The One Week Paleo Challenge: It's Only The Beginning

 photo 43E39E32-6C70-4387-9E66-D8191A70BC77-1320-00000212E9564BFA_zps2eceaac7.jpgWe made it for a week, and we don't want to stop! The week of Paleo was a success! Some of you warned me that I would love it, and that I would want to keep going, and you were right! Jeremy and I are going to be a little less strict from now on. We have weddings coming up, and you better believe we are going to have some wedding cake. I will probably even eat grains several times a week, put cheese back on my salads, and order a pizza every now and then, but I really have discovered that I enjoy Paleo, and I want to continue cooking Paleo meals, cutting way back on grains and dairy, and focusing our diet around veggies, fruits, meats, and nuts. Our goal is to eat (mostly) Paleo at home but be flexible when we are with friends and eating out. Today, I wanted to recap the effects we have felt from the diet, and I will be back later this week to share a few of the recipes we enjoyed so far.

A few of my revelations:

1. The first few days were rough. Our bodies were detoxing from carbs, and that translated to cravings, feelings of hunger, and a few short tempered spats. We were also learning what to eat on the diet. I used to be fine with just a fruit and veggie VitaMix smoothie in the morning until lunch, but since I wasn't snacking on carbs to "fill me up" between meals anymore, I realized that eggs and chicken sausage in the morning made a big difference in feeling satisfied throughout the day. I still made my smoothie and put it in the fridge at work as a snack in between meals.

2. Cooking Paleo at home is easier than it sounds. Every dinner consisted of just a good meat and two or three vegetables. We packed leftovers for lunches. It's amazing how much I didn't miss carbs in our dinners. Mind you, when I saw a billboard for cheese dip or smelled the fresh bread at the grocery store, that was a different story. But since all we had at home was things we were allowed to eat, winning was easy.

3. I discovered that some people eat dark chocolate on Paleo, and we indulged in a little bit every day. It kept us sane. Commence the judging :-)

4. Things I would miss the most if I ate strictly Paleo for the rest of my life: cheese, dinner rolls, cereal, rice for Asian food (Sushi and Hibachi especially), black beans, and peanut butter.

Things Jeremy would miss the most if he ate strictly Paleo for the rest of his life: sugary drinks like sweet tea and lemonade (good 'ol Georgia boy right there), ketchup, bread, cheese, pizza.

5. Shopping Paleo ain't cheap. Meat and produce are some of the most expensive things at the supermarket. I believe eating healthy is worth it, but it is something to consider.

6. We ended our week of Paleo with a date night to Cheesecake Factory and celebrated our success by breaking all the rules (bread, rice, cheese, and tortilla chips all included). I could automatically tell a difference in the way I felt after one splurge meal. Was it worth it for delicious food and a fun date with the hubby? I think so. Does it make me want to go back to eating that way all the time? No way, Jose.

Health benefits we noticed this week: 1. No more 3:30 slump. I used to get so tired in the afternoon at work, but I noticed more energy throughout the day. I didn't get tired until the evening when it was time for bed, but I would be ready to get up and go in the morning earlier than usual. It's like my body knew when to sleep and was on the correct schedule for the first time in a while.

2. I wanted to work out. The energy translated to a renewed interest in overall fitness.

3. Toward the end of the week, I started craving things that were good for me rather than things that would harm my body. I was running late and unable to make a smoothie before work on Friday, and all I could think about during the day was that spinach, grape, and pineapple smoothie that would be waiting for me at home, and that  is all that I wanted for dinner.

4. Even when I got full, I didn't feel a heavy fullness that carbs give, I simply felt extra satisfied.

5. Jeremy noticed an overall peace of mind and confidence knowing that he was putting good food into his body. I agree.

Thanks for following our little newlywed journey. Love you guys!

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