Ever wondered what the results of a shopping trip might be when you're wandering through the store, starving and a little lightheaded, at the end of your first day attempting a Paleo(ish) diet? Wonder no more:
Yes. For the month of April, I have decided to embark on a Paleo journey. I'll be adhering pretty closely to the basic tenets, except that I'll probably still be eating peanut butter. Basically, my diet will be comprised of meat, seafood, veggies, fruits, nuts & seeds, and oils from fatty foods. I will not be eating grains, legumes, dairy, or added sugar. I will have a few cheat meals: I'll be eating dinner with a friend I haven't seen in months this weekend, and Keith's class is running a Southwest American restaurant on Thursday evenings through the whole month. I won't be an absolute stickler. I'm sure I'll eat some soy sauce here and there.
Why? Plenty of reasons. Curiosity, skepticism. I'm curious to see if I feel different, better - if I maybe feel better in a way I did not know I previously felt bad. As I've mentioned before, though I'm not absolutely opposed to the Paleo diet, I tend to view it with a sidelong glance. I figure a great way to help form an educated opinion is to try it out myself, much like I read the entire Twilight series (yes, all four), so I could be confident in my opinion that the books are terrible (oh, and they are).
I have a lot of anxiety about this. I actually laid in bed for hours last night unable to sleep, on the verge of having a panic attack about what I was going to eat for the next month. I'm not the least bit excited about eating meat every day, sometimes multiple times a day. I'm dreading trying to source all that meat from responsible producers - I already know the fish and chicken I bought today don't come from Sustainable Central. Buying all that meat at all is expensive, let alone trying to get free range grass fed yada yada meat. Just in this one day, I've become more aware than ever of just how cheap the energy from oatmeal is. For all of these reasons, I have no expectations that I will be continuing with Paleo past the experimental month, though I will hopefully learn lessons I can incorporate into my eating habits.
I used NutritionData to figure out just what I ate today. I knew from friends' experiences and from reading a variety of blogs that it's easy to severely undereat when first trying Paleo. Breakfast was a 3-egg veggie scramble with chia and an apple, and some pumpkin seeds. "Lunch" was another apple and some almonds. After the shopping trip, I came home and made tuna salad with apple, carrot, and red pepper in a red wine vinaigrette, and ate some of it on lettuce. I'm actually pretty happy with how the nutrition is coming out so far. The cholesterol looks outrageously high, but my lipids have always been picture perfect, so I'm not particularly concerned about that. I wish I could do a full blood screening before and after the month, to see if there are any changes, but I know my insurance wouldn't cover that, and I'm not sure where else I might go. I was really surprised to look through the more detailed information on NutritionData's
analysis of my day and find nothing of real concern.
It was also interesting to note the immediate sense of comfort in the level of control I had over my choices. I was in a department office today that inexplicably was covered in Sixlets - I swear, they were everywhere - and it was amazing how easy it was to say, "Well, I can't have that." Likewise, the starving grocery trip was a gauntlet of half-price Easter candy, and while I did briefly consider buying some to eat in May, I ultimately came home without any.
So that's my first day trying a new and super faddy diet. Hopefully I'll learn some interesting lessons along the way, and have some delicious recipes and photos to share.