Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Paleo Two Week Checkpoint

I have been on my butt for the last 8 days now after having foot surgery, so basically I have been doing no physical activity.

However, I have stuck with Paleo the entire time.  Presently I am out of food, so getting through the next several days is going to be tough.


There is no way that I can weight myself with the cast right now, but I did manage to measure my waist (I measure the "thickest" section of my belly).

Before Paleo: Waist - 39 inches
2 Weeks In: Waist - 37 inches!

I cannot believe that I lost 2 fully inches off my waist, just sticking to the diet while doing no exercise!  I am confident that I will be able to fit into most of my pants again (I am currently wearing nothing but sweat pants while I recover from surgery)

One very important thing to remember is that I cannot expect progress to continue so rapidly.  If it did, I would be back to a 32 inch waist real quick ;P

Staying Motivated!

It is really tough to stay motivated to keep going with Paleo, in particular now that I cannot walk.  One of the criterion for success is to take ownership for what I put in my mouth.  That means planning the meals, buying the groceries, and doing the cooking.  I really enjoyed doing that in my first week, but I cannot do any of that with my messed up foot.

One way I have found to remain motivated is to read books, and continue to look for recipes.

I finished reading "It Starts with Food", and it was a great book.   Reminiscent of "The Paleo Solution" by Robb Wolff, a little less "sciency".

I ordered 3 recipe books so I can hopefully restock on food:

I also ordered "Wheat Belly", which should contain more details on why these foods are bad for you.

So, there it is.  A great start to Paleo for me, certainly results wise.  I need to just push through the next week or so until I can actually move around.  Scrounging together snacks and having salads every day is no way to eat.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Days 6, 7 and 8 - Where'd you go?

On my Day 5 update, I mentioned that I had surgery.  On Day 6, I started taking round the clock pain medication and NSAIDs.  If you have been following along, you may have wondered where I disappeared to.  Well, I really have just been out of it, sleeping mostly.

Through all of that, I am extremely happy to report that I stuck to the Paleo diet.  Thanks to my wife, who prepared a few meals, and left overs.

I don't want to report on any findings or feelings now.  I am sure that my body is ravaged inside, between the sedative and pain medications, everything is off right now.

I will post more updates once I get past some of the medications.

In the meantime, check out this recipe that my wife prepared while I have been down.  It is pretty good: Paleo Jumbalaya

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Day 5 - The Surgery

I wanted to give brief mention to my Day 5 on Paleo.

You can read up on my blog at Hallux Rigidus Life for more details, but I had to have surgery on my right foot.

This was interesting because I could not eat anything after midnight.

I wound up eating some left over Pot Roast around 10:30 PM at night to keep me full the next day.

Here is a timeline:
  • 830 AM - Wake up. No coffee, no breakfast, just water.

  • 1030 AM - Last glass of water, no fluids 2 hours prior to the surgery

  • 100 PM - Surgery. I am put out with an IV sedative.

  • 330 PM - Wake up from surgery, and boy do I feel nice and high. It was a great experience

  • 500 PM - Light Meal - turkey and pickle slices

  • 730 PM - Left over chicken
As you can see, I stayed true to my diet, so yay me!

Going without caffeine was really tough. It must have been 15 years since I have gone without a cup of coffee in the morning. I had a mild headache and was groggy all morning. I managed to go the entire day without coffee, and I think the last time that happened I was in college :)

I started pain medication around 1100 PM. I imagine the pain medications plus the IV sedative are going to have my liver and system going bonkers for the next few days.

Good news: my wife is going to make the chicken again. Evidently, the family loved it. She is also going to make Crock Pot Paleo Jumbalaya tomorrow, so I will be able to stick to my Paleo.

Being prepared is essential. Yes, it does take time, but taking ownership for what you put in your mouth and committing to a healthy relationship with food is something you need to actually work at in order to make happen.

I have found so far that the Crock Pot is a savior. You can whip up an entire meal in under 30 minutes prep time. Plus, having a big crock pot (mine is 6.5 quarts) will give you enough food to have leftovers at least once or twice during the week (in my case, 3 times).

Happy Hunting!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Paleo - Days 1-4

Where did I start?

I started at 188lbs, 39+ inch waist. That is big, even for me.

I was coming off a month long binge, so I knew that a lot of that wait was just bloat, and would come off quickly once I started eating Paleo.

Where am I now (Day 4)

Tonight, I am 181lbs, 38.75 or so inch waist. That is a drop of 6 lbs and .5 inches in just about 4 days, amazing right!

I know this is mostly water weight, and I can’t tell you when the bloat weight will be gone entirely (I imagine that is soon).

How’d it go?

It has been going great so far, here is what I can share with you.

For Starters

I eat a protein shake for breakfast when I do Paleo. It isn’t a great option as it is whey protein, but I mix it with Unsweetened Coconut Milk. Every day, I eat a shake first thing with a cup of coffee. I don’t put anything in my coffee, straight black.

Usually, I have a second cup of coffee about an hour or two after the first.

I wanted to mention this here as to not repeat myself.

Day 1 - Clean Eating

  • 745 AM Wake Up - 8 Hours Sleep (I worked from home this day). Shake and coffee

  • 1230 PM Lunch - Bowl of Beef Chili from Whole Foods

  • 400 PM Started feeling HUNGRY

  • 530 PM Dinner - Big Salad with grilled chicken and bowl of beef chili

  • 630 PM TIRED! Very strange that I am tired immediately after I eat a healthy, low carb meal

  • 900 PM - Snack - No Nitrate Turkey Breast Lunch Meat and No Preservative Pickles (really good)
Really strange that I was actually tired!

Day 2 - Paleo Crock Pot Roast!

Paleo Crock Pot Roast Recipe on Paleo Grubs was what I made the second day. It was fantastic!
  • 830 AM Wake Up - 9 Hours Sleep. Shake and coffee

  • 900 AM - Made Pot Roast, Hurray!

  • 1100 AM - Workout, Light weights, Row 1K on my Erg

  • 1145 AM - Post Workout, another Shake

  • 1230 PM - Lunch - Last bowl of chili

  • 300 PM - Snack - Soppressata and some pickles

  • 630 PM - Dinner - Paleo Pot Roast with Cauliflower, fantastic!
I didn’t feel tired after Dinner on Day 1, but I felt hungry about an hour after I ate dinner, odd right? I know that I ate enough, but I wasn’t satisfied.

Energy was consistent all day on Day 2. I had too much energy at night, felt almost a little wired. It was tough to go to sleep.

Day 3 - Best Chicken Ever

Best Chicken Ever from The Clothes Make The Girl
  • 930 AM Wake Up - 8 Hours Sleep because of too much energy the night before. Woke up with a toe cramp! Ouch! Shake and coffee

  • 1100 AM - Shopping at Wegman’s. Note: This is the wrong time to go shopping, 11AM on a weekend. Pick a better time than I did

  • 200 PM - Late Lunch - Turkey Breast with Cucumbers and Moroccan Dipping Sauce (YUM!)

  • 600 PM - Best Chicken Ever? Well, I struggled to get the coating of sauce on it, and to make matters worse, my gas grill was on the fritz. The result was unevenly coated chicken that was rather overcooked :( The dipping sauce made it taste really good, and I also had a fair amount of broccolli.

  • 900 PM - Turkey and pickles.
I had the same odd “hunger pains” that I did on Day 2, although not as severe.

Energy was great, consistent, high all day. I didn’t feel jittery at night, so I slept better.

Day 4 - Back to Work

  • 630 AM Wake Up (ouch!), kinda tired, but I was used to waking up at 9 AM, so it is expected. Shake and coffee.

  • 1230 PM - Lunch - Pesto Salmon with a good amount of broccoli.

  • 430 PM - Dinner - 2 Pork Chops, broccoli, mashed cauliflower. My wife cooked, and it was really good! A little cream in the sauce for the pork chops, but otherwise mucho paleo.

  • 10:30 PM - Left over Pot Roast! I know what you are thinking, but I am getting surgery tomorrow, so I cannot eat after midnight.
Energy and focus was terrific at work. I was a little tired during the day, but I chalk that up to the early wake up time. I was off of work for a few weeks, so my body is not used to that schedule.

What have I learned so far?

  • I can actually cook things that taste good! Thanks to the incredible paleo recipe sites and books, I am confident I can make this work.

  • Cooking is great with your spouse / partner. My wife and I did the Pot Roast, everything was faster and it was kinda fun. I really enjoy cooking.

  • I like food shopping, but not at noon on a weekend. That was terribly stressful.

  • I found it odd that I felt tired the first day after eating healthy

  • I am struggling to understand why I am feeling unsatieted / hungry after meals at night. It has been a few days now. No matter what, at night, after dinner, I feel an uneasiness in my gut. I call it “hunger pains”, but it really isn’t. I am for the time being chalking it up to my body correcting itself.

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year New Me (again)

Starting the new year with a re-commitment to my diet and fitness.  See, things have been tough these last 6 months or so.  Besides completely abandoning my diet and workout routine, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Arthritis in both my big toes, a condition known as Hallux Rigidus.  That shit started in August when I got back from vacation, and my health and fitness has been on a steady decline ever since.  With both feet unable to “flex”, kind of tough to workout.

With both feet shot, I have to discover a new way to be active.  No more cleans / box jump / double under Crossfit kind of workouts.  I am having surgery on each foot, but even after, I can no longer do the kinds of activities I used to enjoy (which really sucks).  Hoping to take up swimming once my feet are healed up, but that is 4 months or so away.  In the mean-time, guess body weight movements and maybe some light rowing on the old Concept 2?  Eh, who knows.

So, New Year New Me.  I am starting to clean up my diet, as I have ballooned from 165 lbs / 32 in waist to 187 lbs / 39 in waist.  I imagine there is about 5 lbs / 1 inch of water weight on there that should come off quickly, but the rest will be all me.

I have started to get “back to Paleo”.  I have had a lot of success in the past eating Paleo, dating back 5 years or so now.  The past 3 years have not been anything that could be considered Paleo, but the prior two years I did OK.

In case you were wondering ”Why Paleo?”.  I can only answer from my own experience, and the benefits I have seen include:
  • Increased energy throughout the day (no more afternoon crashes)

  • Weight loss

  • Improved mental focus / clearer thinking

  • No crazy cravings

  • Better sleep
It is amazing now-a-days how much Paleo material there is out there.  5 years or so back, it was Rob Wolff / The Paleo Solution and a few recipes on Health-bent.  I am amazed (delighted) at how much material there is out there now.  From blogs, to magazines, to cookbooks, just awesome.

I have been particularly stoked by theclothesmakethegirl The Clothes Make The Girl, a fantastic resource for recipes, Paleo living, how to cook, as well as a few recipe books.

So, given that I have tried and failed at the Paleo thing before, what is it that I can do differently this time around?  Here are somethings that I am looking at:
  • Try not to replace bad food with Paleo renditions (things like Paleo bread or deserts)

  • Take full ownership for what goes in my mouth.  My wife is largely responsible for feeding the family, and she does not cook Paleo.  Relying on her to make the right foods just will not work.  I have to buy my own foods and prepare my own meals.

  • Be prepared.  I have long felt that if I just had something “good” on hand, already made or a few minutes away from being made, I could stick with Paleo.  In the past, I scrounged for beef jerky, nuts, or even worse, made chicken nuggets.  The really neat thing about “Melissa “Melicious” Joulwan“‘s blog is that she teaches you how to be prepared.  I am totally excited to try out her methods.

  • No alcohol (say what!?).  My previous Paleo stints started with putting away the beer and pulling out the Vodka / Gin.  Well, this time around, I am abandoning all alcohol.
The plan right now is to jump right in.  I am cutting out bread, grains, legumes, dairy (including cheeses), sugars (artificial and natural) and alcohol.  I am going to put together a few prepared meals for this upcoming week to give me something I can always reach for in a pinch.

My goal is to sometime soon follow Melissa’s Week by Week Whole 30 experience.  She does a real bang up job of putting together a grocery list and instructions on cooking up for the week.

Not sure if anyone will read this other than myself.  I will be posting regular updates on my experiences, progress (or roadblocks) along the way.  If nothing else, writing things down should serve as a means to keep me motivated and to reflect on the journey.

If you do happen across this blog, feel free to drop me a message, comment, or what have you.