I may be a glutton for punishment but when some one says something is “the worst thing ever” I just have to try it. This is why I began my short-lived Paleo diet journey. The concept of Paleo is just as it sounds, to eat as the ancient people did. You may have heard it referred to as the caveman diet. The word diet can be misleading, it is not a crash, fad, or temporary thing for weight loss.The basic idea behind it is to eat real, unprocessed foods that are best for your health. In a nutshell the basic rules are lots of meats, healthy fats, and veggies and no dairy, sugars, or grains. If you think about it our ancestors had to be in prime health running away from saber tooth tigers and all and they were not fueling their bodies with Cheetos and Chipotle. The idea sounds genius, take away the junk only eat foods that nourish. However tis easier said then done; below look at my meager attempt over five days.
Day One: Kale, Eggs, Bacon
Brisket, Pulled Pork, Coleslaw, Pickled Vegetables
Yam Maple Syrup, Honey Glazed Pecans
Shrimp & Veggie Chips
(I was soooo hungry this day, just thinking about everything I couldn’t eat, the honey glazed pecans saved my life)
Day Two: Kale, Eggs,
2 Burgers, yam, broccoli
(I slept until 3pm)
Day Three: Smoked Turkey, Broccoli, Latte w. Coconut Milk, Grapes, ½ avocado
Restaurant week meal: kale salad w. manchego, brisket w. carrots and potatoes, pistachio ice cream sundae, bananas and caramel
(and the downfall began)
Day Four: Coconut Milk, banana, strawberry green shake
2 boiled eggs, 4 pieces of steak, cucumbers
Restaurant week meal: kangaroo burger, scallops, doughnuts
Day Five: Coconut Milk, banana, strawberry shake, boiled eggs, pork tenderloin, burger, carrots, guacamole
(This would have been a good day…if I hadn’t got invited to the club randomly and some one hadn’t bought a disgusting dollar amount of liquor)
As you can see I was doomed before I even began. I would call what I did Paleo FAILeo. Between restaurant week and being a chef I definitely had to taste things that were not Paleo on days 3-5. Ok well, restaurant week I didn’t have to but who would say no to this
It was also difficult because although there were so many things I could eat I was focused on the things I couldn’t no cheese? No sugar? Kill me. Also without grains you need to eat double to make your stomach feel full, but I would get tired of the same taste.
Oh and then there was the issue of liquor. If you have a social life in New York liquor is absolutely impossible to avoid and only those with extreme discipline will not partake. Not saying I get wasted every night, but this week I went to two clubs, a Nets game, and two fancy restaurants in every one of those places I had a drink or two.
On day five a friend asked if I was seeing body changes but obviously the answer was no because I never really started. Even the pulled pork on the first day probably had some sort of sugar in it. Anytime you eat out the amounts of sugar and salt is so abnormal that it could never be considered Paleo. The other downside was that I was always hungry, but as my mom pointed out the cave people were probably always hungry. They didn’t have the luxury of having an abundance of food before them. Their restaurant week probably happened when they killed a large animal were able to feast with no worries.
In conclusion the idea of Paleo is good. It did make me more aware of what I was putting into my body.Being an athlete growing up I never once had to think about what I put in my mouth (that’s what she..). Sugars and processed foods most certainly show on my body as I’ve grown older. Attempting this diet made me realize how much I often turn to convenience over health. It is a nice reset and I would recommend it for anyone who is in serious need of a lifestyle change. Though it is not the goal of Paleo, losing weight is absolutely a result once you eliminate foods that serve no purpose. It drives me crazy when people are like Paleo, vegan, organic is the only way I lost 1000 pounds…oh maybe because all you ate was Mcdonald’s and Wendy’s before of course you lost weight dummy. In my life the exact execution of this diet is probably not going to happen anytime soon. Unless you make all your own meals and live in a hole (with no friends) your Paleo will never be perfect. While it is important to not inundate my body with junk I’m too busy living life to the fullest to have rigid dietary restrictions, as my grandmother always says; “Everything in moderation.” As Julia Child adds in (Yes, you can’t tell me my grandmother didn’t make up that phrase) ” Everything in moderation, even moderation.”