Saturday, July 30, 2011

Wherein I Admit to Eating Paleo

It's been a decent week in my world.

Work has been manageable, my dogs have been well-behaved, and I've had...well, not VISUAL confirmation, but, say, pants-confirmation, that my cleaned-up diet and new crossfit addiction has been doing some good.

I haven't posted much in the way of meals lately, and I haven't really discussed my diet at all. Part of it is due to my general forgetfulness when it comes to taking pictures, but a great deal of it is due to my reluctance to publicly announce that I'm trying out something new in the nutrition world when I'm not sure I'm actually going to like it - or stick with it. I hate the idea of looking like a bandwagon-jumper, and I definitely hate the idea of having my failure to commit to something plastered all over teh internets.

But things have gone well, so here I am. Publicly admitting that I've been eating paleo.

As with Crossfit, I'm going to direct you to Fitbomb if you're interested in reading up on the what and - more importantly - why of Paleo. He has an excellent, excellent page which does a great job of boiling down the underlying science.

In short, I'm eating a lot of meat and veggies and probably more fruit than I should. I haven't eaten dairy for several weeks, and I've even cut out peanut butter. I do have one or two "cheat meals" each week where I eat whatever - that might mean a few chunks of bread or (god help me) some Oreos at my dad's house for Sunday dinner, or a huitlacoche quesadilla at El Rey on date night with PhillyGuy.

But typically? I buy a rotisserie chicken every weekend, wait for it to cool and then tear that sucker up. (I get far more meat off of it using my hands than a fork and knife - I'm classy like that, what can I say. And probably more historically accurate.) That chicken forms the basis for most of my lunches during the week. Breakfast is fruit (peaches, berries, whatever) and a big dollop of almond butter. I eat a lot of salads made with romaine, shredded chicken, tomatoes and guacamole. And I eat plenty of bacon and eggs on the weekends.

I knew I wouldn't miss grains and beans, but I thought it was going to be tough giving up dairy, for sure. I mean, I went through a costo-size container of Fage by myself every week, and I had acquired a taste for half n half in my coffee over the past year or so. And let's not get started on cheese. But - shockingly - this has been one of the easiest dietary changes I've ever made.

Take tonight's dinner for example.

I made stuffed peppers using ground turkey and beef (about 50/50 - 12 ounces of each), chopped onion, tomato paste, salt, pepper and some herbs (random mix of basil, parsley, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, and thyme).

I thought for sure this would be missing something without a pile of grated Locatelli on it. I even thought about putting some on there and calling it a "cheat meal," since we're skipping family dinner tomorrow night in favor of steaks at home. But I figured - nah, not going to be worth it - and went without. And I didn't miss all.

Here's what I've observed since adapting my diet:

- I am, for sure, losing fat. I don't know how much, because I haven't taken measurements and I don't weigh myself. I know I'm still not at my law school weight or anything like that, but I FEEL different. And my clothes fit better. And I'm definitely seeing more definition in my arms.

- I do NOT miss dairy at all. I really thought I would.

- What I miss the most is hummus. Yeah, I know. I get over it pretty quickly since guacamole is also delicious on a salad (and on chicken and on pretty much everything else in the world), but...yup.

- Berries and almond butter keep me far more satisfied than berries and yogurt.

- I feel really good and almost never get cravings. I also don't feel the need to eat as frequently, which is a miracle in and of itself since I'm a constant snacker. I rarely feel my usual "OMGNEEDTOEAT" at 3pm.

- If you drink a beet juice, you will think you're peeing blood. But you're not. It's because you drank beet juice.

(Okay, that last one doesn't have much to do with paleo. But it's true.)

All in all, I like this enough to publicly commit to it. And I will be really farking embarassed in three months if I've abandoned it.

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