Days 4-6

Day 4:

RULE NUMBER ONE: FOLLOW THE RULES.

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My Daily Guide

So I was wondering why I was feeling a little sluggish. I realized that I was taking the wrong supplements at night. Instead of using the herbal cleanse (first 7 days to clean system), I was using the probiotic supplements. Ugh.

My plan now is to use the cleanse pills throughout the remainder of this phase and use the remaining probiotics at the end of the phase (last 3 days). I’m a little aggravated with myself that I didn’t fully read the directions. In fact, the Challenge comes with a Daily Log book. If I had just paid a little more attention, I would be feeling phenomenal.

Day 5:

I used the herbal cleanse pills last night (as directed) and I felt incredible this morning. I woke up full of energy and the energy has lasted throughout the day. I haven’t had any caffeine at all, a feat for a coffee lover like me.

I’m impressed with the change I’ve felt from finally following the plan correctly. Don’t overlook the small things! The devil is always in the details.

Also, my Fitbit Flex came in today. I’m so excited to start seeing results. If you haven’t heard of this fitness gadget yet, you should look into it. It tracks your meals, your activity levels, and even your sleep patterns.

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Here are my results from Sunday, Jan. 12.

Day 6:

I felt great this morning.  I woke up and went for a run (3.5 miles) and finished a good bit of work I have to do before classes start on Wednesday.

My energy level is at an all-time high, and I know that coupling the Advocare products with Paleo-friendly foods is the best way to go.

I’m now fully cleansing, and I’m excited to finish up this phase and move into Max.

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Modern food is scary

Netflix is my best friend on nights like tonight.

I’m kind of a documentary fiend. I love knowing that hard work, adamant research and low budgets (for the most part) combine to help me gain a better perspective on a subject. Tonight the subject is food. Particularly modern-day food, or what we would consider “fast food.”

Coming up are just some fun facts and figures to make you crave some french fries:

  • 80% of all modern-day foods contain one or more forms of MSG (food enhancers)
  • The average American eats about 22 teaspoons of sugar each day
  • The combination of aspartame and caffeine kills brain cells (grab another Diet Coke!)
  • One third of all women and men in America are on a diet
  • More than $60 billion is spent on weight loss and diet products in the US each year

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Alright let’s break this down. We spend money on our attempts to look like this, but we expect to be able to eat like this. That just doesn’t work. The word “diet” has a negative connotation. Diet is simply what your body ingests each day; that is your diet. The word has become synonymous with “deprivation” or “starving” or “crashing.” I am not on a diet. I am in the midst of a complete lifestyle change thanks to Paleo.

Let’s talk about fast food while we’re on the subject. I know how good a hamburger can taste when you’re emaciated. I get it. It’s greasy, it’s quick and it fills you up…right? How long does it take for you to want the next hamburger though? A day…6 hours…one hour? It’s scary when you begin thinking about fast food as an addiction versus a means of legitimate sustenance. These foods provide little to no nutrients for your body, which is what it’s actually craving. For instance, that Big Mac provides you with 970 milligrams of sodium and a whopping 2% of your recommended daily value of Vitamin C.

We love food. We are made to love food. Our ancestors craved foods with high fat and sugar contents (from natural sources) for survival. We still have that instinct, but the modern food marketed to us isn’t something our ancestors could find crouching behind a shrub. A majority of the food Americans turn to has been scientifically altered or enhanced to taste better, cost less and make us feel “happier” after we eat it. That happiness quickly subsides and then it’s on to the next cheeseburger.

There is no easy way to say this. I hate fast food. It makes me feel like shit. It gives me a worse hangover than any cheap wine could. If you’re looking for a way to increase your energy level without relying upon more Diet Coke, you should probably start small and give up the fast food and aspartame. Why are 1/3 of all women and men in America on a diet? Because we’re sad. We work, we stress, we don’t go outside, we complain about first world problems, and we eat our feelings away. It’s a vicious cycle and it’s all controlled by billionaires who are making suckers out of us.

Make the change so you can achieve sincere longevity. Make the change so you can live a healthy life, which will lead to happiness.

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.

Dip in energy: Paleo style

I didn’t believe the myths.

I’ve been on the coast this week, and it’s tough to be 100% on Paleo here where peanut butter lurks and Cinnamon Toast Crunch in a massive bowl with whole milk is readily available. (Hint: out of sight, out of mind so don’t keep this stuff in the house if you don’t have to.) It’s been 30+ days since starting Paleo, and I can honestly say that I’ve never felt better. There are drawbacks to everything though.

The other morning before my run, I started feeling tired. Not the tired where you should just turn over and go back to sleep for another hour…this was the intense exhaustion that I felt in every part of my body. I was advised to sleep at least 8 hours each night while attempting Perfect Paleo. I came very close to doing that, and lack of sleep probably played a part in this exhaustion. To continue with the story, though, I felt no motivation to get up and go. This feeling was weird. I haven’t felt that in a solid seven months or so and started questioning the hard work I had already put forth and wondered if I could accomplish the weekly/monthly goals I’ve set for myself.

Alas Paleo strikes again. It takes 30 days for your body to truly feel the impact of something new. The lifestyle I created for myself once I began Perfect Paleo was finally beginning to set in, and my body needed to rest a bit. (Hint Part II: on Paleo, it’s suggested that you take rest days frequently, and I see why.) I had rid my body of salt, enriched and processed foods, sugar, etc. That’s a huge transition.

This dip in energy has lasted a few days, and I feel my “old self” coming back as I type. I think the main thing I’ve taken away from this (kind of) scary experience is that your body has to catch up with your mind. You can’t expect everything to work out perfectly the first time, and you have to push through the days when you’re lacking your usual pep. And dammit…even if you don’t feel like it…go for a run.

 

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.