I need to get measured and have pictures taken (ugh, not excited to see them) and then Monday, September 17th kicks off the challenge. I am not a nutritionist or by any means an expert on the Paleo lifestyle. I do spend a good amount of time reading about it and I have noticed some good changes in my body while following it! (weight loss, less acne, more energy!)
A lot of people have asked me about the Paleo diet. Here is a comprehensive and simplified version of what I have learned and what this competition entails. I'll start by saying, each person on this challenge has 35pts each week and when you cheat, you lose points!
If you are serious about the diet, I suggest you read more about it! (The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf is a great start!)
“As a simple explanation we define a Paleo Diet as eating meat, nuts, veggies, seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar, and no dairy.”
So why aren’t we allowed to eat a lot of fruit? It’s healthy, right? Sure, in small quantities. Sweet=sugar… sugar=insulin spikes….too much insulin= fat storage!
“Evolutionarily, sugar as fruit was available to our ancestors for only a few months a year (at harvest time), or as honey, which was guarded by bees. But in recent years, sugar has been added to virtually every processed food, limiting consumer choice. Nature made sugar hard to get; man made it easy. In many parts of the world, people are consuming an average of more than 500 calories per day from added sugar alone.” –Dr. Robert Lustig
Did you know sugar can:
1. suppress your immune system
2. interfere with absorption of calcium and magnesium
3. weaken eyesight
4. cause arthritis and other inflammatory issues
5. contribute to osteoporosis
6. cause heart disease
7. increase cholesterol
8. cause depression
9. give you acne
10. contribute to diabetes
11. Accelerate the aging process.
Ok, so what should we be eating?
Encouraged foods during the challenge:
• Lean Meats such as Lean beef (trimmed of visible fat), Flank steak, Top Sirloin, Extra-lean hamburger (90/10), Lean pork (trimmed of visible fat), Pork loin, Pork chops, Any other lean cut
• Lean poultry (white meat, skin removed) such as Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Game hen breasts
• Eggs from Chicken (go for the enriched omega 3 variety), Duck, or Goose
• Other meats including organ meats and game meats such as venison, wild boar, or wild turkey
• Nuts- Tree Nuts. Peanuts are not Nuts and are a no-no
Sounds good…kind of boring, though. So…..
Foods suggested in MODERATION:
**This is for YOUR benefit. In order to succeed and do the best you can following this lifestyle, you should pay attention to how much of these foods you eat, when you eat them, and try to limit them from your diet.
• Oils such as Olive, avocado, walnut, flaxseed, and canola oils (use in moderation—4 tablespoons or less a day when weight loss is of primary importance)
• Agave 1/2 tbsp is allowable per day (remember, it’s still a sugar!)
• Beverages such as Coffee, Tea
• Paleo Sweets such as Dried fruits and Nuts mixed with dried and fresh fruits
• Sweet potatoes, yams (good for after workouts, but still high in sugar!)
• Some lean bacon (lean only!!! The sweet and delicious fat you love so much is NOT so healthy)
• Red Wine- Paleo says that 1 glass of wine (6 oz.) a night is legal. We are pretty sure cave men had vineyards! Anything more than one glass per night is a cheat (-5), and you can't save them up from nights before. Anything over one per night is a cheat.
Sounds do-able, right? Alright…just a reminder….
DON’T EAT THESE!
• Dairy Foods such as Butter, Cheese, Cream, Dairy spreads, Frozen yogurt, Ice cream, and All processed foods made with any dairy products
• Cereal Grains: Barley, Corn, Millet, Oats, Rice, Rye, Sorghum, Wheat, and bread products including bread, rolls, muffins, noodles, crackers, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, wheat tortillas, pizza, pita bread, flat bread, and all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour
• Cereal Grain-like Seeds: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Quinoa
• Legumes: All beans, Black-eyed peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Peanut butter, Peanuts, Soybeans and all soybean products, including tofu
• Starchy Vegetables: Starchy tubers, Cassava root, Manioc, Potatoes and all potato products (French fries, potato chips, etc.), Tapioca pudding
• Fatty Meats
• Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices: All sugary soft drinks, Canned, bottled, and freshly squeezed fruit drinks (which lack the fiber of fresh fruit and have a much higher glvcemic index)
• Sweets: Candy, Sugar (raw or processed), glucose, syrup, honey, and Stevia. NOTE: even though honey and stevia are natural sweeteners and are generally considered paleo, for the purpose of committing to the challenge and seeing results we are not allowing them.
• Alcohol- Tequila is the preferred Paleo liquor, but it is technically a cheat (-5). Anything other than 6oz of red wine per night is a cheat (-5).
|When your friend brings over pizza while you're on your paleo challenge...|
In case you forgot why grains are so bad….
The lectins in grains and legumes are the plants’ natural defense system–they protect the seed (that part that we eat) from our internal environment (digestive system) so that it’s still viable when it comes out the other end (ew). The result in most cases is intense irritation of our system. Also, that bread, pasta, cereal, potato, rice, etc will eventually end up as glucose (also known as sugar!!!!) While glucose is fuel, it is also toxic in excess amounts and your body will get rid of it….by storing it in your fat cells!!!!! Eeek!
By living a Paleo lifestyle you are:
• Naturally avoiding the inflammation that can lead to lifestyle diseases
• Naturally avoiding the blood sugar roller coaster
• Eating delicious, whole foods.
Finally, as a side note. During this challenge...(but also good to know)
“Protein supplementation is allowed and is not considered a cheat under the following conditions: it is limited to one serving per day, has less than 25 carbs per serving, is taken within 30 minutes post workout, and cannot be used as a meal replacement. Recommendations: PROGENEX recovery protein is recommended because they use hydrolyzed whey protein isolate that has been cold-processed and enriched with growth factors that are lost through conventional processing methods. Remember, most protein powders have some sugar (natural or artificial), so if you are looking to slim down, be careful.”
All information taken from: LuRong Living, Frisky Lemon, and Mark’s Daily Apple