Paleo Blog: Days 1-5

Starting Paleo: JT’s Paleo Blog

I’ve heard a lot about the paleo diet. The greater CrossFit community seems to be crazy for it, and it’s certainly the cresting wave of new dietary fad. It sounds (to me) like a refinement of the lower-carb diets combined with the “noble savage” fallacy. More charitably, it is a dietary focus on quality of intake versus quantity of intake.

I can’t tell you if it works or not. I hear lots of claims from people selling lots of things. I have also seen friends try it and not gain results besides misery and a mild fixation on carbs. Does it work? Does it not? It’s in my nature to go for the simplest, most incontrovertible method of providing a trusted data point: I’m trying it.

It begins with the simple choice to try it today. It begins with me making the choices to stick to it for a duration that provides adequate time to measure results in terms of my body and performance. That doesn’t mean I have to make all the choices between now and the next month – it just puts a new intention in place that will inform all my choices of what I choose to eat in each moment.

I will eat paleo under the constraints of being a very busy person (working two jobs and change), traveling extensively, having a severe caffeine addiction, and not being a very creative cook. My main paleo goals are to eliminate artificial sweeteners, grains, and caffeine. I will be strict with some give – no servings of grains, but if a little flour sneaks into my sauces, I’m not going to cry about it. I will also continue to consume some dairy (the dairy part of paleo is apparently still “flexible” – call me non-orthodox paleo), but not more than 400cals per day of dairy.

I will write about this daily so that you can see what I eat, what I choose, and how it happens. There will be no mystery in this process: day by day you will witness my choices and over the weeks you will see the results, as I do. If the results aren’t great, you can choose a different path. If the results are awesome, you will have seen exactly how it happened and how you can do the same.

I invite you to join me, if you like. Start writing it down. Make a small, simple, choice. Write your menu down daily, weigh yourself at the start, and continue tracking your workouts and results as you have in the past. But in 2 months, you’ll be able to see how it worked out for me, regardless.

I started April 29th. Here’s what I’ve been eating, so far.

4/29/10 – Body weight: 82.8 kg

(We are operating a kilogram facility, after all.)

120cals eggwhites (24g)
40 cals mushrooms and onions
220 cals sausages (28g)
50 cals fruit cup
430 cals brkfst, 52g protein

Lunch: Longhorn 7-pepper sirloin salad, no dressing or croutons.
670 cals (at most, according to website with full dressing and croutons), 30g protein

Dinner:
9oz beef, 2oz cheese, mushrooms and onions (aka: Steak And Cheese Grinder Sammich, minus the bread.)
650 cals, 80g protein
50 cals peaches
Total: 1800 cal, 162g protein
It’s just this simple. Take the time to write it down. Write it down accurately. Weigh your food, measure it. Know what you’re doing, JT – because knowledge is the root of sound decision making. Conscious choice starts with opening our eyes and seeing both the way the world is and the way we’d like to change it, one small choice at a time.

4/30/10

egg whites (60 cal/12g), 3 oz steak (150cal/25g), mushrooms and onions (20cal), cheese (100cal/10g)
330 cal breakfast, 47g protein

Lunch:
9 oz beef filet (550cal/61g), sauteed mush/onion (90cal), salad and broccoli (100cal), sauteed shrimp (200cal/30g)

Dinner/snacking:
Grazed 4 servings sesame bark (from Marshalls Farm Stand!) (640 cal/16g)
1 serving almonds (180cal, 6g) (this is smaller than you think – like 7 almonds)
Total 2090 cals, 160g protein

5/1/10

6 eggs (450c/36g)
cheese (200c/20g)
blackberries (200c)
almonds (180c/6g)
sesame bark (320c/8g)
paleo jerky (120c/20g)
5oz steak (300 cal/50g)
asparagus, mushrooms, cheese (200c/10g)
salad (50c)
2020 cals, 150g

5/2/10

egg whites (120c/24g)
chz (100c/10g)
sausage (110c/14g)
sesame bark (160c/4g)
almonds (180c/6g)
Double Down – fried, no sauce (540c/53g)
coco water (45c)
paleo jerky (120c/20g)
smoked salmon (100c/13g)
1475 cals, 144g
(Yes, that Double Down. The KFC kind, with 2 patties of fried chicken and cheese and bacon. I wanted grilled but they were all out, so I accepted that I’d get a bit of breading and oil (about 80 cals total). The breading isn’t paleo, but the rest fits right in. It was delicious.)

There you have it: my first four days. I’ll keep most of these updates over on the Sidebar – I’ll be creating a new entry over on the right side of the page for my Food Blog updates, so I won’t swamp out your daily WOD and Red Sox Parking information. If you’re curious, follow along! Otherwise, I’ll see you in 2 months with a load of data.

7 thoughts on “Paleo Blog: Days 1-5”

  1. I love that you mention the Double Down. I read about it on a blog that was talking about how disgusting certain fast food items are. My first thought was, “Without the breading, that’s TOTALLY paleo!”

    Good Luck!!! Maybe if I can shake my Italian heritage, I’ll get there, too…

  2. Mmm…. Eggs and almonds… my bread and butter… Good luck! I’m a very unscientific experiment, as I started mild Paleo and working out at the same time, which means that I don’t have a proper control, but I’ve felt good about it, even through my difficulties with really sticking to it at school and such. But I’m taking a similar approach to you – if a little flour sneaks into my sauce, no biggie, but no full servings. It’s worked out well so far. Good luck, JT!

  3. Good luck man. “Loose” paleo is pretty easy once you get into the swing of things. FYI if one of your goals is still to build strength I’d up the calories a ton. Or, try it with the amounts you’re eating now and see how it goes. Personally I couldn’t gain strength without eating about double what you’re eating now.

  4. Good work JT, although your calorie input might not be high enough for how much you are working out, one thing many tend to do when going paleo is not eat enough (although it seems you are going paleo-zone), also…why no egg yolks? Keep monitoring your food intake and how you are feeling/performing (mentally and physically) in the first beginning stages!! Congrats on a major lifestyle change 🙂 Look to miss Erica Kroon for inspiration!!

  5. Great read! We’re all in this together – I dumped out my (cheap) vodka last night. I’ve been quasi-paleo for a couple of months (some milk, wraps…) and I feel a lot better lately.

  6. JT- – good for you. I am into day 36 of Paleo — took about 2 weeks to wean off the carbs and starches . . . never thought I could stomach a LARABAR. Kind of need to eat a little bit throughout the whole day. Based on Stacy’s calculations I have officially lost a few inches! More energy, better push ups (finally) and who knew . . . lots of Tequila! Speak to you in a month. p.s. Everything tastes better with bacon!

  7. Thanks for the support, everyone!

    Nick: your experience makes a strong case for paleo, since you hit your body recomposition goals very quickly and have already passed me in some strength and speed areas.

    Sara: thanks for the support! Perhaps *you* could blog, too. 🙂

    Jenn: great work! Keep it up. (I was astonished about Larabars being paleo.)

    (I’m taking the caloric budget input under advisement. I’ve chosen the current calorie range for a reason, and will write about that in a future post.)

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