“Most obstacles melt away when we make up our minds to walk boldly through them” ~Orison Swett Marden
…And some other things I’ve learned over the past 30 days on the Paleo Challenge:
- Eating Paleo makes me feel good. I have yet to discover the “amazing benefits” of eating Paleo as others have, but then again, 30 days is not a lot in the scheme of things, especially when you’re cheating 4-5 times throughout the month. But regardless of the weight lost (maybe 2-3 pounds?), muscle gained (you can feel my biceps), or other physical changes, I felt mentally stronger while eating this way.
- I can have self-control. I can stare at a cookie, or piece of bread, and walk away from it. The temptations will subside (eventually).
- There is an endless supply of information out there. The interweb is infinite. I have discovered many interesting blogs (I’ll share my favs later) and read so much STUFF about the paleo/primal/caveman lifestyle. Yet, there is so much more I want to learn. Also, you can’t trust everything you read (duh)… how do you decide what’s accurate and truthful and unbiased? How do you define health, nutrition, and a balanced diet? Concepts that were once steadfast in my mind (i.e., ‘whole grains are essential’) have been challenged, and I have yet to come to any solid conclusions.
- I can live without grains. But I’m probably going to keep some around (namely; quinoa, oatmeal, puffins?) Withholding bread for 30 days made me want it even more afterward. So maybe if I have it a couple times a week, I won’t be so tempted to over-eat it when I’m stressed or not hungry.
- I can’t live without sushi. One of my cheat meals was sushi. And that’s what I had for dinner tonight for my first official post-paleo dinner. Sashimi is good, but it’s just not the same as the rolls!
All in all, I’m really happy I did the 30 day challenge. I think to see more results, I’d have to keep it up for another month, and cut back on the nuts and maybe fruit, too. But since my desire to eat nuts and fruit and some grains/sugar currently outweighs my desire for a higher level of fitness/ weight loss/ etc., I am planning on not being super strict for the time being.
However, this does not mean I will eat whatever I want, whenever I want! In the past 24 hours, I’ve already consumed nearly an entire bag of jelly beans, (the Easter candy was on sale at CVS okay?) some pasta salad, bread, chocolate, and a piece of matzoh (why did I think I was missing out on that one?). Anyways, the point is, I’ve had my reality check- I think I just had to eat certain foods because I wanted to test my Paleo-is-better theory. Paleo feels great, but it also takes a LOT of willpower. I have yet to decide how it fits into my every day life. I envision myself eating Paleo 70% of the time, and non-Paleo 30% of the time. That does not mean candy and bread will make up 30% of my diet. But I will slowly add back into my diet the grains that have true “nutritional substance” (obviously this is up for debate) and, for good measure, I’ll probably allow myself a cupcake every 1-2 weeks 🙂 I need some rules, because as soon as I let go of The Rules, my mental ability to resist the ‘do not eat’ foods went away. And a sugar high is really not as much fun as it was in 5th grade. Especially when you’re waking up at 6 a.m. for a workout.