So, I practiced Paleo for a month and…

I already knew that throughout this weight loss/get fit/get healthy journey I had developed some major willpower. Whether it was controlling my portions, choosing grilled over fried {or fruit over cake}, working out when I wanted to lounge in bed, I had to set my mind to do it. WILL myself to do it.

Me in a cavewoman dress holding a roasted chicken drumstick. Awesome.
Me in a cavewoman dress holding a roasted chicken drumstick. Awesome.

Such was the case when I gave myself the challenge sticking to a Paleo way of eating for one month. The month of December—which was going to include holiday parties, Christmas, my birthday and New Year’s Eve. I figured if I could do that, I could do anything! Then again, I didn’t think it’d be that difficult. As I said before, I already eat clean which includes lean meats, vegetables and fruit. My main challenge was going to be abstaining from grains, dairy and legumes—I loooooove wheat bread and beer, Greek yogurt, and natural peanut butter.

paleo groceries_

I researched the benefits of Paleo, weighed the pros and cons, and set out on this test of my willpower on November 25. I managed to pass my own test with flying colors. Just when I was starting to covet the freshly baked loaf of organic bread that I bought at Whole Foods for my hubby, I realized, “Hey! It’s December 25!!! It’s been a month. I said I was doing a month and I did!! I don’t care if December isn’t over; technically it has indeed been one month!! I can eat that bread if I want!!!”

So did I eat the bread?

 

You bet. TWO pieces of it. And it was the best toast I’ve ever had in my entire life. I didn’t go back for more. I didn’t binge. The world didn’t end. And I felt pretty darn happy.

Alrighty, so now that my month long trial of Paleo has concluded, with it I have a little list of my own pros & cons. Here they go:

shishkabobs_ paleo

PROS

– I ate more vegetables that I ever have in my life. This way of eating pretty much forced me to reach for asparagus as a side instead of potato chips. See, even though I eat clean 80% of the time, I’m human and when the need for that 20% non-clean popped up, it was in the form of chips as a side dish.

– I lost 5 pounds. Now, I don’t know if I can contribute that to the Paleo, the swap out of chips for veggies, or the fact that I joined a gym and have been busting my behind there.

– I don’t feel bloated. I hear the term “wheat belly” a lot, and my “wheat belly” has gone down a bit. My stomach is no where near flat yet, but with super clean eating, it has lost the bloaties.

– I didn’t mindlessly overeat at the many holiday parties or on Christmas Day. Normally, I would have been snack, snack, snacking away on cheese, crackers, cookies, and more chips, but I didn’t. I ate some meats and fruits and called it a day.

– I discovered how awesome almond and coconut flour are and the delicious treats they can make. In fact, I discovered a whole new world of recipes out there that I would otherwise never have stumbled upon.

– I relied on healthy fruits for my carbs instead of GU, chews and sports drinks before and during my runs.

– I realized that every burger doesn’t need a bun and every sandwich doesn’t need bread. Way to save calories!

– I managed to drink my coffee black a few times without NEEDING to pour dairy creamer in it.

CONS

Ugh. More bacon...again??
Ugh. More bacon…again??

 

– Bacon. As much as I told myself I wouldn’t go buck wild with the bacon, I totally failed at this. I couldn’t get enough. Bacon became my new side dish {when I was too lazy to make veggies}, it became my new potato chips. It was basically meat candy. I then discovered yes, I COULD get enough bacon and don’t really want any for a while.

– I missed my way of plain, old, simple clean eating. Oatmeal, natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt—my staples. Deep down I don’t feel that they are bad for me in any way. Yes, I hear the stories about how you should not eat dairy. Well, oh well, too bad. I love me some plain Chobani and I miss it. I want it back and I will have it. It’s a great source of protein, keeps me full and keeps me from eating cake for dessert.

– I was annoyed with explaining Paleo not being a “diet.” I know my annoyances shouldn’t really be a con, but they are MY cons. It’s not a diet. It’s simply a way of eating that consists of meat, vegetables, fruit and nuts. But if I had to try to explain it to one more person as it not being a diet, I was gonna go nuts. Saying clean eating is much more simple and works better for me.

– I only lost 5 pounds. Granted I only did it for a month, but I had delusions of grandeur that I’d lose 10. Booooo.

– No bread. Or shall I also say my run in with Julian’s Paleo Bread. It was bloody awful. Sorry. I’d rather go without bread than have to eat that again!! Not to mention I ordered it on 12/7 and didn’t receive it until 12/19. Not pleased at all. I love bread and cannot imagine a day without being separated from it again. It was the only food I could not stop craving. Like crack to an addict. If loving bread is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. If I have to spend 10 extra minutes in the gym to work it off, so be it. Me and the bread are not parting any more. EVER.

clean grocery items in cart
These are items I prefer to have in my shopping cart!

That’s mainly it. I can’t say I experienced the shiny hair and clear skin that I hear people talk about as a result of eating Paleo, but I never really had a skin/hair problem anyhow. It wasn’t crazy hard to do, but I just prefer to stick to clean eating and call it a day. It was a fun trial, much like my four month stint of vegetarianism, but I’m glad it’s over.

Thank you again willpower; you did extremely well, but you’ve been relieved of your Paleo duties for now.  😀

Have you ever gone Paleo for a trial? Do you consistently eat that way? How goes it for you?

Comments 10

  • Great overview of going Paleo. I’ve been eating mostly Paleo for the past year, but can’t fully give up dairy. Now that Christmas is over, I need to clean up my eating a little more.
    Mo recently posted..I’ve Become THAT Person…My Profile

  • Great recap Cherie! I’m actually trying Paleo next month so it was great to read about your perspective. The one thing I noticed in the recipe book that I’m using is there are a lot of eggs so I’ll definitely be making some modifications on that front. Glad it was a good experience for you though!
    Chivon recently posted..The 6 questions you should ask yourself before 2012 endsMy Profile

  • Thanks for this perspective! I gave paleo a try for about a month early in the fall. The biggest drawback I experienced was the dreaded ‘carb fog’. I felt slow and groggy and was extremely irritable for the first week or so. I’m guessing that I just wasn’t eating enough; low blood sugars have the same effect on me.
    Did you experience this at all Cherie?
    Tamara recently posted..#FatblasterFriday | Staircase Circuit WorkoutMy Profile

  • I’ve read a little bit about Paleo and have considered trying it but the thought of giving up bread and dairy terrify me. I’m a cheese addict and love my Greek yogurt. Bread I’m okay on but if forced to give it up, I’d probably go bonkers and would crave it within a week. For the protein aspect Paleo would work for me (my eating habits have revealed I eat too many carbs, not enough protein) but not so much with giving up dairy and other foods.

    Who knows? May consider it as an experiment like you did. Still working on getting back on the wagon with weight loss. All a work in a progress.
    Kim @ Who Took My Donut? recently posted..Battle of the Bulge: How I Got HereMy Profile

  • This was a great overview of the goods and bads you experienced! A coworker and I are going paleo starting Jan 2 in preparation for our office’s Whole30 competition. Ive been slowly transitioning my fridge and pantry in preparation. Good to know what types of things to expect. Thank you!

  • I think it would be tough to combine paleo with being a vegetarian. Also, I run for speed and distance and really rely on those carbs. I do love a challenge and am sure it’s possible….but no. Maybe I’ll give it a go in the future, maybe in the summer when I do less running.

  • I recently looked up the Paleo diet and am also intrigued to try it but no bread or grains or dairy, wow what an adjustment that will be. If I decide to try it, it will definitely be blogworthy!
    Missy recently posted..Welcome 2013!My Profile

  • Really great review. Helpful and I am just like you . I still love my staples meaning; greek yogurt and chocolate and quinoa just to name a few! 😉 Hi from a FFA too. 😉
    Moni Meals & Fitness recently posted..EASY as 1,2,3,4 PancakesMy Profile

  • No problem Cat! The only thing other than fruit that helped me was to make a Paleo baked good. There are tons of great recipes out there! I just Googled and found them. 😀