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A Few Thoughts on Paleo

Friends, can we chat health and lifestyle for a moment? I wasn’t planning to write this post just yet and, frankly, this is far outside the realm of what we usually chat about around these parts. That said, I know I’m far from being alone in my journey over here and I thought it might be helpful to get real for a moment and share a bit more about where I’m at with you. (Plus, I promised to share more insight into my personal life moving forward, remember?) If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may already know that last Monday I started following a Paleo diet. Today I thought I’d share a little bit about why that is and how it’s going so far after approximately 10 days.

Paleo Donuts

[Caramel glazed Paleo donuts from Against All Grain.]

In a nutshell? I love it. Some of you who are longtime readers may know that between 2006 and 2008, I lost approximately 110 pounds by cleaning up my eating and working out like a crazy woman. I had gotten really heavy in college and I’d finally had enough. The weight stayed off until 2011 when a series of wild and crazy events (a story for another day) all kind of collided and had this meteor-like effect on my life. I began making excuses, excuses turned into habits, and the weight started to pile back on. This year I have been struggling to try and lose what I gained back and was making little to no progress. Around that time I started hearing a lot of people talk about Paleo. I immediately wrote it off because most people who follow Paleo eat a lot of meat and this girl hasn’t eaten red meat in eight years or poultry in close to five. No way was I going back to eating meat. That said, I have always occasionally eaten fish and seafood, so I thought I’d look into Paleo a bit more and if it seemed interesting I’d modify it to fit my own lifestyle. A week and a half ago I did just that, and I’m pretty sure there’s no looking back at this point.

Paleo Lemon Bars

[Paleo lemon bars from Against All Grain.]

Ok, so if you’ve read this far you probably want to know the numbers, right? Over the last 10 days I’ve lost 7.4 pounds and the inches that are dropping off are blowing my mind. Already it’s more than 1″ from my waist and nearly 1.5″ from my hips. Overall, it’s about 5″ lost in not even two weeks. Mind boggling. Especially after months and months of little to no results. I haven’t changed my workouts at all. I’m still doing the same 5+ hours a week at the gym (or working out at home) I’ve been doing all year. The only thing that has changed in the last 10 days is my diet. I already ate pretty clean so I attribute it to cutting out the wheat and dairy. I haven’t been perfect, but my goal is to be 90% on target on any given day. I have had cream in my coffee a few times. While I love almond milk in a lot of things, there’s nothing like cream in coffee, in my opinion. On Saturday, we went out to eat and I did have a few bites of things that had wheat. But otherwise, I have been following along faithfully.

Paleo Lemonade

[Paleo lemonade from Against All Grain.]

I just want to point out, I’m in no way being sponsored or endorsed to talk about this stuff. I will share some links below that I found helpful when researching what Paleo was all about (in a nutshell, it’s no legumes, dairy, wheat, sugar, corn, soy, starches or processed foods), but these are really just for your informational purposes if you’re interested in learning more. I know what it’s like to feel like you’re beating your head against the wall and getting no where with your health goals. I know it all too well. Paleo is also said to be amazing for all kinds of auto-immune disorders, of which I’m luckily free, but it’s something to look into if you have any of those issues. I can assure you we’re not going to be talking about weight loss on the regular around here, but you can definitely follow along on Instagram if you want, because quite often I’m sharing what I’m eating and how things are going. Oh! And if you’re already living Paleo and have additional resources to share, please leave a comment! I’m far from an expert here, after all.

  • The Paleo Diet (I read this book first when I started getting serious about learning more)
  • Against All Grain (Danielle has tons of Paleo, gluten free, and dairy free recipes and a new cookbook I want!)
  • Breakfast at Toast (Danielle is one of the first bloggers I heard talking about Paleo)
  • A House in the Hills (Sarah has a ton of recipes, many of which are Paleo or could easily be modified)
  • Whole30 (An incredible resource with the ins and outs in good detail)
  • Pinterest (Just search for Paleo – loads of recipes come up!)
  • Instagram (I use the hashtag #paleo – really good inspiration on there)

If you have any questions, please let me know! Like I said, I’m far from a Paleo expert but I’m learning and enjoying the process so far. Surprisingly so, actually. On day 3 I thought I was going to throw in the towel and I distinctly recall texting a friend and declaring something along the lines of, “I want to face plant into a baguette smothered in goat cheese right now.” But I didn’t and I’m so glad for that. More updates to come as I learn more and have more insight to share.

[All photos by Against All Grain.]

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Tuesday 24th of September 2013

hi cyd. thanks so much for this post. when i read it, my fitbit flex was waiting to be picked up by me at the post, so i thought "heck, let's look into this paleo thing at the same time". now i'm on 5th day of the whole30 program and i haven't cheated even a little bit. i felt more energized already on day 2 and today i noticed how much this has activated my metabolism - I actually feel HUNGRY, not craving a certain food, but literally belly-growling hungry. this might not be anything special to a lot of people, but post-baby my body has been so messed up, especially with my stupid habit of not eating anything during a busy work day, that i haven't felt this in ages. and you're right, there is no going back. i will definitely stick to the whole30 and afterwards perhaps add a little dairy here and there (cheese, please!).

oh, and a little hint for your coffee: among the coconut milks and creams in our local supermarket, i found a little pack of organic creamed coconut. it's basically a little solid block of coconut milk drained almost entirely of fluid and it's perfect to carry with you for take-out coffees and coffee shop time with friends. natural almond milk really didn't do it for me (bitter, bitter coffee), but the coconut stuff is awesome!

thanks for this post, cyd! you may have changed my life a little.


Tuesday 24th of September 2013

Michaela, this makes my day! I am so so so glad you gave it a chance and are feeling better. I'm just over two weeks in now and I'm really amazed at how easily I'm finding it to stay on track. I can't wait to see where I'm at after the first 30 days. (And yes - I agree! I may have to add in a little bit of cheese here and there after the first month.) I'm definitely going to look for the creamed coconut, that sounds perfect. I, too, find that cravings are limited and I get feelings of real hunger. (But not in a bad/deprived way.) Also, I find I fill up a lot quicker at meals and can rarely clean my plate. That basically never happened before. ;-)

I am literally smiling and clapping over here, I'm thrilled to have helped in some way! That is why I wanted to write a post and share with everyone because I've been so amazed at how good it feels. Sending hugs! Keep me posted! xoxo

kate n

Friday 20th of September 2013

Pro tip: coconut milk in coffee! game changer. helps you avoid dairy first thing in the AM! Been paleo since May and never turning back.


Friday 20th of September 2013

Ahhh! Amazing, thanks, Kate! I hadn't thought of that, but it makes perfect sense. I'm using it in everything else, why not coffee? ;-) Thank you! I love the good pro tips. lol


Thursday 19th of September 2013

Oh, man, love all those breakfast ideas, Sara! Thank you so much for sharing. I'd love to stay in touch as we both go along the Paleo journey and a potential blog post in the future (when I feel a bit more prepared to speak about fitness/health again lol) would be fun! xoxo


Thursday 19th of September 2013

Thank you for sharing, Sam! I am now getting lost down the bunny trail of PaleOMG right now ;-) I'm so glad to hear you've been Paleo for almost a year, I really want to stick with it so knowing people are doing it and loving it after many months is really encouraging.


Thursday 19th of September 2013

Thanks, Alice! I do love what the Happy Herbivore has going on. I definitely don't disagree with you, interestingly with Paleo I'm eating far less animal products than ever before because of the dairy. I'm probably 95% dairy free and it feels pretty amazing, especially for something that once seemed so tough. I love my cheese and my Greek yogurt! ;-)