30 days of Paleo


Paleo_Challenge


I love eating. And I’m sure you do too. Why else would you be reading this wonderful blog, right? πŸ˜‰


While snarfing down cupcakes and demolishing pork platters has been a very fun pass time, as I’m getting older (and a wee bit wiser), I have realised the importance of taking my health seriously.


Now I’m not one for diets. If you force me, I will try the Atkins or the Grapefruit or whatever new fad diet is in town, once. But usually I just end up depressed and then once it’s over, I binge on whatever I was not allowed to eat. (Pasta, potatoes, rice! Come to Mommy. Boo Atkins, Boooo.)


Then I heard about Paleo. And these are the reasons why I’ve decided to give it a try for 30 days:


*I want to permanently incorporate healthier foods into my diet and learn to enjoy them.
*I will end up cooking most of my meals myself so I can focus on food quality and try to buy better/fresher/healthier produce.
*Paleo encourages me to work out and stay fit.
*Paleo encourages me to sleep more than 7 hours a day (which I desperately need).
*Paleo encourages me to drink more water everyday – something I really struggle with.
*I want to be stronger, healthier, and happier.


But what the heck is Paleo?


After reading many, many articles, and talking to some friends, this is what I have gleaned.


Paleo is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle.


In it, people choose to eat like our paleolithic ancestors did, emulating some nutritional and behavioral aspects of the “caveman” life.
The science behind it is that nowadays most of us eat in a way our bodies struggle to deal with – lots of refined flour, sugar, trans fats, processed food, fried food – the list goes on and on.
Going back to the basics and eating essentially fruits/vegetables and meat might be exactly what our bodies need.


This chart explains what we should aim to eat and what we should try to avoid while attempting Paleo.


Paleo


So for 30 days, starting 26th August, 2013, I will be attempting the 30 days of Paleo challenge.


I will be logging my points here every day following this system:


1 point for sleeping more than 7 hours day
1 point for drinking half my weight in ounces of water/tea
1 point for working out
2 points for eating clean (full Paleo)


The aim is to try my best to earn all 5 points each day.


I will mention what I ate/cooked everyday and you can expect to see a few healthy Paleo recipes in the regular section of this blog.


I will also weigh in on the first day and the last day of the challenge. I don’t want to do it more often because I don’t think weight really has anything to do with fitness and health. But hey, if I lose a few kilos, you won’t hear me complaining! πŸ˜‰


Now this won’t be easy, and I know that.


To make this experiment much more fun and for us to be accountable, 3 very close friends are taking part in this experiment with me. (I have the BEST friends. But you guys already knew that :))


Here’s more on them.


Aditi a.k.a The Sports Enthusiast


Aditi


Location: Bangalore
Occupation: HR Consultant
Super power: Reading your mind faster than you can say Patrick Jane.
Why she’s trying Paleo: She’s started a new exercise regime and is trying this to see if it makes a positive impact on her health.
Follow her on Twitter here.


Dennis a.k.a The Serial Crossfitter


Dennis


Location: New Jersey
Occupation: Underwriter
Super power: Spontaneously bursting into song.
Why he’s trying Paleo: He’s successfully done it once before, and wants to do it again because of the improvements he felt.
Follow him on Twitter here, and follow his detailed 30 days of Paleo journey here.


Shriya a.k.a The Zumba Pro


Shriya


Location: California
Occupation: Graphic designer
Super power: Creating insanely beautiful DIY projects that make Pinterest look oh-so 10 years ago.
Why she’s trying Paleo: She’s always been into healthy eating and wants to see if this will make a distinct difference.
Follow her on Twitter here, and on Pinterest here.


And if you don’t know me already…


Charis a.k.a The non-stop Kickboxer


66220_10152206635590576_1063359833_n


Location: Delhi
Occupation: Editor
Super power: Inhaling cupcakes.
Why I’m trying Paleo: I really want to make healthier food choices and not suffer them, but really enjoy them.
Follow me on Twitter here, on Pinterest here, and follow my detailed 30 days of Paleo journey below.


We’ll be tweeting through the month using the hashtag #30DaysofPaleo and logging all our points on this FB page as well. Feel free to join us!


A few other things:


*Please know that I’m not going to be an annoying stickler about this. I will be aiming for an 80:20 ratio in favour of Paleo. That 20% means I can eat the occasional cupcake. Or dumpling. And you bet your skinny ass, I will.
*My understanding of Paleo is elementary at best, so there might be things here you don’t agree with. I am starting out like this so that I can ease into it – if it works for me, I will follow the stricter rules at a later stage. All of us will try to answer questions you may have, so go ahead and ask in the comments section below. You could also read some of the links below for more information on Paleo.
*Please feel free to join us in this challenge. We’ll be happy to link up with you πŸ™‚ We need all the support we can get!
*I will still be reviewing and blogging about “regular food” during this period. This is an experiment. So please don’t run away. CulinaryStorm loves you!


Some great Paleo sites for more information:


What is the Paleo Diet?
Everyday Paleo
Nom Nom Paleo (HOW cute is that?)


—————————————————————-


Day 1


Weigh in: 63 kgs


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 egg scramble with tomatoes and onion
Lunch: Pork and chicken meatloaf with wilted spinach-garlic
Dinner: Fried fish with a pumpkin, eggplant, and rocket hash
Snacks: Banana, Apple, Guava


Workout of the day: 50 minute jog + 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: Pumped! The first day went better than I expected. The foods I made were delicious. The only thing I missed was dessert 😦


Day 2


What I ate:


Breakfast: 1 mango and leftover pork and chicken meatloaf
Lunch: Fried fish with a pumpkin, eggplant, and rocket hash
Dinner: Green monster and 2 devilled eggs
Snacks: Apple, guava, mango, and a handful of cashew nuts


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: Wasn’t feeling so great in the morning. Sort of had an energy slump. Was really craving something sweet around noon. Glad I pushed through though. My Green monster was made with coconut milk and I love love love coconut milk!


Day 3


What I ate:


Breakfast: Leftover green monster and leftover devilled eggs
Lunch: A grilled chicken salad with no dressing :(. Also had a vodka on ice with lime and honey. I realise alcohol is to be avoided as much as possible, but I’m working with a 6 drink limit for this challenge.
Dinner: Pork sausages, a tomato-onion-cucumber salad, and a boiled egg.
Snacks: Banana, and a slice of ham.


Workout of the day: 1 hour jogging


Points: 5


How I feel: My energy is still not great. And I’m a bit cranky. I think it’s because my body is saying “Where the hell is my sugar and carbs?”. My friends have assured me it gets better next week. So fingers crossed.


Day 4


What I ate:


Breakfast: Banana-egg pancakes with wild honey.
Lunch: Pork sausages and a tomato-onion-cucumber salad.
Dinner: 2 pieces of fried fish and a pumpkin-green pepper hash.
Snacks: Banana, nuts, and apple slices with a coconut cream and wild honey dipping sauce.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: This was NOT a good day. I was very cranky all day. My friends at work asked me why I was so quiet and unlike myself. After my workout, I felt better but then I got into an argument with a friend about whether honey is paleo or not. The honey I ate was local, wild, organic honey. Apparently honey is a grey area paleo food, but I believe it’s okay in moderation. More on that here, here, and here. I realized today what an emotional thing food is for me. When I was arguing about honey, I first got really defensive, then angry, and then I almost wanted to cry. Clearly I have strong feelings for honey. I’m not allowed sugar or chocolate, so what on earth do you expect?


Day 5


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with a tomato-cucumber salad.
Lunch: 2 pieces of fried fish and a pumpkin-green pepper hash.
Dinner: Grilled chicken with a cucumber salad.
Snacks: Nuts, a slice of ham, an apple with coconut cream, paleo truffles, and banana chips (yum!).


Workout of the day: 50 mins jogging


Points: 5


How I feel: My friend Neha made me delicious Paleo truffles (almonds, raisins, dates, cocoa) and that made me really happy πŸ™‚ I snacked a lot today and went to bed feeling satisfied and full.


Day 6


What I ate:


Breakfast: Nothing.
Lunch: A pork fiesta at a fabulous North eastern restaurant, followed by several sugary desserts.
Dinner: A chicken burger.
Snacks: Banana chips.


Workout of the day: None.


Points: 2


How I feel: I failed Paleo today. I knew I’d be eating out, but the desserts and the burger really took it to the next level. I felt bloated and disgusted by the evening. The good thing is I’ve satiated my sweet tooth and I’m looking forward to another week of Paleo!


Day 7


What I ate:


Breakfast: Grilled chicken in coconut milk.
Lunch: Banana chips and 2 dark beers.
Dinner: Banana and coconut cream.
Snacks: Nuts and a Paleo truffle.


Workout of the day: 2 hours Cha Cha


Points: 5


How I feel: I’m enjoying cooking things in coconut milk and cream. Makes everything so much yummier! The 2 beers brought my drink count for the week to 3 – which isn’t bad. Will try to keep it to a max of 2 next week. I can’t believe Week 1 is over! I feel great πŸ™‚


Day 8


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with a slice of ham.
Lunch: Grilled chicken in coconut milk with a cucumber-onion salad.
Dinner: Fried fish with an eggplant-shrimp stir-fry.
Snacks: Nuts, Paleo truffles, and 2 bananas, and a pear.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: I’m feeling really positive going into Week 2. I’m going to plan some Paleo desserts this week to keep me happy. I’m already sleeping so much better. Looking forward to the surge of energy that will come a’knockin at the end of Week 2 (according to some peeps!) πŸ™‚


Day 9


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with onions and ham.
Lunch: Fried fish with an eggplant-shrimp stir-fry.
Dinner: Beef stir-fry, a piece of fried fish, and a tomato-cucumber-onion salad.
Snacks: Nuts, Paleo truffles, a guava, and coconut mousse.


Workout of the day: 1 hour jog + 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: Was very very hungry post lunch. I think I need to keep more snacks at my desk. Will buy some banana chips and more fruit. The morning and evening workout had me completely exhausted.


Day 10


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with onions and ham.
Lunch: Beef stir-fry, a piece of fried fish, and a tomato-cucumber-onion salad.
Dinner: Half a coconut and a paleo truffle.
Snacks: Nuts, a guava, coconut chips and jackfruit chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: I ate snacks consistently through the day, so I wasn’t hungry. In fact by dinner, I was happy with just some sweet coconut pieces πŸ™‚


Day 11


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes.
Lunch: Grilled chicken and a tomato-cucumber-onion salad.
Dinner: Fried bananas and coconut mousse.
Snacks: Nuts, coconut pieces, coconut chips, and jackfruit chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: Still feeling a little low on energy. Although I feel quite pumped during my workouts. It’s nice to come home and cook everyday – even though I don’t have much time, it’s a ritual I’m loving and looking forward to each day.


Day 12


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes.
Lunch: Fried fish and a pepper-pumpkin-eggplant hash.
Dinner: A beer and coconut pieces.
Snacks: Nuts, bananas, and coconut chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour jogging


Points: 5


How I feel: Small snacks through the day kept me happy. Particularly enjoyed my run this morning – it’s getting easier.


Day 13


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 bananas, banana chips, and a Paleo truffle.
Lunch: Coconut chicken and a raw papaya salad.
Dinner: Lots of non Paleo food at an engagement party, including dessert and rum and cokes.
Snacks: None.


Workout of the day: None.


Points: 2


How I feel: My cheat day this week. I enjoyed the drinks and dessert, but didn’t over-do anything. Felt good, but not as good as my cheat day last week. I think I’m getting used to less sugar! πŸ™‚


Day 14


What I ate:


Breakfast: An apple, pears, and banana chips.
Lunch: Coconut chicken and a raw papaya salad.
Dinner: Paleo chocolate and nuts.
Snacks: Dates.


Workout of the day: 2 hours Cha Cha


Points: 5


How I feel: Halfway through the challenge! Can’t believe it! This is the week it’s supposed to start feeling awesome. Fingers crossed.


Day 15


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 bananas, dates, and nuts.
Lunch: Pork sausages and an onion salad.
Dinner: Fried fish and a tomato salad.
Snacks: Coconut mousse with a spoon of honey, and Paleo chocolate.


Workout of the day: 40 mins jogging


Points: 5


How I feel: I have discovered 2 magical things that I know will be the key to getting through the next 2 weeks – dates (so yum! why didn’t anyone tell me how delish they are??) and Paleo chocolate (OMG SO YUM. Recipe soon!)


Day 16


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs and nuts.
Lunch: Salted beef and an onion-cucumber salad.
Dinner: Pork with bamboo shoot and boiled garlic spinach.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, dates, and jackfruit chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: Enjoying my Paleo food. I don’t feel like it’s that restrictive anymore. Lots of delicious Paleo things to eat! We did a tricep workout in my kickboxing class and I killed it. Feels good!


Day 17


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon.
Lunch: Pork with bamboo shoot and a pepper-pumkin-eggplant hash.
Dinner: Pork with bamboo shoot and boiled garlic spinach.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, dates, an apple, 3 bananas, 2 pears, and banana chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour jogging + 1 hour kickboxing


Points: 5


How I feel: I ate quite a lot today. But I think I worked most of it off. I was quite energetic all day, but there was a slight slump in the evening. It picked up after my workout though. In other news, 3 different people told me I’ve lost weight today! Feels good πŸ™‚


Day 18


What I ate:


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with bacon.
Lunch: Salted beef and boiled garlic spinach.
Dinner: Organic dinner – food was largely Paleo, all cooked in olive oil and rock salt, but I did have some dairy (paneer and dessert).
Snacks: An apple, 2 pears, and coconut pieces.


Workout of the day: None.


Points: 2


How I feel: I greedily ate a milk dessert and then I felt awful. Bloated and that too-full feeling. Is my body rejecting dairy? Now that I’ve been off it for so long? Wondering…


Day 19


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs.
Lunch: Fried fish and boiled garlic spinach.
Dinner: Pork with bamboo shoot and a tomato salad.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate and coconut pieces.


Workout of the day: 1 hour jogging.


Points: 5


How I feel: Had a very tiring day so I wasn’t feeling great by the evening. The Paleo chocolate is such a saviour – it is just so delicious and sinful enough to be utterly satisfying.


Day 20


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with bacon.
Lunch: Dates.
Dinner: Salted beef and a tomato salad.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate and a Paleo truffle.


Workout of the day: Rest day (before my marathon).


Points: 4


How I feel: I had a slight fever through the day, so I wasn’t feeling very hungry. I ate a full dinner though, because I’m running my first 10K marathon tomorrow! I was advised taking a rest day from any kind of work out, which is what I did.


Day 21


What I ate:


Breakfast: None.
Lunch: Waffles, sausages, bacon and hot chocolate.
Dinner: Coconut chicken and a banana.
Snacks: None.


Workout of the day: 85 mins marathon.


Points: 3


How I feel: I ran my first marathon, you guys! It was awesome. I was pooped by the end, but I’m so proud of myself because I didn’t slow down to a walk the entire distance – I ran throughout. After the run, a group of us went out for lunch and I ate carbs because I felt like I needed it. Was in bed the rest of day, nursing sore muscles and a terrible, painful throat infection. 😦


Day 22


What I ate:


Breakfast: Fried egg, bacon, and a banana.
Lunch: Grilled chicken salad and an apple-orange juice.
Dinner: None.
Snacks: Dates.


Workout of the day: A few crunches, sit-ups, and stretches (doesn’t count as a work-out, I know!)


Points: 4


How I feel: My throat infection is worse. I was out all day running errands, and by the end I just fell into bed, too exhausted to even eat dinner. Hopefully I’ll be better tomorrow.


Day 23


What I ate:


Breakfast: Fried egg, bacon, and a banana.
Lunch: Fried fish and a tomato-onion salad.
Dinner: Japanese seaweed salad.
Snacks: Dates.


Workout of the day: 30 mins run.


Points: 5


How I feel: I’m better! Yay πŸ™‚ The appetite is coming back, but I’ve discovered that I’m hungrier during the day, and then by late evening I’m much less inclined to eat. I’ve stopped jogging longer distances now, and I’m running shorter distances instead. I’m still sleeping really well and I wake up naturally, without my alarm. Pretty great, right? It’s been three weeks – only one more to go!


Day 24


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with dried garlic.
Lunch: Tilapia with tomatoes.
Dinner: None.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, Paleo truffle, dates, and banana chips.


Workout of the day: 1 hour kickboxing.


Points: 5


How I feel: I’m having a very busy time at work and I think it’s really making me tired by the time I get home. I had to really push myself to go for KB class. Once I was back, I didn’t feel like eating at all, so I had a piece of Paleo chocolate and a Paleo truffle and I went to sleep. This loss of appetite is worrying me – it’s very unusual. I’m going to ask some Paleo experts about this tomorrow.


Day 25


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with dried garlic.
Lunch: A slice of salted beef and flaked fish.
Dinner: A Paleo cupcake! (recipe coming soon)
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, a pear, dates, and banana chips.


Workout of the day: 30 mins run.


Points: 5


How I feel: I made Paleo chocolate cupcakes and they were freakin’ awesome. I am so thrilled πŸ™‚


Day 26


What I ate:


Breakfast: 2 boiled eggs with dried garlic.
Lunch: Flaked fish and tossed zucchini.
Dinner: Minced chicken with lime.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, a pear, dates, and a Paleo cupcake.


Workout of the day: None.


Points: 4


How I feel: I ate quite a bit today. Glad my appetite is back. The body is such a temperamental thing. Took a break from working out today and relaxed.


Day 27


What I ate:


Breakfast: Minced chicken with a fried egg.
Lunch: Review (dimsum, pizza, salad, and fresh juice).
Dinner: Mutton curry.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, banana chips, almond crackers, and a Paleo cupcake.


Workout of the day: 30 mins run.


Points: 3


How I feel: I reviewed a health food place today, so I had to eat a slice of pizza and some dimsum – it was all whole wheat though. I do feel bad about losing my points 😦 Also, these Paleo cupcakes are dangerous to have around! I can’t stop eating them – although I’m not doing more than 1 a day. I’ve given most away to friends and family so the temptation isn’t around.


Day 28


What I ate:


Breakfast: Minced chicken with a fried egg.
Lunch: Pork with bamboo shoot.
Dinner: None.
Snacks: Paleo chocolate, karela chips, a Paleo cupcake, almond crackers, and Green tea.


Workout of the day: 30 mins weight training.


Points: 5


How I feel: Just two more days left to complete the 30 Days of Paleo challenge! Can you believe it!? I can’t! πŸ™‚ I had snacks through the day so I skipped a proper dinner. This is one lesson I’ve learnt – you don’t always have to follow traditional meal timings – your body will tell you when it needs food. Just listen to it.


Day 29


What I ate:


Breakfast: Fried eggs and bacon.
Lunch: Minced chicken and garlic-zucchini stir fry.
Dinner: None.
Snacks: A Paleo cupcake, black tea, and almond crackers.


Workout of the day: 30 mins run.


Points: 5


How I feel: Penultimate day of the challenge. I’m feeling very bittersweet about this. I’m feeling sad it’s almost over but I’m already thinking of what I’m going to eat after this! Fingers crossed for my final weigh in!



Day 30


Weigh in: 61 kgs


What I ate:


Breakfast: Fried eggs and bacon.
Lunch: Minced chicken and a rocket salad.
Dinner: Pork with bamboo shoot.
Snacks: A Paleo cupcake, almond crackers, Paleo chocolate and black tea.


Workout of the day: 30 mins run.


Points: 5


How I feel: 30 Days of Paleo is complete! What a success it has been. I have lost 2 kilos, my pants are looser, I’m much more toned, but most importantly I feel great. My sugar cravings have reduced, I have more energy, and I haven’t slept better in a long time. I will definitely continue eating like this – I want it to become a healthy habit. Clean eating with the occasional indulgences is what I’m going to try to keep up. I want to thank all my friends – Aditi, Dennis, and Shriya, who did this with me. It would have been impossible without all the support we gave each other. I’m definitely going to do the 30 day challenge again – hope some of you will join us the next time around πŸ™‚


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