Back in 2011 I posted my review of the Paleo diet on my old Posterous Blog. Well Posterous is dead and I lost the data dump of all my posts. Luckily, I had a copy of each post in my gmail. Whew!
Last January I posted a photo of a dinner I ate that was 99% on the Paleolithic diet. It was raw fish, veggies, and some soy sauce dinner that was delicious and healthy. Of course a strict paleo diet person would do the dinner sans soy sauce but I make exceptions for some condiments. I started that diet that January and fell out of the cave, so to speak at the end of February. I have tried several diets and exercise to try to get my weight off but because of the demands of time and access to bad food during the work day, I could never drop from 200lbs to 170lbs (my ideal weight). I was 30lbs overweight at the beginning of 2010 and I decided to eat what the cavemen did to see if an “evolutionary diet” would help.
Mind you, I’m not a doctor or other licensed type of medical professional, and you should seek professional advice before you go on any diet, this is just my experience and results on the paleo diet.
Weight: The short of it, the diet worked. I lost 20lbs in 2 months and for the first time in years I was able to shed pounds easily, without exercise. Of course I gained 10lbs right back after I “fell out of the cave” in March 2010, but eating the way of the caveman opened my eyes to true weight loss.
Energy: My energy levels went through the roof starting the second week. I quit coffee completely because I didn’t need and I had so much energy that I need an outlet to burn it off. I also noticed that my sensitivity to caffeine was heightened to the point of bouncing off walls for the hours if I had one cup. I was a 5 cup a day coffee drinker up to this point and the fact that I skipped the Kurig coffee machine line every morning made me smile.
Sex: The other, and perhaps most fun positive effect was, that I noticed changes to sex drive. As a married man in his late 30’s, its only normal to feel your sex drive wane a little. It’s just a fact of getting old, or is it? Perhaps it was all the protein I was eating or cutting out all the processed foods but my sex drive went into overdrive. Not only was this as interesting change, my stamina had also doubled. Combining this with all that extra energy I had - well you can figure out the rest.
Cravings: The worst part of this diet were the cravings I had the first week. I had quit grains and carbohydrates cold turkey and had very powerful carbohydrate withdrawal symptoms the first week of the diet. I craved pretzels and breads like crazy on day 5 but I survived it. The cravings went away after that.
Dinning Out: This was a major drag. I’m a professional and at least once a week I go out to eat with clients, colleagues, etc. Of course we’d eat at nice restaurants or fast food places, all very bad for the paleo diet unless you become Sally from When Harry met Sally. I’d have to order salads with nuts, seeds, and no dressing, croutons, and cheese. I was very “high maintenance” and got many strange looks from my friends.
Home Cooking: I do the cookings in the evenings after I pick up the kids and, well kids being kids, aren’t to crazy about Daddy’s diet. So figuring out what to cook to keep them, my wife, and keep me happy is tough to do. Fortunately I did find some recipes that allowed me to satisfy both, but it still remains a struggle. The one thing I did learn is that spices matter, spices can turn a bland wax turnip into something palpable for everyone. If you haven’t tried a wax turnip, go out a do so. They only cost 30 cents.
Shopping: This ties into the home cooking issue, but shopping for the paleo diet is relatively easy. You spend most of the time in the fresh fruit/veggie and meat aisles but the big drawback is that most of your time in the kitchen preparing things because you stay away from prepared foods. The processed foods are there to save us time, but they kill you in the end. Still, balancing my paleo diet with my family’s non-paleo diet often causes me to cheat on the paleo diet. Usually my shopping cart was filled with paleo foods, juice boxes, breads, dounts, etc and all that non-paleo food is tempting! I’d be a liar if I didn’t cheat occasionally.
The cheating caused me to finally fall out of the cave and I promptly put back on 10lbs. Still, the effects during the diet were like a daily high and I’m still trying to get back onto the diet. The problem is that time and life seem to prevent me from doing this again, which is a sad thing for me to say considering the paleo diet should give me more “life” time in the end.
My 2 cents.