Friday, January 25, 2013

40 Day Paleo Challenge - Start Here!

Wednesday February13 - Saturday March 30, 2013
Late joiners are welcome, too :)

What is the challenge?
Maintain a Paleo eating style for the duration of the challenge. Let's do it, caveman style! 
Optional: keep a food journal.

What is Paleo?
I'm going to keep my answers short & sweet in my attempt to be less wordy. Also referred to as the "Caveman Diet," Paleo focuses on eating organic, whole foods that were available to our Paleolithic ("Stone Age") ancestors. The idea is that our bodies only adapted as far as to adopt a hunter-gatherer diet, and that to maintain optimal health, we should only fuel our bodies with food that it can more easily digest. 

Personally - I would be happy to maintain a Primal lifestyle, which, although having evolved from the Paleo lifestyle, is different. I think a Paleo diet challenge will be the jump start I need to get me there. Thanks for indulging me in this challenge for my own selfish reasons :) 

But to continue your research on the benefits of Paleo, check out Paleo guru Robb Wolf's blog.

What can I eat?
Vegetables, fish, poultry, meats, fruits, nuts, seeds, healthy oils... think: whole, unprocessed foods. 

However, some whole foods fall on the do not eat list, so when in doubt, you can check this handy-dandy guide (PDF).  I was surprised a few weeks ago to learn that green beans are not Paleo (they are legumes). 

What can't I eat?
Starchy vegetables, grains, dairy, alcohol, legumes, pasta,  anything processed. There are plenty of websites out there that can tell you if an ingredient is Paleo. When in doubt, it probably isn't :)

  • There are some unique items that DO fall into the Paleo-K (Paleo + OK... get it? har har) category.  For example, almond flour. It's a package of almonds that have been ground via food processor, silly! And you can use it to make some of the dessert dishes from PaleOMG. Rarely, things that come in packages at the grocery store are a single, Paleo ingredient. Thank heavens.
  • Missing a particular SAD (Standard American Diet) food? Like rice? Try this - Google "Paleo [SAD food] recipe" --> "Paleo rice recipe". There are a plethora of Paleo recipes that replace bad ingredients/recipes with good ones. You're welcome.
  • Try to eat mostly veggies and meats, if possible. Fruits will spike your blood sugar and nuts are a little bit harder to digest. But I always tell myself... an apple > candy bar.

Other good-to-knows:
  • I am not a physician nor a nutritionist. Anything I say on my blog is of my own opinion, and you should consult a doctor before changing your eating habits. A.k.a. please don't sue me if you decide to join in on my challenge. K? Thanks.
  • I'm going to keep a food diary each day and post it up on my blog. You are welcome - actually, I encourage you - to post your own in the comments section as well. It will help us motivate each other, and get some recipe ideas. 
  • If you make a mistake, don't you dare quit this challenge! Jump right back on that wagon. We're in this together. Whenever I'm unhappy with a recent food to mouth move, I just remind myself: "You're only as good as your last meal, and you can only be as good as your next meal." So, the next time you eat is a chance to redeem yourself. Choose wisely, my friends.

If we get enough people involved, maybe I'll make up a point system and turn this into a contest. How does that sound?  What other questions do you all have? 

I have one question for you...... who's with me?!

1 comment:

  1. Okay. I'm in and I'll tell you why: 1) because your blog posts have been very convincing 2) I need a change of pace to tighten my waist (rhyme intended) and 3) it starts the day AFTER my birthday so I don't have to worry about not being able to indulge in some bday dinner and dessert before going all caveman up in this B. Speaking of desserts, are they allowed in a Paleo diet? If not, I will have to begin mentally preparing myself now. LOL.