Paleo Experiment Filling But Somewhat Challenging

The day of Paleo was overall quite easy to hit, in terms of what I had planned to eat.  I had a small divergence at lunch but the big problem was the temptations. The number of my foods that are grain or dairy based is astounding!

I had to get an early start today so set the alarm for 6:00 am.  Many years ago I ditched using an alarm on a regular basis, so this is an usual day.  Despite that I still managed to get my original breakfast idea made and eaten.  I picked some kale from the Earth Boxes that I have on my deck and quickly sauteed that in some butter made from grassfed cows.  To that I poured a scrambled egg over top and cooked it omelet style.  I added a couple of thin slices of bacon to the meal and voila, I have breakfast.

I hit the road for the office packed with a couple of Primal Pac paleo snack bags and a banana.  After starving yesterday I knew I was going to have to be prepared for some paleo snacking just in case, especially with breakfast being eaten so early.  I decided to eat the banana mid-morning to settle my stomach.  I wasn’t hungry, but my stomach just felt a little off.  That helped somewhat but it was really lunch that I was craving, I think.  Lunch was going to be a salad but instead I opted for a chicken and vegetables bowl at a local pan-Asian place.  The usual bowl is full of rice but I got a double serving of vegetables instead.  I’m not sure I’d consider the sauce to be officially paleo but I really didn’t have a choice at that point.

Like the snacks, it is kind of hard to really hit the paleo button cleanly when eating out.  It’s something that is going to take some planning and forethought.  While I may have captured the spirit of the diet plan at lunch, I feel that I did stray; not as bad as, say, eating it over pasta, but still a bit of a bit of a divergence.

Lunch kept me full all the way until near the end of the work day.  I knew my calorie count was going to be low, so on the drive home I decided to try these Paleo Pacs.  I heard about this on the “Latest in Paleo” podcast and ordered a bunch.  They are basically a small package of beef jerky made from grassfed beef, raw nuts and dried fruit.  While the ratio of meat to nuts/fruit was a little too heavy on the meat side for me, the fact that the jerky (for the first time ever) wasn’t overly salty made it still a good snack that kept me through until dinner.

Dinner was a bit of a cooking experiment.  I did a whole roasted chicken with sweet potato pancakes from the Practical Paleo book.  This is a pretty easy recipe, assuming you have all the ingredients, and a food processor.  Grinding up one large sweet potato made more than enough for the four pancakes, which themselves were a bit too thick.  I thought their choice of ginger and cinnamon made something which was too sweet for dinner, but not sweet enough for breakfast as they suggested.  Perhaps as a hash instead of as pancakes it would be better.  My partner loved them and scarfed them down, so I guess they will be making a return appearance with modifications.

Even after all that I still needed to add some calories, so I finished the night with a couple of pounds of watermelon and a handful each of brazil nuts and almonds.  I wasn’t hungry at that point, but at the same time I was feeling a tug from my nightly ritual of ice cream/frozen yogurt or a nice bowl of yogurt with mixed fruit and Qia in it.

Since I really wasn’t hungry at any point today, I didn’t go on a mad dash to find something to eat.  That was the good part.  The bad part was that wherever I went I saw foods that I liked that I couldn’t eat.  It was even worse than veganism, since pretty much everything has some kind of grain or dairy product in it.  This includes many of my go-to health foods like the health bars, as well as junk food like the ice cream and bread.  It was as poignant as the veganism restrictions felt, or would have felt if I ventured out.

Nutrition wise the day was pretty solid.  The macro-nutrient levels were substantially different than any day so far.  Rather than half my calories, or more, coming from carbs, nearly half came from fat.  Protein and carbs split the other half down the middle.  I was way lower on fiber than the past two days, but still pretty much at the RDA for that.  Micro-nutrient wise it was a bit light on Vitamin-D, Calcium and Iron.  That’s not too bad, but it seems that Calcium is as hard a number to hit as any, besides D.  I’ll have to look into ways to mitigate that.  Considering the ratio of carbs was so much lower, I was pleased that I found the day very filling anyway.

Overall the food was tasty, and I enjoyed it.  However the number of things I wanted to reach for and couldn’t was almost as bad as veganism, if not worse.  This will make Paleo the first difficult transition to get over in the new diet phases.