Day #1 of Paleo challenge.

Hello all.

In a brief update, hubby and I have turned to the Paleo diet to lose weight and regain energy and health. We started this just over 6 weeks ago.

As of now he has lost 20 lbs. and I can barely keep up with him when walking places. I have lost about 12 lbs.

Yes, this is hubby with an engine block on his shoulder. An engine!
Yes, this is hubby with an engine block on his shoulder. An engine! All muscle!

If you are wondering what exactly the Paleo diet is about, maybe you have heard of it kind-of-sort-of, here it is in a nut shell:

The Paleo diet (or lifestyle really) is one where you eat wholesome, nourishing, basic foods. Meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts, eggs. You don’t eat breads, pastas, rice, any grains (even oatmeal is out) soy, sugar, legumes, dairy (sniff) and bad oils. Good oil is olive, coconut, lard, ghee and so on. Bad oils are seed oils like canola, corn, sunflower, vegetable and the like.

Eat this...
Eat this…
and this...
and this…













It started at my friend Michele’s house. She had a book called “Against all Grain”   by Danielle Walker, which I thumbed through while visiting. Later, after some discussion and research, Dave and I decided to give this diet a try. Not in the “Oh boy, we are going to change our life” way but more the “Well, what have we got to lose by trying” way. So I got her book on Kindle.

Not this...
Not this…
and not this...(Okay, I did cheat this day with a tiny slice. I run the diet, it doesn't run me...)
and not this…(Okay, I did cheat this day with a tiny slice. I run the diet, it doesn’t run me…)

It didn’t look as hard as some others diets out there and we had to do something to stop this run-away train of weight gain we were both experiencing.

I don’t like the idea of a “diet”. It sounds too temporary. “We will diet (struggle and sacrifice and suffer) until we lose the weight, then go back to the way we ate before”.

We were looking for more of an eating lifestyle change. Not that our diet was that poor! As you can read in this blog, we ate mostly homemade meals and had a pretty balanced diet. I bake a lot, but do not eat much of what I make. I just taste it and let others eat it.

But some habits had to be changed. Like the sea of chips, candy and popcorn pooling around the island of the recliner, late night eating/snacking and those several-times-a-week stops at Del Taco for cheap tacos. Every time he sat down, hubby was putting food in his mouth. Then taking a nap.

Also portion control was an issue.

The only way to get one of us to stop those bad habits was for both of us to change our ways.

So there I was, taking a crash course on cooking paleo type meals. Along the way I found Paleo Living Magazine. It has some fun and interesting posts. Also Nom Nom Paleo was a fun site to visit with practical ideas as well.

Anyway, the other day I got an email from the paleo living magazine couple, Jeremy and Louise, about a 7 day challenge. Since we have been on this diet long enough to kind of ‘get the hang of it’ , I signed us up to be challenged.

For fun.


So for the next 7 days, instead of being 95% paleo, we will go for the full 100%. No cooking in irish butter. No sips of milk. No candy.

And today is the first day. So here is what we ate today.

For breakfast I made us a potato hash with sweet potatoes and 1 white potato I had peeled,diced and soaked in salt water. (this pulls out some of the starch, which I thought might be better weight wise. This is the first white potato we have eaten in 6 weeks. More to avoid the weight of the starchy food. Some Paleo people have it on their good list, some on their bad). I added some diced onion and seasoning. The difference between this and Jessica hash is the lack of corn. We can’t eat corn now. I also made him 2 cheater-poached eggs and some watermelon. (cheater poached-I put the eggs in a pre-heated skillet with olive oil, crack the eggs in, put about a Tbsp of water over the top of them and put a lid on it until its done the way we like.) I made one for myself as well.

This could be made ahead (or save leftovers) and given a quick saute in a skillet. Add a lightly poached egg on top and oo-la-la!
This could be made ahead (or save leftovers) and given a quick saute in a skillet. Add a lightly poached egg on top and oo-la-la!

Lunch will be leftover green salad with a hard-boiled egg sliced in, some pepitos and pear slices.

Dinner will probably be something along these lines:

Probably not salmon today, but fish, mango salsa, and green beans instead of a salad.
Probably not salmon today, but fish, mango salsa, and green beans instead of a salad.

What can we drink? WATER. Really that’s about it. Tea with breakfast. I do put about 1/2 tsp of honey in it. Dave has been putting a splash of juice in the bottom of his water glass, but he really shouldn’t. Coffee is okay, but neither of us really drink it. Oh yeah, coconut water is okay too. We do have cans of that sitting around. But mostly just water. You get used to it pretty quick.

I have been learning to start dinner earlier so we are not eating later than 6. (I’m trying anyway). Dave, who is a late night person and doesn’t come to bed until about 1 am is learning not to snack after dinner. I find that incredible. Because here he is up and working, then checking email and ending with a little tv. It has been about 7  hours since he ate and he is not going to eat any snacks!? That’s like eating lunch at noon, then, instead of dinner at 7, just going to bed. He does come to bed hungry and whispering, in a husky voice, sweet breakfast ideas for the next day.

But I am proud of how well he is sticking with it! I probably cheat more than he does. I know he has a candy bar in the outside fridge he takes a bite from at least once a day. I have an occasional sip of milk or spoonful of good yogurt. When I made scones a couple of weeks ago you know I ate at least one! And I had a slice of the Japanese Milk  bread a couple of days ago when it was fresh. When we have really cheated, it had most definite consequences! One day 30 Dave celebrated by picking up fries from Der Weinershnitzel. He ate about 5 and thew them out. He said they had such a chemical and over salty taste! And these used to be his favorites!

I made a bag of popcorn one day, “for the boys” and we each had some. This too he thought was too salty. What’s amazing is he has always been my salt monster! Like in the old Star Trek episode with this creepy grey salt monster, Dave was always snacking on the salty stuff. He called chips his “salt transport mechanism”. And now he hasn’t had a chip in over 6 weeks. Amazing.

But yesterday, before we started the challenge, I decided to get us each a donut. I have been craving a donut for weeks and really, who, other than my older son who never eats them, can resist a donut? So I did it, I bought us all a donut.

Wow. Yes, it tasted wonderful and I enjoyed every bite. But that night my ankles (go figure) hurt so bad I could barely sleep. I have had painful ankles for a couple of years now. In short, we don’t know why. Anyway, I have not had noticeable pain in quite a while and even took the dog for a jog around the block the other night. But last night I could hardly sleep for the pain. Dave came to bed with a pounding headache. He took some Tylenol and it helped for a little while. But it came back. We both got up this morning agreeing that we would not do that again any time soon.

We had started off thinking we would do this for 30 days. But with all this new energy, with the slow and steady weight loss, we decided to stick it out a while longer. Who knows, maybe forever…


2 thoughts on “Day #1 of Paleo challenge.

  1. Wow! Good for you! Our new eating lifestyle is working too. I have lost 10 pounds and my size 10 jeans are too big! I am not going shopping for a while, though. The renewed energy and lack of pain will keep you going. Hang in there. It is totally worth it!

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