Monday, July 13, 2009

Paleo check-in, Monday 13 July

Happy Monday. Sounds like everyone's weekend went well - I'm happy to see the Paleo ball rolling so fast for everyone! For those of you just joining, welcome. Spend some time reading the past week's posts and comments. There is a TON of good information in there from the community. (I'm sort of just the conductor here - y'all are the orchestra. And you sound GOOD.)

Today, I want everyone to commit to trying one new vegetable this week. Choose something you've never had before, or maybe had once and then abandoned because you weren't sure how to cook it. Share what you'd like to try, and maybe someone can offer advice or tips for how to prepare it. We've got some damn good cooks around here - my girl Melicious has all kinds of good recommendations, both here and on her blog. In fact, she's a bit of an inspiration all around... stay tuned for more on her special brand of Superstar later this week.


Chelsea said...

I've already done my groceries for this week -- but next week I'll definitely look for a new veggie. I'll be watching the blogs for mention of a veggie that I haven't tried yet, as I can't think of one at the moment.

Will K. said...

I feel bad for admitting this but I fell off the Paleo Wagon this weekend. My wife made cheese bread from scratch on saturday which is a special occurrance so I caved. I'm back in full hunter/gatherer mode now though so things should get back to normal now. Except for my coffee, give me my daily caffeine or give me death. I did cut out the add-ins for my coffee, straight black now.

Samantha said...

I'm starting to like what I see in the mirror. :)

Melissa, what is your take on sunbutter? I overdosed on it this weekend in replace of chocolate if you get my drift ha ha.

Chad said...

Seven days and going strong. I even managed to stay on the wagon despite making a birthday cake for my wife (do you know how hard it is to avoid licking your fingers when making a cake?) and attending another birthday celebration (complete with cake and ice cream). I do attribute part of my success to locating Larabars at the local grocer. They were exactly what I needed to fill the void I've been feeling where my sweet tooth usually resides. Anyway, can anyone help with tasty preparation of beets? My mother used to butcher the hell out of them, boiling them and then slathering them in butter. I thought about picking some up at the store on Friday but just couldn't bring myself to. If I can find a good way to prepare them, I'll make a return trip.

Amy said...

Today is day Five for me and I am starting to feel great. It is still a daily struggle but each time I turn something down it strengthens my resolve.

Chad- I love beets! I peel them and slice them into 1/4 inch disks, then boil them until al dente. I like to eat them with lemon and a little pepper. The greens are good too. Just chop them up and add to the pot when the beets are almost done. Or you could add them to a nice spinach salad with crispy bacon and a little walnut oil. Yum.

Hmmm, new veggie. I will have to return to the grocery store for this one. Right now I'm dining on roasted veggies. My favorite is to combine brussel sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, a few baby carrots and cabbage (in chunks). Toss with a couple T. of Olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper. Then roast in the oven on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes or so, turning halfway through. Cook at 375 degrees. I have eaten this veggie combo for the past month and am not sick of it yet....

Jimi said...

Day 10 and I'm still really struggling with stomach problems. Maybe too much fat. Today was bad enough that I thought about quitting. Going to give it another week and re-evaluate.

Melissa Byers said...


You are my new hero. Because I could NOT make cake without taking a serious swipe of the batter. Rock on with your willpower self.


You should be feeling better, not worse. There could be other culprits- veggies are a big one. When I first went Paleo, I started eating LOTS of new veggies. I discovered after many stomach aches that some of them just don't work with my system - broccoli, specifically. So I weeded out those vegetables that didn't feel so good and subbed them out for others.

If you want to list out or email me what you've been eating, maybe I can help. Give me a shot at it before you abandon.


Melissa Byers said...

Oh, and Will... come on back, but you start fresh today. Day one.

I hope the cheese bread was delicious. ;)

Ellen said...

I tried rutabaga yesterday. I found it diced and canned but had no idea what it was. I just rinsed and stuck it in the oven at above 350 until it was hot. Tasted sort of sweet, similar to turnips.

I also got a can of pumpkin while I was looking for unsweetened sweet potatoes. I don't think they exist in can form so I'll probably buy some whole to bake. No experience cooking either one of those so would love to hear your recipes.

Jesse said...

Day 7 for me, and I'm feeling great! Yesterday was a little difficult because I went to cracker barrel with friends for dinner and the fried chicken just smelled so good! But I'm not giving up until the end of the month. The past week has had new PRs on all my workouts and I feel a lot less bloated and have lost 9 lbs since I started. Paleo rocks!

As for the new veggies, I'm eating celery again for the first time in years. Does that count?

Amber said...

Maybe I'll give eggplant another go round.. I eat a LOT of vegetables, so I'm unsure of ones that I've not tried that fit Paleo, but I'll take a look!

Adam Kayce said...

Feeling much better, especially in the gym. Usually I feel all creaky and crunchy on Mondays, after the weekend slop fest. This a.m., though, I felt like a lean and mean pressing machine. (Of course, then I actually did the workout (this 603 WOD: ) and quickly regained my humility...)

New veg? I'll look around... and to share: if anyone has had a distaste for cauliflower—or a hankering for mashed potatoes—I'm about to become your new best friend. Here you go:

• 1 head of cauliflower (organic, natch); cut into pieces and put in a big pot
• enough chicken stock (we use an entire tetra-pak sized box, 32oz I think) and water to cover
• a few garlic cloves, peeled and thrown in

Boil it for 12-15 minutes or so. Strain off the cauliflower & garlic, but save a tiny bit of the liquid. Put c & g into a bowl, and mash it up (we use a hand blender, and it takes about 10 seconds). Add some of the liquid, if needed. Salt/pepper/butter whatever, and you're good to go. Seriously good to go. I could eat troughs of this stuff.

Okay, now a question: What do you think of the Primal way of eating (Mark's Daily Apple), as compared to Paleo? It seems pretty darn similar, identical in most ways, but where it differs, it makes sense to me. Just wondering what folks think.

Melissa Byers said...


Here's my favorite way to cook eggplant. (I eat it all the time - literally, an entire eggplant at a time.)

Slice it thin - maybe 1/4 inch slices. Splash a large, flat-bottomed pan with olive oil, and add eggplant such that each slice has contact with the bottom of the pan. (You don't want slices sitting on top of each other.) Drizzle olive oil over the top, sprinkle with a little sea salt and cook on medium-high heat. (I set my burner to a 6 - hot enough to kind of sear it on the outside.) Hang out on one side - just let it sit - until the outside browns up. Then, flip once and let the other side brown.

It never gets super crispy, but searing it like this provides a nice texture contrast between the outside and the inside. Let me know how it goes.

Amy said...

Hmmm, I may have to give eggplant another try also. It sounds good....but I've not liked it in the past. Never say never I guess. :D

Danni said...

Hey Chad, beets are great roasted -- some oil and roast at 400 until the outside starts to carmelize.

Another good way is to shred them raw and make a salad. Squeeze some citrus and vinegar (if you're allowed to eat vinegar) and salt (if you're allowed salt). Or whatever is Paleo I guess.

Sunny said...

Ellen- they have sweet potatoes individually wrapped and you just throw them in the microwave for 6-8 minutes and they are done. Easy & yummy!

I struggled with the birthday cake making situation too this weekend so I just went to Cold Stone and bought a cake so I wouldn't be tempted to lick any fingers or bowls:)

New Veggie~ hearts of palm. They taste similar to artichokes and give an added crunch to a salad.

What is the Sunbutter you speak of and is it Paleo? If so, where can I get some???

Appcherry said...

Quick question. What's up with vinegar? Is it Paleo or not? I'm getting conflicting info on the interwebs.

Johnny said...

Day 8 for me. All is going well. I've even decided to ween off coffee. Down to half a cup today and can't stop yawning but I suppose I'll survive.

I have some Kohlrabi from my CSA that I've been staring at with a puzzled face for a few days. I commit to conquering it tonight.

kimmitri said...

i bought some cauliflower yesterday in an effort to make some "rice." on one paleo blog i found, the author made some rice by food processing cauliflower to rice shaped pieces and steaming in the microwave. i've never had cauliflower, so this should be an interesting experiment.

Johnny said...

RE stomach issues - I had some too. It was too many sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I think it's too much fat. Your body just gets rid of what it's not using, and that's not too much fun for the tummy.

RE Paleo vs Primal Blueprint...Read 'Good Calories Bad Calories". Once you read some research on fats and oil and cholesterol you will have a very different view on it. Paleo preaches lean meats and vegetable fats which a lot of research is showing to be harmful. I'm a Primal fan.

Jen said...

is the Paleo diet good for people who are obese? should they weight until they're at a normal weight before starting the diet? only curious because it's so heavy on meat, even though the meat is lean, I'm afraid they'll risk raising their cholesterol levels since they wont be consuming any grains.

Jimi said...

Thanks Melissa. I'm going to keep a detailed log this week to try to track down what is giving me problems.

Soulrich said...

any artichoke fans out there? I almost bought them this week but was scared (and laughed at myself at the grocery store because I honestly got scared reaching for it and pulled back) :). I am going to try the cauliflower one!

balancefromwithin said...

Great stuff Melissa-

I'm not doing your 30 day's....but I appreciate all the tips/tricks!


balancefromwithin said...

@ soulrich......throw a bay leaf and and some garlic in when you steam the 'choke.....It gets a nice 'infusion' that way.

good luck!

Melissa Byers said...


That's kind of like asking if an out-of-shape person should get in better shape before they start exercising. :)

I know of no better way to improve all of the negative physical factors associated with obesity (not just the extra body weight, but also the biomarkers indicating an unwell human being) than by adopting a Paleo diet. Worried about cholesterol? You don't have to eat bacon or sausage. Stick with chicken, fish, turkey or lean cuts of beef. There are plenty of "meat" options available.


Sadie said...

I LOVE artichokes. Grew up eating them (how many kids like artichokes?) but, dipping the leaves in a sauce made of mayo and lemon juice... Guess I'd have to try olive oil and lemon juice?

I can't think of any veggies I haven't tried. I've been eating sprouts, though, and I don't often eat them because seems like they go bad in my fridge instantly.

Bonny Guang said...

Ok. I will go buy okra next week. They have been selling it at the farmer's market, but I have no idea what it is even though I've heard of it, so I'll go buy some of that stuff. (also a pomello, although those are a fruit. But still new, yeah?)

Soulrich said...

ok after further research. I am going to try cauliflower and zucchini and heck an artichoke. I cannot be stopped :). BTW, I love, love, love that fitday site for really breaking everything down. Now that I am on week two I set it up and I am already seeing areas I need to tweak. I am all about learning and I am getting there slowly!

Melicious said...

Got my first jar of Sunbutter this weekend... YUMMY! Delicious, sweet, creamy goodness.

I also tried the zucchini recipe I posted last week. It's up on my blog now if you want to check it out...

A big smooch of thanks to anyone who can recommend a vegetable for me to try. I eat 'em all, and I can't think of anything I've seen in the store that I haven't attempted, including brussels sprouts (yum), all kind of cabbage (double-yum), all leafy greens (can I get a hell, yeah for collards?!), even romanesco broccoli (

Someone, gimme a new idea!

Sloandsteady said...

I keep meaning to try cooking chopped cabbage with (uncured) bacon drippings in my crockpot, but haven't gotten around to doing it. It was an idea from my crossfit coach to be able to have lots of veggies on hand during the week.

This is a good topic as I obviously am not very adventurous with my veggies. I am also going to try the cauliflower and garlic recipe. Thanks for that.

Ronesshia said...

Weekend was great. Having a stomach issue and not sure why. May be too much fruit on my end. Down 5 pounds!

Also...guess who went to Olive Garden today for a co-worker's b-day lunch and didn't eat one breadstick or one piece of pasta (gosh was it hard!)? ME - that's who. I ordered this Shrimp Primavera without the pasta and extra veggies. Probably not as Paleo as I'd like but much better than usual. And it's going become my staple dish there. GO ME! LOL

I'm thinking of a veggie I might try this week. I've already done my grocery shopping, so I may have to go back to the farmer's market and poke around.

David X said...

Congrats to everyone who has been doing so well on the Paleo "diet." I competed in the CF Games Northeast Qualifier in May and Melissa was a HUGE help in helping me get my diet on the right track a few months beforehand.

I've have been doing Zone/Paleo (I've dropped the Zone) since end of March or April with an occational cheat meal thrown in, however, inpired by Melissa and you guys, I decided to eat 100% clean for the next 30 days as well.

Believe me, this way of life works and it works well. I've never felt stronger (new PRs) nor have I been in better shape and that was eating 90-95% paleo.

Best of luck to everyone and see you at the salad bar!

Kat said...

Perfect challenge for the week :)
I'm stoked to head to the farmer's market and pick up some dark greens (swiss chard, spinach, bok choy etc). I'm gonna take 'em home and throw 'em in a wok with some sesame oil, toasted slivered almonds, ginger and garlic ..... Mmmmmm.
I've never bothered to cook greens before.... I'm sure this will be my brand new favourite!!

Oh, what have I done? said...

I did not start with you on July1 and want to rush to catch up, but I am struggling so badly right now. I have been on a major sugar/bad food bender and can't break it a slump. I see ripped people like a Carey Kepler and instantly get bummed. How do you get people really motivated? How can a person be disciplined enough to push through 'Eva' or heavy squat cleans, but not resist the donuts, chips, and pizza? I baffle myself.

Mindy said...

Has anyone seen the "veggie chips" at whole foods/central market that are in the area where you can purchase in bulk, near the nuts and granola, etc. If so, I was wondering if they are paleo-okay... I think they are but am unsure...the ingredients are: taro root, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beans, canola oil, dextrin, salt.

nutrition facts:
1oz (28g)-
130 calories
total fat: 4g
sodium: 125mg
carbs: 22g
fiber: 2g
sugar: 4g
protein: 1g

I know the green beans aren't allowed, but you can just not eat them from the mix. They also have okra, carrot, and tropical fruit chips as well.

Any thoughts??


Soulrich said...

I am with you :), I am ok with the eating but I cannot figure out how people get so motivated to do this AND go to the gym. I need major motivation... and I went through a major "down" period last week at first when I gave up sugar and I could not figure out how people do this 24/7. BUT I am happy to say, that did pass, and I am sure it will for you to! I try to think of what I would feel like if I cheated. The same but many calories heavier... that helps! I feel awesome right now really, but I using that feeling so if I get down again... I remember how I will feel!

Melicious said...

Dear Oh, what have I done?...

You wrote "How do you get people really motivated?"

I had two breakthroughs that really helped me.

1. I realized that the food part of the equation wasn't _separate_ from the drive I had to push through tough workouts. Eating right is part of the continuum... sleep-eat-workout. Any one without the others isn't enough to do what I want to do.

2. I had to get real with myself and break the good/bad, on program/cheating cycle. The more I thought I was CHOOSING to eat well -- rather than "not being allowed" to eat something -- the easier it got to make good choices.

It's not always easy or fun, but when I stopped resenting it, it all got easier. Feeling really great helps, too.

I've been on a long road... lost 47 lbs. and went from casual exerciser to committed CrossFitter. But it's only in the last 6 months or so that I've found a way to enjoy eating well and taking care of myself.

And that's how I try to remember to think of it: NOT eating crap at the office and NOT drinking my face off at Happy Hour are actually acts of kindness and loving toward myself. I wouldn't say that to my co-workers -- to them I just smugly say, I'm not drinking. But inside, I know it's a big-time smart, compassionate move.

Jess said...

Help!!!! I started late, so I think I'm on day three. I would really appreciate some tips/motivation on getting through this but I think I actually gained weight from eating too much fruit, walnuts and almonds. I have been having the most intense cravings in the afternoon and at night. It seems like I've been way overeating fruit just to get it to stop which never help anyways. How did it go for everyone else around day 4? Is this normal? Any tricks to be able to cope? I've been super cranky and tired today....Thanks for any pointers you can give.

flaggal said...

Jen, as someone who was obese (230 lbs), I heartily recommend eating this way! I didn't eat as strictly as I'm doing this month, but at least 90% of the time I ate pretty darn clean. The result? A 70 pound loss and tons of energy.

It's easy to eat primal/paleo and lose weight, because those tricksy processed carbs are out of your system and not making you want more. Very addictive things, grains and sugar.

Of course, after saying all that, I have to say that I'm having issues. This morning I was very dizzy. I know exactly what it is: not eating enough. It's not the diet, it's the time of year. It's HOT. My coconut oil is liquid at room temperature right now.

We always have a few weeks where it gets this hot and I have to wait for the rainy season to begin to cool things off. I was giving myself a hard time over my lack of desire to cook anything good to eat and it dawned on me that I went through the same thing last year. Last year at this time I was not eating meat. It was my crankiness over trying to eat "low-carb" with only fish, dairy (and it causes allergy issues), and eggs as protein sources, plus fixing things every night when I didn't want to cook. Thus I began eating meat again. It was exciting and new and got me over the non-cooking mood.

This year I wasn't prepared. I need to stockpile food in the freezer for next year's "it's too hot to cook" period.

I'm forcing myself to eat a lot today, so no low blood sugar issues tomorrow morning. I'm going to try and make up some veggies tonight for the week, instead of cooking them up every night (something I normally love to do).

I bought some turnip greens at the farmer's market yesterday, so they'll be my new veggie. I also want to try the cauliflower dish. I've never been a fan of cauliflower so would like to overcome that dislike with a yummy way to fix them.

I must admit that I do miss butter for cooking, vinegar for salads, and I've got to find some coconut milk that doesn't have ooky additives. Smoothies would be a quick and cool meal.

Kat said...

Cauliflower? Steam it, mash it with roasted garlic and WOW .... yummmmy

"Oh what have I done?" I can't say I'm ALWAYS motivated. Lately I have been, but that evil lazy, procrastinating, carb addicted monster is never too far away. I think realizing that is HUGE for me. I see it as a challenge (which I love hence crossfit), to keep my healthy happy self on top of the other. When I fall, I crash but I think back on how great I feel when eating/ training etc. (my crashes are becoming few and far between).
Keep a journal, find "other" things to do when the monster comes lurking. Read Mel's "tough love" post over and over again if you have to. Get tough with yourself and know that it only takes a few days or a week until you start to feel better/ in control.
When you really think about it that's not long at all.
Make a goal, sign up for a race, keep track of your times/progress. Remeber it's never too late to be what you could have been ;)


Jake said...

Came across this a little late, on Sunday 5 July, so today is day 9 for me. Going strong so far, this is by far the longest I've managed to hold my resolve to be 100% paleo. Thank you, Melissa.

Here's a list of things that might be counted as indiscretions:

1. On Thursday, I got breakfast at a restaurant with a friend, eggs, bacon and veggies. A few bites in, I noticed there was some corn in the mix, which was NOT listed on the menu. Probably consumed half a dozen kernels before I noticed and started picking it out.

2. Some chicken breast which had been marinated in orange juice with pepper, garlic powder and (d'oh) a little honey. Mom's been making chicken that way for so long I had stopped thinking about the ingredients.

3. At the Games on Friday, got some chicken from ChefByRequest that tasted like it had been lightly teriyaki-ed. :(

I'm pretty sure none of those slip-ups are bad enough to sabotage my efforts, but I wouldn't feel honest if I didn't list them. Lesson learned: whenever possible, do all of your own food prep, just to be sure.

Funny story: on nights five and six I had dreams that involved me indulging in waffles, french toast, etc. In the dream, I was terribly disappointed with myself ("I can't believe I'm already giving up" etc.). Then I woke up and was extremely confused for a minute, then deeply relieved. That's stopped now, thank goodness.

Will post later on the benefits of this way of eating. There are several. :)

Tracy said...

Day 3 – doing well so far (I think).
Hardboiled egg, fruit smoothie with Omega 3/6 oil and a little beef jerky
Jerky and baby carrots
Beef curry with turnip and mushrooms
Snack before gym
Jerky and a half a pint of blueberries
30 Wall ball shots
Row 300 meters
30 box jumps
30 kettle bell swings – 25 pound dumb bell
30 push press – 30lb bar bell
30 dead lifts 115lbs
Spinach salad with tomatoes, pine nuts, 1 egg, carrot match sticks, a handful of blueberries, oil and a squeeze of lemon and a side of back bacon (yes, that's Canadian bacon)
Its berry season in Nova Scotia so I'm hoping there is such thing as too many berries...

mie said...

Day 12
As Melissa predicted, it is getting harder (that whole shiny new toy effect). i go from feeling great and proud of myself for sticking, and then i go to missing some nonpaleo food... i'm no where near close to cheating though! i usually do better on days i workout, because that's less time spent at home being surrounded by food. i did hit a PR on Cindy today, so I know something's working :)

For my new veg, i'm going with lemongrass (is that even a vegetable?? i'm going to put it in my coconut milk curry!), bok choy, and turnip greens.

David X said...

Here's a recipe I got from Scotty Hagnas who is a total Paleo guru.
I've tried it in various forms includeing Bok Choy (my favorite) as well as spaghetti squash. Enjoy!

Veggie Scramble

Time: 12 minutes


3 cups chopped bok choy
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
2 sausages
~1 Tbs olive oil
garlic powder

Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium heat. Once the onions begin to soften, add the bok choy, cabbage, and spices. Stir periodically. Add the sliced sausages, and continue to cook until lightly browned. You can serve and eat the scramble as is, or a variation that I like is to scramble some eggs separately and top the veggies and sausage with the eggs.

Zone info: This will be dependent largely on your choice of sausages, as the fat/protein content can vary quite a bit. The veggies will be around 2 carb blocks. Use an amount of olive oil that meets your fat requirements.

Robbie said...

HAHAH Jake! I've been having those dreams every 3 nights or so! Last one was me walking into a coffee shop and getting a Boston Cream donut(which i hate btw) I was aware of it in my sleep and was yelling NO NO NO, I woke up in a pissed off, guilty state, conviced it was real. WOW! Does what we eat ever affect us more than we think!

For Jess and the other newcomers: This is a bigger step for some than others, if you are new to working out and eating clean(say, less than 4 months) you are bound to have issues with such a big change. Fruit and nuts is most def a better choice than bread and dairy, just remember to focus on eating slowly til you feel full and eat lots of leafy greens, and a variety of coloured veg and plenty of protein and good fats. Another tip: what we often mistake for hunger is thirst. If you just ate and you feel like you need to snack..have a drink, it's sometimes the real prob. Other than that..yes there is a alot of sugar in some fruit, but not that many apple has about 55 calories 11grams of sugars, but also 2.5grams of fiber and 112grams of potassium...throw in some fat or protein to slow down that sugar and you're way ahead of the game. I like to use fruit to fuel my workouts...good snack pre and post(with a solid meal). Read backwards through our comments for the past week and a bit. We all had our downs...but it's worth it. You can run and you can hide, but you can't out train bad nutrition!!

Robbie said...

oh and ellen.I have the cure for that lonely can of pumpkin! I also tried making it with half squash half pumpkin..just as good.

Boris' Pie-less Paleo Pumpkin Pie
1can pumpkin,
2 diced apples,
2-4 stalks rhubarb(diced and lightly boiled)
1 tsp ground flax,
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon,
1tsp cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2cup crushed nuts and seeds
1/2 cups diced dates or whole raisins
cook in small pot over medium heat, for 3min, let mingle in the fridge overnight, reheat and enjoy

ontheroad said...

Day 8

Feeling good, really good. Spent the weekend out of town and I was able to stay 100% clean.

It helps when you have a great support system.

nadia said...

ok, I loves me some lara bars, but I have to ask: what separates raw dates from agave syrup or maple syrup or honey as a sugar additive? true, it's a whole fruit, but it has a GI index over 100 and presumably provokes the same insulin response.

Meggilizz said...

A new veggie, eh? I'll have to do some thinking--maybe tomatillos in a pork chili verde?

Carla said...

Late flight out for work last night and it was delayed and hour... All I could think about was how I wanted a Digiorno pizza and beer when I got back home. I really, really, really wanted it! So, I had some macadamia nuts at the airport to hold me over. When I got back home I ended up eating jerky for dinner b/c that's all I had (besides the digiorno pizza and beer in the fridge). I wanted to cheat so bad last night but I'm really happy this morning that I didn't... Whew, that was the toughest day for me yet!

Starting Day 7 today of no grains, coffee, dairy… I hope it gets better from here… :)

7/13 Food:

Breakfast: 2 eggs, broccoli, lara bar, macadamia nuts

Snack: macadamia nuts

Dinner: macadamia nuts, beef jerky

I know, not enough food but work was very busy yesterday! That is probably why I was craving the pizza so bad. I need to plan better for days like that. Especially this weekend… I will be in Mexico Friday through Monday! Yikes!!!

Carla said...

I think I will try rutabaga for my new veggie. Thanks for the suggestion Ellen!

Davie said...

hey all, just wanted to check in. Started paleo eating yesterday, I need public accountability to stick to anythng regarding diet.

still got a lot of reading to do on it, but thanks to Melissa for all the info and links here

Davie from Scotland

Carla said...

Johnny - Try some green tea instead of your coffee if you are trying to cut back. :)

Sunny – Regarding your question about whether Sunbutter is paleo or not… I think the Organic Sunbutter (no added salt or sugar) is okay but the Creamy Sunbutter (has sugar added) is not.

Organic Sunbutter (2 tbsp)

220 cal
20g fat
5g carb
2g fiber
1g sugar
6g pro

Ingredients: organic sunflower seed

Creamy Sunbutter (2 tbsp)

200 cal
16g fat
7g carb
4g fiber
3g sugar
7g pro

Ingredients: Sunflower Seed, Sugar, Mono-Diglycerides, Salt, Natural Mixed Tocopherols

See for more details.

Brandon P. Petersen said...

I posted this last night, but not sure where it went. .
my fit day for yesterday

I need to up my fats, and decrease carbs. Less fruit. But good to see on paper.

My Log:

Melissa Byers said...

Holy shit, B.

You are STILL dropping weight, even on 3,500 calories a day? This doesn't look bad to me - given your activity level, however, you may find you need even more fat. (Protein is fine - you've got way more than you need. Carbs are maybe a little high for a "normal" athlete, but again, your activity level is pretty not normal, so I'm okay with this.) How accurate are you with your portion sizes? Are you eyeballing or actually weighing?

Keep it up nice and clean for another week and keep me posted. I'm thinking your weight loss will level out... Otherwise, you may have to just start a Sunbutter IV.


Oh, what have I done? said...

Melicious and Soulrich - great posts for me thank you. I have heard what Melicious wrote (about eating right as being kind to yourself) in various incarnations and somehow it never sunk in until I read your version. I think I have a subliminal fear of having low body fat. It's wierd. I have never had low body fat - always hovered over 25% even in my olympic athlete heyday. I always sabotage my progress towards thinness. All I can think of is it must be a fear of low body fat..WTF?? Sorry to make this a confessional, but there is some awesome advice on here from your peeps Melissa! What does it feel like to be under 15% BF? Is it ALL THAT?

Chelsea said...

Last night I dreamt I was eating a bowl of frosted flakes...mmm. Haven't had those since I was a kid! I'm sure they don't taste as good as a remember. In the waking world, no desires to cheat today after a PR on Cindy and catching site of my abs! Hello abs! Where have you been all my life?!

Brandon P. Petersen said...


Weight has stabalized. . . I think i put back on a few pounds. These portions are actually very accurate with yesterday, because i had like Turkey burger patties etc. . .
yes, i am going to try and UP the fat, and lower the carbs..less fruit + more veggies. . .

Do you think i should try and come down on the protein as well in time? I guess i will see what my weight does etc. . . Also, i will keep track of this daily, and see how it averages out over a week etc.

Melissa Byers said...

"What does it feel like to be under 15% BF?"

It feels like I can't pick up heavy stuff anywhere near as effectively when I'm that lean. And that is not okay with me. I am not my six pack, and a little bit of extra chubby on my frame does GOOD thing for my lifts. I get a lot more satisfaction from putting up more-than-bodyweight front squats than I ever did from a couple of bumps on my stomach. So, no, it's not "all that". It's not "all" anything. It's merely a byproduct of eating really clean and picking up very heavy things.

Interestingly enough, however, my first 30 day super strict Paleo got me both stronger AND leaner. Huh. I mean, "leaner" was NOT the goal, but as long as I keep getting stronger, I won't turn it down.

Chelsea said...

Agreed. I would not trade abs for a hit on my Crossfit Total. Atleast not for longer than it took to take a picture of the abs for the family records... ;)

Ronesshia said...

Feeling good today besides a headache that won't quit. But I think that may be left over sinus trouble mixed in with withdrawal symptoms. Nothing I can't handle. Still going strong. Last night was a little rough, but made it through. No workout last night, I was just too beat. Definitely getting it moving tonight.

Okay, I asked MByers this before when I did my first failed attempt at Paleo. For someone who doesn't eat nuts, what are some good snack ideas? I could also use some breakfast ideas. I'm trying to limit my eggs to 3 - 4 times a week, so any suggestions would be great.

Melicious said...

@ Ronesshia... ooo! I love it. Food creativity challenge: snacks with no nuts. (Disclaimer: I eat all vegetables, including string beans, snap peas, tomatoes, and green peppers.)

Diced cucumber, green pepper, and tomato with a tuna, olive oil, lemon juice, and parsley.

Diced avocado and shrimp with lime juice and cilantro.

Slaw made from shredded chicken with slivered red and green cabbage with lime juice, olive oil, and chili powder.

Diced ham steak with steamed string beans, olive oil, and thyme.

Beef jerky + half a Larabar.

Melon slices wrapped with thin sliced ham and drizzled with olive oil.

Grilled chicken/beef/pork/shrimp and sliced raw veg dunked in tahini dressing (

Turkey breast and cucumber slices with avocado and/or olive oil.

If you mix some fresh chopped parsley, a garlic clove, some lemon juice, and olive oil together, you've got a delicious dipping/drizzling sauce that you can put on just about any meat + veg combo -- for meals or snacks. Just chop up a bunch of veggies you like and keep 'em handy... then grill a bunch of meat and chill it. You've got all you need to assemble delicious, filling snacks.

My favorite breakfast on non-workout days:
Saute shredded cabbage or finely chopped cauliflower in oil with garlic and ginger (like fake fried rice). Add shredded cooked chicken, browned ground beef, or shrimp. Add some avocado on the side and fruit for "dessert."

Soulrich said...

Ok my paleo toy is now no longer shiny... However, it is still my toy and I am still smiling. I now am no longer a fan of fitday because I see now I am eating WAY too many carbs and fats. DARN SITE! So new goal of the week is to try to make sure I am eating well, but also eating in porportion. I know my body will thank me later.

Leya said...

Life is good. I am able to push harder and faster for longer during WODS, recovery seems to be faster, my skin is clearing up and I'm feeling really good. Not really struggling to stay on track though I did whimper a bit when passing on some fabulous looking tomato bisque the other day. Super fun happy gym time is making up for it, though.

Chelsea said...

Hey Melicious, have you got a good hamsteak recipe?? :)
Leya -- I wonder if it's possible to make tomato bisque with coconut milk? It seems to work well with just about everything else...

Melicious said...

Hey, Chelsea. I just usually brown the ham steak in a pan or grill it. I like everything well done, so I just cook the F out of it and eat. I like thyme with ham, so if I'm feeling fancy, I rub some dried thyme and a little cayenne on the both sides before cooking.

Carla said...

“ok, I loves me some lara bars, but I have to ask: what separates raw dates from agave syrup or maple syrup or honey as a sugar additive? true, it's a whole fruit, but it has a GI index over 100 and presumably provokes the same insulin response.”

Nadia – Here’s my excuse…

1 tbsp of honey = 64 cal, 0 fat, 17 carb, 0 fiber, 0 protein

3 dates (about the amount in a lara bar) = 68 cal, 0 fat, 18 carb, PLUS 2 fiber, 0 protein, PLUS 162 mg potassium

I eat 1-2 larabars per day depending on what I do. That equals 1-2 tbsp of honey but I am okay with that because I’m still seeing results. I could probably have the equivalent in honey over larabars but I LOVE larabars and don’t really care to sweeten anything with honey.

Also, take a look at glycemic loads over the index ( This is a better representation than the glycemic index of how it affects you.

Melicious said...

Man, oh, man! Eternal vigilance... I just almost ate a bite of a dumbass cookie someone just offered me. Not 'cause I wanted it or was tempted or anything. I was just, like, "Oh! Cookie. Mmmm... just a bite."

Then I remembered.


It's just not safe out here, people.

Jimi said...

I had my first eating dream last night too. It was some big messing sandwich concoction. It tasted awesome in my dream.

Carla said...

Here are some good success stories for everyone needing more motivation. Enjoy! :)

nadia said...


I looked at the glycemic loads for dates on your list. They're also twice as high (20-40 range) as the GLs for most honey, which is in the10-15 range for glycemic load.

Is there something I'm missing here or is it just that we all love Larabars, and they are a healthy F-off food?

nadia said...

Not trying to be annoying here, I'm just geninuely worried about the insulin response. Is there any science showing that dates have a much lower insulin response than other kinds of sugars?

Melissa Byers said...


This is another instance where I am sorely tempted to respond, USE YOUR HEAD.

Dates are real food. Fruit. Fruit cannot be a F*** Off food. It's FRUIT. Honey and syrup are not food. They're sugar. You wouldn't "eat" syrup, just like you wouldn't "eat" sugar. Not the way you'd eat a piece of fruit.

A Larabar has about 25g of carbs in a serving. So, if you're looking to get 25g of carbs in your system, you can either have an entire Larabar (which has vitamins, nutrients and a whole lot of good fats to go along with those carbs)... or two tablespoons of syrup. Which is nothing but sugar. I mean, you HAVE to see the difference there, right?

If you're worried about it, don't eat dates. But the GI index or the GL index or whatever science-y index you want to use does not override the fact that dates are FOOD and sugar is just SUGAR.


Carla said...


I just want to make sure we are looking at the same chart. The dates (under fruits section) have a GL of 42 while the honey (under the sugars section) has a GL of 61. Both are high but the dates are lower than the honey. Also, larabars have nuts in them which would reduce the GL even further with the fat that those contribute. I wouldn’t obsess about the larabars. If you are only having 1-2 per day and are otherwise balancing your diet with lots of meat and veggies I think you’ll be fine. I am still seeing results and have not had an adverse insulin response while incorporating these in my diet.

Enjoy! :)

Leya said...

Chelsea - Excellent suggestion! I bet you could make it with coconut milk. Hmm, I'm going to have to try a culinary experiment and whip myself up a pot this week.

nadia said...


Thanks! The reason I'm asking is that I'm planning to make homemade date sugar (just dried+ground) and use it in my coffee with coconut milk.

the nutritional information for dates tells me that they're almost 90% sugar, so I wasn't sure.

nadia said...


You're actually looking at the GI section of the list with those #s, the glycemic loads are further down.

Anyhow Melissa has cleared things up for us so let's not bore people on here.
Thanks for your advice!

Carla said...

Oops!!! :)

You are correct!

Kat said...

another great new veggie idea, I'm going to bring some to the BBQ this weekend.....

Spaghetti squash and Pesto!!! yummmy

Melicious said...

Delicious dinner alert:

finely chopped fresh cauliflower + chopped frozen spinach, sauteed with olive oil and curry powder. When the veggies were done, I threw in some lean ground beef. Half an apple with Sunbutter for dessert.

Chelsea said...

ANother good dessert: Blackberries with Coconut Milk on it! Sort of like berries and cream...super good!

Johnny said...

For the love of god, Byers...It's been 10 days for me. Does the craving for cocktails go away?

chef said...

Hi All,

An offer of all the help that I can be of help with if you need some recipe/method/food nerd help in your quest aboard the good ship Byers.

Short history: Been an adjusted Zone freak for a year and a half, a 95% Paleo wannabe since january and a full blown Paleo Zealot since Mid-April. Dairy free, gluten free, legume free, alchohol free and only two cups of coffee in the last 64 days. I'm a recovering food-a-holic that was 320+lbs and a Master Chef in the U.S. and E.U. and finally proud to be spreading the love of all things Paleo and CF.

So if anyone ever needs a hand with sourcing or, frankly, anything in your quest to be 'more', I would like to chip in. MB's blog is always a constant inspiration and I would like to give a little back if I can.

cheers to all your dedication and a hearty raised glass of fennel and lemongrass iced tea to MB! She rules, others drool.

eat like it's a sport,


Chef said...

oops... chef at cheffit dot com

just in case...

Melicious said...

Chef! OMG... "Eat like it's a sport."

I want to put that on a business card or something. Holy shit. That's awesome.

Chef said...


LOL! sorry, m'lady, it's already my nutrition consultation's by-line.

Glad you like it :-)

Melicious said...

So... can I drop it that phrase into casual conversation and send you a quarter every time I do?! ;-)

Robbie said...

Eggplant seared with olive oil, garlic and pepper...cooked it for my work meals tmor...not alot sampling got a little carried I'm going to look up the data on it and see if it can join brocco at the top of my veggie list....

Robbie said...

btw, that was my new veggie tryout..never had it before. My sister is a veggie and she always gets this "grilled veggie stack" at our fave I'm thinking she may be on to something..

Mark said...

Hey Everyone,
After dancing around it and rationalizing putting cream in my coffee, I'm in for 30. I'm curious, what can I say. I'll be posting my progress on my new blog Melissa you sold me on it when you said in one of your comments that when you went 100% Paleo that you not only gained strength but also leaned out when you weren't even trying to. Thanks for starting this, I think it has already had a big impact on many lives. Also to Melicious and @M, great posts.

Melicious said...

Welcome, Mark! You won't miss the cream in your coffee... promise! (Or... you won't miss it eventually ;-)

Jake said...

It is day 9 for me and I'm feeling pretty good. I still miss the 1/2 & 1/2 and 2 packets of Splenda in each cup of coffee and think about it ALL the time.

However, I am drinking so much less coffee and I feel SO much better for it. I'm starting to like iced coffee so now. When it is 90F outside, I'm not sweating bullets because I'm not drinking hot coffee (But, I'm not sweating bullets anyways, because I think Summer has forgotten about WI this year).

Chef, thanks for the support. I have some questions about what we can have when doing strict paleo... Can we have flaxseed meal, flaxseed products, aguave, honey, pure maple syrup, almond flour (and other weird flours too)?

I just noticed that the tuna in water I have contains vegetable broth (soy) so I can't have this tuna either right b/c of the soy? Or do I just rinse the tuna thoroughly with water and enjoy it then?

I'm still a little confused about some of the weird things in products so if someone could provide a cheat sheet of things that we may think we can have but cannot (like vinegar, soy, etc.) it would be great! I would imagine that I'm not the only one out there that is a little unsure.


Michael said...

I'm going strong....I'm finding this surprisingly easy.

But Larabars? You've got to be kidding if they are ok on a Paleo diet...but I suppose they are a reasonable stepping stone. According to the nutrition sticker they have 24g carb and 5g protein (that's bad; the protein/carb ratio is way too low) and 17g of sugar (waaaay bad).

Heck, are Jocolats ok?

Kat said...

I think Larabars are great for paleo....may be too many carbs for "zone/paleo".
Personally I LOVE not 'counting' things..... I totally relate to Melissa's "Zone Gone Bad" post. :)

Melissa Byers said...

@Mark - Welcome!!! Nice to see you here.

@Angie - Agave, honey and pure maple syrup are considered sugar substitutes for the purposes of this 30 day experiment, so whether they're Paleo or not doesn't matter. Skip 'em. Soy is a no-go no matter what. No soy. Vinegar is not technically Paleo, but I seriously doubt anyone is going to OD on vinegar, so unless you have a serious gluten intolerance (or suspect you do), a little vinegar here and there is probably okay. But, again, for the purpose of this 30 days... can't you just go without?

@Michael, I think you are getting confused with Paleo and Zone. Paleo is all about food quality. Because of the ingredients in Larabars (fruit, nuts) and the manner in which they are produced (unprocessed, raw), they are 100% Paleo. (The sugars come from fruit.) However, the proportions of macronutrients don't fit within the Zone diet, which is all about food quantity and ratios.

For the purposes of this 30 day experiment, I don't care if you Zone, weigh and measure or just eyeball it. Do what works for you. I'm just asking you to eat no grains, dairy, sugar or sugar substitutes, legumes, or alcohol. That's it. (Well, I'm going to try to steer you to be smart about it too, but the basic principles are all about QUALITY.)

chef said...


As MB so aptly intones, this gig is about retooling your fueling as well as reacquainting your body to revel in the natural, inherent sweetness of foods without adding any outside sugars, syrups, etc. One of the hardest parts of this process is to move away from the perceived need to sweeten ANYTHING. Is reduced apple cider a sweet and sour mouthgasm? ummm.. YEAH! and is it paleo? yepper. Is it a good choice to add to the process of retooling/adjusting? No, not even a little.

If the 'flour' is the product of grinding a 100% paleo foodstuff? You can use it. Almond flour should be just ground, blanched almonds. Be aware it's mucho caloricly dense, so use it with a frugal hand. What other flours did you have in mind?

Jimi said...

I may have tripped last night. Is shrimp cocktail sauce paleo?

Carla said...

Yesterday was a MUCH better day than Monday. No cravings for pizza or beer, yea! Today was also my first day back in the gym since June 25th!!! I finally felt good enough to go back. I had been feeling pretty sluggish with my crap diet and kept on making excuses but this whole week I’ve been energized and ready to go.

Starting day 8 today!

7/14 Food:

Breakfast: green tea

Lunch: roasted chicken leg & thigh, collard greens, watermelon

Snack: pistachio nuts, larabar

Dinner: spinach salad w/ bacon, tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, mushrooms, salmon, olive oil, & lemon juice

Awesome workout this morning!

65# thruster
500m run after each set

I’m beat and am enjoying my omelet w/ veggies now… :)

Chelsea said...

Carla -- how do you survive on only tea until lunch?? I would die!

Carla said...

Chelsea! You are too funny! I used to IF (intermittent fast) back when my diet was very clean so I’m used to going long periods of time without eating. Also, I hadn’t worked out in 3 weeks until today and that makes it a lot easier to skip meals… :)

Brandon P. Petersen said...

Yesterday my ratio was 50/30/20 APPROX. . .

Fewer less calories yesterday, but tried to up the fat, drop the carbs a bit and protein etc. . Not have excess

johannal said...

For those looking for a good way to cook beets I found this one amazingly good from my Moosewood cookbook.

Odessa Beets

5-6 beets- wrap in foil and bake at 400 until tender, run under cool water to peel trim ends and toss into a food processor.
2-3T lemon juice
8-10 prunes or 1/4 raisins
2-3 garlic cloves
salt and pepper
1/2 finely chopped walnuts

chop well, chill and enjoy.
I was amazed by how good beets tasted this way.

Love the goal to eat a new veggie! Great time of year to do it as it's peak farmers market season here in the northeast and there's plenty of fresh veggies to choose from.

Soulrich said...

I woke up today and looked in the mirror and can see the change in my skin. I travel 100% Feb-June and it KILLED me this year. Even if I never lose a lb doing Paleo I already feel better and the change in my skin is amazing so I love it! I have lost 4 lbs and feel better in clothes, interesting, but I have not lost alot of inches. Today is going to be a great day..... :)

Meghan said...

Confession-Didn't have a good week last week. But I'm back with a vengeance after an awesome trip to Reading Terminal Market in Philly where I scored some free grassfed ground beef thanks to showing up right after they closed out their register. Also started back up with Crossfit after a month away. So I'm on a high right now, LOL.

Cooked up the ground beef last night with some button mushrooms, salt/pepper and a little bit of cumin. Then left the fat in the pan and used it to sautee some swiss chard with garlic. So CHECK to the new vegetable tried, and I really, really liked it!

Today I had 3 free range/pasteured chicken eggs for breakfast with a small apple and some cashew butter. Lunch will be leftover ground beef concoction from last night, along with a Jersey peach.

Along with this I'm trying to be a little more conscious of eating locally grown food to support farmers and small businesses in my area. Makes me feel a lot better than getting a bunch of saran wrapped crap trucked in from California at Trader Joe's or Acme.

OH and I found out, for anyone in Philadelphia, Nuts to You makes bulk nut butter. I'm going to go investigate prices today but if it's cheaper or comparable to Trader Joe's I'll go there instead. I was apalled last time I went to a regular grocery store and saw that almond butter was like $12!

Mindy said...

Hi Melissa,

Question...I found these in the "bulk" section of whole foods and central mkt and was wondering if they are okay on paleo or not and if they are ok, how much is ok to eat?
They are "veggie chips" and the ingredients are:
taro root, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, green beans, canola oil, dextrin, salt.

nutrition facts:
1oz (28g)-
130 calories
total fat: 4g
sodium: 125mg
carbs: 22g
fiber: 2g
sugar: 4g
protein: 1g

I know the green beans aren't allowed, but since its a mix, the green beans can easily be picked out. What are your thoughts both paleo and portion wise? Thank you!!!


Soulrich said...

I in NO means have any idea what I am talking about nor should you listen to me. :) But I think this is the second time you asked so I thought I would toss in what I would do. For me (and this is just my choice). If it comes in a seal tight bag like a chip bag (flag 1 for me) and it has one ingredient I do not already know where to buy in produce (dextrin and flag 2 for me). I walk away. Again this is just my choice and hopefully someone way smarter has a better answer for you!!!!!

Melicious said...

I've got a delicious fish recipe for you (and shameless promotion of my blog)...

White fish (cod, flounder, sea bass) topped with a almond and tahini/lemon crust. RIDICULOUSLY good. Enjoy!

nadia said...

Made home-made mayo today, I had forgotten how simple and easy it is:

1 egg
1/2 cup EVOO
1 T lemon or lime juice
pinch of salt

Put the egg, lime juice, and salt in a blender and mix until smooth. slowly drizzle the olive oil into the running blender until you get a consistency you like.

Put it on some tuna today--delish!

Mindy said...

hey soulrich!

Thanks so much for your thoughts! I really really appreciate it!!! Fortunately, it doesn't come in a seal tight bag, it just sits out in small plastic bins side by side (like nuts and coffee beans and dried fruit). as far as dextrin, there are various different types and uses, hence my confusion =( I think u r right tho.. due to the dextrin, it may not be paleo-okay after all. i am afraid that in this case, the dextrin gives reason to believe these go through some type of "food processing", which I think is a no-no in paleo. but I wonder if anyone has a more solid answer??

I read somewhere that if you bake thinly sliced eggplant and/or squash with some oil at a low temperature, that they come out crispy and chip-like... I tried this and it didn't work... anyone have any advice/recipes for crunchy snack-like foods? (i know raw veggies on their own are cruchy, but its kind of more of a soft crunchy in my opinion and im seeking crunchy crunchy LOL)

Many thanks!


Mindy said...

so I think I just didn't use enough oil when I did my first crunchy crunchy veggie attempt... but I found this recipe so yippee!!!

Mark said...

I discovered beets today, good stuff. After no sugar and chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa, beets are a nicely sweet treat. I'm counting very high cocoa chocolate (at least 70%) as Paleo. Please let me know if I shouldn't. Thanks!

Chelsea said...

Mark - It sounds like you know you shouldn't, and you just need a kick in the a$$. Get off the crack, dude! :)

Mark said...

This may be too much rationalizing but I think in terms of Paleo-ness, extra dark chocolate is on par with Sunbutter. Both have a little cane juice but pack a lot of good fat. So if Sunbutter is in, I think 85% Cocoa Chocolate is in too. Also, one is likely to eat more Sunbutter than dark chocolate in my opinion. I appreciate the tough love Chelsea but that doesn't mean I won't fight it :)

Chelsea said...

I guess my opinion on it would be that chocolate has to be 'processed' too much to get to the state it's in, so it's unlikely a caveman would've eaten it. I've seen a few recipes with cocoa powder...I suppose that's more reasonable, since it's just ground up cocoa beans right? I'm pretty sure cavemen knew how to hit things with rocks. In any case, you should really kick all the sweets for the sole reason that eating sweets breeds cravings for other sweets...which in turn makes you more likely to break down when somebody offers you a cookie.

Chelsea said...

Honey, maple syrup, & XXX% cocoa chocolate = gateway drugs?? :D

Melicious said...

Here's my take on all these "should I/shouldn't I" debates... if you have to ask so many questions about whether it's "legal" or not, it's probably NOT.

Also, everyone has to decide for themselves how strict they want to be. There's no punishment for breaking the rules except that you're cheating yourself.

Make your own rules; live with the consequences.

And when you get stuck, listen to the Mike Ness song "Cheating at Solitaire." It will remind you that you really only have to please yourself, but you really don't want to cheat yourself, either.

Cheating at Solitaire, by my pretend boyfriend Mike Ness:

Melissa Byers said...

Allow me to drop the hammer and clear this up for all y'all. You are high on drugs if you think chocolate, in any form, is okay right now. And to debate whether it is "Paleo" or not is seriously missing the bus. And comparing CHOCOLATE to sunflower seeds is just silly. I mean, that's SILLY.

If you truly do not understand why chocolate is not okay here, please go back and re-read the original post, and all subsequent posts and comments until you get it.

Kisses, Byers

Oh, what have I done? said...

Ok Byers, loving your tough love. I am officially on board today as day 1. After the brownie batter and then 4-5 of the fu*4ers cooked, I need a serious ass kicking. Time to get real and grow up already. To get through a serious crash I did have 2 dates stuffed with pecans. Ready to get out and do Nancy now.
Melicious - you are my new crush. Love your blog, and your posting of Mike Ness......perfect.
Anyone have small kids at home while trying to do this 30 day shiite? I could use some Mothers helpers on my journey, since I do the shopping for food prep for and arguing with the little..... dearies. Thanks

Mark said...

That settles it, thanks Melissa. Sorry Chelsea but no one drops the hammer like Melissa. Good point Melicious. For some reason I didn't question the chocolate until I brought it up here. So Day 1 starts now. So in an effort to clear up some confusion with the what's Paleo and what's not stuff, I want to throw out some items that might get caught in the middle as I just found out.

Chocolate = Not Here
Sausage = If really good quality, no Jimmy Dean Breakfast Links
Coconut Milk = Good to Go
Nut Butters = Good to Go
LaraBar = Good to Go
Vinegar = Not Here
White Potato = Not Here
Sweet Potato/Yam = Good to Go

Please feel free to add and/or critique this list.

Mark said...

By the way, I'm re-reading the first post and comments to make sure it sinks in.

Chelsea said...

Haha...I'm still working on my 'Hammer Dropping' skillz. If I were anywher near as good as Melissa, I suppose I'd have to start my own blog. But I'm not, and she rocks ;)

Melicious said...

I love you people. This is WAY more interesting and fun and inspiring than what the corporate overlords want me to be doing today.

Go, Mark! Get down with your list-makin' self.

@ Oh, what have I done?... I love Mike Ness so much I can't even really talk about it without becoming a complete dork. I listened to Social Distortion on my way to workout this morning, and it made me all punk rock aggro. Woohoo!

Chelsea said...

BTW - definitely trying your fish recipe next week Melicious. Looks goooooood.

Tracy said...

I almost cheated by mistake! I was sitting at my desk, grabbed my tin of mints and put two in my mouth. As soon as they landed on my tongue I realised what I did and I put them in the garbage along with the tin. I guess I didn't make my desk a Paleo-zone yet...
My new veggie is an eggplant. First I'm going to make some Paleo babaghanoush (sp?). I'm hoping that will win me over to trying it in some of the recipes you all have provided!
Also, found and bought Sunbutter. I had everyone trying it at work today!

Soulrich said...

So I totally did not bring enough food with me today (and have been severely yelled at already :)). Issue is.... because I am hungry I am having HUGE food cravings. I am so mad at myself. The good news is that I can see the connection so it makes it easier to ignore till I can get home for more food.

Mark said...

Just thought of one more but not sure of the answer.

Organic Beef Jerky from Trader Joes, I don't have a package on hand but I know Robb Wolf loves it but didn't know if it flies here. Thanks!

Elizabeth said...

i just found this website and 30 days challenge about 2 hours ago. My 30 days started about 30 mins ago. i've been paleo since about February but still use skim milk and agave in my coffee plus the cheats here and there. This past weekend I had restaurant French fries and a whole wheat bun. i just ate almonds and fresh blueberries and i'm getting ready to have COFFEE BLACK. Yikes this is my biggest fear--but attitude is everything and i'm not going to let cream and sugar get in the way of my fitness and heath so FU agave and skim milk, ok ok- i know it's a little dramatic.
I haven’t had a chance to read all the post yet but will do so tonight. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and cheering each other on to a better life. I will be back tonight to report my COFFEE BLACK experience (think positive) I think I’m going to love this COFFEE BLACK.

What I’ve had today:
7am- banana
8am- 3 hard boiled eggs
10- 1 hard boiled egg & 1 cup grapes
12- bowl of spinach, cherry tomatoes, ½ avocado 2 hb eggs
3- 1 cup blue berries & ½ cup almonds- I know that is probably too many almonds but I didn’t bring much food w/ me today.
******about 1 ½ hours ago I passed up birthday cake. Eating sweets for me is like drinking tequila, I’ll feel horrible in the morning and it’s SO not worth it so I’m finally strong enough to say NO THANKS!
Cheers to everyone.

Elizabeth said...

Question: is almond milk ok to drink? i buy the unsweetened kind so there is no sugar added but there are still some chemicals.

Mark said...

Hey Elizabeth,
I just got started too, damn chocolate. I think almond milk is a no go for the next thirty days. Get some coconut milk instead (Byer's approved), I promise you won't taste the coconut and it has the same texture as whole milk. Good stuff.

Meghan said...

I think I OD'ed on dried bananas, and I can tell they are too sweet and too starchy/carby for me. Blech. Forget those!

Samantha said...

is there something against gluten free grains.. just curious?
like quinoa, spelt, millet, sprouted grains.. a nutritionist ive been talking to suggested them for me. now im in a pickle :(

Amy said...

I just wanna say this is awesome!! There are 132 "I need help with ---" or "Can you taste this smackdown?" posts on here. I am on day 6 and am feeling great. I don't think I've gone this long without a Coke Zero in over a year. It's the sad truth...

Melicious said...

From Reuters: "Glycemic load of diet tied to breast cancer risk"

Oh, what have I done? said...

Social Distortion is good stuff. Mike Ness is cool, but Henry Rollins rocks my world.
It has taken me a while today to get my bearings. I have eaten lots of pecans and a huge amount of pork steak smothered with guac. I keep hovering (and hoovering) around the nuts. I think I read a Melissa post about not to worry so much about the quantity and calories etc. in the beginning, but rather focus on the quality. Right? SO to stop the cravings can I eat AMAP paleo food? You know when you eat something, and still dont feel satisfied, so you grab another something and so on until you hit the spot?

Michael said...

@Kat, @Melissa So on Paleo (not Paleo/Zone) I can drink a gallon of freshly squeezed OJ every day?

Kat said...

LOL I guess so .... if you really wanted to initially but I think after a few days you probably won't want that much juice.

winnipeglove said...

I think when Byers stressed quality over quantity or measuring, she meant for us to not stress if it was 3 ounces or 3.5 ounces of chicken. I don't think she was saying that it was a free for all, Paleo buffet. A lot of Paleo eating is also based on intuitive eating (i.e. stopping when we're satiated, not stuffed).

Melissa Byers said...

@Mark - here's my general rule of thumb. I'm more generous with meats than I am with sugars and grains. So, my Applegate Farms chicken sausage is not totally Paleo, because it's processed. But it's all natural, no preservatives, and I recognize all four ingredients as real food. So, I eat them. Same with the all natural beef jerky. If it doesn't have added sugars or chemicals - go for it.

As for the rest of your list, you've got it right, in my book. Again, it's somewhat arbitrary based on what works for me and my clients. Sweet potatoes are my favorite PWO food, despite the fact that they may not be technically "Paleo".

@Mindy: Negative on the chips, based on the ingredients. Find recipes to make 'em yourself, with fresh veggies, olive oil and herbs and spices.

@Elizabeth: Negative on the almond milk, because I've yet to see any made without chemicals and other crappy ingredients. Coconut milk, straight up.

@Michael: Are you taking a tone? ;) You know oranges are Paleo, so freshly squeezed oranges are also Paleo. Could you drink a gallon and still be "on the Paleo diet"? Yep. SHOULD you? What do you think? If you've read the posts, you know I'm not preaching a free-for-all with Paleo foods. Everyone here needs to take responsibility for their food choices, regardless of what "diet" they are trying to follow.

mie said...

Mark, if only you knew Chelsea in'd listen to her!!!

I've been staying away from Larabars, because to me, it's too much like candy bars despite what it's made of. But today, I needed a snack for work so i bought one. and, i might be the first to say this here, but i did not like it!

now back to searching for other portable snack ideas...

Robbie said...

It seems alot of us are hung up on the Lara Bars!! I've had my days where I dig into my dates and mixed nuts stash but my reach for snack has been carrots...filling, crunchy and water packed. I dip em in tahini or guac...but my grocer had blade steak for 2$ a pound, so my go to is now steak and veggies! Boom goes the dynamite. Marinate that bad boy with garlic, sesame oil, pepper and green onion....

Soulrich said...

Ok, again... not a cook... what is tahini?? I keep seeing it mentioned and was curious!

Chelsea said...

It's a paste made out of sesame seeds.

David X said...

Where does one buy these Larabars?

I know the Robb Wolf recommended a particular brand of tomato sauce as being paloe-friendly, but I think he purchased that at a trader joes or whole foods. Living in an area that only has walmart and seven-11's to shop from, does anyone have their own personal preference that can be found a little more commonly?

Sadie said...

so, I just found a protein calculator online (at a seemingly-legit site) that said that based on my size and activity level, I need to be consuming in the range of 80 grams of protein a day. Holy cats. So I'm eating some fish every day, a bunch of nuts, almond butter on most anything, some eggs... but by my calculations, I'm pretty sure I'm nowhere near 80. I haven't been eating meat at every meal... maybe I need to go that way. But I've never been a huge meat eater, so that's a big change for me. Any thoughts?

ontheroad said...

Day 10 here.

Today was tough, woke up from a dream about grande ice coffee with 4 pumps classic (I gave up coffee and tea) and a zone fudge graham bar.

But i held my ground and I am still 100% clean. I stuck with fresh fruits today and no Lara bars.

Question for the group does anyone know of a soft nut? I am having trouble biting almonds.

Chelsea said...

I'm going to post my 'homemade' version fo the Apple Pie larabars next time I make them...I got pretty close on the first try. That might help with your walmart/7-11 issues!

David X said...

"soft nuts".... What were we talking about again?

nadia said...


A heads-up on the TJ jerky--they all have added sugar. Not much, but it's ingredient #2 after beef. I went through the aisle yesterday and was pissed to find this out.

For the almond milk lovers:
Has anyone tried making their own almond milk before? I've got some almonds soaking in the fridge tonight, and I'm planning to blend/strain them through a coffee filter tomorrow. Do I need to blanche the skins off?

on the coffee angle, I am really liking 1/3 cup of light coconut milk in my morning cup. The fat seems to take out all the bitterness.

speaking of milk, my husband was just telling me about a delicious almond/coconut milk with cinnamon drink that he made yesterday. put some ice in and that sounds like paleo horchata....yum

Chelsea said...

nadia -- can you get that recipe from your husband? It sounds delicious! :)

M@ said...


Spelt, millet and sprouted grains all contain gluten. I tend to recommend spouted grains or sourdough bread to people who absolutely cannot give up these items. The sprouted or fermented (sourdough) grains contain fewer phytates and lectins. They do, however, still contain gluten. Phytates are phosphorylated sugars that bind metal ions such as iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Interestingly, the greater majority of North Americans who consume a standard American diet are deficient in those very metals. Coincidence?
Lectins are glycated peptides that plants use for protection (i.e. chemical warfare). Lectins are responsible for autoimmune reactions and damage the lining of the GI tract.
Botanically, Quinoa is a fruit. Unfortunately, it is a heretic. Whereas most fruits create a nice juicy exterior such that an animal will come along and consume it and then discard the seeds (hopefully in a pile of manure). This helps the fruit trees reproduce. Grains have taken a different approach. They armor themselves in tough husks, protect themselves with lectins, and add in phytates to ensure that the seed does not sprout at the wrong time. Quinoa has taken the same approach as grains. Many people with celiacs disease will cross react to quinoa. Quinoa is not something a caveman could have picked off a bush and consumed. As such quinoa is not permitted on the paleo diet.

M@ said...


try pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts.

M@ said...


Protein from meat or eggs at every meal. The protein in nuts, fruits, or anything that isn't meat or eggs doesn't count because the protein is hard to access (encased in fiber) and will likely not release as much glucagon as other sources of protein.

nadia said...


I'll let you know the recipe after I figure out the paleo almond milk part. so hopefully tomorrow.

Melicious said...

David X, I've got an easy-peasy recipe for tomato sauce that will make you never want to eat jar sauce of any kind again...

1 large can Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes (
1-2 cloves garlic
fresh basil leaves
olive oil

Heat the olive oil and add the garlic. Let it cook for about 30 seconds (just til it's fragrant), then add the tomatoes, basil, salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes.

That's it. So good, it'll make you cry. Throw it on top of some cooked spaghetti squash with ground beef. You'll NEVER miss the pasta. Promise!

The Muir Glen site has a bunch of recipes, too. Their marinara recipe sounds good...

M@ said...


Drinking a gallon of orange juice everyday will do little to improve your insulin sensitivity. Same with the larabars. Too much fructose! Although fructose has a lower insulin response when compared to glucose, fructose is uniquely effective a ruining insulin sensitivity via other mechanisms. Here is an interesting abstract from a paper published in The AMerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980,33, 273–278. I can most abstract on this subject if people are interested. This is some of the earliest work.
ABSTRACT We have studied whether the sucrose-induced reduction of insulin sensitivity and
cellular insulin binding in normal man is related to the fructose or the glucose moiety. Seven young
healthy subjects were fed their usual diets plus 1000 kcal extra glucose per day and eight young
healthy subjects were fed their usual diets with addition of 1000 kcal extra fructose per day. The
dietary regimens continued for 1 week. Before change of diet there were no statistically significant
differences between body weight and fasting plasma concentrations of glucose. insulin, and ketone
bodies in the two groups studied. High-glucose feeding caused no significant changes in insulin
binding or insulin sensitivity whereas high-fructose feeding was accompanied by a significant
reduction both of insulin binding (P < 0.05) and insulin sensitivity (P < 0.05). The changes in
insulin binding and insulin sensitivity correlated linearly (r = 0.52, P < 0.01). We conclude that
fructose seems to be responsible for the impaired insulin binding and insulin sensitivity induced by
sucrose. Am. J. C/in. Nut,. 33: 273-278, 1980.

winnipeglove said...

I found this blog where the writer made homemade Lara bars. She did an extensive posts with photos, instructions, and different flavor combination.
Homemade Lara Bars

Mindy said...


almond slices!!! deeelicious!!! they have almond slivers as well!

Brandon P. Petersen said...

Today is complete. So 3+ days registered, at over 3100 calories per day, with one up near 3500. I've slowly cut down the carbs percentage. July 15ths Ratio was 48/18/33. . . I trained for around 3 hours tonight, and energy levels were good, cardio was good. I think i would feel more comfortable having that middle number (carb) at least at 20, or few above, depending.
Melis - - what you think?

Also, this is not taking into consideration the 8 FO capsules i am taking at night, so that will up my fat a little bit also...

Sloandsteady said...

David X - Although Melicious has a damn good recipe, if you do want something quick out of a can, I believe El Pato tomato sauce is the way to go. It can be found at regular Safeway-like grocery stores in the mexican food aisle (you will easily recognize the yellow cans). It has a little kick to it, so it really spices everything up.

One of my favorites is ground beef, frozen spinach (thawed and drained), and whatever other veggies sound appealing (such as red peppers or steamed broccoli slaw) and a little can of El Pato tomato sauce. Voila! Super easy dinner and enough left over for breakfast--even add an egg or two.

Since I am not much of a cook, these one dish wonders really help me out and I couldn't do it without the help of El Pato!!

Sadie said...

m@, thanks for the advice. Think I'm off to a better start on the protein front today- made a big sausage and all-colors pepper scramble to have over cabbage for lunch today, and then fried up three eggs for breakfast in the sausage-y pan. Yum.

Chelsea said...

Well, I'll post the (delicious) results of my larabar adventure is what I used:

2 cups pitted & chopped Dates
1 Peeled & Grated Apple
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
1/2 cup of chopped almonds
1 TBSP Cinnamon

I used an APple Pie larabar to do direct taste comparison, but I like mine chunky, so I didn't use a food processor. It wasn't enough cinnamon (for my tastes) and the apple made it a little too 'wet' so I think next time I will either add some almond flour or squish some of the juice out of the apple 'sauce' first. I 'baked' it in a 9'x9' pan at 350 for 10 minutes then stuck it in the fridge. Cut it into 16 squares later and have been eating them for snacks in the afternoon with jerky.

Ronesshia said...

I know Byers talked about quality over quantity for the first 30-days, but based on some of the postings about calorie intake by other people, I do not think I am eating enough. I do get hungry outside of regular meals, and normally I eat a piece of fruit (and sometimes a piece of depends on what I have prepared). Since I'm using the first 30 days as a catalyst for weight loss, should I be worried about calorie intake? I want to make sure I'm eating enough and not starving myself thin.

M@ said...


If you overdo it on the caloric restriction side of things, your metabolism will slow down and that will cockblock your fat loss. Eat when you are hungry. If you are looking for a snack, skip the fruit and go for protein or fat (nuts, olives, avocado).