My Experience With The Paleo Movement

Hey boys and girls =)

Happy Monday! Did you have a good weekend? Speaking of such, I read a humorous article, ( while I was off relaxing)  that is driving todays post.

It got me to thinking I’d share my experience with the whole Paleo movement. Yes, that’s what the article was on and her thoughts about it… so funny… but best read while you’re not eating or drinking 😉

But first, the weekend. I did a quick little field trip up to The Woodlands and while there decided to go check out their not so little mall. Lots to see and do… lot’s to buy if you’re in the mood. I was such a good girl and only came back with this fun little denim jacket that I can hardly wait for fall to break it out.

The bonus? it was only 12.00 on the clearance rack.  Score.

Add some jeans,  a tank, and Converse, and it will be perfect for my lazy rocker chick look kinda days 😉 Fashion… my other hobby 😉

This jacket…. yeah I’m fully aware it’s loaded with holes…. I love fun clothes =)

Now on with the show….

I do get asked if I know things about certain trending “diets” or food plans. I like it when I do and I can share my insights and hopefully that guides the person making that choice.

A few years ago I was invited to be a part of a local fitness challenge. I was excited ’cause for 90 days in the challenge we would do Crossfit so I’d have a new experience to add to my list. On that topic, in brief, I did enjoy it, I learned how to take things home and put my own “WOD” (work out of the day) together. I learned how to handle weights more, and a lot of them. I learned that my glutes really let me know they were there the day I back squatted over 200 lbs…several times 😉

I met some cool people, made a friend that I still have a close friendship with, oh, and I was doing this while I was also a couple months out from my third half marathon… extra calorie burn 😉

Did I continue ? No. I found it to be very pricey especially since I’m a pretty self motivated person who could go back to her routine and add what she had learned into it. I couldn’t justify the $$$.

Part of the fitness challenge that they had given us a heads up on, was in our last 30 days everyone would participate in this “whole 30/paleo” eating plan. We would weigh in and have body fat assessed and then do it at the end to check our losses.

Ok… I wasn’t crazy about what was coming… all the “Not haves” associated with it. But hey, I’m a team player, I had signed on for this, and figured I could do anything for 30 days. And as usual, I looked at it as a learning experience.

The day came, we did our weigh-ins, got our numbers and were given a list of “no” foods.

It was huge. It was daunting. I thought… “omg I’m gonna starve”

If you don’t know, major food groups are left out. No dairy products, no grains/pasta/rice/breads/bagels, no legumes, beans, peas, no sugars etc.

You do get unlimited veggies, meat, (bacon is heavily promoted?) some fruit, nuts and oils.

In my opinion, after a few days, this isn’t a lot.

I traveled with my own “natural” trail mix of raw almonds/cashews and some craisins thrown in (to ward off starvation)

I missed my Greek yogurts.

Yeah and I did mention I was also half marathon training….one day out on a 7 mile run I felt so fuzzy and light headed I wondered if I’d be able to make it home. It was later suggested to me to eat a sweet potato before I ran.  I’m not sure what my daily caloric intake was, but between Crossfit, running, and  greatly reduced dietary options, let’s say, it was easy to drop a few pounds.

I remember at one point walking in my pantry and thinking… ” I cannot have the majority of what’s in here” 😦

Ok so I’ll cut to the chase and give you my “pros/cons” on this food movement.

At the end of 30 days I had lost 9 lbs and dropped 2% body fat. On an already lean physique, I was definitely a well cut athlete.

I already enjoyed veggies but when they are what you can eat wheelbarrow loads of, you learn to eat them at ALL meals, and snacks (to prevent total death and starvation) This definitely carried over with me and it’s something I still do…. I eat tons of veggies and that’s not a bad thing. It taught me how to implement that into my daily nutritional plan.

I did learn, some foods, I didn’t miss. Some carb foods left me feeling bloated and I realized I felt better and it definitely kept my tummy flatter.

Abs truly are made by what and how you eat. A diet high in veggies, fruits and lean protein will help drop body fat revealing them more. When I want to really have them look more defined… I stay away from most breads/pastas etc.

I did do a new PR with my half marathon, but was that from my increased running training? Crossfit? Less body to haul down the road? A combination of all? Not sure….

The not so positive …

I don’t ever think entire food groups should be eliminated from your daily food plan unless you have health reasons to do so. It’s never cool to follow “a trend” ’cause someone tells you to do something. Women need calcium and in my opinion to toss dairy, is foolishness. Yes, you can get calcium from certain foods, but most probably won’t eat like that.

It’s all a bit cultic and has a high following…something which I couldn’t get completely comfy with.

Pricey: they encourage buying grass fed beef, butter, bacon etc. I still have a house payment so I had to make do with other fed beef and butter.

What defines Paleo is as broad and changing as the sunset at night. Some think one thing, others another. What’s the reality ?

Baking… I attempted Paleo “baking”. Sorry, nothing compares to a real cookie made with flour, sugar and other tasty ingredients. I grew up on total made from scratch baked goods so this was a super hard sell for me. My take? If I make real cookies and have a couple, I will really be ok. Even with Paleo “cookies” anything eaten in excess has calories and will contribute to weigh gain.

It puts you into this rigid diet category which, as you know, I’m not down for.

I didn’t understand the “eat in the Paleo way” then go have a day of “back to old eating” for fun…like why ? if the new way is awesome, why go back to pizza and beer ?

I do have concerns with the “eat lots of butter and bacon” thing that’s promoted.

Overall, what I took away was, I can handle a lot of weight(lifting) and I know what to do with it. I can do without some foods and its ok, especially if I feel better. An over load of veggies has tons of good benefits so that’s a big win. Maintaining a diet that is high in fruits, veggies, lean protein and healthy carbs is a good way for me to cut body fat, stay lean and feel good and energetic.  Some sugar in moderation won’t send me off the edge. Coffee should never have butter in it.

So to each their own. I know there are huge supporters of the movement. I tried it, made my own educated decision on it, and have found a happy medium.

That’s what it’s about friends, right? A happy place we can sustain, be healthy, not starve, and live our lives to the fullest.

So tell me… have you ever tried out or participated in the Paleo movement ? What are your thoughts ?

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8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

12 thoughts on “My Experience With The Paleo Movement”

  1. Great points. I have explored Paleo, but it’s restrictions are just a bit crazy if you ask me, and I agree-I have a house payment and bills to pay, so all around buying organic isn’t doable for my budget. Everything in moderation has always been my take in regards to eating.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I basically did Paleo for six weeks last summer but not because I wanted to. I had candida overgrowth in my system and the only way to get rid of it is to detox from all sugar. I felt like crap for 5 weeks. I didn’t lose a lot of weight. Maybe 4-5 pounds. However, what it did do was make me more aware of what I was eating. I have added back into my diet…greek yogurt, berries, sweet potatoe, honey and , oh yeah, wine. I feel and look so much better than I did before. I do agree with you on the whole “cultish” thing. I have started baking with coconut flour and I love it but it’s not for everybody. Everything in moderation.

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  3. Couldn’t agree more on the downsides of Paleo, I think it’s one of the more garbage diets that exist, and much of the “evidence” is handpicked and extremely historically innacurate.

    While I agree processed wheat is bad, to vilify all, or most grains, especially whole ones is bad information, and the reason people lose weight on ANY diet is because one food group is usually excluded/vilified..and what happends if you eliminate any one food group from your diet?

    You lose weight because overall calories are typically reduced.

    Couldn’t agree more with you about having a wide variety of food consumption from mostly healthy sources 80/20 good/bad at least ideally, as well as keeping the metabolism stoked through regular consumption of healthy foods, particularly lots of vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, fruits, plenty of water, as well as avoiding as much sugar, and most anything from a box.

    Liked by 1 person

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