9 Factors

Paleo or bust… Literally.

Most evenings these days, I find myself burping up little nasty bursts of hot acidic stuff.

I can’t fit into my jeans anymore, except the stretchiest of my jeggings, which don’t really count.

Dressing each day requires some strategy to cover the “muffin top”, love handles, and the lines from where my too-small underwear dig into my flesh.

Muffin Top
NOT me... but you get the picture.

I find myself wanting to buy a new wardrobe consisting of leggings and extra-long, roomy, bulky tops (I know, Stacy & Clinton, I should be wearing structured tops & belts & blazers…).

The Wii Fit says I’m about 25 pounds overweight. It makes a helpful ominous noise after weighing me every day to make sure I’m aware that I’ve crossed over to the dark side.

My bowels are often unhappy with me. Enough said.

Something! Has got! To give!

On a more substantial and long-term note, I want to act preventatively against future cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses, rather than filling my body with what health nuts like to call “poisons” (sugar, flour, etc), and then sometime down the line having to aggressively try to salvage any semblance of health before my body gives out entirely.

So, I made a decision. A resolution, if you will.

I’m not very good with wishy-washy resolutions. I’m part of the 90% of people that would make a resolution to join a gym in January and go for two weeks, but without a set schedule or workout buddy or some sort of goal to work towards, would find myself at home being lazy before the end of the month.

So, when my friend Erica announced that she had lost 18 pounds after doing the Whole30 diet for a month, I looked at the website and started researching.

I’ve spent a few weeks reading everything on the site, looking at recipes, and talking to people that have tried similar diets, and I’m finally ready to start.

I had to wait til after Valentine’s Day, of course – I had to be able to eat the decadent dessert my boyfriend made (chocolatey to-die-for delightfulness)!

But it starts this week, on my Reading Week. They recommend just starting cold turkey, but I kinda wanted to live it up for a while before getting really healthy. So I did. Wine, cheese, cheesecake, tortillas, chocolate, bread, muffins, cream in my coffee… All stuff I will miss, but it will be worth it!

So… What the heck is Paleo? The term “Paleo” is actually short for paleolithic. The diet is also called the Caveman Diet, the Stone Age Diet, and more. Basically, it’s an ancient diet that people would have had in the age known as the “paleolithic era.” I don’t think I believe in cavemen, but I think there’s something to this diet anyway.

Pistachio Pesto Chicken Pasta
A Whole30-friendly dish: Pistachio Pesto Chicken Pasta

A caveman on the Whole30 version of the Paleo diet (it’s stricter than regular Paleo) would not eat the following foods: grains or any derivative of any kind (including alcohol), dairy, sugars, or legumes. They would eat meat, nuts (except peanuts and cashews), vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats like coconut oil. At first glance, this seems extreme. But when you start looking at the pages and pages of amazingly delicious-looking recipes (like the ones on this site) that you can make with fruit and vegetables and meats and eggs, and even things like almond or coconut flour, your mouth would be watering!

I should mention that the creators of the Whole30 diet advocate choosing high-quality, organic, free-range, non-processed meats. Since I will be doing the Starving Student version, I will not often be able to choose the best meats, but am confident this diet will serve me well anyway.

The Whole9 people believe that “real food” and “healthy nutritional habits” are the foundation to a healthy, balanced, and sane life. I am inclined to agree that there’s something to it.

9 Factors

I start 30 days (or possibly 60 or more) of this diet tomorrow. Please accept my apology if I bring my own food to your house or ask you what you’re serving ahead of time: I am not trying to be haughty or rude, but I am making an investment in my lifelong health by taking a stand now.


Slightly off-topic but interesting side note: the National Post recently posted an article about MDs wanting to put junk food in the same category as E. Coli: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/02/15/french-fries/

13 thoughts on “Paleo or bust… Literally.

    • I really can’t answer that, Sara. Having read your blog, I have to say you’re more informed than me. It has always seemed very weird to me to stop eating meat, and especially to completely cut out animal products altogether. This diet makes sense to me, and it’s doable for me. So… I guess I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the comment!

  1. I can understand the starving student issue… we’ve found that it’s a bit further of a drive than we’d like but there’s a butcher/farming family that owns a butcher shop where everything he has is naturally raised – not certified organic – but probably the next best thing – and the prices are not really much different than the grocery store, even when on sale. Perhaps you have something similar closer to you? Or even a farmer’s market where you can cultivate a relationship with someone local and get your meat from them (although sometimes it’s harder for them since they may only sell by the quarter/half/whole animal). Just keep asking around – someone will probably eventually be able to give you a lead… here’s to better health – I applaud your efforts (now if only I could get my butt in gear – it’s SO hard given what we do – but I have started yoga for weight loss ;o).

    • That’s a great idea, Pam. I will hopefully find a good source of meat and eggs. I should start asking around.

      Yoga is a great start! I do some on the Wii Fit, and I’m hoping to take up running soon… We’ll see. 🙂

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