It’s been a few more weeks since the last post about the Paleo diet and after a glorious start, I admit that I stuck to it for two weeks and then had to combine it with a bit of Clean and Lean eating.
I found that it was difficult to get the right ingredients, it required a few products which were hard to find in our high street supermarkets and even looking in a number of specialist stores, I still couldn’t find some of them. The diet is also expensive, I found that I had to buy a lot more meat, more vegetables and to organise and prepare meals in advance or think about what I needed to eat. I found almond flour online but for as little as 200g, it costs anything from £2.50 to £10! I discovered a post by Lauren Geertsen debating the reasons to avoid almond flour. Read it here.
As I love to cook and have had some spare time on my hands in the past few weeks, I found I had time to go shopping, research the ingredients and prepare the meals. I can imagine that for some busy households and those with kids may not have the luxury to do this. I followed some of the recipes and they were tasty and I didn’t have an issue with being hungry which was good. I did miss bread and potatoes though and had a day off where I ate what I wanted. I combined the diet with upping my exercise (I did more running) and tried to get at least seven hours sleep (I was only getting between six and six and a half).
I followed the diet as much as I could but found it was hard to omit so many food groups. I did cut out all dairy and replaced with almond milk, also bought coconut water for a bit of a change and not having sugar was difficult too. I wanted to make some of the sweets in the book such as the Lemon Pound Cake and the Carrot Cake but that required the elusive almond flour and/or coconut flour which I couldn’t find. I did manage to make the Caramel Bananas which was quite nice. The recipes called for a lot of coconut milk, so if you’re not a fan then you are somewhat limited.
In conclusion, I found that I did feel better (less bloated, stomach felt flatter) and my monthlies were very light and little stomach pain (only as recently as last month it was significantly worse). I have a dry scalp sometimes and found this cleared up and I was feeling quite relaxed in general. I even went out for a colleague’s leaving drinks (Friday night, in central London) and did not drink! That was a pure exercise in will power. Having said that, I didn’t even feel like drinking. In terms of weight loss, I have dropped 1.5 kg (3.3lbs) and an inch off my bust and waist. I can’t say I could attribute this all to the Paleo Diet but my January resolution of no drinking, more exercise, more sleep and a balanced diet seems to be working! Moving forward, I doubt I’d be able to strictly follow the Paleo Diet but I do think I will limit dairy, grains and complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and also the evilest of evils: potatoes (no chips!).