It has been two weeks and three days since Ben and I started on our Paleo Challenge. You can read about our first week here. I had some great expectations for the Paleo Challenge, first and foremost, that it would calm my ever-present stomach issues. Eating less processed foods, less sugar and probably less food in general would be good for me and Paleo is supposed to be a “reset” diet, to cleanse your digestive system of all the toxins in processed foods. In addition, I would like to get to a weight in which my pants fit comfortably, instead of this in between size I’m at right now. Half my pants are too tight and half are too loose, uhg! Ben had his own reasons for doing this, which I will leave up to him to explain.
On to reality: Paleo is NOT making my stomach feel better (sometimes I think it’s making it worse). Paleo is NOT helping me lose weight (thank you almonds/almond butter and sweet potatoes). Lastly, Paleo is taking all the fun out of eating. Now, according to ALL the websites, blogs and other paleo-relating things I read, by this time my energy should be soaring, my gut should be feeling great, weight should be coming off and I should be in an amazing mood looking forward to all the wonderful paleo dishes I can cook.
I will say that this has caused me to get out of my cooking box and try new and different recipes, like Slow-cooker Apple Stuffed Porkloin chops and Spicy Tomato Basil soup. I also tried So Delicious Cultured Coconut Beverage (watery coconut yogurt) which I liked, but I don’t think it liked me; and I found out that I LOVE coconut milk in a can. A-MAZ-ING! I’ve learned that I can go for two and a half weeks without dark chocolate, tortilla chips, and regular oatmeal. It has not been that hard to say “no” to all the things that are not Paleo, Chick-fil-A catered lunch, BBQ sauce, potato salad, fajitas, tortillas & chips, queso, or beans, and those super delicious muffins I bought for my co-workers. Yep, I easily said not to all of them, but not without a little or sometimes a LOT of desire to quit Paleo and just eat some darn, good food.
All this to say, I am finding NO value in restricting certain foods, and by restricting, I mean cutting them out completely. I also don’t think this is sustainable, especially because it is putting me in such a bad mood. Food is no longer fun. I don’t feel like I can bake fun desserts because I can’t taste my cake/cupcake/cookie/frosting to make sure it is good to share with others. I can’t go to Starbucks and enjoy a Skinny Peppermint Mocha because of all the artificial sugar and milk products. I also get very angry when I have to search out Paleo friendly food for lunch at work because there aren’t a lot of fast food places you can go and find something ok to eat if you don’t want a salad. Now, I know I should be looking at the positives, but right now, I’m not seeing ANY! Mainly because my desired results are not happening. I also know that these things take time, and two and a half weeks is probably not enough time to decide if this really makes me feel better, but it’s almost not worth waiting to see.
What do you think about restrictive diets? Should I stick with it for the full 30 days even if I’m totally unhappy?