Taking on the Paleo Path…

It was almost exactly a year ago when I was at Emerge when one of MP’s clients was talking about a “diet” he had tried. He said he had lasted only 7 days, however he felt great and lost a substantial amount of weight while on it.  If one has read my random blogs over the past 3-4 years, I’m always up for trying a certain “diet.”  I’ve tried going sugar free, meat free (never again), among a few other things. I never felt good while on them. So, after talking with Josh, I decided to do some research on this “Paleo” thing and see if it’s something I could do.  Two weeks after my “start date” I felt amazing. I was 9 lbs down and I was sleeping so soundly, I always woke up before my alarm clock, my allergies were controlled without medication and I had so much energy. It was fantastic.  My lack of discipline and having a busy travel schedule had caused me to completely fall off the diet. I definately felt it, and so did my waistline.
February 2012:
I feel miserable. My diet has been awful, I’ve had sinus issues daily, and my energy level went kaput. I was swollen and bloated, and it was taking it’s toll on me. Immediately I knew what I needed to do. So, after weeks of mentally preparing and menu prepping, yesterday, March 12th, I went back to Paleo: this time for 60 days…minimum… 
Paleo, also known as the “Caveman” diet, is eating “off the land” like they did millions of years ago.  There are several versions of the food guidelines, but the one I found looked like this:
Foods you can eat:
Tree Nuts
Honey, Agave nectar, or Stevia
Foods you can’t eat:
Grains of any sort (wheat, oats, rice, corn, etc)
Peanuts or any legumes (beans)
Sugar or artificial sweeteners
Are you thinking “Seriously?? No way”.. Don’t worry, I did too.
So, after reading the food guidelines and some informational reading on the diet, I decided that it’s something I really should do…  I have a sensitive stomach when it comes to foods (I’m lactose intolerant and I get a bad reaction to grains and refined sugars) so I believed this route would be great for me.
Sunday, March 11th:
I had my final “hurrah” day. I ate everything I thought I’d miss on my diet. I ate a big cupcake… I ate a couple of cookies… And I ate half of a Papa Murphys pizza. And I felt sooo gross that night.  Ok, mentally, I was ready to start Monday.
Monday, March 12th:
I decided to track my food log on an app called “My Net Diary.” I wanted to make sure that my calorie intake was in a healthy range and that my carbs/proteins/fats ratio was on track. 
When I told people about this diet, the immediate response is “Oh, so you’re doing a no carb diet?” or “Isn’t this like Atkins?” And the answer is not at all.  We live in a society were people instantly think grains are the only way to get carbs in. However, we overlook fruits and vegetables. And the great thing is, I get to eat a LOT of both on this diet.  My carb intake averages about 40% of my diet, which is pretty good.
Another question was about calcium and fiber. Again, fruits and vegetables have quite a bit, but we instantly think of grains and dairy for these. And with all the fruit I’ve been eating, it’s a LOT of fiber…
Tuesday, March 13th:
I’m halfway through day two and I’ve seen immediate results.  I slept a full 8 hours last night and I woke up 10 minutes before my alarm went off (at 5:15am, mind you) and I wasn’t groggy or tired. I was really surprised with this, since the time change always throws me off. Secondly, I haven’t felt bloated.  That weighted down feeling always made me feel miserable and tired. I actually have a lot of get up and go energy.
I plan on posting once a week on my progress, and other changes I have felt due to the diet.
I do want to say that this diet isn’t for everyone, nor do I believe everyone should be on it.  Some people need grains or some forms of dairy.  Just like every thing else, is person’s body is different and can do different things. 
Also, I am working out an average of 6 days a week. I do weight/circuit training 3-4 days a week and I get in high intensity cardio 2 days a week, and moderate cardio 2 days a week. I will continue with this schedule throughout the diet. Keeping up with my workouts is just as important as the diet itself.
And if anyone has questions about the diet, feel free to ask! This is as much of a research project for me as it is research information for the readers. It’s a continuing learning process.
1.5 days down, 58.5 days to go!
Kimberly Renoud,
Emerge Fitness Training