Thursday, March 14, 2013

PALEO CHALLENGE RECAP

IT'S THE MOMENT YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!!!!

The 30 Day Paleo Challenge (#30DPC) is over. It technically finished on March 8th. I have many thoughts on this so read on for some of the key takeaways. 

1. I really like Paleo recipes. 


Here are all of the delicious Paleo things I've made. I really love these healthy recipes and will continue to use them!

2. Doing ONLY Paleo is really hard if you don't eat at home for every meal. 


Josh and I both had a hard time finding Paleo options when we went out to eat or at lunch at work. I know this can be overcome by careful planning but it takes a long time to cook. Josh takes about an hour and a half a night cooking. That is insane. 

Also we are not married. We have friends and like to be active and social. It's hard to find options that are Paleo out there. Almost everything has dairy in it! In essence this challenge really affected our moods and our desires to go out and see our friends. I would say it was a negative effect overall on mood and social life. However, this is something that I found personally hard. If you're at home or eating with a Paleo community this might be easier. I'm not sure.

3. I don't like being told I can't eat something. 
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I basically became obsessed with the 'can't have' foods. It wasn't pretty people. It was really frustrating. Usually I don't think about food. I try to eat healthy and exercise and I have treats when I want. While doing this challenge I became consumed with what I couldn't eat. I think this is mostly a mental thing and I'm sure it can be overcome if Paleo was more of a permanent lifestyle.

4. I felt better when eating Paleo.


This is in my mind because I wasn't eating processed foods. I was eating healthy creations that I cooked myself. Duh. This is common sense. 

(Hope you enjoy this little out-take from my apartment tour... coming soon!)

5. Dairy was the one thing I really missed. 

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Though bread is my favorite food, I can live without it and still be satiated. I really had a hard time finding on-the-go protein choices without dairy. String cheese and Greek yogurt went right back into my diet. I feel great eating them.

Josh also really missed Greek yogurt. He is a smoothie guy and apparently they are NOT the same with coconut milk as a substitute for the yogurt. 

6. Josh lost 16 pounds and never cheated once. 


He even had two Paleo birthday cakes: one that his mom made him and one that I made him. :)


I mean really. That kind of earnest dedication is just nauseating. And admirable. Way to go honey!

7. I had a "Paleo Breakdown".


That was embarrassing. But true. I couldn't hack the intense and limiting challenge. But immediately once I stopped doing Paleo  (and recovered from eating 3/4 of a pizza that night... whoopsie!) I was more motivated to eat healthy and try new Paleo recipes. Go figure. 

8. Eating a strict Paleo diet did not help Josh's Psoriasis. 

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Yeah. That's how I feel too little guy: no bueno. 

It's unfortunate that the whole reason we did this challenge was that we had found evidence on The Paleo Mom that it might help Josh's skin. I took before and after photos and although he looks much skinnier and healthier, his skin is the same. :(


Final Thoughts:

Would I do it again? Well I'm still eating lots of Paleo recipes. But I don't think I would do a challenge again unless it was for a very specific reason. It was incredibly hard being that limiting and it affected both my and Josh's moods and sleep cycles. It was hard. I failed at the challenge. But I am still eating healthily. 

Josh is doing mostly Paleo still. He's such a good cook it's amazing. We're getting ready to travel tonight and he's making grilled chicken and veggies for the road. Like I said, he's dedicated haha.

But here's the thing - when we are at weddings these next two weekends does that mean no cake? I can't live like that. And since it's not helping Josh's skin, he doesn't see a reason to deny ourselves either. Our plan is to continue eating healthy for the most part and enjoying treats and cheats when we want. Moderation people. I'm into it. :)

6 comments

  1. i have been super curious about paleo, but never heard about the psoriasis thing...i have psoriasis too (guttate psoriasis, like small spots and mostly on my torso aka hidden). it sounds like it went mostly well! paleo cake is total dedication. i may give the diet a whirl!

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  2. Congrats on completing your 30 day challenge! My husband and I are on a 30 day yeast free challenge (which ends this Sunday) and we feel so much better! Yeast Free means no yeast, sugar, grains, vinegar, dairy, or pastas. It's definitely been challenging, but I've decided that when the 30 days are up on Sunday, I'm going to keep doing it! So worth the 8 lbs lost and the increased energy levels!! (Even my hair looks better!!)

    Stopping by from Story of my Life :)

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  3. Hi there, new follower here :)

    The biggest thing keeping me from doing paleo is the no dairy! I love my yogurt, cheese, and milk! I do try to eat mostly low carb and low processed, and I like some paleo recipes :)

    I find that this seems to be enough for me. I feel better, and it's something I can maintain pretty well!

    Glad you made it through your challenge (mostly) for the better :)

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  4. My Mom, Dad and one sister eat Paleo! Once they got used to it, they noticed a burst in energy and a cleansing type of results. (getting rid of unwanted fat, toxins etc.) They love it. But they will make exceptions here and there. Pizza and beer at our favorite joint is a must. But I think the lesson of balancing that you took away from it is really the best thing! I love paleo recipes but I'm more of a "let's balance this out with something super unhealthy" type of person... Sort of lol... That dang Easter candy!

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  5. Just found your blog -- and while I have never done true Paleo, I found out 3 years ago that I am allergic to milk protein. It is seriously IMPOSSIBLE to eat out and not have dairy. Impossible. And depressing as I LOVE food and trying new restaurants. I even did 6 months of gluten free, which was way easier so I can truly say eating dairy free is probably the hardest food type to live without! Just so you know you weren't the only one who found it difficult!!

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  6. Thank you all for sharing your own struggles and results.

    I really do love eating healthy but I agree... pizza and beer and Easter goodies have to be allowed sometimes. :)

    If you have any good recipes though, please feel free to share them! I love trying new things!!!

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