Days 1-3

Day 1:

I woke up for my workout at 6:30. I had the Spark Energy drink and a Catalyst pill. I was more energetic during my workout, and I was able to complete more sets of reps.

I checked my weight and measured my waist. Here’s my Day 1 picture:

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My waist (belly button) currently measures 32.25 inches, and I weigh 157.6.

I had the fiber drink with breakfast — Veggie packed omelet…yum. I have to admit the texture caught me off-guard, but the taste is pretty good. (Especially for a fiber drink that packs 10 grams of fiber and 50 percent of my daily value for Vitamin C.)

For lunch, I had salmon and brussels sprouts as well as a few cups of raw veggies. I also snacked on oranges and roasted, unsalted pecans and almonds.

Around 2 p.m. I began feeling a little sluggish. I blame this on trying something completely new to me. Any time my body goes through a “cleanse” of sorts, it tends to get sluggish for the first couple of days. Instead of  drinking the second Spark of the day before lunch, I’m going to have it an hour afterward. I have a feeling that will prevent being tired.

After 7 hours at work, I was tired of looking at my computer so I went to the gym and ran a few miles. The cardio felt great…better than usual, I would dare to say.

I’m going to eat some chicken breast, quinoa and broccoli tonight. I’ll take the Omegaplex supplement with dinner and take the probiotics and another Catalyst right before bed.

Day 2:

Today went well. I went to the gym in the morning and noticed something though…I am sweating more than usual. I’m fine with sweating. I’m not trying to make an impression at the cost of a good workout. Just a heads up: you might sweat. Get rid of those toxins!

I decided to switch up the suggested routine and have the Spark drink after lunch. That decision worked in my favor, and I had energy throughout the day. I was able to get outside a bit downtown and do a few blocks worth of walking, so that helped increase my energy level.

So far I’m feeling more “clean.” I’m sure a real difference will take place within the next few days.

Day 3:

I didn’t sleep well at all last night. I had so much energy when I tried to go to sleep that my mind was running nonstop. I’m hoping my body gets used to the excess energy and some added melatonin will help me get to sleep faster.

Also…I advise kicking your coffee drinking habits if you decide to do the challenge. I had a Pike Place medium roast (size tall) this morning. Six ounces of the roast have made me antsy and even a little lethargic. I’ll let Spark do the work from now on.

I’m hoping for a beautiful night of slumber after the awesome run I had tonight.

Paleo on the geaux

Let’s talk about lunch packing.

I would always get super pumped when my mom packed my lunch—which was rare—because I expected a sweet note reading something along the lines of, “Have a great day, kisses.”

My mom never said “kisses” so that didn’t happen. I think what I loved most about my mom packing my lunches was the fact that someone else was doing the work for me, which makes it taste that much better. Now I’m older and a little wiser, therefore I’m aware of the prep work that goes behind each brown bag lunch.

How do I stay Paleo-friendly when my days usually start around 5: 30 a.m. and end (meaning I’m at home and cooking dinner) around 7:30? It’s all about preparing, y’all!

Here are some tips:

  • Plan in bulk and plan ahead each day (if there is something in particular you know you’re going to want at hand constantly, buy a lot of it—reasonably, of course)
  • Cook dinner and lunch at the SAME TIME (make an extra chicken breast, another turkey burger, pack a bigger salad with lots of veggies, etc.)
  • Work at it: this will be a transition, but when you realize the amount of money you’re saving in the long run and when you start feeling that excess energy that seems mystical at this point, you’ll be extra happy
  • Make your meals fun—add a different spice or seasoning, pack breakfast for lunch, etc.
  • Always bring extra veggies! (Don’t focus on the nuts and fruits)
  • Ask your friends to prep meals with you that will last a few days in your fridge
  • Play awesome ass music while you’re packing enough vegetables to feed an actual cow…or if you’re anything like me, a herd of cattle

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I promise that if you stick with Paleo or Whole30 for a solid month, you will see and feel the results. It’s worth feeling a little lame and bringing your lunch to school/work. It’s worth the hour you’ll spend prepping for a total of 9-12 meals. It’s definitely worth the funny looks you’ll get because you look like a plastic container hoarder.

I feel like a bonafide cavewoman most days. And I kind of dig it.

Paleo and Red Wine

So that’s an oxymoron of a title. 

I started “Perfect Paleo” three weeks ago today. A personal trainer at my gym advised me to try this nutrition plan when I explained my daily workout routine. He also suggested this plan to me because I was beginning to experience some strange side effects when I ate foods with high sugar/fat contents. (I just had an annual check up yesterday, so let’s hope I get definitive results soon.)

Since starting Paleo, I feel more energetic throughout the day, I feel physically lighter, and I have gained a true sense of what I ingest each day. Paleo has been a relatively easy transition for me because I love veggies and lean meats and enriched carbs have never made me feel satisfied. I am learning to eat to fuel my body rather than indulge each day because I “deserve it” for one reason or another.

Therein lies a serious problem. We use food as an incentive for good behavior; we use food as a means to gather and celebrate. We have become dependent upon rich food for each meal because we know it’s easily accessible. It’s less expensive (and easier) to grab fast food than it is to buy fresh produce, prep that produce, pack that produce and bring it to work/class.

So…why the title? 

I still have my cravings, those mainly being red wine and dark chocolate. See? Even my cravings have done a complete 180. I used to crave Cinnabon and frappacinos with extra heavy whipped cream. It’s all about teaching your MIND that your BODY needs something more substantial that will provide it with nutrients. With Paleo, I am learning to tailer it to my needs, and that is an ongoing challenge. We’re human so we crave things we love. I love red wine, so I’ll drink it every once in awhile and not feel bad about it.

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I like to choose one night a week (usually Sunday or Monday) to prep my lunch meals for the week. I separate everything in containers and keep them fresh by opening the lids overnight if necessary. 

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This is what I packed for a 4 day weekend trip. I knew that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to go to the grocery store, so planning ahead was a necessity. Making your health a priority is key to your overall motivation.

I’ve recently been asked by a few people about tips and recipes, which gives me such a sense of pride. I would eventually love to post recipes, tricks, etc. I like to say that I’m definitely no professional. I will be the first to admit that nutrition and dietetics can be an insanely complicated field. I know what works for me, and if I’m able to help inspire or motivate someone to positively change their lifestyle, I’ll be elated.

Here are a few tips that come to mind in the meantime:

  1. Drink water…all of the time. Buy some cute tumblers and bring them everywhere
  2. Get rid of the butter; use a couple tablespoons of olive oil instead
  3. Throw your salt away and invest in some Mrs. Dash
  4. If one of the first ingredients listed is “enriched ________” just say no
  5. Eat twice as many veggies as you eat fruit; fruit just acts as sugar if eaten in large quantities (fructose)
  6. Change up your meals and try new things
  7. Exercise…seriously. Challenge yourself each week, each month, each year, whatever it takes to sweat some more
  8. Make time for your health
  9. Incorporate a buddy (or several) and make healthy eating/living fun
  10. Motivate yourself mentally each day; focus on the positives and tell the negatives to back off

Changing my habits hasn’t been easy, and I’ve faced several challenges. Knowing that I’m doing something good for my body each day keeps me going though.