PaleO Snap!

So over the weekend Jess and I started our adventure into this Whole30/Paleo deal. I think we were a bit confused. Now I think I’ve got it sorted out. The Whole30 is essentially a 30 day cleanse/challenge which is a more strict and streamlined version of Paleo. Paleo itself is already pretty rigid in terms of what you should/shouldn’t eat, but the Whole30 is on another level.

From what we can ascertain we went Paleo. We didn’t contract “polio” as Chase would have everyone believe, instead we began a journey into a cleaner and healthier way of eating. So far it’s been a bit taxing, but not impossible. Heck, I’ve lost like 3lbs since Saturday so we must be doing something right! But today, one of the owners of our gym posted that on August 19th they would be starting the Whole30 challenge. At first I was VERY intimidated by the challenge, but then the more I got to chatting with the gym folks the more I became intimidated by them for me to NOT do the challenge. And so I inadvertently signed Jess and I up for this thing. The good news, we will have had like a 6 day head start to get our bodies adjusted to the change.

I posted the other day about this whole change, but since then some new information has come out and I’d like to make some updates. For starters, I will be giving up sugar of all forms. Yes, this means my morning coffee(s). I’ve gone over it a thousand times in my brain on how to accomplish this no sugar thing and still have my coffee, but I just can’t drink straight black coffee. It doesn’t work for me. What I can drink, and really enjoy is unsweet tea. That is something I can live with. Other things that I’ll be giving up are all forms of grains, which means pastas, breads, oatmeal, etc. Also, there will be no beans of any type. That doesn’t mean that I’m going to be living off water and grass for the next 30 days. I have a whole list of vegetables, fruits, fats, and meats that I can load our kitchen with. Jess and I are like Mr. Wizard and a female version of Bill Nye in the kitchen when it comes to making delicious meals, so this shouldn’t be a problem.

What IS a problem is the shock that my body is currently going through. Like I said I’ve lost anywhere between 3 and 5 pounds since Saturday, and it’s only Tuesday! Right now I am laying in bed feeling hollow and hungry. I feel like I’m just empty and need to eat something. But a) there’s nothing here to eat that meets the criteria or our new diet and b) I refuse to gorge myself of food at 11 at night. I know this is temporary, but it still sucks. I just don’t think we were initially prepared so we didn’t stock out kitchen with enough proper foods to sustain us for the week. Yeah we got through the first few days, but now we’re scrambling and everything feels like we’re giving something up and not like we are making a smart choice. I don’t think I’m replacing the stuff I’ve given up with anything that’s providing me with the fullness I had before. Again, this will take some time to adjust, but tonight… It sucks. I’m restless and want a damn plate of nachos.

So that’s my rant. I figured if I can’t have any food, I can at least make a post about it. This feels like a good outlet. I feel better about the choice we’ve made and hope to keep up with the rigor. Stay tuned for more updates and progress reports!

Oh, the cover photo for this post is my sausage, spinach, and egg frittata. It wa amazeballs. I plan on having a lot of that over the next 30+ days.

The Whole30, or at least the Half30… or maybe Half15

Over the past few months Jess and I have been doing fantastic at going to the gym. We’ve also done really well with our eating. That’s not to say that there’s no room for improvement, but in general we’re doing pretty good. On the flip side however we’ve kinda stalled out.

This happens with virtually any fitness/health routine. You do great the first week, maybe a month, but eventually you hit a wall or plateau and just come to a halt. Your body becomes use to the way things are, the level of effort required to do your WODs and most of the toxins have been sweated out in the gym. Slowly but surely, things slow down. Something has to change. With Jess and I its our diet. Like I said, we’re not making bacon cheeseburger pizzas for dinner or loading up on double decker tacos, but we are making choices that could be improved upon. That’s where the Whole30 comes in. Most of the people we talk to at the gym are on Paleo¬†or some form. The owners have touted about Whole30 for quite a while now so we decided to tip-toe into the arena.

The Paleo Diet

We did our research, looked over the can/can’t have lists and decided it was going to be a lot tougher than we anticipated. With 2 kids (11 and 19 months), it was going to be even tougher. So we decided to do a modified version. I’m deeming it the Half15! Mainly because we’re still consuming SOME of what we did before, and we’re going to start off with 15 days rather than the full 30.

So here’s the rundown. Our biggest hurdle is alcohol. We’ve decided to not have any alcohol, with the exception of a wedding we’re going to in 2 weeks, for 30 days. This is pretty big for us. We added it up and on any given week, we would go through a 12 pack for beer or 1-2 bottles of wine. I know, we might as well join AA… but not really. This seems like a small amount, but over the course of a month it adds up, both in calories and on the wallet. We don’t NEED that beer while cooking dinner then another with our dinner, so we might as well cut it out of our diet. And yes, wine does pair nicely with red meat or fish (or tacos, or burgers, or hummus, etc). But again, we don’t need it. So why not eliminate it completely from our diet. Only good can come of that, right? We’ve already established that we will most likely be grumpy at each other or pout about not having our whiskey drink while watching TV, but we’re gonna stay strong and stick to it.

The next part of our plan is to eliminate as many grains, starches, sugars, and such as we can from our diet. This is a big part of Paleo and the Whole30. Much of the breads, pastas, rice, flour, etc that we eat on a daily basis is so processed that it has virtually no nutritional value, and what value is there actually does more harm than good. I’m not going to preach about what other’s should/shouldn’t eat, I’m just going to know what we’re doing. Now there will be some exceptions and I’m not going to rush out and buy a tiny bag of almond flour for $12, but for the most part we’re cutting things out. Another big change is the fats which we use to cook our foods in. We don’t go Paula Deen style and use a stick of butter when scrambling an egg, but watching what you cook your food in, is just as important as the food that’s being cooked. So we’ll look for coconut oil and what ever other approved fats we can.

There are things however, that we will not be giving up just yet. For example our morning coffee is something that is needed. We probably won’t die if we don’t have it, but other’s around us might. We will continue to use the Truvia and fat free creamer. After all, most of the “paleo creamers” have coconut milk and raw eggs. Nope. That’s not gonna happen. In addition, there will be some occasions when we’ll have some bread or peanut butter. We have to stay realistic. If we go cold turkey and eliminate all these things off the bat then we’ll be setting ourselves up for failure. This is something we’re going to have to ease into. Over time we may find it easier to eliminate these types of things, but for now, we’ll just do our best.

As I mentioned before, we have 2 kids. One is a picky eater and the other is a pickier eater (I’ll let you decide which is which). They live off things that are processed and laden with sugars. I’m not going to make my kids go through the change with us. I mean, Chase started middle school last week and I’m fairly confident they don’t have a Whole30/Paleo option on the lunch menu. And when he gets home in the afternoon, its been a good 5+ hours since he’s eaten, so if he goes for a bag of chips or Pop-tart, I’m ok with that. We can certainly cut out some of the bad options that we provide in the house. Sugary drinks will be replaced with less sugary drinks, we’ll have more fruits and vegetables available on the off chance that he goes for some carrots instead of Funions.

Its going to be a process. It won’t simply happen over night, and we will stumble along the way. But we will also be there to help each other along. We will do our best to chronicle this adventure and see how things progress over the next 30 days (or 15 for now).