Can I just put in my two cents into everyone’s conversation and talk about how great this weather is?! With Fall comes three things. First, super comforting and warm meals. Second, it’s baking season!! and third, it’s all things pumpkin. Last night I inhaled a cup of pumpkin frozen yogurt with chopped cheesecake bites and I… want… it… every day all day.
SO, Happy Fall! It makes me happy and annoyingly cheer-y.
I’ve been doing a lot of this…..
(studying with a side of coffee)
And a little of this…
(loaf of real banana bread)
(butterfinger blizzard cupcake…. OMG!! I only had half of one for tasting purposes.. promise!)
(Paleo chocolate cake-in-a-mug…. keep it healthy!)
and trying to keep my meals as nutritious and filling as possible…..
(Grilled chicken lettuce wraps with avocado, red tomato, and red onion)
(Roasted sausage and shrimp, ground beef, roasted green beans)
(Sweet potato, sausage, and kale atop spaghetti squash <A keeper!>)
(Tuna cakes with avocado, kale salad, and yellow pepper)
and very much Fall-like….
(Paleo chili <AMAZEBALLS> with non-Paleo jalapeno-cheddar corn muffin and Oktoberfest)
One thing I haven’t mentioned to anyone (whoever reads my sporadic and random posts) is that I have somewhat adopted a Paleo-esque kind of diet. I was first introduced to Paleo about a year ago in one of my introduction Nutrition classes and after a group presentation on the Paleo lifestyle, my professor asked the class if we would eat Paleo and I responded yes. All of the other diets (read: Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, etc.) was a definite “no” response but for some reason the information and philosophy of Paleo stuck with me. I never truly “began” it after the Paleo presentation but it was always in the back of my mind. Fast forward to May of 2012, when I first began Crossfit, Paleo was all I heard.
In the world of the Crossfit crazies, the Paleo diet is very popular. It is the diet of Crossfit. After doing my own research in books, journals, and blogs, and witnessing other’s bodies change right in front of my eyes, I definitely decided to incorporate more Paleo-type foods in my diet. Over the summer, a normal meal for me would be “Oatless oatmeal” for breakfast, A salad with protein (chicken, steak, hard-boiled egg) for lunch, and roasted vegetables with grilled meat (steak, chicken, pork-chop) for dinner. However, I still had a sandwich with wheat bread when I wanted, a english muffin with eggs for breakfast, or a roll with dinner.
Fast forward to August of 2012 and I began Crossfit at a new box after taking some time off and once again all I heard was Paleo. At this point, I was reading Paleo blogs everyday and casually buying new-to-me ingredients or “Paleo foods” each time I went grocery shopping. My Crossfit box started a Paleo challenge at the beginning of September so I unofficially started it at the same. (Read: I didn’t sign up with my box so this is more or so an individual challenge. (For example: the cornbread muffin in the chili picture and slices of banana bread. I allow myself frozen yogurt once a week, full-fat greek yogurt for a snack, and Starbucks as I please….. a.k.a. too much!!) So, my “rules” are far from what a real Paleo challenge rules would be , but I can honestly say I feel so much better. My goal when beginning this challenge was not to lose weight but to gain muscles so I can get stronger in Crossfit and keep a 80%/20% balance. I can without a doubt see the small changes in my body, probably a lot more than the outside world, but most importantly, I feel a lot stronger.
It would seem cutting out grains, sugar, all processed foods and most dairy would be super hard, but it really isn’t. A BLT without the bread and wrapped in a head of lettuce instead is really awesome!! Did you not see the lettuce wraps up there?! They are sooo delicious. There are also a ton of substitutions you can make as well if you are interested in a Paleo diet (Coconut milk or almond milk instead of regular milk, Flax seed meal and almond flour instead of regular or whole-wheat, Coconut oil or grass-fed butter for canola oil and cooking spray, almond butter instead of peanut butter and my absolute favorite swap is spaghetti squash instead of noodles…. just to name a few.) Once you get the groove in learning how to use certain ingredients and cook things properly, Paleo eating is not hard at all.
Anyhow, the point of me typing 4 paragraphs on Paleo and my experience, was to let you all know that it can be done! For those of you interested, I would suggest checking out Paleo books and cookbooks in the library, and reading informative blogs such as www.marksdailyapple.com and www.robbwolf.com and totally awesome cooking blogs such as www.paleomg.com and www.nomnompaleo.com. If you are not at all interested in the Paleo diet and have no idea what Paleo even is, that is cool too! There is something for everyone and each individual has their own specific goal. I am just here to tell you all my experience, how I feel, what I’ve been eating and honestly, procrastinate on my butt load of school work
If you have any questions, want some recipe suggestions, or just want to say what’s up, feel free to shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietitian or nutritionist and all opinions are my own. Before starting a new diet or eliminating certain food groups, consult a medical professional.
I’m off to gather some wild berries and hunt down a bison for dinner tonight. Jusssss kidding.