Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paleo. day 0 thru 1

Last week I finished Robb Wolf's fantastic book the Paleo Solution. The book is great. It's well thought out, lots of science and detail, but conversationally written. An excellent read. The only criticism I had was there was no checklist for the challenge. A condensed set of rules if you will. There is a "Quickstart guide" on his website but it would be nice if there were something in the book. The rules below are from Robb's blog, and my interpretation of the text.
That said, I knew going in that I was going to agree with Robb. I knew a little bit about his ideas, and also believe that the RD/government model of grains/more grains/veggies/and some meat (if you must, and really only so Texas won't secede from the union) are a problematic diet plan. Also having been a vegetarian for 10 years, and seeing the immediate improvement in my physique and well being that falling off of that wagon has made, it was not too far of a leap to paleo.

Those who are long time readers know I am always up for a challenge. So I am taking on his 30 day challenge.. with a couple of addenda..

But first the challenge:
Thou shalt not eat:
grains or cereals at all
dairy products (pastured butter is ok)
processed foods
sugars. Agave, organic honey, molasses, whatever.. sugar is sugar.
artificial sweeteners.

Thou shalt eat:
All of the lean meat, fish, seafood, eggs you want
All of the non starchy vegetables you want
Plenty of fruit (1-2 servings per day)
Moderate nuts and seeds (1-2 servings per day)

The Addenda: Upon examining my diet (and physical life in general) I wanted to make this a complete overhaul. A single month focused on making my body better:

Stretch more, my flexiblity and mobility are piss poor. At least 5x per week I will stretch my RF, hips, etc.. OUTSIDE of training. Each workout will include 1-2 sets of goblet squats.

Add more single leg work into my life. My back problems have created some pretty major hip stability issues that are limiting my max lifts. Time to take the medicine. Squat day becomes BSS day. Every warm up will include at least 30 lunges.

Diversify my diet. Reading Robb's book I noticed the vast majority of my fats came from 3 sources: Olive, dairy, meat.
I have added 1 sometimes 2 servings of nuts per day (pecans, macadamia, and walnuts toasted in coconut oil with some salt) and
added walnut, and virgin coconut oil to my pantry.
Have something other than eggs for 3 breakfast's per week. (I eat a lot of eggs)

Pick up the pace of my lifting sessions. I need to get more out of my training since I'm training less (having kids does that to you) So more cluster sets, more high rep sets of push-ups, lunges, presses.. ect.

Day 0.
Shopping. I went with the wife and kiddo to the grocery store. I bought grass fed beef, and some chicken and frozen veg to make a "stew" for my lunches (It's much drier than a stew, but the idea is still the same). And got a big mess of greens to go with it.
We bought nuts, and oils (see above) and a whole bundle of seasonal fruit.
We planned out the dinner's for the week:
The idea is 2-3 nights of mammal for dinner (beef, lamb, pork) 2 poultry, and 1 seafood (2 if something's on sale) and 1-2 nights "out."
Each meal will have something green (asparagus, fennel, spinach)
2-4 meals will have squash, sweet potato, plantain, or other root vegetable.

I'm trying coconut milk in my morning espresso.. I'm not so sure about this.. still playing with the mix. I may just have to reduce the volume and increase the frequency of my coffee doses as I just use the milk to cool it off to make it easier to ingest.
Friday and Saturday night are "treat nights" at our house. We forgo dessert most nights of the week knowing that if we have an established tradition we have 2 quality desserts per week, instead of having 7 bad ones. I'm going to allow myself some low-sugar dark chocolate 1x per weekend.

The only part of the challenge I am unable to take on is the "sleep more" portion. Having a 5 month old my sleep is no longer in my control.

I had a big bowl of cereal Sunday afternoon, cooked up a storm for Monday morning.

Day 1
I took on the hardest thing about any diet modification challenge right off the bat. I traveled to Spokane for work on Monday. I had the added bonus of post 9/11 travel: thanks to the TSA I can't bring any food with me.

Breakfast was a chicken breast and a fruit cup.
Lunch I went to a sandwich place, and had them make a roast beef sandwich with bacon and avocado (hold the cheese please) into a salad instead. It was quite good. I had to fib a little. I claimed a "wheat allergy."
Sorry to the nice lady at the sandwich shop.. It's just easier than explaining.
Afternoon snack was some pistachios and a fruit cup (again with the fruit cup).
Dinner was some shrimp, asparagus and baked pumpkin at home.
Snack: I had an apple and a spoon full of almond butter.

Not a bad day. My food selection was on. I had something other than eggs for breakfast. The chicken was cooked in canola oil, while not verboten is something I'd prefer to avoid. Considering I was on the road right from the jump, I'm calling day 1 a win.

My flight was delayed on the way home so I couldn't train.. oh well. Everything else went well.
So we begin.
Post your questions, and comments.


Jesse said...

Rolled through a similar change about a year ago. In general, I feel better when I adhere to something that resembles these guidelines.

Best of luck--the hardest transition was the first time when I was used to eating a whole lot of grain. After that, I've been able to go to more or less strict without much trouble, but I have stuck to the basic tenets for recent memory anyway.

Glad to hear you liked that Wolf's book. I've been intrigued, but haven't picked up a copy yet.

J. B. said...

Thanks for the encouragement.
I was pretty close for most of my "meals" just milk in my coffee, and pre-training oatmeal... I'll post that later.. (what I was doing before)

The book is good for being able to explain to people why eating this way isn't going to make your heart explode, or kidneys fall out.

It is also good for when your friends/relatives/mail man complain that they're getting too fat, you can say "read this, and do it" and not have to compose a diet plan for them (that they won't follow any way).