Paleo Diet – a 30 day trial

I am trying a new eating plan.  I prefer not to use the term diet, as it implies something based on restrictions, and also a temporary thing (one goes on and off a diet).

Anyway, I am trying a Paleo (Paleolithic) diet, which I started yesterday (Wednesday 16th February 2011).   For those that haven’t heard of this it’s based around the idea that we should eat what we have been designed to eat, and did eat, for hundreds of thousands of years, and cut out all the modern crap that has been introduced in relatively recent times (in evolutionary terms that means the last 10,000 years or so).  So that means eating meat, veges, and to a lesser degree fruit and nuts.  No grains (yep, no bread) even wholemeal types, rice, and of course sugar is just evil (mind you it always has been eh?).  Dairy is out too.

I am trying this eating plan for a number of reasons:

So, I have decided to try it for 30 days.  See how I feel, see how my workouts go, see how my body reacts.

For more info see a great resource by Robb Wolf on the Paleo diet. I’ve recently read his book The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet – highly recommended – an easy read, entertaining yet highly informative and based on science.

Anyway .. I am gonna give it a go, and provide updates here.  Table of progress last updated Friday 25th Feb 2011

Daily updates on Paleo Diet 30 day trial

Day Notes Any cheats today?
Day One Morning: Breakfast was a challenge, no UpandGo anymore.  So ate some chicken (not ideal, but meant I didn’t go hungry). 

Working out (high intensity weight training) felt a bit different.  I clicked this was because for the last 12 hours I hadn’t eaten any carbs (or maybe 10g type thing).  Performance not effected though.

Afternoon: No protein bars any more, and no easy drink to get some protein and carbs post workout.

Didn’t plan this at all, so no food around (just bars and stuff).  Got hungry more than normal, so ate more chicken.  Still hungry.  Finally ate 175g of nuts (yep 40+ grams of fat there) and hunger went away.

Went out for dinner (Japanese).  Only change was not eating the bowl of rice or ice-cream at the end.  Everything else worked well.

A very small amount of batter (aka flour, perhaps sugar and salt?) on one item at dinner.  Maybe 50g in total? 

1 x glass of wine.

Day Two Morning Better prepared today.  Eggs for breakfast, and took lots of cooked veges to put in the fridge at work. 

Interesting unintended effect seems to be my body isn’t asking for coffee.  Maybe this is unrelated, but one cup did me this morning (I normally go for 4-8 espressos).

Afternoon: Lunch was some lean chicken with roast veges (prepared last night).   YUM!

workout was fine, again high interval resistance training, mixed with some short burst High Intensity Interval training (HIIT)

Had a 2nd coffee in the afternoon.

Dinner – went out again.  Was Thai, so just ordered something without any noodles and had rice on the side (didn’t eat the rice).

Did have 2 glasses of wine (not strictly Paleo)

2 glasses of wine. 

Prob had some (pre) added salt to dinner too.

Day three Woke up, and felt VERY refreshed.   Eggs again for breakie. 

Had one coffee again this morning – what’s with that?  I LOVE coffee.  I am trying to listen to my body and only eat/consume what its asking for.

Precooking (well roasting) veges is an excellent way of adding them in quickly into a meal (like lunch).

I have noticed energy levels are very consistent through the day (on the high side).

Went out for dinner again – food court.  Easy enuf to ask for “no rice, extra veges” at an Thai place.

(Pre) added salt with dinner I imagine
Day four (Sat) Eggs for breakfast again – easy to prepare (and eat). 

Lunch was chicken and veges (pre-made).

Went to a friends mid-afternoon garden party, had a few glasses of wine (I am allowing myself that).  Dinner Thai (chicken and veges).

3 glasses of wine @ garden party 

(Pre) added salt at dinner

Day five (Sun) Went out for brunch.  Ha da voucher for a “big breakfast” which had hash brows, eggs, bacon etc.  While Bacon has a few additives, I went with the flow and ate everything except the bread. 

Had two coffees that morning.  Both had milk (flat white) – my first diary in 5 days.

(Late) lunch was some chicken breast, and dinner at a friends place – lamb shanks (yum).  Only thing I modified was not eating bread pre dinner.   Did eat a small amount of cheese.

Overall energy levels are good, and no cravings.

Bacon (salt etc) and rather processed – at least its meat and not grains!.  2 x flat whites (i.e milk). 

Hash browns likely cooked in vegetable oil and added stuff, plus I am excluding potato normally.

Dinner: (Pre) added salt, had cheese (50g?), and things were grilled with vegetable oil (drizzled over)

Day six Boiled eggs for breakie.  One cup of coffee so far. (Had two for the day total). 

Noticed waking up is much easier – wake up before my alarm most days now.

Gym was the standard HIIT (high intensity interval training) for 10 min, followed by HIT (high intensity (resistance) training).  Total time: 1 hour.   Interestingly enough, the more I read about the Paleo way, the more I have found that my existing philosophy on exercise fits in exactly with what Paleo proponents recommend (short burst stuff, resistance training as opposed to heavy/long cardio etc).    Anyway, suffice it to say I haven’t changed by exercise regime at all, but just need to watch my eating post workout so I still get enough protein.

Lunch was great today – lots of roast veges prepared yesterday plus some mean (ham).

Dinner was a roast at my place (coz I had guests).  Chicken, lots of veges etc.  Some roasted, some steamed.   I think I need more salads!

Note: I seem to be returning to a 3 meals a day (plus the odd top up) rather than my 5+ I was doing.  I am not forcing any particular routine, but notice when I eat a good meal, it lasts me ages in terms of satiation.  Although that said, the Paleo way is 3 day + small snacks, not 5 a day (herbivores graze, meat eaters don’t!)

Ham @ lunch – added salt.  See a theme here?   Ain’t going to well on the salt thing. 

Ham is also processed, so not strictly fresh meat.

Dinner – cheese sauce and small amount of flour and salt for gravy.  First intentional addition of flour in almost a week.  I did it coz I had guests and roast without gravy is like – well roast without gravy!

3 glasses of wine (yep – you can see that theme too huh?)

Day seven Eggs for breakie.  I really need to come up with some other options here.  But the idea of eating meat and veges for breakfast just doesn’t appeal.  I think I will turn to Google for some ideas. 

Energy levels are about the same as they have been for the last few days (perhaps a tad down).  Overall MUCH better than previously.   Waking up much more refreshed (even when I get 6 hours of sleep – like last night).

Day eight Since this is my blog I will just say it – FUCK! 

Major earthquake in Christchurch today. I was actually at the gym at the time.

New eating plan on hold for now.  Until at least life returns to semi normal  (ie I get water and power back).  Will update more in other posts, but suffice it to say, right now its easier to drink food (like upandgo) so I will do that for now – plus my emergency protein bars.  Still not doing grains, but the food not stuff part has gone out the window as it’s not convenient (for me at least) right now.

Month 2/3 See my new post on my progress here

Update 22nd Feb 2011: If you would like to follow another person trying the Paleo way – read David Meehan’s blog.

Update 25th May 2011: New post that updates my Paleo eating plan progress

Black and White Version: Paleo Diet fits with my philosophy, let’s see if it fits with my lifestyle.

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