Let’s be honest. Most of yesterday’s post was me complaining about my poor eating habits. So last night, I decided to stop whining and do something. I wanted to do a complete overhaul of my diet. I wanted to start eating clean. When I visualized the places I wanted to make changes, and the ways I wanted to eat, I realized that what I was basically coming up with was a Paleo diet. For those of you that don’t know, the Paleo style of eating is based on the philosophy that our caveman ancestors were really healthy, and therefore we should eat like them. It is based on (more or less) lots of meat and veggies. The basic rules are no dairy, grains, sugar, or peanuts. I tried this once, a couple of years ago. I lasted 3 days. What got me was a Costco pack of fresh granola bars. Especially since I had a slight granola bar obsession at that time…

That is the Paleo diet as I am choosing to interpret it. Some are stricter, some less strict. When I tried it before, I did it hardcore, which also meant no salt, i.e. no flavor. So yeah. Not doing that. Before I get into this, let me just say I hate the word “diet.” I am not dieting. I am seeking a healthy lifestyle. And for the record, I don’t exactly buy the argument that we should eat this way because this is how cavemen eat. I think we have definitely made some improvements. However, I view this as a really healthy, whole food, nutrient dense way of living. My original plan was to try this for a week. So how was day 1?

I ate a banana before weights. Afterwards, I made a smoothie, and had a side of eggs and potatoes.Image

I went for half egg whites, and half whole eggs. My smoothie included banana, strawberry, watermelon (I don’t know what it is about these 3 fruits together that reminds me of cotton candy…), soymilk, blackberries, and some of my weird veggie mix chocolate protein powder. Image

(This is an old picture ignore the cocoa powder and peanut butter.)

This meal was….great. This is the first time in who know when that I didn’t finish my smoothie when I got full. I always seem to get super full and power through it, but today I just stopped and was done. No struggle. 

Another note on the Paleo way of eating: in the book I read (2 years ago), it was The Paleo Diet for Athletes, and didn’t allow potatoes except for right after exercise. And since breakfast usually has potatoes, and I always have morning workouts, I’m good!

So here’s the big question. How did I feel? To be honest, after my first class this morning, I had completely changed my view on life and everything I’ve ever put into my mouth. I have never been so awake and alert in a 10am class in my life. For as long as I can remember, I always struggle to stay awake around this time. This year, I always attributed this to sleep deprivation. But here’s the thing. I didn’t get any more sleep last night. I got just over 6 hours. But I felt AMAZING. I could tell I was still tired, but I was clear-headed, as opposed to my usual foggy-head, struggling to keep my eyes open. I’ve always suspected that something was going on with my crash, because even on days (like Wednesday) where I got plenty of sleep, I still felt this way. 

This means one of two things (or a number of others that I’m totally unaware of.)

1. I’ve been majorly spiking and then crashing my blood sugar. 

2. Possible gluten intolerance? My roommate is gluten intolerant and talks about when she ate gluten she would be foggy-headed. Check. 

Honestly, I have no idea why this worked. But I definitely want to stick with it. This seriously changed my life. I don’t want this to be a week long thing to clean up my diet. I want this to be a lifestyle. Also, think about how many more nutrients come from these Paleo-friendly foods? Let’s be honest; bread doesn’t do a ton for you, and it digests fairly quickly, especially in comparison to beans. I’ll be honest. These changes are not easy, and I’m definitely not perfect (more on that in a bit…) This is going to be one of the hardest things mentally that I will ever do, maybe in my life. Yes, harder mentally than a 6k test. But I truly believe that this will make a huge difference in my life and my body. To be honest, I have some pressure to clean myself up. I have another 6k in a month, and I need to get myself together and PR. And fun fact, I find it easier to push myself on the erg when I’m used to eating well and resisting junk. 

By the way, I’m not sure I’m exactly buying theory 1, because by the time i got out of class at lunchtime, I was hungry enough to eat a buffalo, but I didn’t feel tired or groggy. So here’s Paleo meal #2!Image

Before lunch, I found myself craving real food. Vegetables, beans, meat. And I had an odd craving for watermelon. Who knew? 

After lunch was when things started to get difficult. Of course I wanted a sweet treat, so I grabbed a banana with peanut and almond butter, which did the trick. Yes, I know that peanuts aren’t actually Paleo-friendly, but it’s a transition period! And yes, I definitely shouldn’t be eating them….

After browsing some Paleo blogs (gotta love the Internet), I realized there was a softball game going on, and one of the visiting teams had a girl who I played with on it, so I rushed to the field to catch the end of the game. I honestly was not prepared for the realization of how much I missed it. It was a little hard to watch, and I couldn’t help but wish I was out there. Softball is so much more my sport than rowing will ever be (sorry crew).

Unfortunately, I came back to my dorm craving sweet carbs (this seems to be a thing with me…) Enter banana number 4. To be fair, they were very small bananas! Well, actually I made some guacamole and ate that with celery first, then moved to the banana, which I heated up with cocoa powder, and ate with almond butter (Paleo friendly!). I guess it wasn’t exactly sweets I was craving as much as the texture of bread, This was a major issue for me the first time I tried Paleo as well. I then mixed up some cocoa powder, coconut oil, a little honey, and coconut for a delicious treat. My skin is going to hate me. It’s actually bad, I’ve made several banana mixtures that I’ve eaten with nut butter and coconut, and thought “How many things that Aurora is allergic to can I fit into this tiny cup?” I later had a giant Fugi apple with peanut butter (gosh this stuff is so good) and whipped up a little more coconut mix. Unfortunately, this was right before Spin, but it didn’t haunt me too much. One thing I did notice though. I hate snacks, because they usually give me a stomach ache (but I eat them anyways). No stomach ache this time, just fullness. Awesome!

After Spin, I headed out to dinner, even though I wasn’t terribly. hungry. I figured some veggies could do me good!Image

Baked tilapia, whipped sweet potatoes (SO GOOD), and roasted veggies. 

I’m not going to lie, I had a major Paleo hiccup post dinner. But I’m not going to go into that, so I can move on and focus on tomorrow! 

Overall, I’m viewing today as a transition day. I ended up eating quite a bit overall, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do to get used to something new. I need my crutches! My goal for tomorrow is to offer my skin some mercy and avoid coconut and other nuts. I think it’s doable; I’ve got some awesome meals to look forward to, which always helps! And guess what else I get to do?Image

I get to visit this guy! That’s right, I’m going home over the long weekend! I have a feeling that more appetizing foods/more fruits than just bananas will make my whole Paleo transition a little easier. Have a great weekend everyone! Happy eating!

2 comments on “Big Changes

  1. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate

    Look into whole30. I’m doing it now and it really helps clean up your diet!

    1. astottler

      I’ll definitely check into that!

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