Paleo-Challenge Time Again!

09Jul10

I’ve been making “clean” attempts almost monthly since participating in Brian’s pilot program. Thus far, my PR is 21 days back in spring. The combination of training for a 5k (purpose), Alison’s cheerleading (thanks Alison!) and stress (which had the interesting side-effect of dampening my appetite) conspired to make it easier to comply than usual.

Rather than seeing these repeated failures as evidence of my being the worst paleo-cleaner EVER, I look at them as learning experiences and small steps towards an overall healthier diet.

Some things I’ve learned that I will be applying this go-around:

– Watching Man v. Food and Diners, Drive Ins and Dives = intense craving for waffles / pancakes / cake / pizza.

– Reading anything written by Jane and Michael Stern = intense craving for waffles / pancakes / cake / pie.

– Optimal caffeine delivery systems: Coconut Milk + coffee or Coconut Milk + brewed chai tea (morning replacement if I can’t stomach coffee)

– It is ESSENTIAL that you prepare and pack snack-like food. Lack of preparation = consumption of Snickers Bars.

– Paleo snack food in the house is also critical. My first few attempts, the lack of paleo-friendly grab-and-go dumped me off the rails.

– Sparkling water serves as a great sub for beer while golfing. Most of the time, I was after the cold + carbonation anyway.

– Ask bartenders for sparkling water + a lime + a stir-stick. Looks like a Gin and Tonic and no one is wiser. Also saves money. Better done when no one is looking so you don’t have to explain yourself to your drinking friends.

Brian PCF noticed that those who were most successful on the Paleo cleans focused on what they COULD eat vs. what they couldn’t. This is a subtle distinction and one of the toughest for me to wrap my head around. As I look at my Rules of Engagement – there are a lot of “No”s. Maybe by the end of this challenge, I’ll figure out a more positive way to phrase it.

Wendy’s Rules of Engagement
– Protein over bodyweight (125), Carbs under 100g, let the Fats fall where they may.
– I’m not going to fret over fresh fruit consumption. The carbs help my appetite and I will admit to not being the biggest fan of winter squash.
– No sugarless gum this time. I’m taking a cue from Indian cuisine and using fennel seeds as a breath freshener. We’ll see how long this lasts.
– No alcohol of any sort. This derailed me the last (10) time(s). And I have told my drinking friends to keep me honest.
– No cooking with wine. Because I will be tempted to drink the rest of the bottle.
– No sweeteners – including honey.
– No dairy – including cheese and butter. Dairy is my main bloating and GI culprit. I am willing to admit this now. Bye bye Haagen Daaz Caramel Cone.
– No legumes. Thankfully, I’ve never been much of a peanut fiend.
– Of course, no grains or grain-like substances.
– I’m keeping soy sauce as a cooking tool. Fish sauce is an OK replacement, but not in all applications.

I’m experimenting with immediate post-workout nutrition this time. Usually, I don’t eat until after I get to work – about 60-90 minutes after a fasted workout at 0530. I’ve found that I have a tough time stomaching food 1st thing in the morning – resulting in miserable workouts. I’m hoping this will improve energy levels.

Goals for this challenge
– Keep the bodyweight the same (around 125)
– Drop the fat – I’ve gained 1.3% bodyfat since spring and have started to bloat around the mid-section again.
– Just finish the challenge using the rules above.

I’ll be using Sakecatfood to track the gruesome details and posting a link to yesterday’s adventure in my goats section each day.

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