September 1, 2013.
Just another day, right? Oh no, not just another day.
Today is the day Chris and I have started the Paleo Challenge.
What is Paleo you might ask? Please do because I have been researching and nothing has prepared me for today like living it has.
It is a healthy diet focused on lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. The idea is that we are eating similar to what the caveman ate...but not really. All the food we eat today is nothing like it was then. The cave man could not have a banana (without a bunch of seeds in it) and fish in the same day, more than likely, because the caveman had to hunt and gather and that does not include grocery shopping at the local Whole Foods Market (and what a joke that place is! For another post maybe).
What is okay to eat? Fruits, veges, lean meats, healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, fats from fish), seafood and nuts and seeds. We have to avoid all grains, dairy, processed foods and sugars, legumes, starches, and alcohol. We eat three meals and a snack or 2, whatever we are hungry for. No measuring, no calorie counting, just eat Paleo. Easy right? Um, think again!
Shopping to eat Paleo seems easy at first, just stick to the outside of the store, right? Then I set out to buy the ingredients. Where is the coconut flour? almond meal? and finding natural almond butter (like peanut butter but with almonds) sure did feel like I was hunting! (HyVee health foods area has the almond butter. It has to be pure almond butter without vegetable oil. A rare thing I guess).
Today, day one, we started off good. I ran, biked and did a 10 minute HASFIT workout (yes, I need to blog about HASFIT because it is amazing). I was ready to eat! Chris and I had been preparing, so Chris had already made a couple of good omelets with onions and peppers in it. I had intended on having that this morning, but was too sick to eat it by the time we got around to breakfast. I had watermelon.
By lunch, we were hungry. Lunch was a Kale salad with homemade dressing and chunks of apple. The dressing looked awful but tasted wonderful. Who knew, we can make our own salad dressing. We did not measure our salads and they were not big enough. And, we were missing protein. We were starving by 1pm. Chris and I also always have a little treat after our meals (bad, I know). Something small usually, like a Werther or a Dove Chocolate. So, right away, we were missing something sweet to top our meal. Remember, no sugar.
By 2, I needed to go to the store to get ingredients for our planned meals for the week (yes, this diet calls for more shopping! I HATE SHOPPING!). I could not find anything. I was standing in the check out line on the verge of tears because I was hungry, tired, and I just wanted a freaking piece of chocolate! :) I went to one more store before coming home to find Chris dragging like I was from lack of food.
Chris and I spent longer in the kitchen preparing our fresh dinner. I created another Kale Salad to go with our new Chicken Recipe, Balsamic Glazed Chicken drumsticks from the Paleo go to site, Mark's Daily Apple. The sauce, again, looked awful, kinda like tar, but it was very good. I had baked squash with olive oil to go with my salad and had a little chicken. I have not had chicken legs since I was pregnant with Addison (long story), but this chicken was very good. The recipe was good, but the organic chicken tasted better, too! Finally, Chris and I were full. He had 5 chicken legs! and his salad.The kids had hamburgers by their choice. :)
For a small dessert, I made Paleo spiced almonds. They are very good, too, and will be a great snack for us. So, already today I have made three new successful recipes. I would have made more if I could only find the ingredients!
Day one has been tough to say the least. We spend most of the day hungry, tired and hunting for food...like a caveman maybe? :) We were so hungry that plain natural nuts were eaten like candy when I found them in the pantry. As the month goes one, we will find new snacks, new meals and get used to this new lifestyle.
As for the kids, they are eating dinner with us but will continue to eat cereal and waffles for breakfast and whatever they want for lunch. Alivia said there is no way she will give up candy for a day (or a month!). I don't blame her at all.
This idea came to Chris as he starts his new workout routine, at Crossfit Omaha. He went with our neighbor after much encouragement from me. He needs it for his mind, body, confidence and a social place without me. He needs it. And, after one hard core workout, Chris agreed. His one on one starts on September 10, so we have a few days to get this eating thing down so he can make it through their brutal work outs (where their mascot is Pukie the Clown because one works out so hard they "Pukie." Nice, huh?
Why am I doing it? In my research, I found this Doctor presenting in Iowa City. It may be a long video, but watch it when you get a chance. It convinced me to try it, at least for 30 days. That is all I am giving it for now.
Tomorrow is off to day 2 where I will try my first ever omelet. I will miss my Kashi go lean crunch and my oatmeal, but I will give this a go. We already miss our Greek yogurt with blueberries, too, but I have eaten my fair share of frozen fresh blueberries today as I didn't know what else was "paleo."
By the end of September, I hope to have this Paleo thing all figured out and look glowing. :)