Well, I finished my 30 day Paleo challenge five days ago (technically it was more like a 38 day challenge because I started a week early with my “practice week,” plus there are actually 31 days in October.) Nonetheless… I had a relatively good experience with it!
Below is a list of things I discovered on my little journey:
- I really love coconut things!
- There are so many amazing Paleo recipes out there that are easy to make and are absolutely DELICIOUS! Check out some of my Pinterest boards for some phenomenal Paleo recipes. 🙂
- I generally felt good, with stable energy most days of the week, however, every week, around the 7th day, I needed carbs… like, bad. So I allowed myself to have a “cheat” day (which usually included gluten-free bread or pizza.)
- The more active I am, the more carbs I need. And sometimes sweet potatoes are just NOT ENOUGH.
- High fat AND high sugar (even if it’s natural sugars, like in fruit) don’t produce the results you want. Gotta focus on lean meats, veggies, and healthy fats!
- Going out to restaurants can be tricky so it’s best to cook at home, just so you know exactly what’s going into your food. However, it still doesn’t mean you can’t go out and enjoy the fact that someone else is going to cook delicious food for you AND clean up after you (my kitchen consistently looks like a ridiculously chaotic chemistry lab…) 😉 More and more restaurants these days are now catering to various “diets.”
- I have IBS so I’m naturally sensitive to anything high in fat. The following high fat foods hurt my stomach: olive oil, avocado, coconut milk, shredded coconut. Also, garlic. But I actually knew all of this already, although I was hoping the low-carb style of eating would help me out; NOPE.
- It can be challenging to have Paleo-friendly snacks for on the go, at least it was for me. I made a lot of my meals at home, but never really put in the extra time to meal prep with snacks and stuff. So I bought a bunch of Quest bars to help me out with that (I love those things!) and also had my Herbalife shakes, usually made with the Wild Berry Beverage Mix and Formula 1 Sport. The trouble with that is, I don’t like eating the same things all the time because I get bored from the lack of variety. To be honest, Herbalife is not variety-friendly to those who can’t eat soy, so I sometimes struggle with the fact that it would be a hell of a lot easier if I could eat everything that others get to eat on their Herbalife nutrition programs. Which brings me to my next discovery…
- I’m am DEFINITELY allergic to soy. I made the mistake of using some italian dressing with a stir-fry meal and ended up having THE WORST stomach ache! I was super bloated and really uncomfortable, it was awful. And I was out that night at a concert; NOT FUN. I checked the label when I got home and saw that there was a trace of soy in the dressing. That trace of soy was enough to totally piss my stomach off (by the way, my stomach has a name… I call him “Buddy.”) Anyways, I am super duper sensitive to everything so I gotta be a lot more careful. I wish there was SOMETHING out there that could actually make things easier on my sensitive and unruly stomach issues!
- I could have focused on eating more protein, a bit less fat. I did hit my minimum of 150g of protein almost every day of the month though 🙂
- I found that I got really great results in my stomach area when I DIDN’T work out and instead drank my Herbalife tea, like a boss… in my “Like a Boss” mug 😉 I was better able to track my calories in that sense and could basically “erase” any excess calories I ate just by drinking the tea (since it’s a thermogenic, it burns 80-100 calories per 1/2 tsp. serving.) Seriously, my waist whittled down to flatness. I was loving it!
I have to be honest, I didn’t get the results I was hoping for, BUT I still got some results. I believe I didn’t get the results I wanted simply because I didn’t put in 100% effort. I could say I didn’t want it bad enough, but then again, I was trying to “ease” into the diet, so obviously I couldn’t expect outstanding results. I’ll just consider this past month a “learning month.” Learning is FUN! 🙂
I probably ate too much fruit, too many sweet potato fries, annnd actually drank a good amount of wine and whiskey (not combined, for the record) to help get me through some of the more challenging times. However, on the weeks I was putting in more effort, I noticed much bigger results. Surprise, surprise, right? 😉
For example, between October 8th and October 15th I focused eating more meat, veggies and good fats (plus a bit of wine) but didn’t eat much fruit. I also worked out 5 days that week. I had the best results: I gained 2.4lbs, lost 2% body fat and gained 1.3% muscle. All in 1 week! Imagine if I could be more consistent with that?
At least my final results after 30 days were better than my beginning results: I gained about 1 lb., lost 1.1% body fat and gained 0.7% muscle.
I did get compliments from a friend who hadn’t seen me in a while, which made me feel good. Gotta love when people notice your efforts! Slow progress is still progress! For right now, I’m okay with where I’m at… mostly. I mainly want to focus on feeling good (and at least maintaining my current health,) staying active, and building my business. But the most important thing I’m working on right now is getting back out there and just having some FUN! I’ve been so stressed out, as well as depressed (although I usually don’t let people know about that… but there it is,) for a long time now (a long time being about 3 years of constant, massive stress.) Plus, I totally work way too much for my own good (life as an entrepreneur!) All of it has been affecting my health negatively, so I’m just working on trying to find that balance for right now.
From here, I plan on continuing to eat clean, making more of those Paleo recipes I loved, but eating carbs when I really need them. Hello again to brown rice, brown rice pasta, oats and and gluten-free pizza! I think I want to go back to focusing more on a Protein – Carb – Fat ratio of 40 – 40 – 20 because that seems to work better with my lifestyle. Everything in moderation. 🙂