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Week 1: Paleo Diet – Geek Turned Athlete

Week 1: Paleo Diet

Trust me, I will post the run part of my latest Ironman tomorrow. :)

Today, I wanted to share with you what I’ve been up regarding my diet. For those of you who have been with me since Germany, you may know that I’ve always had stomach issues. A few years ago, I decided to start experimenting with different foods since my doctors were of NO help, and I was fed up with being constipated for 7 to 9 days at a time even though I was eating what I (and my nutritionist) thought was a good amount of veggies.

I tried cutting out the gluten (completely) and dairy (most of the time). That actually helped for a little while. I was even vegan as well for a few months when I did this.  Then, my stomach issues started rearing their ugly head(s) again last year.  At least the sharp pains stopped when I cut out gluten completely.

I tried an Ayurvedic Cleanse in which some people thought I was crazy for doing. What can I say? I was desperate. It didn’t hurt me, but it didn’t really help me in the long run either.

My constipation issues continued albeit not as bad as when I was on gluten, but 3 to 5 days is still not “normal.” I don’t care what any doctor says, AND the thought of taking stool softener pills for the rest of my life is just stupid.

So, this time I’m attempting the Paleo diet. Actually, I’m started the Whole 30 last week.

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You basically cut out legumes, grains, dairy, and sugar for 30 days. You can still have fruit, vegetables, nuts/seeds, oils, and meat (preferably grassfed free range). The Whole 30 website goes into detail, and I think they do a much better job explaining it than I would be able to. My overall goal with cutting out all grains, legumes, and dairy for now is to let my gut heal for 30 days. Then, I want to start adding some of these foods back into my diet depending on how they make me feel. For instance, I know that quinoa in large quantities, despite being gluten free, does not like my stomach. I’m not sure about soy yet so this will help me figure it out.  For some reason, I have an inkling that the only grain that will go easy on my stomach will be rice, and I probably won’t get to have it that often.

In the paleo diet, you don’t necessarily have to cut out sugar completely normally. You can still have maple syrup and honey, I believe. However, my addiction to sugar has really gotten out of control, and that is why I decided to go the Whole 30 route in order to break some of my bad habits related to this. I’m not perfect people!! Diabetes runs in my family, and I don’t need to open that box of worms!! My overall goal with cutting out the sugar for 30 days is to be able to have dessert once or twice a week instead of 2-3 times/day.

What I also like about the Paleo Diet: It is backed by actual scientific research. Mark’s Daily Apple usually has some really good thoroughly researched posts on the diet as well as Dr. Cordain’s website.

I know this sounds really extreme, but I’m sick of my stomach being bloated ALL the freaking time, and I just want to have a “regular” digestive track. I don’t wear tight fitting shirts or dresses because of this, and I’m fairly in shape.  I should be able to!! Plus, you try not pooping for 5 days, and see how nice of a person you are!

Week 1 Thoughts/Results

* I pooped!!!! Of course it took about 5 days to get things moving since I had a GF pizza with cheese from Dominos the Sunday before I started. This is normal if I eat cheese or accidentally eat gluten due to cross contamination (very likely at Dominos). Ever since Friday, I have gone every single day. Do you know how long it has been since I’ve gone for 4 consecutive days? I can’t remember!

* Way less bloating. Of course, I decided to start this thing the week of “the special monthly gift.” There was some bloating associated with that, but once that was gone, nothing. My stomach feels free!!

* I felt mentally and physically exhausted. I expected this because I have read on multiple blogs to expect this the first week or two due to your body adjusting to the lower carb intake. I missed my iced coffee. Since I couldn’t have any almond or coconut milk (both store bought versions have some sort of legume or corn product added to them, and I was too lazy to make my own), I didn’t want any coffee. It was bad enough that I couldn’t add any sugar to it, but I refused to drink it black. So, green tea it was.

* I wanted to gouge my eyes out last week due to NO sugar except for fruit. This was very scary to me that my cravings could be this bad which made me want to carry on with this “sugar detox” even more. I basically had a headache from Thursday until yesterday morning. I think my body was going through sugar withdrawals. I dreamt of eating chocolate cake glazed doughnuts all last week. And cake with lots of buttercream icing. Yep. This was the hardest part of last week. It wasn’t the lack of grains or legumes, it was the lack of added sugar!!

Have you ever tried to go Paleo? Have you ever tried a sugar detox?  Do you have a stomach of “steel” like my husband?  Nothing seems to bother his! 

{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Nikole @ [love, BellaMuse] August 13, 2012, 1:41 pm

    I was so happy when I saw the title of your post– I’ve been trying the same thing! I had the opposite problems, though– I was pooping all the time! I’m not doing the Whole 30 (though I like that idea!) but I am trying to go Paleo one step at a time. Going (somewhat) Paleo helped my stomach out so much, and once I made the correlation between the food I ate and how it made me feel, it became so much easier to say no to all the junk. Carb and sugar addiction was quite shocking– I knew I could be addicted to sugar but never once thought I’d have a bread craving make me want to cry. Food is crazy! :) Good luck!
    Nikole @ [love, BellaMuse] recently posted..Birthday INSANITY

    Reply
    • Nicole August 14, 2012, 7:29 am

      Food is crazy, and I think that is why they call it a drug! When I cut gluten out a few years ago, my cravings were intense!!! In fact, they were similar to sugar. Good luck to you!

      Reply
  • lindsay August 13, 2012, 7:20 pm

    yea for POOP! I find that fat and vegetables do the trick. THANK GOD!
    lindsay recently posted..Don’t Stretch it & Recipe

    Reply
    • Nicole August 13, 2012, 7:25 pm

      haha! Where is my like button?

      Reply
  • Rebecca August 14, 2012, 5:04 am

    I love how candid you are :) It’s awesome, and I think everyone needs to be more a little more like that! I have a pretty sensitive stomach, though problems have usually fizzled out within a few weeks and I’ve never been able to pinpoint anything specific. And whenever I do try to cut something out, it IS insane how intense and overpowering cravings can be psychologically.

    One of the hardest things is being jealous of my friends who DO have that stomach of steel. It can seem so unfair that they can chow down on anything, drink anything, eat anything really and their body handles it no problem! Good luck continuing with your thirty days – I hope this works out for you!
    Rebecca recently posted..Day 14/100 : rest

    Reply
    • Nicole August 14, 2012, 7:31 am

      Honestly, if I can help out just one person who is dealing with the same thing, it is worth it. Plus, people never like talking about their poop, and it is an important part of being healthy.

      Reply
  • Carrie Symes August 14, 2012, 7:39 am

    Your poor belly sounds a lot like mine. :( Constipation all the time, gas and bloating like there is now tomorrow. One thing for sure I know my belly does not like is dairy products. (sometimes it’s hard to say no to ice cream though, so I pay the price.) Keep us updated on how this Paleo Diet works for you. I may have to look into it myself.
    Carrie Symes recently posted..Week 5 ChaLean Extreme

    Reply
    • Nicole August 14, 2012, 7:50 am

      It is hard! I struggle with cheese. I love it so much, but it does not love me back!

      Reply
  • Tiffany @ The TexAthlete August 14, 2012, 9:52 am

    Oh my gooses, where are we going to eat now?! Lol JKJK You can find anything anywhere just about! :) Great job on being dedicated with it! I understand how difficult it is, for sure. I hope that week two proves to yield better results, heart!
    Tiffany @ The TexAthlete recently posted..A Rest Day, and A’ Shufflin’

    Reply
  • Bill August 14, 2012, 10:43 am

    Nicole – I went this route back in 2008 and have not looked back. Like your husband, I have an steel stomach, but after doing research on RAW food for our newly adopted greyhound, it clicked that perhaps there’s something to this for humans.

    Glad to see that you already look at MDA. The Primal approach is much more realistic and attainable than a strict Paleo diet (and backed up by the science).

    Good luck with it. And hopefully we’ll see your Friday Success Story posted over on MDA!

    Reply
    • Nicole August 14, 2012, 11:36 am

      Maybe! 😉 Thanks, Bill!

      Reply
  • Purely Twins August 14, 2012, 7:20 pm

    Nicole we still suffer from constipation from time to time. We are not paleo but are enjoying grain free. We like our carbs and fat, so not sure if paleo would be right for us, or at least could never be strict 😉

    best of luck!

    Reply
    • Nicole August 15, 2012, 8:53 pm

      I think you guys eat Paleo more than you think! 😉 All my carbs are coming from tons of fruits and veggies. It is great so far. I’m going to test a few grains like rice and corn out afterwards, but if they make me feel sick, they are gone! For some reason, this diet is really satisfying. I’m actually full after all my meals, and I really didn’t think that I would be. I still love all your recipes even if they aren’t paleo!

      Reply
  • Tyson F. Gautreaux August 29, 2012, 9:54 am

    The Paleo diet technique is the best way you can eat because it is the ONLY healthy technique that works with your inherited cosmetics to help you stay decrease, highly effective and energetic! Research in chemical make up, chemical make up, Ophthalmology, Healthy skin care and many other careers indicate it is our modern diet technique, full of improved foods, trans body fat and sugar, that is at the main of degenerative diseases such as obesity, cancer, being type two diabetes, heart related diseases, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s condition, despression symptoms and sterility.

    Reply

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