I bet you were wondering what ever came of my Paleo Challenge a million years ago, huh? Sorry it took so long, we did not get the official results until a few weeks after it was over and then well..April happened. My bad. Please be kind to me as I am putting half naked pictures of myself up here okay?
So, despite only cheating once on a sushi roll…I did not WIN the Paleo challenge. But I definitely came out on top in my own mind. Since starting Crossfit a year ago, I have experimented with Paleo recipes often, but never went full on strict until this challenge. I have always believed in clean eating, staying away from processed foods and having the majority of my diet be fresh fruits, veggies, lean meat, etc. The only thing I was consistently eating that was not technically Paleo was greek yogurt and granola. It is my staple, I have had greek yogurt with granola and strawberries everyday since I was 14. No but seriously, everyday. Sometimes more than once a day. It is my favorite.
I do not eat much bread except for the occasional bagel with Sunbutter/Nutella on the day of a distance race, so I knew that would be easy. But to give up my YOGURT? AHH. I knew that would be tough, but I was willing to see if it yielded any results.
One of the biggest things I noticed on the first week of this challenge was how much I was eating. We had to record every single thing we put in our mouth and I realized that I eat as if I am constantly training for a marathon! Since I was eating good things like fruit and veggies I never really put much thought into it, but when looking at my food log and realizing I had 12 servings of fruit in one day! What can I say I love fruit. So the hardest part for me was limiting my snacking and not doing it so mindlessly, regardless if it was good food or not.
Giving up yogurt was tough, but limiting my snacking to one in between meals was harder.
At the end of the 30 days, I ended up losing about 3 pounds, an inch in my waist and an inch in my thighs. Might not seem like much, but I definitely felt leaner and my muscle tone came through a little more. Although when looking at these pictures, it is kind of funny as I really look no different. I actually showed these pictures to Shain and asked if he saw a difference and he said “Well…your hair is down in one and up in the other?” That Shain, what a Smarty Pants.
I did go back to eating my yogurt after the challenge, which resulted in a week of really bad stomach pains. So I decided to switch to coconut milk yogurt as anything that causes that kind of pain in my stomach I do not want to consume anymore. Again, was not a big bread eater beforehand so nothing really changed there. In the past year since learning to incorporate more meat especially into my diet, my energy levels have seriously sky rocketed. Not to mention my strength and speed in my workouts have increased as well. So I am hooked. However, I still preach the 80/20 rule. If I am craving pizza on a Friday night, it’s happening. Life is too short to be 100% Paleo- even if it makes you feel like you are having an alien baby afterwards.
In the year of doing Crossfit and the somewhat Paleo lifestyle, my body has changed in many ways. I am a little thicker in my butt and thighs than I would like, but I know it’s because of all my strength gains so I cannot complain. The first place I put on weight is in my lower half ( the Italian curse), so it is really important for me to eat as clean as possible in order to keep that in check. You know, like not eating an entire tray of brownies or an entire family size bag of sour patch kids, or a whole pizza. Who does that? Not me, stop judging.