Eating Paleo for 31 Days

Eating Paleo 31 Days

Welcome to my little journey of eating Paleo for 31 Days. I will be eating Paleo starting October 1 (tomorrow!) and writing about it every day as part of the 31 Day blogging challenge going on over at The Nesting Place. Feel free to join me or just come along for the ride to see if I survive. ūüėČ

What is Paleo?

Paleo (pronounced Pay-lee-oh — not Puh-lay-oh, as I used to think ūüėČ ) gets its name from how our ancestors ate during the Paleolithic Era in the theory of evolution. (There are all sorts of debates about whether the theory of evolution is true and whether the Paleo eating plan is true. We won’t be debating those here.) No matter what you believe about how our world was formed, we can probably all agree that our ancestors ate differently than we do now. The “hunter-gatherers” ate primarily meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits and healthy oils. The basic premise is we evolved — or were designed — to eat these foods, and therefore would be healthier if we ate that way in our modern world. The diet means no refined sugar, grains, dairy, legumes (including peanuts), vegetable oils and processed foods.

What are the benefits of Paleo?

The foods removed from your diet while eating Paleo are supposedly responsible for inflammation in your body. Inflammation leads to disease. Here’s what the creators of the Whole30 plan (a strict Paleo 30-day eating plan) have to say:

Certain food groups (like grains, dairy and legumes) are probably having a negative impact on your health and fitness¬†without you even realizing it.¬† Are your energy levels inconsistent or non-existent?¬† Do you have aches and pains that can‚Äôt be explained by over-use or injury?¬† Are you having a hard time losing weight no matter how hard you try?¬† Do you have some sort of condition (like skin issues, digestive ailments, seasonal allergies or fertility issues) that medication hasn‚Äôt helped?¬† These symptoms may be directly related to the foods you eat ‚Ästeven the ‚Äúhealthy‚ÄĚ stuff.

It can help with diabetes · high cholesterol · high blood pressure · obesity · acne · eczema · psoriasis · hives asthma · allergies · sinus infections · migraines · acid reflux · celiac disease · Crohn’s · IBS bipolar disorder · depression · seasonal affective disorder · eating disorders · ADHD · endometriosis · PCOS · infertility · arthritis · Lyme disease · hypothyroidism · fibromyalgia   Whole9, creators of Whole30

That’s a pretty impressive list.

Why am I doing Paleo?

Because I’m crazy, maybe? Just kidding … Maybe. I have a few reasons for wanting to experiment with this way of eating.

  • The more I read about healthy living, the more I read that diet is key. You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. I’ve done some no-sugar and no-wheat challenges that have been helpful in improving my diet. Paleo is a next step.
  • I have a strong family history of autoimmune disorders and disease. I’d like to be proactive and do what I can to maintain my physical health.
  • I’m really just curious if eating this way is all people claim it to be.

How will I do this diet?

There are a lot of variations and opinions on what can and cannot be included in a Paleo diet. (There’s the basic food groups. but then some technicalities like “what about fruit juice?”) I am all about “ish” rules that will set me (and you) up for success. Some people follow an 85/15 plan, where they eat Paleo 85 percent of the time. Some recommend a more strict plan. Some foods have been “Paleo-fied,” meaning you use approved foods to mimic some unapproved or processed food, such as Paleo muffins made with almond flour. I plan to follow the recommendations in the Whole30¬†plan, which is pretty strict for 30 days. I guess I’m doing 31. Maybe that makes me an over-achiever. ūüėČ

The Whole30 plan means eating the foods already mentioned above and not eating the foods already mentioned above. You are smart enough, so I won’t repeat myself. It also means no “Paleo-fied” foods. I did eat Paleo fudge once. It was divine! Anyway, the strictness is to let your body “re-set” and then experiment after the 30 days to see what happens if you re-introduce the eliminated foods to your diet.

I think most Paleo recommends “some fruit.” I’m not going to monitor my fruit intake. “Some” will mean “whatever fruit I want.”

Paleo recommends grass-fed meats and organic everything. I’m not worrying about that at this point. I get it. Those options are better for us. They are not readily available or affordable where I live. I will have pastured eggs, as we get eggs from my husband’s grandpa! Does that earn me brownie points? Wait … no brownies. Not even Paleo brownies. I’m sure they exist on Pinterest somewhere.

What will my 31 Day blogging adventure look like?

I plan to write what I ate and how I’m feeling. I’ve heard it can be rough at first, some people even feeling like they have the flu as their body adjusts to eating differently. I’ll probably have fairly short posts, and I’ll write them each evening after my kiddos are in bed. For my first week, I hope to just survive. ūüôā After that, I’ll try to experiment with some new recipes and post them, too. I’ll add links for my posts to the bottom of this post, so that by the end of the month all the posts will be listed below. If you want to follow along, you can bookmark this page or subscribe to the blog over on the right side of the page towards the top. The Journey is also on Facebook,¬†Twitter¬†and Pinterest,¬†so you can follow along there, too.

I probably won’t spend a ton of time discussing the Paleo theories. I’m not a big fan of re-inventing the wheel. I may have already bored you to tears with this post. There are many, many websites that have oodles of information about Paleo. (Like, what about calcium from milk? And aren’t whole grains good for us?) If you want to know more, here are a couple sites I’ve found very helpful:

The Paleo Diet :: This has a lot of the “why” behind this diet and the research about how it works to help your body function better.

The Whole30 :: This site has a lot of the “how” to do the diet.

———————————————————

Day 1: I Survived the First Day (and a Disclaimer)

Day 2: Searching for Recipes

Day 3: ‘Mom, why do you take pictures of your food?’

Day 4: This Could Be Interesting

Days 5 & 6: Travel is Tricky

Day 7: Feeling More Prepared

Day 8: Smells of Bacon and Turkey

Day 9: A Good and Bad Day

Day 10: One-Third Complete

Day 11: Pizza Night Without a Pity Party

Days 12 & 13: A Couple Cheats — Gasp! — But Not Really

Day 14: Sugar is in EVERYTHING!

Day 15: It’s the Halfway Mark

Day 16: Dueling Crockpots

Day 17: Experiments Sometimes Fail

Day 18: Are We There Yet?

Days 19 & 20: I am Official Grown Up

Day 21: Today I Tortured Myself

Day 22: Uneventful Day {Plus a Tip}

Day 23: Homemade Larabars

Day 24: A Guest Post

Day 25: Restaurant Success

Days 26 & 27: The Weekend

Day 28: The Final Countdown

Day 29: I’m Running Out of Things to Say

Day 30: My Thoughts and My Numbers

Day 31: What’s Next?

_____

CoriCori is a wife, mom of three and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.

16 thoughts on “Eating Paleo for 31 Days

  1. KarenTheGroupie

    You did not bore me to tears…. I have seen this word around and wondered what it means, but usually the sites explaining it are selling something. I know you do not have any agenda like that, so I can trust your take on it. THANK YOU!

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  2. Liz

    I am looking forward to seeing how you navigate your Whole 30. I’m not quite ready to be that strict just yet, but my 31 days are about moving toward a paleo diet, as well. I KNOW I feel better eating that way – my biggest challenge is the planning and meal prep. Good luck!

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    1. Cori D. Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Liz. Yes, I can already see that planning and preparation takes a lot more time! I should go chop some veggies right now. ūüôā

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  3. pamby57

    pamby57
    / September 30, 2013

    Looking forward to it‚Ķwell your blog that is‚Ķnot the giving up grains and cheese and ice cream ūüôā It will be good for me! I need to prove I can do it with all of the above still in the house‚Ķ BE STRONG!! ūüôā

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  4. Jerimi

    I’m so excited about this series! My husband and I went primal a couple of years ago (it’s like a variation on paleo, with stricter sugar control). We’ve been slipping, and could use a refresher. I’m bookmarking this. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Cori D. Post author

      Thanks for your excitement! It helps me out so much. For real! Thanks for stopping by! Whole30 is no sugar or any sweeteners, so it’s pretty strict. I’ll have to read up on primal.

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  5. Pingback: Day 1: I Survived the First Day (and a Disclaimer) | The Journey

  6. Pingback: Day 2: A Disclaimer of Sorts | From My Pen

  7. Leslie

    So glad you are writing this series. I want to know more…several friends eat paleo and have had great success. I look forward to catching up on the posts.

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