As I’m nearing the end of this Eating Paleo for 31 Days routine, it is time to evaluate how it went. It was hard and frustrating at times, yet I learned a lot. I would say the experiment is a success!
I learned I can eat healthy foods on a regular and consistent basis. I can eat new foods. I can survive without sugar and grains and dairy. I still miss some of those things, but certainly don’t feel that “must.have.sugar.NOW!” sensation any more. There is something empowering about exercising self-control.
Some of my posts were kind of whiny. I was just sharing how I felt on that day. As I look back on the month now, I practically forget about those days. It was good to write daily and not just do a month wrap-up post, because some of those frustrating days might have been overlooked. Making changes to your eating and/or exercise plans is hard. HARD! You will have days that are frustrating and make you feel like quitting. You will have days where you wonder if it is worth the time and effort you are putting into it. You will hit “the wall” and want to give up. You will survive and even thrive, though, if you keep pushing ahead. Don’t let a bad day derail you. I was definitely reminded of that this month.
I generally have not been hungry between meals while eating Paleo. (Well, maybe that night of the spaghetti experiment.) I thought I might be starving all the time, but that is not the case at all. I get hungry by the next meal, and I often have a snack in the afternoon, but the meals have been very satisfying. There is no calorie counting (and I never did get a full day counted, even though I was going to try for a few days). I can eat as much as I want, as long as it is the Paleo foods. I really suspect, especially on the days where I got lots of healthy fats, that I was well over the recommended calorie intake for my size.
I never really had the horrible “carb flu” some people do when they start the Whole30 plan. I was fairly crabby for a day or so, but I warned my husband about that, so he was able to, in turn, warn me when I was getting a little over the top. 😉 I also think that my energy levels are up. I have been sleeping great (except for one night), and I don’t feel like I could fall asleep at any point in the afternoon, which was fairly routine previously. I’m not bouncing off the walls with super powers or anything, but I definitely don’t feel as tired as normal. There was a week or so that I was feeling more sluggish. That was a week I was staying up too late and also probably having some hormonal interference.
One of the big things I was curious about was dealing with my hormone imbalance issues. My symptoms have not magically disappeared, but they have definitely improved. In fact, the PMS anxiety I was having was basically gone this month. I don’t know how much of that is from getting more nutrition or just cutting out sugar and most caffeine. I’ll have to keep experimenting. I was still crabby for that hormonal time, so darn, it didn’t cure me of that. 😉
And, of course, everyone wants to know if I’ve lost any weight. I have. But before I go there, I will remind you that this was not a journey to focus on weight loss. I am hoping to make changes to be a healthier person. Weight loss is a side benefit of eating Paleo, and if you are only wanting to lose weight, I’m not sure I’d recommend this eating plan. I really think you should have some other motivation for trying it. That said, I am down 9 pounds and have lost an inch from my waist and my hips. I am now in the “normal” range for my height according to all of those charts. It’s a nice feeling, I must say! I have not been doing any hard workouts at all. I’ve been walking about three times a week, and each walk has been about two miles. It is an example of the saying “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet.”
I suspect that weight will come back quite quickly if I return to my old eating habits. So, what will I do when this month is over? That is a great question! Come back tomorrow for my “what’s next?” post.
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs and a banana.
Snack: Some roasted pumpkin seeds.
Lunch: Leftover chicken, leftover sweet potatoes and strawberries. (I warmed up two chicken breasts because they are small and thin, but I ended up only needing one.)
Supper: Crockpot steak fajitas (Recipe from Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures), a side salad and pineapple (not pictured).
Cori 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.