I’ll start by saying this: living without pizza for a week wasn’t horrible.
I began my week by heading to the grocery store and spending 2/3 of my time in the produce section. Fifteen minutes in, my grocery cart looked like a farm stand.
Although my husband enjoys eating healthy, he has no plans to delete grains and dairy from his diet anytime soon, so I had to pick up some things for him too. By the time I reached the cashier I was terrified about how much it was going to cost. Quick side-note: I shop at Hannaford’s, which in New England-speak is the more expensive and organic-friendly supermarket – as opposed to Market Basket, which is cheaper but it’s a total mob-scene every minute of the day. I’ve decided the extra cost is worth my sanity. With that said, I only ended up spending about $10 more than usual.
I was happy with my grocery choices for the first week. I ate a lot of spinach, I learned how to cook kale soup (delicious, by the way – see recipe at the end of this post) and I discovered I love almond butter.
I was also pleasantly surprised by the fact that I wasn’t hungry all week, which is something I typically expect to feel whenever I’ve started a new “diet.” For the first three days I was counting my calories on the “Lose It!” iPhone app. My runs sucked. When I complained to my buddy Christian about it, he told me to lose the calorie counting and make sure I’m eating enough to run, reasoning that along with my running schedule, I’m probably cutting out enough carbohydrates to assist weight loss anyway. My next run was much better.
In fact, my long run for the week was spectacular. For probably the first time ever, I woke up the day after my long run and didn’t have to hobble down the stairs to let the dog out. I would have even run on Sunday, if it wasn’t for the giant glass of wine I had with my cousin during lunch. Because it was such a sudden improvement, I do believe the higher quality of food has made this difference for me.
The biggest downside of Paleo so far has been breakfast and snacks. My normal diet consists of a lot of toast, peanut butter sandwiches, granola bars, cereal, oatmeal and yogurt. Yeah i know, so many grains. So all last week I ate hard-boiled eggs and a banana for breakfast. And I even ate scrambled eggs for dinner one night (something I do pretty often anyway). I dont know for sure, but this may be too many eggs. I dont really want to overdose on eggs in two weeks because I’m not creative enough to think of something else to eat for breakfast.
My Crossfit-loving cousin Angela suggested a protein smoothie in the morning. I thought it was a great idea. She puts soy protein in hers, but since soy is a Paleo no-no, I found a good alternate recipe I’ll try as soon as I (finally) buy a blender for my household. It’s about time we get one, anyway, and my husband will be excited to make margaritas.
As far as weight loss, I did manage to lose 1.5 pounds this week. I have a feeling that yesterday’s lunch of miso soup and sashimi dipped in soy sauce (sorry, Paleo gods!) stepped up today’s water retention, so I may see a better number if I weigh myself in the next day or two. But either way I’m happy, and I’m feeling cleaner, more hydrated at the end of the day and there’s nothing wrong with that.
On to Week Two!
Paleo Kale and Sausage Soup Recipe
• 1 Bunch of Kale (or a medium sized bag – use any leftovers in place of spinach)
• 1-2 lbs. sausage (italian, bratwurst, whatever you like) – casings removed
• 5-6 cups chicken stock
• 1 Medium onion, chopped
• 2 cloves minced garlic
• optional: any other veggies you want (I put mushrooms in mine)
• Butter or Coconut Oil
In a large stock pot, melt butter or heat coconut oil. Add onion, garlic and any other vegetables to pan until the onion becomes slightly translucent. In a separate pan, brown the sausage (some will prefer to do this in the stock pot, but it will brown more quickly by itself). Add sausage to stock pot and begin to add chunks of kale, torn by hand. Let kale wilt a bit and then add chicken stock and seasonings. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes. Enjoy!
*If you want to make this non-Paleo, you can add potatoes or small pasta (it rings a bit of Italian wedding soup).