Paleo, otherwise known as the caveman diet. I found out about Paleo when I started seeing my boyfriend in 2011. He is a member of Crossfit Ireland (http://www.crossfit.ie/) and they advocate Paleo as their diet of choice. The basic premise is that the modern diet of processed grain, sugar and legumes is leading to countless health problems including obesity and diabetes. Paleo looks at what our ancestors ate as hunter gatherers and reccommends a diet of animal protein, good fats and veggies as the optimal human diet.
I thought about going into a detailed essay about the ins and outs of Paleo, the benefits to your physique, energy levels, strength and general health and well-being but then I thought these guys have done a pretty good job convincing me so I should probably just point you in the direction of a few of the experts:
Robb Wolf: http://robbwolf.com/
Dr Loren Cordain: http://thepaleodiet.com/
Steve Kamb: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/ (this is one of my favourite blogs so have a good route around his other posts!)
If you’re more of a documentary watcher than an article reader, check out’The Perfect Human Diet’ which is available on ITunes or on DVD here: http://www.perfecthumandiet.com/
I will say that my dad went full Paleo for two months last year and saw amazing results. Not only did he loose 28lbs, he also slept better, had tonnes of energy and saw big improvements in problems with his sinuses. So you can see why I’d be willing to give it a try!
The Whole30 Programme
Spurred on by my aforementioned boyfriend and his Crossfit group, I start the Whole9 Whole30 challenge today. 30 days strict Paleo to reset my body, get rid of any potentially inflammatory foods and truly see the potential benefits of Paleo. I won’t be counting calories…this is not supposed to be a short term weight loss diet, though I have no doubt I will loose a few lbs of fat and gain some muscle. I have also signed up to a kettle bell class 2 days a week on my lunch break. Paleo supporters usually advocate some form of weight training as part of your workout routine. So, in the spririt of the programme, I will be doing that class along with Bodyrock (http://www.dailyhiit.com/) 3-4 times per week and some yoga.
If you feel like trying it out for yourself, check it out and let me know how you’re getting on! http://whole9life.com/2012/08/the-whole30-program/
To all those who feel the need to save me from this restrictive and dangerous diet
If I hear one more person say ‘you need carbs in your diet’ I’ll scream. Of course you need carbs, but the carbs we eat as our main source of energy are not good carbs. White bread, pasta and rice have little or no nutritional value. Sweet potatoe, carrots, parsnips and beets all have plenty of carbs but are also packed with tons of vitimans and nutrients.
I visited my GP yesterday, told her all about Paleo and that I was going to go strict for 30 days and she said it sounded fine! As long as I make sure I am eating enough and maintain a good balance of protein, good fats and veggies, she reckoned it sounded ay-ok. So fear not folks, I will not die without bread!
My Pre Whole30 Stats
Height: 5ft 7″ (Hopefully this will be the same post Whole30!)
Belly: 35inches (I’ve never seen anyone measure their ‘belly’ but my belly is much bigger than my waist and where I store fat!)
Hips: 38 inches (Proud to say I have a booty!)
Energy levels: Generally wake up tired but have good energy till mid-afternoon and crash till mid-evening.
General Health: Frequent headaches, some back pain and achey joints (Such an old woman!).
Current diet: Porridge with milk for breakfast, a sandwich or soup and bread for lunch and a big dinner, generally with some form of potatoe, rice or pasta. I snack on chocolate, cake or anything with sugar! I mainly drink sugar free diluted juice (packed with sweeteners!). I might have 1 glass of wine or a vodka tonic per week but I’m not a big drinker.
What you can expect from posts on my Paleo obsession
For the next month, I’ll focus mainly in the Whole30 programme, recipes I’m trying, snacks I’m eating, what changes I’m seeing (good and bad) and how much I am struggling! I won’t bore you with a daily post on what I’m eating but I will try to give you a general idea of meal plans etc and post a few photos of the highlights. I do not want to pretend that this is going to be easy for me. As I touched on above, I am a sugar fiend and have what my nana would call ‘a healthy appetite’. I have never stuck with any kind of diet for more than a few days. So I’ll be completely honest about how I’m getting on.
Since the Whole30 encourages you not to substitute things such as flour with nut flour, or sugar with stevia for baking and treats I will hold off on trying out baking recipes till post Whole30. In March, I plan on experimenting with Paleo treats and will post some fantastic recipes for yummy baked goods and ideas for entertaining Paleo style.
Wish me luck folks!