Naomi goes paleo, week 3
The third week of the paleo challenge was... difficult is the word, I think. I lost my appetite a bit and therefore I am struggling getting enough energy into my body. While doing groceries I find that everything contains sugar. I think I am coming down with a flu. And at home people complain about me being grumpy. It's probably the cavewoman in me. Honestly: I am really glad that this strict version of paleo only lasts 30 days.
Okay: so I ran into my first real problems following the strict rules of The Whole30 challenge. In order to get enough calories a day my portions are huge. I eat almost a pound of meat a day, on top of that 5 whole eggs and sometimes some fish. On top of all that lots and lots of pumpkin, sweet potato, bananas en green veggies. I snack on handfuls of nuts. And still, I am at about 500 calories less than what I ate pre-paleo. I don't want to lose weight, so I make myself eat the lot. I felt stuffed after every meal. Halfway through last week I started to lose my appetite a bit,I even had to stop mid-meal a couple of times, because I got really nauseous. That didn't help keeping the appetite up... I almost fell into a pattern of: not hungy, still eating, nauseous, because of that not hungry, still had to eat... Untill I decided that for me it might be better to eat lots of smaller meals. That is working better. Still, I also decided to reintroduce some of my old foods back into my diet after the challenge. I am planning that right now, I'll write about it a bit later on.
What gave me some piece of mind was an article on the site of The Whole 30. It describes per day how you are probably going to react to the phase of the Whole 30 you are in. I don't fit the timeline completely, but I am going through all these phases. Brenda is complaining that I am grumpy, on the attack. That is one of those phases you have to go through. There is even a theory that my brain is resisting being out of my comfort zone all the time. Just think about that one, what food does to us. Even when you eat 'normal', your brain is getting all kind of signals. We just don't notice them. That is a part that I am really enjoying about this challenge: the way I am confronted by the fact that everything is connected. My brain wants, is demanding, a reward for me keeping my promise to follow the strict rules of paleo. And in our society rewards are usually food. I have started to notice McDonalds advertisements on the street, for the: single, double, triple cheeseburger. I am not hungry, but I am catching myself looking at these burgers. I never have that!
After a running event (de Puinduinrun) I found myself staring at a kid with a bottle of chocolate milk. I can understand the experience my Sportfasting clients are going through on the fast days: they sometimes describe smelling and seeing food everywhere. I am going through that right now... without the hunger of the fast.
Someone who is doing a paleo challenge as well, gave me the tip to go eat out at least one time, to break out of the rut. She went to Burgerz, had a burger without the bun, changed her fries into oven roasted sweet potato and had extra salad without dressing. Coming saturday is our first wedding anniversary, I think we will dine out. I am only human and I want to celebrate that! Will not break any nutritional rules, but will break the rut...
The supermarket was also a challenge again this week. Grumpy cavewoman Naomi almost got aggressive. I wanted to buy some meat, but reading labels I found out that even the most expensive ecological farmed cuts were not 100% meat. After reading label number 5 with contained dextrose (=sugar) I wanted to throw it across the shop into a wall, or something. Eventually I found a packet of mince that was just mince. It wasn't free range, grass-fed, for the moment it was paleo enough for me. At home we watched TV, a program researches what products are really made off. This week: tea. Seems harmless enough. But no... They found little balls of sugar in the teabags!!! I almost lost it! It was labelled a 'fragrance'. I immediately checked all the teabags in the house and... I found those little balls in our Lipton Green tea. I don't drink that, Brenda does. She was livid... It just goes to show... even when you are very conscious of what you eat, you buy lean meat, drink green tea and before you know it you have consumed a couple of spoons of sugar. The Dutch consumer society actually started a campaign to stop hidden sugars in food. They found a "healthy snack", consisting of more than a 1/3 of sugar. I support that campaign wholeheartedly. Not everybody has to eat paleo, but I do think everybody has a right to know how much (added) sugar is in their food.
I am embarking on my last 8 days of the whole 30 now, because I will finish the challenge, even if it gets hard. I will introduce some of the paleo rules into my diet, but not as strict as now. My plan is to reintroduce them one food group at a time. First I will have some dairy again: cappuccino, yogurt cheese, whey protein. I will carefully observe how my body reacts to it. Do I feel bloated again? If yes, I have a choice to make, what do I want more: cappuccino or a relaxed feeling in my belly? And that way I will reintroduce some other things as well. On the other hand I am considering doing some strict paleo days during the week. As mentioned on the site of the challenge: it's The Whole 30, not The Whole 365!