Now that August is over and I’ve officially returned to the land of the eating, I thought you’d appreciate an update from my last two weeks on the Paleo diet.
Just a quick refresher on our Crossfit gym’s Paleo challenge: for thirty days a group of us gave up processed food, dairy, sugar, beans, alcohol, and carbohydrates. You could earn points for working out and sleeping eight hours, and lost points if you ate something from the restricted categories.
Joe and I started this challenge together. But only one of us – ahem – finished it.
Well, as you can imagine, it stunk. The first two weeks were torture, and I have a new respect for celebrities who’ve detoxed in rehab. I mean, I was having trouble detoxing from Chex cereal and diet soda, never mind an actual addictive substance. I had a headache constantly, I was exhausted, and I craved things like English muffins and yogurt. It took about two weeks before my body and mind settled into Caveman-style eating.
And as my husband and children will tell you, it was a lo-ong two weeks.
After a while I found that I missed the experience of food more than the food itself, things like curling up with the kids and enjoying a movie and popcorn. (Curling up with a 100-calorie snack pack of almonds is not the same.) I wanted to enjoy late summer evening margaritas with my husband on our new patio and ice cream during our family trip to Faneuil Hall.
I never really lost any more weight, so I still weigh – please. Are you going to fall for that again? Let’s just say I weigh exactly the same as I did two weeks ago. Kind of annoying, seeing as I gave up a bunch of my favorite food categories, including cake.
It might have something to do with how much I was eating. One night Joe looked up, astonished, as I helped myself to a third serving of pork tenderloin. “What?” I said defensively around a mouthful of meat. “I’m hungry!” Animal protein and vegetables didn’t keep me full for long; my stomach was growling every few hours. Finding snacks when I was out with the kids was really challenging – I couldn’t just pop into a bakery for a Paleo cupcake with buttercream frosting like the good ol’ days.
But, it wasn’t all bad. Here are the top ten things I learned about myself from eating like a caveman:
- If I fall off the wagon at lunch, it’s possible to catapult myself back on it for dinner.
- Sometimes I’m hungry and sometimes I just want to eat.
- Biting into a tangerine can have the same flavor explosion as biting into a Skittle. But they’re harder to eat while you’re driving.
- I love moonlight. (This isn’t specifically related to the Paleo diet. It’s just something I thought you should know.)
- I am compulsive about finishing things that I start.
- I don’t need as much cream in my coffee as I thought.
- Paleo headaches and autistic tantrums do not go well together.
- It is possible to get tired of steak.
- Peanuts are not actually nuts. They are something that is pronounced “le-gyooms”. (I’m not sure of the exact spelling.)
And the last thing I’ve learned from Paleo: I’ll never take my lobster-roll-eating Caveman Husband’s advice on a diet again.