also, I lost some weight! I don’t know how much because I don’t own a scale, but I can say that my jeans definitely fit much better.
I was really looking forward to eating cheese again and sharing donuts with my kids. The unfortunate thing is that Paleo seemed to ruin my palate, because everything that I initially reintroduced wasn’t nearly as good as I remembered it! What! How can that be?! Yes, it’s true. It’s weird, but Paleo eating satiated me. I never really craved anything. Now that I’ve reintroduced everything back in, I crave things again! Bad things. Not to mention that after reintroducing things, my body has been in major strife. Non-Paleo things do not make my body feel as good. That said, I did Paleo as an experiment, not necessarily a complete lifestyle choice. It helped me get into better eating habits and eat out less. Major plus. I’m a foodie and I could never give up cheese entirely, no matter how bad it made me feel. I want to live a long time, but I also want to enjoy life. So, for the future, maybe I’ll have weeks where I eat 80(paleo)-20(non-paleo). Maybe some weeks will be 50-50. I want to feel good and be healthy, but I want to splurge too. For people who have major health issues though, I think Paleo is definitely something to look into.
Eating Paleo also forced me to try new things and here’s a list of my favorite things that I’ll definitely be making often (not because they are Paleo, but because they taste so good): Paleo pancakes, Paleo pudding, Chicken with Garlic Gravy (mmm..), Sweet Potato-Pork Belly Hash, Homemade mayo, Lamb meatballs, Harissa, and Chimichurri. All made from scratch.
Paleo is about eating more whole foods and that means you need to cook most of it yourself. Making things(paleo or not) from scratch has become a lost art and I’m determined to bring it back. We’re all so busy these days, but perhaps we should slow down and make a vinaigrette. I challenge all of you to make something from scratch (that you’d normally buy), like chicken broth, jam, or mayonnaise. Get some heavy cream and have your kids shake it in a jar to make some butter! I plan on trying some new things like bread, almond milk, fermented vegetables, and kefir/yogurt (and I’m going to hone my cheese, pasta making, and pie dough skills too!) Or you could go for something more complicated like making your own beer, like my cousin, Andrew! That’s my challenge for you: make something from scratch. Now, what would you like to make?
“Eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” – Mark Twain
“Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.” – Julia Child
Oh, in case you were wondering…..here are the things I ate for 30 days of Paleo.