Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question and answer-penance

I have fallen behind in my own blog. Shameful. I can't keep up with all the good comments, questions and answers and stories! I go away for one little weekend and I'm hopelessly behind. Thanks to all of you for keeping the 30-day ball rolling. You've done a fantastic job here.

To those of you who said you were PLANNING dietary Armageddon on Day 31, but have since rethought that strategy (Dan from my kettlebell cert...) virtual high five. You've just saved yourself a few days of unhappiness and feeling like crap. Trust me - I've been there. We've ALL been there. Way to take the smarter route.

For those of you whose idea of "cheats" have changed from weekends full of pizza, booze and ice cream to the occasional sweet potato, something covered in maple syrup and one microbrew while out with friends - I'll cheers to that. My cheats are now hummus, a small amount of Soy creamer in my coffee and the occasional Junior Mint. (Swear to Mary Kate and Ashley, those things are so delicious they should be illegal. I suggest you have a friend dole them out, just to make sure you don't get carried away.) And I enjoy my "cheats" more, because (a) I know they're not going to make me feel like crap because they don't include ingredients I don't tolerate well, (b) I'm not eating anywhere near enough in a single sitting to have a negative impact on how I look, feel or perform, and (c) I have them infrequently, so they're more special when I do eat them.

So, back to my serious weekend slacking. For those of you just getting started and having a hard time wading through all the comments, posts and information on the site, I'll give you a day of grace. Feel free to repost questions here, and I'll make efforts today and tomorrow to answer all of them. (Veterans - feel free to jump in and help out too!) This is just a way to get some quick questions answered without hearing the obligatory "we've already covered that..." response.

Note: Please do not ask me to analyze your diet block by block. I really don't have time to get into everyone's business at that level. However, I'm feeling guilty for being away all weekend, and as a recovering Catholic, guilt is a powerful motivator. Take advantage and post questions now, people.


Jumping Queen said...

First, I apologize. I am still working on formatting the recipes that have been posted over the course of the month. I have been crazy busy too and all that copying and pasting from comments/websites lead to to screwed up formatting for me to fix. It's coming soon.

Second, I had my first cheat on day 33 this past weekend for my son's birthday. It was a ice cream cheesecake birthday cake. It really did nothing for me and I could have honestly done without it. In the past, I would have picked away at that cake over the course of the week until it was gone and now, I didn't even think twice that it was still in the fridge. I can honestly say that I didn't feel any effects from eating so much dairy and sugar (and it was a lot, believe me). Nothing, zilch, nada. I expected this sugar high, hangover, etc. and a gasy, bloated stomach and got nothing.

So I continued back on the paleo life and still feel great. I don't even feel the desire to cheat at all.

In addition to feeling more alert and energized, my body just feels better. I suffered a decent back injury to my erector spinae (lower back) muscle back in Feb '08 from doing a deadlift. It took quite a long time to heal and the muscle was still pretty tight. I felt like an old lady day in and day out as my back felt tight and very stiff and I always had to stretch it out. I also had a lot of muscle tension in my upper back. Guess what? It is GONE! My back feels absolutely the best it has in 1-1/2 years! Coincidence? Maybe, but I believe it is all of the anti-inflammatory foods that I'm eating now.

Moxy-Boss-my questions.

I'm confused about what is considered a cheat. Is it satisfying a craving and eating a cookie for example, or is it simply eating something that has added sugar/sugar substitute (say salad dressing, or diet soda or for the drinkers out there-an alcoholic beverage for example). Is having nutrasweet or oatmeal in moderation (in an occasional diet soda for example) considered a cheat? In a nutshell, would you just say that if you have anything that has one of the forbidden ingredients in it a cheat?

I've heard that some people "Paleo with dairy" or. In my case, I felt no ill effects from dairy. I would love to be able to have my oatmeal with yogurt for breakfast a few times per week. This would be considered a cheat? I've read the previous posts regarding dairy and I understand that it should be eliminated. But if I feel no ill effects, does that mean I can safely eat it and be "Paleo with Dairy"? I'm not asking because I want to have cheese, sour cream, etc all the time. I'm really just asking about yogurt/oatmeal and having a smoothie with yogurt.

I don't weigh my food or zone it, and really just eat when I feel like it. Is there a specific gram ratio that is recommended for better performance? My weight hasn't changed this past month nor do I think my BF% has dropped at all.

I may have asked too many questions in one post for you, but I'm sure lots of people have the same questions.


Melissa Byers said...

@Jumping Queen (Angie): First, I can't believe I'm reading this, coming from the lady who told me her Splenda was non-negotiable. You've come a long way, and I'm super happy this has been a good experience for you.

A "cheat" (or free meal, or treat, or whatever) is, I suppose, something you eat that you wouldn't consider part of your normal, everyday diet. Like, I don't eat maple syrup every single day, so I consider it a special food. The good news is, that's entirely YOUR CALL. Want to incorporate Greek yogurt back into your diet on a regular basis, or hummus, or things containing vinegar, or Stevia sweetener? Go right ahead. You have to figure out how to make this eating plan work for YOU for the long haul. So a cheat is whatever you say it is - nothing more, nothing less.

I am glad your cheesecake left no ill effects on your digestive tract - that's fantastic to know. I do suspect too much of that and your back will start acting up again. You hit the nail on the head with the anti-inflammatory properties of this diet. Which is a really important point - just because your one experiment with grains or dairy or legumes went okay short term doesn't necessarily mean it would be okay to incorporate those things back into your diet for the long term. Things like achy joints, skin issues and other maladies may be lurking around the corner with repeated use of those foods. Just a word of caution as some of you take your "cheats" for a test drive.

Finally, there is no magic ratio, but I've found (very generally speaking) that somewhere around 50% fat, 30% protein and 20% carbs works well for most people. Everyone is different, and you'll have to play around with this for yourself, but that's not a bad ballpark, in my book.


~jo said...

just dropping by to say that I saw a link here from Crossfit forum and you've inspired me to get more serious. I was doing 'mostly' paleo, but I'm taking your 30 challenge. My first thought was to put it off because my birthday is next weekend... but for frick's sake- why does my birthdya mean I get to put crappy food in my body?? Thanks for the inspiration, Day one was yesterday and I feel good, strong and able to do this.

Joaquin said...

Hi Melissa,

I have been following your blog for a while and the 30 days challenge comments. Although I have not signed yet (still working on eating new veggies, so I have more variety) I ´m 90% Paleo thanks to your advice and the info everybody is providing.

I am starting the IF (fasting), looking at 1-2 days a week. Now what is your view on fasting and my main question is: what is "better" to do the fast during my rest day (today) or during say weight days?

Thanks again for all the help and advice. I do promise to start with the 30 days real soon.

Melissa Byers said...

@Joli: Way to jump on board! And your birthday can be your excuse to eat gorgeous, healthy food (like a beautiful cut of steak, grilled and seasoned vegetables and fresh berries for dessert) and treat yourself in that fashion. Keep us posted.

@Joaquin: IF is a totally different animal. It's what I consider "advanced" - you only want to incorporate it when you've dialed in on your quantity, quality and macronutrient proportion. That having been said, there is no one answer here. You're going to need to play around with it a LOT. Fast on rest days, and on training days. Fast for 16 hours, then try 20 the next. It's VERY individual, so you have to be willing to black box it for yourself around a whole host of factors. Which is why you need to make sure your diet is dialed in FIRST. If you're playing around with factors related to fasting, then you need a constant (what you eat, and how much you eat) so you can more scientifically approach what may or may not be working with the IF. Make sense? If you haven't already, read Mike O'Donnell's excellent article on incorporating IF into your diet.


Amy said...

Yay! I asked this a while ago and didn't get a response:

I've been tracking all my food on fitday.com. I'm regularly falling short on my calcium intake - about 40-50% of my RDA. All other nutrients are above RDA, except occasionally iron. Now I've read the argument that other populations take in a lower amount of calcium yet have less incidence of osteoporosis HOWEVER I wonder if I should supplement?

The one day I met my RDA for calcium I downed two cups of cooked spinach in a sitting and I found it gagalicious. I'm mixing spinach in with my other meals and can tolerate that, but I'm still not making the magic 1000mg of calcium. I'm going to attempt sardines as well, but it seems that getting calcium intake right might take a lot of effort - the kind of effort that starts making this neurotic and un-fun.

So should I supplement to get the 1000mg per day, or will I do fine on a lower amount of calcium because Paleo (supposedly) creates a better environment for absorption/retention of minerals? Are there "good" calcium supplements and "bad"?

grubinski said...

I've been eating Paleo for about 3+ months, and doing IF from the start. I don't see it as advanced, I've had no problem with a 24 hr fast once a week. Workout day, rest day, doesn't matter. I tend to do it on the weekend a lot because then I have more time to "get shit done" without worrying about eating.

Melissa Byers said...

@Amy: Dr Cordain says it better than I ever could, so check his Calcium FAQ. Long story short, if you're eating your vegetables, you don't need to supplement. It's not just about how much calcium you take in, it's about how much you excrete. Eating in this fashion helps us retain the calcium we consume, and gives us stronger bones.

@Grubinski: And a 24 hour fast, even once a week, would absolutely kill me. It's very individual, and it often requires some tinkering and patience to get it right. I don't IF any more because I was having a really hard time getting all my calories in during my feeding window, but you're right... having extra time and not having to stress about eating every couple of hours when you're busy is a REALLY nice benefit of IF.

Brandon P. Petersen said...


No questions...
just letting you know I'm showing up outside your office..

thanx much
good day

Brandon P. Petersen said...

PPS- it's funny....after this was such a success, i am seeing these "30 day challenges" popping up all over the place!

Meggilizz said...

Good morning! :) I still haven't been able to complete a full 30 days of TRUE Paleo :( I guess I just need to do it & quit bitching, right??

I go to Mark's Daily Apple a lot for info and it's been very helpful. How do you feel about Intermittent Fasting? I really want to try it, but my Crossfit trainer said I should wait until I hit a stalling point doing Paleo. I guess I'll have to give Paleo a fair shake (NO CHEATING MEG!!) before I decide on when to start IF. :)

Meggilizz said...

Okay DUH! I guess I could've read the other comments before posting! WHOOPSIES! Maybe I'll start with smaller fasts and work my way up--skipping a meal once a week then more as time goes on. :)

Oh, what have I done? said...

Hi Melissa,
Thank you for everything, fist of all. Nothing much has budged by way of body fat on me during this initial 30 days. If I want to lose body fat, does that mean I have to start doing some kind of weighing and measuring (which terrifies me because it brings up old obsessions with food and generally screws up my mental health). Will I have to quit fruit? Will I have to start screwing around with grams of carbs and post wod foods etc.? What has been found to be the most successful method for losing body fat for a not too overweight (maybe 10-15 pounds), fit crossfitting healthy woman?
Thanks. I think I know the answer, but I want to hear your advice.

Davie said...

Im on day 22 and feeling great. Still need to stop having milk in my coffee but dammit, black coffee is awful!

hannah eileen said...

Hey all! My fiance and I decided to jump in on the 30 day challenge. We are on day 9 and I am doing great. The candy dish at work and roommates' drinks at home are the only things tempting me. I am still training my mind that I am not hungry or thirsty just because it's convenient.
Melissa, my question is pretty simple and not about Paleo itself. I have been catching a lot of sh!t from my close friends and family about this 30 day challenge. What is the best thing to say to people who put Paleo down/call it unhealthy/laugh at the food I eat?
Also, thanks to everyone for recipes and words of inspiration. I check this all the time when I am feeling weak. Keep up the good work!

Soulrich said...

Amy, this is not put down at all but your comment made me smile ear to ear for this reason... I have always like spinach since I was a kid(yes probably because of popeye). So ONLY eating 2 cups of spinach to me, seems like total agony..... Funny how people are different! :)
So I fell off the wagon a bit this weekend, which leads me to now know I am NO WHERE near ready to cheat at all. Started my next 30 days today. Started kettle bell class Sunday... learned you should not do two days in a row no matter how good of shape you think you are in... still cannot move.
That is where I am! Oh and of all the cheats I felt no ill effects, but I did gain back weight. But it makes me feel better not to cheat, so back on the paleo wagon I am!

Melicious said...

Hannah Eileen, I'm sure the Moxy-Boss will have an answer for you, too... but when I get raised eyebrows at work when I'm eating salmon and cabbage while everyone else is eating pizza, I tell them something like, "That looks good, but I'm eating this because I'm training to be a supehero." I try not to sound smug; that only works sometimes.

The other thing that works is explaining what you CAN eat, rather than can't... Man! You should have seen my dinner last night. I had a big piece of grilled chicken, homemade baba ghanoush, some steamed green beans, a handful of almonds, and the freshest peach EVER. It was so good!"

I mean, who can argue with food like that?!

Melissa Byers said...

@Oh What Have I Done: There is no one magic answer for fat loss, but you do NOT have to weigh and measure to make it happen. Eating super clean and eating ENOUGH should take care of that, with time and patience. Every fat loss plateau I've ever been stuck in - every one - was broken when I started eating MORE. Try upping your fat and protein and see if that jump starts any changes. Also, diet isn't the only component. When was the last time you picked up something really heavy? Like, so heavy you could only pick it up, like, once or twice? Picking up heavy stuff + good, clean eating + plenty of rest = the sure fire recipe for lean, mean bodies.

@Hannah: Learn from all of my mistakes, my dear, and don't bother trying to explain to ANYONE what it is you're doing (or why) unless they show genuine interest. And saying, "Your diet must be really boring!" or "Oh, you're just being anal" is NOT genuine interest. The best path is to LEAD BY QUIET EXAMPLE. Just keep doing what you're doing, not criticizing other's food choices and not publicizing your own. Other people will eventually see you looking happier, healthier, and more energetic. And THEN the questions will start coming, slowly and tentatively at first... but they WILL come. Prepare yourself - I've "converted" a busload of people to this way of eating just by way of setting the example. (And all of them, by the way, are sorry it took them so long to catch on.)

Robbie said...

It's been along time since I felt this good. I'm in control completely. I will admit, I've been absent off the posting for a bit. I had some regretful days where I was killing it in the gym, killing it caveman style...then having ice cream at night. I felt terrible, hungover and rundown...guess I needed that point made for myself that nothing tastes better than feeling and performing well. I've been introducing certain things back in slowly and one at a time...peanut butter(for cost, I have kids) and cause I LOVE it and I've never felt the need to binge....franks red hot on my eggs in the morn.... and I have have one beer once and two beers once...tasty, no probs after. Other than that, I just forget half the time that I am eating "paleo". My mindset it that I don't even consider grains or dairy to be items in my scope. Can't thank you enough Byers...I'm a convert..who had to stumble first to realize it. By product of clean(almost) through 37 days: 7 pounds fat loss, 1 pound gained.

winnipeglove said...

Moxy Boss, I have a question for you. This is relating to the post OWHID wrote.

I'm hearing mixed messages about leaning out. I understand that everyone's body is different. Some people advocate cutting fat, carbs, and overall calories for leaning out. Others advocate eating more in general and heavy lifting.

I crossfit 4 days a week, run 10K once/week, and bike 5 miles every day to and from work (at the very least). I don't drive and walk every where when I'm not biking. I eat around 1500 calories with a 50-30-20 (f,p,c) ratio. I'm 5'3 and 135 lbs. I'm not concerned about my weight, but I would like to decrease my bf.

Am I not eating enough? I feel satiated throughout the day. This would be day 36 of strict paleo (minus the Guinness and muffin I ate on the weekend).

Sorry for such a long post. I've also thought for the longest time that I have a relatively slow metabolism and it's been very, very hard to lose the last bit of fat.

Mindy said...

OMG, I am soo relieved to read Byers' reply to Oh What Have I Done!! Measuring and weighing makes me really miserable. I use to zone and old habits die hard so I am still measuring my proteins and carbs, but not my fats and if I'm still hungry I'll either up my fats or protein without measuring. In comparison to measuring zone-style, I would say I've been minimally measuring and I have lost weight and am feeling great!!! I hope this brings you some peace of mind "OH WHID." I think the key is time. We just gotta stick to eating clean, doing metcons and heavy lifting, and give time, time =) We will get there!!!

Any advice from others out there??

I also feel like now I am trying to just lose those last 5-10lbs and I really am struggling with flattening/getting rid of my "tummy pooch." I rarely eat fruit, but just like "OH WHID," I duno how to lose these last few pounds. I do CF WODs (2 days more metcon based, 2 days weight based, 1 day mix) I think the weight will come off with time and I just gotta be consistent with my eating habits and get good WODs in every week... But if anyone has any advice.. I am ALL EARS!!!


Mindy said...

whoops... meant to say "I do CF WODs 5 times a week"

wow, it makes me feel better than it seems like a lot of ppl are trying to figure out how to lose those last few pounds/lean out. I'm glad I'm not alone.

Melissa Byers said...

@Robbie: First, welcome back. Second, it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job figuring out for yourself where you want to "live" with this diet. Ice cream every night may not be okay with you, but once in a while it may balance just fine. It's NECESSARY to make some mistakes along the way, so don't beat yourself up about it. Just learn, and move forward - which is exactly what you're doing. Virtual high five.

@Winnipeglove: My dear, 1,500 calories a day isn't enough to support your activity level. At all. You are not eating anywhere NEAR enough. I bet you could throw 1K calories on top of what you're doing right now and things would just start MOVING. Of course you're not dropping fat, as your body is holding on to whatever it can.

Your ratios look good - keep 'em there. First, make sure you're getting enough protein. If you're not getting around your body weight in grams per day, increase that first. Round out the rest in fat, from various sources. Nuts aren't the only way to get your fat calories in! Fattier fishes (like wild Alaskan salmon), coconut and coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, olives and avocado are all great sources of fat. And then tailor your carb intake to energy levels.

Try tacking on 500 calories a day, right this very second. Stay clean, but start eating more in each meal and see what happens. I suspect that's all it will take for you to start seeing some action.

Eating more is the flag I'm flying these days - for many of you, AND for myself.


winnipeglove said...

Thanks MB! If I have to, I will eat an entire avocado in one sitting. Eating will become a part-time job, haha.

It will be hard to change my mindset. I used to try and keep my calories at 1200 max for fear of gaining weight. I developed a fear of eating and convinced myself I had a SLUGGISH metabolism.

I'm still afraid to gain weight with eating all this food. But I will try it for a week or two and see what happens.

Melicious said...

GooOOOOO, Winipeglove! It can be really scary to eat more, but trust me... it's fun and it works. When Moxy-Boss told me to eat more and more FAT, I kinda freaked, then I did it and felt AWESOME. And then I began the fun exploration of tahini, Sunbutter, almond butter, avocado, etc. WOOT!

Trust the plan.

Brandon P. Petersen said...

When in doubt, EAT MORE :-)

more i eat, more i lose... it's weird yes, but way it is...when i am around 3700 calories, i seem to stay the same...when i up it to a little over 4k, or around 4...my weight starts to drop...
crazy crazy crazy the way our bodies work...

Mindy said...

@winnipeglove... I feel ya girl!! The whole concept of how to lose weight is so twisted due to society. I know its scary to think about eating more. I have hypothyroidism, so my metabolism is "slugglish"/"slow". I listened to Byers and even though I was nervous about eating more fat, I did it and I haven't gained, I've lost!! We gotta eat fat to lose/burn fat. I uped my fats and decreased my carbs. It is all trial and error and I'm still tweaking (as you can tell by my post above LOL). I hope you are able to figure out what works for you!!


winnipeglove said...

4000 calories!! Holy Jebus. I can't even imagine how one could eat that much in a single day.

Brandon, what on earth do you eat? You must do shots of olive oil.

Brandon P. Petersen said...

ya, i felt that way at first, but now i have to watch what i eat, to not climb much higher, and make sure my ratios are correct..i am around 50 / 30 / 20...but some days that Carb ratio is more towards 25%, depending on activities....
but i train A LOT..between Crossfit, Jiu Jitsu, MMA and other sports, i really am very active 6 days a week, mostly numerous sessions per day etc...

My breakfast is generally around 1000 calories in itself so...Where i lack is Veggies...I eat about 130-150 carbs per day...i do eat a lot of fruit (love the lara bars) :-)

I eat a lot of nuts..no grain no dairy etc...My NON Paleo is Whey Protein. I do still do Whey protein shakes here and there...few a week..just straight whey in water with bananas after training etc...
i eat a lot of meats, TONS of sunbutter and Brazil nuts LOL...
Although i HAVE done the EVOO shots, i dont do them generally...im not a fan of blocking the nose, and chugging LOL...i have no problem with fat, with bacon, eggs, nuts etc...so def dont have to worry about getting my fat in. .

and i am NOT genetically gifted, or gifted with a crazy metabolism...so i am straight proof that Byers is a genius, and knows her $hit....

I was on off Paleo type for last few years...never straight out until now, with the no dairy no grains etc... Couldnt be more happy, and still learning, playing with things...

i wish i could get more friends following this, be they simply are mentally weak, and i dont have the patience to deal with them :-)

It seems everyone is filled with excuses these days...and its mostly the ones that *itch the most, or complain...its comical stuff :-)

congrats to everyone on here that actually followed through with the 30 day, or even if you cheated , whatever...You know it, and it just makes you want to eat that much better later... i still cheat, not scheduled, just whenever...and i dont feel bad (i feel bad physically) but not like upset with myself. The worst is the people that cheat then *itch and moan and complain....

i think a good rule of thumb..DONT CHEAT UNTIL YOUR WHERE YOU WANT TO BE! If your trying to lose a ton of weight, body fat percentgage, whatever..why cheat at all? Why put a bump in the road? Dont we in life ALWAYS want to choose the path of least resistance? Have your cheat meals, or play with things, once your where you want to be....NO? Maybe that's just my thinking...

phew, that was long...am i even on on subject? :-)

Melicious said...

My friend Carla posted this to my blog a few months ago, and I love it:

Excuses are boring.

The end.

winnipeglove said...

Excuses are boring AND annoying!

markdavis said...

LaraBars - Paleo or no?
Thoughts - if you need a snack is this a yes or no. They seem simple enough - for example: dates, almonds and unsweetened cherries.

I get tired of packing almonds, carrots etc..

Aside from buying a product with a girls name on the wrapper, should I seek out or avoid.


Mark Davis

Mindy said...


LaraBars ARE paleo and delicious. Just watch the ingredients, cashews technically aren't paleo and I'm not 100% sure on the stance of cocoa powder (I think its a personal choice). Just be wary that they are high in sugar and carbs. I am sure Byers will have better advice in regards to larabars. Many of us have fallen in love with them but have been warned to not overeat them/not to eat them too often. There are better "alternatives" (i.e., fat wise: different types of nuts (I love almond slices), coconut flakes, carb wise: celery sticks, cucumber slices, veggies =) etc.)

Hope this helps some!


winnipeglove said...

Lara Bars are great. As Mindy says, watch the ingredients of some of them. Cocoa is not allowed on the strict paleo.

However, they can become pricey, so they are a treat for me. I even see them as a 'cheat' because of the high carb/sugar content.

If you have some time in the evening, I suggest you make your own bars with a food processor. This website has great instructors with photos: http://enlightenedcooking.blogspot.com/2008/02/home-made-lara-bars-energy-bars-part-3.html

Brandon P. Petersen said...

Not to throw people off the bus, cause i am sure there is much better things you SHOULD be eating than this, but i had to share...


Robbie said...

Thanks Moxy-Boss, I never left, just hid in corner, sneaky and shameful, I'm not the type to fret over a stumble; admit,breathe, move on !The ice cream days were three in a row, two weeks ago..then a pitiful met con performance brought me back down to planet head out of my ass. Bonus today..a friend that works at a nutrition store tossed me a box of lara bar knock offs. I think my biggest change in my mindset is that I no longer see having something non paleo as a cheat, rather a treat. Treat implying that's it's rare and special...like this weekend I'm making my bacon wrapped blue cheese and red onion burgers...bunless, but decadent.

@Brandon P: That's just evil...may a pile of pancakes fall into your mouth as you cross the street. ;-)

Tuff said...

I've only posted once but have been following along. I'm on day 11 with no cheats or even questionable bites. I still don't feel any different which is somewhat discouraging, considering how bad my diet was before committing to this. I guess I have not been eating enough either (1200-1600cal/day at 5'8" 160lb). I'm eating way more fat that I ever have on any other diet I've been on. I'm trying not to think of this as a diet, but I am hoping for weight loss.

Is the gram of protein per body weight, lean body weight, or just body weight? Either way I'm probably low, unless you can count protein from nuts and veggies?

I have a question regarding strictness. I found that my canned tuna contains vegetable broth with soy and my canned chicken breast contains some corn starch. There can't be much in these cans. I have not eaten them, but canned meat comes in handy when there is no refrigeration. Is this too strict, or do you all agree that I shouldn't eat these?

Does anyone know how long you can store paleokits in the fridge? I ordered some because I have a 3 day out of town conference coming up and the hotel room doesn't have refrigeration:(

Guess I'll go eat some sunbutter...

Michael said...

Holy cow! Paleo Kits! http://www.paleokits.org/

Does anyone know of a good way to measure body fat? I can't do calipers.

Erin said...

Question for general carb intake management, not for the super strict 30 day duration:

Using wine for cooking. . . (aside from the obvious danger of having an open bottle of wine around) what happens to the carbs in wine when you cook with it? Do you need to count it as if you were drinking that same amount or does the end carb count change as the alcohol cooks off?

Little about me - I'm a long time reader (on both this blog & on Melicious'), first time commenter. Started CrossFit a year ago Feb, tinkered with Zone last summer, started paleo in March. Love the way I feel when I'm eating clean - definitely notice a (negative) change in my mood & overall awesomeness level when I stray from the path.

Thanks to everyone here for providing such great comments, support, & entertaining diversions from my otherwise mundane work days!

Steph #7 said...

Thanks for such a fantastic blog - I love the frank, in-your-face approach. I'm on day 11 and am doing the 30 challenge before I launch my clients into the Paleo world. I'm also focusing on <30 g carbs per day in an attempt to lean out. A few questions, that I hope Melissa or other readers can answer:
1. Can any 30 day-turned Paleo evangelists comment on the amount of time before appearance changes kicked in, if it was (or wasn't) important to you? Beginning day 11 I thought I would have seen changes by now.
2. Days 1-3 I was on a physical high but I've been dragging since then. Nowhere near feeling like I could hit a PR.
3. Protein - I realize that I was using dairy for protein because I really just don't enjoy meat. I eat my fair share of lean chicken, turkey, tuna, other fish and egg whites (occasionaly yolks) but am so bored with it that it's difficult to get the food down. Ideas?
4. Finally, by eating clean protein and fats, I feel full but nowhere near satisfied. I'm trying to determine if this is normal adjustment or if it will continue? It just seems nothing tastes good....except sunbutter, oh my.

I'm probably a little low on protein and perhaps overall caloric intake, but thought it was worth asking the local experts!

Thanks, Melissa & everyone - keep it up!

Hi, I'm Ginny said...

I've been following along for a while now. I am on day 13 and going strong! I read somewhere that turkey sausage is OK on paleo. Is that true? If so, is there a good brand anyone can recommend that is super paleo friendly?

Mindy said...

@Steph #7-

don't lose hope!!! I saw major body differences around day 15 (flatter tummy). It seems that most ppl noticed "appearance changes" around the end of 2 weeks! And even if you don't see changes by then, keep going, cuz with time, you WILL see changes!!
Keep up all the great work!!!


Mindy said...

@Steph #7:

Oh and as far as proteins... have you tried using different spices/seasonings?! how about shrimp? ground turkey? ground turkey burgers?

I know things can get bland. I spend a lot of time searching for recipes and have discovered my love of cooking!!!!

hope this helps a bit!


Steph #7 said...

@Mindy -

Thanks for your encouragement and advice. I've realized that part of my frustration is not having ample time to cook/prepare food which means I have to grab what is quick and fast. I stopped at the store after my workout the other night to get shrimp(and yes, I love it!) but the fish dept was closed by the time I got there! I do well when I can spend a Sunday preparing for the week but if I don't, it really becomes a challenge! I'll stay on the paleo train and ride this thing out.... :-) thanks!

winnipeglove said...

@Steph #7: At the third week, I almost wanted to give up. I thought to myself, "Why am I putting in so much effort with crossfitting and eating paleo and not seeing any changes?!?"

The changes at first are subtle. For me it was towards the end of the thirty days I felt a noticeable difference in body comp. I visited my mom and she thought I was starving myself to lose the weight. Actually, I've been trying to stuff food in my face.

Stick with it. It's hard and discouraging at first. Once you get over the initial bump, you'll be really glad you stayed with the plan.

Renee said...

A moment of enlightenment to share with the group:

I just started a new temp position yesterday. My team's very nice, but their nutrition "rules" are totally out of whack. They've made popcorn both yesterday and today.

Although I've never _loved_ popcorn, the aroma of it was always inticing and usually "forced" me to eat a couple kernels. Both yesterday and today I'm not inticed, nor am I disgusted...I am completely indifferent.

Day 14 :D

Renee said...

michael. paleo kits are delicious and measuring tapes work.

there's a good bf calculator that i use here: http://www.linear-software.com/online.html

Keep in mind that no bf measurement tool except the dunk tank is precise, but sticking to one method and continuing to measure in the same way will give you an accurate trend...even if the actual number isn't quite right.

Melicious said...

True story:
I'm working on a humongous deadline for a 90-page document that's going to our client next week. (If I tell you the name, I'll have to kill you, but it's a major national pizza chain.)

Anyhoo... the team ordered lunch in today, and I ate my salmon, cabbage, etc., etc.

But I just walked in the team room and there was a bag of big, delicious-looking brownies, and I decided to have a treat and eat a bit. I picked up a fork, broke off a corner -- just a regular-sized bite -- and took a nibble.


But now I'm talking to my co-worker, right? And it seems rude to spit out the brownie, plus she was so happy I was eating it 'cause I never eat the food treats she brings us. So I'm talking and smiling and pretending it's good. Walk to my desk with the remaining half-bite in my hand. Toss it in the trash. Eat a cucumber slice.

I'm feeling quite proud and quite lame at the same time. And, if I'm honest, maybe mourning a little for the love I used to have for comfort food. But then again, now my comfort food is Sunbutter and avocado and strawberries and fresh figs so it's all about perspective, I guess.

Jen said...

@Melicious - I also don't get the same satisfaction from eating the old comfort foods of past. Bread literally tastes like cardboard to me now and diet sodas have a strange taste to them (in college, I subsisted on ramen, Diet Coke and cigarettes...who didn't???). Although I firmly believe it's very much like smoking. Once you've quit for any length of time, that first drag is just horrendous. However, once you've made your way through the better part of a pack, they begin to taste delicious again. For me, it's the same with processed foods...the first bite is terrible but I know if continue to eat them, I'll become addicted to them again. I chalk them both up to being poisons.

Jen said...

One additional comment...for those of you that are frustrated with not seeing results....take photos of yourself weekly (I did and do even though I avoid cameras at all costs). All I can say is that the camera picks up subtleties that your eyes can't through a mirror.

Melicious said...

Hey, Moxy-Boss. Question for you... this came up today and made me curious about what your advice would be.

Here's the situation: I'm at the office, and I've almost exhausted my stash of paleo-zone snacks. All I have left is half a Larabar. You how I'm pretty committed to eating protein+carbs+fat together. But the Larabar really goes best with a little protein.

There are no paleo-friendly protein sources to be had in my office.

Do I:
A) eat the half Larabar and not worry about the carbs without their lovely protein partner

B) eat the half Larabar and the 2% cheese stick in the refrigerator that I can steal from my co-worker

C) eat the half Larabar and some sunflower seeds

I went with A today.

I wouldn't choose option B because I know it will make me feel like I swallowed a kettlebell.

But I'm curious, in a pinch, better to go without protein for a little while until you can get a good protein source OR eat a sub-optimal protein source instead. Guidance, great one.

Melissa Byers said...

@Mindy - You get to a point where you've been eating really clean for a while, and have already realized all the fast and easy gains that come from changing up your diet. Now, the process moves more slowly, and you have to be more attentive to the details. Here's where macronutrient proportion, quantity and playing around with things like a PWO meal and IF may come in handy. Don't discount the impact mixing up your training can have, too - maybe it's time to pick up some heavy stuff. Point is, progress is harder earned the more "advanced" you are. Keep doing what you're doing and start black boxing some factors. Change may come slowly, but it WILL come.

@Julie: Protein is another one of those factors that you sort of have to play around with. A gram per pound of bodyweight is an easy place to start. I've read that you actually need LESS protein on a higher fat diet, because fat is muscle sparing. And then I've also heard people like Robb Wolf say he does much better on a lot more protein than a plan like the Zone diet recommends. So, start with bodyweight, and take it from there.

As for the crap in your tuna and chicken... find another brand. There are good albacore tuna pouches with NO added ingredients or MSG or other chemicals, and you can roast a whole chicken and store it in Tupperware for the week for the price of a few tins of sub-par meat. It's not about being "strict", it's about making better choices. I don't need corn starch in my meat, thank you very much.

@Erin: Booze burns off as you cook it, no need to count it in your stats.

@Steph#7: Um, on <30g of carbs a day, I seriously doubt the PR train is comin'. Others may disagree, but I've not yet seen any of my clients (or myself) do well in the gym on that few carbohydrates a day. So, you want to lean out fast? Cut carbs. You want to perform better? Eat. You probably can't do both at the same time.

You're only on Day 11, honey. You can't counteract year upon year of past dietary habits in eleven days. Be patient - changes happen at different times for everyone, and new tastes can be slow to develop. If you over-salted the crap out of all your food your entire life, anything unsalted would taste bland for a while... despite the fact that your "old" way of seasoning was, in fact, gross. Patience.

@Ginny: I love Applegate Farms chicken sausage. There's some maple syrup listed at the end of the ingredients list on the flavors I like, but I'm totally okay with that because they're really good. You should be able to buy them at your local grocery store - there are other brands too, just as good. Just check the ingredient list. It should be very short, and totally recognizable.

@Melicious: First, love you. You are such a dino-chow superstar, and I can't thank you enough for riding shotgun with me here and helping so many people.

Second... if your "sub-par" protein choice was something like deli turkey slices or jerky with some soy sauce, I'd say go for the sub-par protein source in an emergency. Dairy, however, is a crappy protein source, and I would rather you go without. Seriously - one afternoon of short calories isn't going to make a lick of difference. So... Larabar, or Larabar and sunflower seeds... either would have been okay. Glad you skipped the cheese stick.

And the idea of always having to eat a carb with a protein is unnecessary when you've restored decent insulin sensitivity. At this point in your diet, your body should be releasing only as much insulin as it needs to work through what you've eaten. So if it's an emergency situation and you're hungry and all you've got is an apple, go ahead and eat it. No harm, no foul.

Melicious said...

More true tales from Corporate Jail.

The HR rep and receptionist are walking through the office right now with a wheeled cart covered in plates of cookies.

I said, "What is THAT?"

"It's COOKIE DAY!" the replied in unison. "COOKIE DAY!"

"Want a cookie?"

I said, "No, thanks!"

And they pushed the cart past my row to the rest of the office.

I"m now eating a piece of chicken and a handful of almonds.

I wasn't tempted by the cookies at all. Is it bratty to resent the cookies? I mean, it would be super nice if they brought me my snack every morning instead of being poison pushers.

Trey said...

It's Carrot Stick day!!!!just doesn't have the same ring to it