Adventures in Paleo Dieting
Some time ago I tried the Whole Foods thing, and I really enjoyed it, but Tracy’s pregnancy and a busy life made keeping up with the whole foods thing almost impossible, so it was abandoned in favor of our more traditional diet of processed foods and eating out. Don’t get me wrong, we are not horrible eaters for the most part. Just like most people, we have good days and bad days, but we try to eat well. We try to cook at home, we try to make sure there is at least one green veggie on hand, and we try to stay away from the fattest of the fat, but we slip and we eat out way too often, and anyone can tell you that eating out, especially fast/convenient food, is a sure way to do yourself in with too many calories and too much bad for you foods.
A couple of weeks ago we were at the book store and Tracy found a book on the Paleo diet. It was expensive, so we thought we would take a look online, see what we could find and give it a try before making such a substantial purchase. Tracy went online and found a number of sites with Paleo recipes and meal plans, so we gave it a try.
Now, what is the Paleo diet you ask? Well the idea of the Paleo diet is that you are supposed to be eating the same sort of foods that our caveman ancestors might have eaten, but the reality is a bit simpler. On the Paleo diet you can eat meat, vegetables, seeds, fruits and the like. Organic is the best (cavemen didn’t use chemicals and drugs…duh), but I don’t think that is necessarily a hard and fast rule as much as it is a guideline. What is more important are the things you’re not supposed to eat on the Paleo diet. The rough list is no dairy, no legumes, no grains, no starches, nor sugar, and no processed foods. In layman’s terms, no bread, no milk, no cheese, no beans, no candy, no cake, no pasta and no alcohol. That I did not revolt outright is a testament to how much I love my wife.
The groceries for our first week just about did me in. Between the two grocery stores that weekend, and a couple of supplemental trips, our grocery bill that first weekend nearly reached $400. This is almost three times our weekly budget for groceries, so you can imagine the kind of sticker shock I was dealing with, but I agreed to give this diet a try and I figured at least some of it was the up front pantry stocking. The truth of the matter is that we didn’t do a good job shopping around and prepping for this change. We jumped in with both feet. In the following weeks we have done better, but we are still a bit over our regular budget.
Normally a diet like this holds little appeal to me, but I’m willing to try it because I want to be supportive in finding a diet that is good for the family, and if that diet gets us away from eating out and eating the processed garbage that normally enters the house, then so much the better. Where I became a believe in this diet was last week. We had a meal that was a little less than filling, so we cheated and got a couple of McDonald’s cheeseburgers. For the next two days I felt like crap. Stomach cramps, bloating, gas, nausea; all of that and then some, and I had only been on the diet for a week and a half. My body quickly got used to the good stuff and rejected the bad almost as quickly. Eating healthy seems to be the way to go for me, and the Paleo Diet seems like a good place to start.