Thursday, December 29, 2011

To Paleo or Not to Paleo...That Is the Question

Hello, friends, family, and total strangers!

I hope that you are enjoying a lovely Christmas season, celebrating Jesus with the people you love.

I am having a unique holiday, between physical therapy and a whopper of a head cold.  I got this cute mug from a coworker and filled it with tea probably nine times at work yesterday. 

You can't tell, but there is TAZO: Calm
hiding behind the cocoa.  A.Maze.Ing.
 Those in the cubicles around me are probably trying to move away from the lozenge-unwrapping, nose-blowing, and general germ-spreading that I am sharing with the world at large.  Oh how the stress and sugar of Christmas wreak havoc on the immune system!!!

Fighting a cold?  Sleep, tea, and vitamin C!
Other than a raw nose and an insanely tight IT band, I'm enjoying myself greatly.  All our brothers are in town due to break, and last night we had the four of them over for pork chops, pizza, and poker.  Too bad their names aren't Paul, Peter, Patrick, and Parker.

Salad (mine) + apple pork chops (Jared's)
Jared put me on sou chef duty.  My already ninja-good skills at satsuma peeling have been sharpened this week by my need for vitamin C.  So we had spinach and pumpkin seed and balsamic/olive oil salad.  Plus the amazingly flavored pork chops with organic honey crisp apples.  I would have a picture of the pizza...but it was of the frozen variety and so not particularly beautiful.

I got out first...likely because I can never
remember what good cards are.

Sam (Jared's) + Max (mine)

Jared + John (mine)

Jake (Jared's)
It was so fun to have everyone around...the topics of conversation are always exceedingly varied as our collection of brothers includes an artist/shoe designer, a shoe-loving, football-playing actor, an actor-turned-writer, and an economist/Civil War buff.  We went from poor decision making in the Air Force loss to Toledo, to food at McDonald's in India, to Seussical the musical.  Oh, the thinks you can think.

In other news...Jared and I will be doing 30 days of Paleo starting January 1st. 

As I understand it, Paleo is basically the idea that living like a caveman is the most healthy option for your body.  Although I don't think it supports or condones dragging your wife around by the hair.

Pretty much you can eat as many calories as you like...but you are to avoid processed foods, sugared-up stuff, grains, and dairy.  The focus is lean protein with lots of produce.  This will make you look better, feel better, and do better at Crossfit.

I found out a month or so ago I love brussels spouts. 
Whodda thunk?
Some people swear by it and say it's amazing and changed their life and so forth.  Other people have said they stuck by it to a T and lost no weight and saw basically no change in how they felt...and their workouts got worse.  Charlotte Hilton Andersen had a chapter in her book about how she "failed spectacularly" at Paleo.  (Read her book if you haven't yet.  Any woman who can write so well about slapping herself in the butt with a jump rope and consquently busting her pants open at the gym is well worth the time.)

I have never been on a diet before in my life...unless you count a month or two here or there of giving up sweets, or a super loose following of the Abs Diet where I try to eat at least six items a day out of the following list:
  • Almonds or other nuts
  • Beans or other legumes
  • Spinach or other green veggies
  • Dairy
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Eggs
  • Turkey or other lean meats
  • Peanut butter (hallelujah!)
  • Olive oil
  • Whole grains
  • Extra protein powder
  • Raspberries or other berries
Yes, it spells ABS DIET POWER.  Unless I typoed somewhere.  In which case please email me ASAP so my brothers don't get yet another kick out of proof-reading payback. 

Obviously I have some intellectual issues with many diets, like how excessive calorie restrictions are unhealthy, etc., etc., etc.  However, here are the main reasons I personally have stayed away from them:
  • Diets are not sustainable. To me, the surest way of being fit and healthy for life is to live in way that you could see yourself happily continuing for your whole life, especially where food is concerned.  A diet is usually something people grit their teeth and desperately fight through till the end of the set diet period and are overjoyed when it is finally all over.
  • Diets prohibit favorite foods.  I love super dark chocolate, peanut butter sandwiches, and greek yogurt.  I eat these things almost every day.  Not Paleo-friendly...and this makes me sad.

No more yogurt with pomegranate seeds and applesauce.

  • Diets make it hard to hang out with people.  You may be lucky enough to have family members or even coworkers or friends doing a diet with you...but chances are, the rest of the world does not subscribe to your brand of food insanity.  This makes going out to eat or having people over for meals very difficult.  And for a gal who has a hard enough time making plans with folks as it is, this one's a big diet downer.
  • Diets often require a ton of prep.  Due to my metabolism and the hours I am out of the house, I generally have to pack 4-6 mini meals to take with me every weekday.  And sometimes on the weekends as well.  When you eat every three hours, it is hard to imagine prepping and packing meat and veggies for an army when you already wake up sometimes before 5 to get food ready for the day.

Why am I doing all this, then?  Do I really want to lose a few pounds?  Am I sure that Paleo will take my workouts from scaled to RX?

Nope.  I just really love Jared.  And he asked me to try it with him.  (And no, I wouldn't jump off a cliff just cause he suggested it.)

Would you go on a diet with this guy?
You tell me: Have you ever done Paleo?  Ever thought about Paleo?  Named your kid Paleo?  Advice?  Inspiration?  Horror stories?

1 comment:

  1. I would jump off a cliff if Jared told me to. He ONCE looked at me sideways and told me to eat more protein and now I see his face hovering over an imaginary Pho bowl every time I make a meal. His face says "Eat more protein, Smith!"

    Also, you are a wonderful blogger.


Thanks for adding your two cents to The (Megha) Mix!