Why paleo?

7 10 2009
I started Crossfit when I was about 5 months pregnant. Through my pregnancy, I gained quite a bit of weight (I refused to look at the scale so that I wouldn’t become depressed). After my son was born, I lost a bit, but seemed to hang onto weight as well. I was doing Crossfit three times a week, but I still felt like the fat kid in gym class. My eating habits were erratic. I would forget to eat meals and then be starving by the time the next one came along, so I’d eat whatever was quick. Measuring and weighing everything for Zone didn’t really seem like a viable option, especially as my son became more mobile and I was constantly keeping up with him.

Once my son really started getting into solid foods, and decided everything on my plate was yummy, I wanted to start him off right. So many “kids” foods are full of sugar and junk, and I wanted to shape his palate to want healthy options. Plus, I wanted to look good naked again.

I started before the actual paleo challenge by cutting out processed carbs. Holy crap. I was like a drug addict going through withdrawal. I had headaches and stomach aches and felt like junk for about two weeks. During the second week, I also cut out dairy so I’d be ready for the challenge.

Since I was committed to the challenge, I took the Before photo for the bulletin board and displayed my humiliation for all. That has seriously been the biggest motivation. I really want to show improvement in the after shot.

I really enjoy cooking, so the paleo challenge has been not only an eating challenge, but a cooking challenge for me as well. I wanted to make things interesting and tasty, so that I would want to continue and not get bored. I experimented with recipes and making substitutions to familiar dishes to make them paleo-friendly. I have really enjoyed the group aspect of the challenge and being able to share recipes with other Crossfitters to help keep each other motivated. My strawberry version of the raw fruit pie our CFO nutritionist introduced us to has become a family favorite!

There have been times when I have had cravings (I REALLY want a beer tonight) or (dang, why can’t chocolate be paleo). But I’ve kept myself motivated by thinking about that before picture (shudder). However, forbidden foods have kind of become like porn…fun to watch on the Food Network, but in reality seem pretty dirty and disgusting. My willpower is pretty strong. I have made 3 cakes this month and the hardest part has been remembering to not accidentally lick my fingers.

Honestly, the looking good naked thing has been my primary goal. I never thought about how it would affect my Crossfit performance. Since I am usually the last one done in the 9 am fire-breathers class, I figured I had no where to go but up. During the past two weeks, I have actually felt pretty good about my times and I even kicked my own butt on the benchmark Cindy by beating my previous 11 rounds with 14 rounds and 5 pull ups! I’ve been adding on more weight to my bars and pushing myself harder, and it has felt pretty good. I may not be breaking records yet, but to me, it’s been a big leap.

So back to the looking good naked. Have I lost weight? Yes. During the challenge, I lost about 16 pounds. (I have been banned from using the scale as my neurosis was driving my husband insane.) As for looking good, I am my harshest critic and know I have a long way to go.  Right now, I’ll take your word for it and continue to push myself. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
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What is paleo?

7 10 2009

I was introduced to paleo through my gym, Crossfit.  I decided to take a month long nutrition challenge following the guidelines of the paleo diet…basically eating the same types of foods that our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. 

Basically, you can eat:

unprocessed meats (no lunchmeat or processed chicken)

vegetables, excluding corn, beans (including peanuts and soy in all its forms), and potatoes (although some paleo people eat limited amounts of sweet potatoes)

fruit (although if you wish to lose weight, limit this)

nuts

healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, coconut oil, canola oil

also, though you can’t drink it, it’s ok to cook with wine

Eating real, natural, unprocessed foods seemed to make sense to me.  It can be confusing for those curious about it, and downright overwhelming as far as how to eat within the guidlines and not go insane from eating the same meals over and over.  I hope to help by sharing recipes I have invented or modified from non-paleo fare.  Please enjoy, and share any requests or suggestions for food make-overs!