We’re Becoming Cave People…Kinda

My husband is an avid fan of blogs and has a whole slew of manly and dad bloggers that he likes reading. Awhile back, he had me read this Beginner’s Guide to the Paleo Diet post by Nerd Fitness and proposed the idea of “going paleo.” We were still living in the land of pasta and pizza at the time (and I just had a baby), so the look on my face when he suggested that bright idea quickly told him that he shouldn’t broach the subject for several more months.

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Fast forward to when we moved back to America. We spent two weeks on the road and devoured enjoyed the deliciousness of American cuisine to its fullest. While we were driving to our almost-final destination, he suggested the paleo idea again. This time it didn’t sound half bad. Since we’d be starting completely over food-wise, it would actually be the perfect time to attempt something so extreme.

Essentially, the paleo diet means you go waaaaaaaay back to the basic, basic, essentials: you eat what the cave people ate. During the paleolithic era, hunters and gatherers ate mostly fish, (grass-fed) meats, eggs, veggies, fruit, and nuts. You’ll notice that I didn’t mention beans, grains, dairy, potatoes, refined sugar, or processed oils. Like I said, it’s a little bit extreme.

Fed up that I wasn’t loosing the baby weight (and pre-baby weight), I gave in and decided to try it out, and honestly, it hasn’t been too bad. We don’t have any bread, starch, or grain in the house hotel except for the oatmeal I eat every morning (to help with my milk supply), and we didn’t buy any dairy (le sigh). Those are our biggest weaknesses, so not even having those things around helps so much. I’m home most of the day, so if I need a snack I grab a small handful of nuts (pecans, almonds, and cashews are my fav) or fruit instead of a PB&J sandwich or chips. We also stocked up tons of veggies and all sorts of protein.

In the next few days or weeks we’re going to start experimenting with making our own bread. We bought tapioca flour and coconut flour, and we’ve switched to almond butter (LOVE Justin’s Almond Butter, by the way). I’ve discovered that you can swap out plantains for potatoes and make pasta with zucchini. I’m making my own salsa, devouring avocados (hello, guac!), experimenting with creating our own mayo, and I’ve found a new love for dark chocolate almonds (in moderation; I promise).

I’d be a hypocrite if I said we were following the diet to a “T”, because we aren’t. The class that my husband is in goes out to eat often and we go out with them, but choose the best we can with the options available. For example: we went to Red Robin and both got a lettuce wrap burger. First of all, kudos to RR for giving you a chunk of lettuce that actually mimics a bun. Second of all, shame on me for not asking for my burger without mayo. My bad. Did I forgo my burger? Heck no. I wiped some of the mayo off and didn’t fret about what stayed on there. Another example? We went to a local baseball game the other night and, since the team’s name is “the Biscuits,” I bought a biscuit and ate half of it. We’re only human and if we don’t cut ourselves some slack, the thought of eating would be miserable.

I’ve always struggled with my weight, and having a baby didn’t help with
that. I gained close to 30 pounds, lost a whopping 20 of them within a
few days of having her, but then it started creeping back in.
(Breastfeeding doesn’t always help you loose weight, just FYI.) We’ve
been eating paleo for the past three weeks and while I have no idea if
I’ve lost any weight (we don’t have a scale around here), I’m not as
hungry between meals and I don’t get that bloated/full feeling after
eating. I just feel better, which is good enough for me right now.

baby bell peppers with guacamole and topped with bacon; homemade guacamole and salsa; leftover steak with hash (bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and plantains)

We’ve been eating some pretty tasty lunches and dinners and I’m thinking about posting some of them on here. It wouldn’t be anything fancy (my phone doubles as my camera these days) and they wouldn’t really be recipes, because I literally just throw things in the one skillet we have, but they’ve been coming out delicious. I’m actually surprised at how much we aren’t missing the starchy sides. I’m also surprised that I’m not missing bread, dairy, and sugar—there are three cupcake shops around here and I haven’t had a desire to check them out. Crazy, I know!

I’m not sure how long we’ll last on this, but I’m hoping we’ll keep it up once we move back to Georgia. I like the way I’m feeling lately and really like knowing exactly what I’m eating, which is one thing my husband and I really want to focus on once we move back home. We like the farm to table aspect of food and we like making as much of what we eat as possible.

I know a lot of people are going paleo lately, or doing a version of it
(Whole 30 is popular). Are you doing anything similar or have you in the
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  1. I couldn't do it….I love dairy and starch waaaay too much…and something tells me it would make Chris pretty cranky! Glad to hear you're liking it and feeling better though!

  2. I saw a nutritionist when I was younger to help with my Crohn's. He took me off gluten and dairy. This was 10+ years ago, when gluten-free just wasn't a thing. Now you can find GF options in major grocery stores, but at the time, only fancy grocery stores like Fresh Market sold anything like that. I eventually slowly reintroduced whole wheat and milk fats to my diet, but while I was doing that, I was drastically reducing my sugar intake (like, I could only eat fruit once a day). After a year and a half of restricted eating, my Crohn's flared so badly that I had to go back on prednisone. I was willing to have a restricted diet if it kept me off prednisone, but not if I had to be on steroids again.

    Today I can't imagine doing paleo. Cheese is a staple for me to add fat/calories to my diet (I'm too thin), and carbs are the only thing I can eat when I'm in pain.

  3. I feel better without flour and sugar in my diet for sure! That being said, after my month long challenge I'm not as strict about it as I was. I'm still impressed with myself for going a month without though. I didn't know that if would be so easy or pass so quickly!

  4. As much as I know I need to eat better, I'm sure I would be able to make it going Paleo. Bread is my biggest weakness — in any form!

  5. I like how you pointed out about breastfeeding not helping with weightloss for everyone.
    I hate when people say that. Seriously. It's not a magic cure. I swear I gained weight while breatfeeding 😛

  6. That's awesome! Sounds like you guys are making Paleo work for you which is the successful way for any "diet." We don't eat Paleo but I've always eaten (mostly) whole organic/grass-fed foods and no high fructose corn syrup, which is in most processed foods these days, it's insane! My family was vegan when I was a kid so eating the basics has just always been a apart of me I guess. But of course now we eat out sometimes, indulge in snack food sometimes and I love me some chicken Ramen!

  7. I would love for you to post some recipes! I just talked my husband into doing Whole30 with me so right now I'm searching for new recipes. But I really like GOOD food so I'm a little wary of just trying anything – from reading your blog, it seems like you and your husband are foodies so I'm guessing you're learning to make paleo delicious! 🙂

  8. We've been mostly gluten/dairy/legume free for coming up on three years. We do periodic really strict bouts but for the most part aim for the 80/20 rule. We do include a couple servings a week of either potatoes or rice(because I can't fill my husband up otherwise) and my son drinks a very high quality milk. No one in our family has an obvious food intolerance or allergy so we just consider those things treats to be included sparingly. It works well for is 🙂 Most of the recipes on my blog are, or can easily be adapted for, Paleo. I'm trying to decide between another round of Whole30 or a 21 Day sugar detox while my husband is TDY


  9. Last year I "went Paleo" and LOVED how I felt! I'm trying so hard to get back to it and am just past the halfway mark in the 21-Day Sugar Detox to get me back on track. Ummm, but do I have Lindt chocolate (milk chocolate) in the mail on the way to me? You bet. For me right now this is working the best to help me feel my best and I don't think we can do too much in moderation- it's all or nothing with me I've found, so I'm not even going to "treat" myself to any breads or cakes once in a while (unless they're gluten free and hopefully refined sugar free!).

    I hope you guys keep with this! I know Gene is a trooper and will just eat whatever is thrown on a plate in front of him, but it can still be a challenge to fight off wanting pizza- our worst offender!

  10. We absolutely feel better when following paleo. We do do dairy though. In moderation. Also I've found another good swaps for potatoes are parsnips and turnips. Parsnips are great in a hash and turnips are a good mash. So glad you guys are doing it and feeling better! Mad at all those people who said breastfeeding would drop the weight off, HA! Not me!

  11. I remember last year when everyone was going Paleo and I honestly can say I could never do it – I love cheese and bread and pasta too much! haha

  12. Paleo is SORT OF like what I have to do to lose weight. I mean, paleo would probably HELP haha. I just CANNOT completely cut cheese or carbs. But cutting down carbs (and focusing on whole wheat) and cutting as much sugar as possible is what ALWAYS helps me. Paleo seems to be a great way to go at it!!! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you guys and read your tips! I'll need them soon 🙂

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