The Paleo Diet

by Erika Torres

It may just be a fad, but I think I’ve finally found a diet that works for me.

Oh, I know what you’re all thinking…are you trying to copy Cely and E because they’re doing Paleo? No! Promise!

It was all a coincidence that Eric happened to start CrossFit about 2 weeks ago to get in shape for the Fire Academy, which starts in less than 3 months. CrossFit people are strong believers in the Paleo Diet. We jumped on board immediately. What have we got to lose?

Basically, I was doing too much of this:

And not enough of this:

So, what is the Paleo diet?

Paleo Diet consists of eating like our ancestors did, you know, like back in Paleo time. Which means mostly meat, fish, veggies, fruits, eggs and nuts. No milk or dairy, no carbs, no pasta, no bread, no refined sugars, no ice cream.

Are you serious?

Yes I am completely serious. At first glance, it might look like the diet from hell–like seriously, what am I freakin’ supposed to eat?! But truth be told, I will give you the number one reason I believe this is the diet for me. Are you ready?

I’m never hungry. Seriously, never. Like, maybe a little every now and then. But most of the time, I eat just because I feel I should. For example, this morning I had a fruit smoothie (almond milk, banana, frozen berries, flax seed and vanilla protein powder–so freakin delicious I sometimes make it as dessert!). At lunchtime, I wasn’t really hungry but decided to eat anyway. I made “chicken soup” which was absolutely disgusting and could only eat a little bit of the chicken. So I ate the apple I brought, drank some water, and then had dinner. And I still wasn’t even ravenous…just like “hmm, yeah I think I could eat now.”

But, seriously, what do you eat?

Breakfast is kinda limited, and I stick to fruit smoothies, or eggs and meat (like bacon or steak). Lunch, I usually have chicken and veggies. I’ve made a crockpot yellow curry with chicken, coconut milk, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash. SO yummy! For dinner, it’s steak, shrimp, crab legs, chicken or fish and some type of veggie. For dessert, I have pineapple, watermelon or cantaloupe. Or I make a fruit smoothie but leave out the protein and flax seed.

Ok, but have you lost weight?

Well…yes and no. I lose weight when I stick to the diet. But when I cheat, I gain the weight right back. You may think that’s because I’m only losing water weight, but honestly, my cheat days have consisted of this:

and this:

And I think I’ve cheated like maybe 5 days out of the last 15. And I’m still seeing numbers on the scale that I haven’t seen since 2010! I consider that a win in my book. And if someone holds the secret as to how to stick to your diet when socializing, please let me know!

Are you counting calories?

Not really. I sometimes input the food into weight watchers, and almost always the food I ate for the day is under my allotted weight watchers points (29). In fact, my favorite fruit smoothie is only 5 points when I make it for breakfast, and only one point when I make it as just as a dessert (skip the flax seed and protein powder)!

You don’t look fat, why are you trying to lose weight?

I don’t think I’m fat. I feel very comfortable in my bikini. I usually wear a size 8, sometimes a 6 if I’m lucky. BUT, I am seriously on the high side of the BMI scale, like borderline considered fat. I believe that’s because I have a very muscular body shape. The point is, I have been the same height since high school but have gained 20 pounds since then. I am not trying to be the same weight I was in high school, but I would like to cut this weight gain in half. If I keep letting it creep up, I will never deal with the situation and pretty soon I’ll find myself 50 pounds heavier, and it will be a lot harder to lose weight.

But, Erika, this Paleo thing just seems so restrictive. How do you do it?

When Eric and I decided to start this diet, I think we went a little crazy grocery shopping because we both thought we were going to be starving. Now that we’re getting the hang of it, we’ve realized we almost prefer eating this way.  Pinky promise. This may be TMI, but Eric and I have decreased our farting by A LOT. I always assumed I was slightly lactose intolerant but I refused to do anything about it because no way was I going to give up ice cream! However, this has definitely been a positive side effect of this diet.

This is crazy. You’re crazy.

I’m all about the “everything in moderation” type of diet. But let’s be honest–I was always hungry! I was always trying to fit in my favorite foods, like pasta, and cheese, and cookies, and pie–which doesn’t leave any room for the good stuff. You may see my cheat days as proof of how unsuccessful I’ve been on this diet, but I promise I’ve only cheated because of social settings. My goal is to stick to this diet for at least 13 days straight, today is Day 3. And I’m having dinner with friends tonight! I don’t know if I can do it!

But it is so much easier to eat healthier now that Eric has finally jumped on the bandwagon.

So that’s our new super not-so-secret diet plan! What do you think?

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City Girl July 10, 2011 - 6:32 pm

You look awesome in that photo! I know two people who swear by the Paleo diet. And, that smoothies sounds great! xoxo

kim June 13, 2011 - 6:25 am

Ok, between you and E and several others jumping on the Paleo bandwagon, I’m in. We went shopping yesterday to stock up. It was crazy all the greenery in our shopping cart. I’m very optimistic about this and am actually excited for this one. The biggest challenge for me will be dairy. I’m a milk a holic, like 2-3 glasses of skim milk a day and cheese on EVERYTHING.

How is it going for you a couple weeks in? Still loving it?

Thisbrokenhearthashope June 11, 2011 - 11:49 am

I’m kind of doing Paleo too. I cheat a bit on the weekends. It’s amazing how fast it works when you really stick to it. I’m in the same boat as you weight-wise. Most people probably don’t think I’m fat exactly. But I’m on the cusp of being overweight on the BMI scale. AND I’m about 30 pounds heavier than I was in high school. So I know I should be thinner. All my weight goes to my thighs. 🙁

Shannon June 9, 2011 - 6:15 pm

I have heard of this! Several people around here do it and it makes sense to me. Go back to the roots of what we used to eat before every bit of processed shit. I’m glad you are enjoying it! Good luck!

IntrigueMe (Quarter For Her Thoughts) June 8, 2011 - 9:16 pm

So essentially you’re cutting out carbs, dairy, and sugars… which is similar to what I’ve been trying to do in June… except for the dairy. I’ve been drinking tonnes of protein shakes but with skim milk, and I love them. They keep me full for quite a while. I’ve also been eating a lot of fruit, and I was on a salad kick but now I’m sick of that. So the trouble for me has been two things… a) I can’t think of much variety and I’m getting bored, and b) skipping carbs makes me so sad. Carbs are EVERYWHERE. I went for dinner with a new colleague last Friday and there wasn’t a damn thing on the menu that was carb-free. It sucked. And…. I am not losing much weight. I think it’s because I’m not eating enough calories for my weight. All the weight loss sites say that I need to eat over 2000 calories to lose weight (and like 2600 to maintain) and eating protein and fruits and veggies and nuts I can’t seem to eat enough. This is so effing hard. 🙁

Babybluewater June 8, 2011 - 4:36 pm

Good for you! This sounds very similar to what I’ve just started. I’m doing Atkins. I love it. It has the same benefits you’ve mentioned. I find that I’m not very hungry at all. The protein seems to hold me for a while. I’m not at the point where I can incorporate fruit yet because it has so much natural sugar, but I’ll get there. It’s awesome watching the pounds drop 🙂 Keep up the good work!

Teacher Girl June 8, 2011 - 2:29 pm

Wow, bravo! I am so happy that you have found a diet that is working for you and that Eric joined in. I think that is so key, for the two of you to do it together. Good luck as you continue the diet!

prettylittlereckless June 8, 2011 - 10:45 am

Honestly, I don’t think it sounds restrictive. There’s SO much you can do with those foods, which to me are what I consider “basic” foods. Meaning- they’re natural, not processed. I’ve tried the Mayo Clinic Diet and it’s the only thing that’s worked for me. I was losing a pound a day by the end of the first week. Unfortunately, I fell off track because of too many eating out social events :-/ but I’m trying to get back on track!

Kim June 8, 2011 - 10:26 am

Awesome! I think this diet makes a lot of sense, esp. since Westerners are so sedentary. I think whole grains are okay, but only if you have a very active job/lifestyle; I mean carbs only came in when people began the agrarian life instead of nomadic. Is quinoa a carb? Let us know your progress! We don’t do it – I like dairy, so I count calories, which totally works. Gardening also helps us stay on track – fresh fruits and veggies and spices taste so good, even winter ones! I bet your cooking will get more creative. I bet you’ll feel amazing all of the time!

Question – where does sugar fall in? If the food must be natural, would honey work? I was thinking it’s a way to get a little touch of sugar (like on fruit) to feel like a dessert. Or ground stevia.

Good luck!!

SuperMom Diaries June 8, 2011 - 10:18 am

I could totally do this, but not right now. I am just not ready, but I really need to do something…. How did you motivate yourself to start this diet??

A Super Girl June 8, 2011 - 7:56 am

No pasta and no cheese? I would die of starvation.

But, seriously, I’ve heard of people cutting out those things — particularly the dairy aspect — and have felt instantly better. So go you for being healthy!

Courtney June 8, 2011 - 7:29 am

We’re getting ready to try something similar – The Dukan Diet.

It’s also a low-fat, lean protein sort of diet. More restrictive in some ways, less in others. We can eat non-fat dairy and yogurts (greek yogurt is high protein!), but no fruits and only “approved veggies”.

Essentially it 4 stages. First “Attack Stage” which is pure protein (and a serving of oat bran a day) for 5-10 days. The Stage two is alternating days of pure protein and protein+veggie days (plus your daily oat bran). Stages 3 & 4 are slowly incorporating your other foods in without shocking your system to gain it all back.

Sometimes I think that a more restrictive diet can, at times, be the kick in the pants you need. Some people need the structure and like you said, “everything in moderation” gets out of control fast and you’re off track.

I’ve always had a harder time getting my spouse on the same page and “all -in” to the same thing, so I am glad to give it a whirl with him.

The Coach's Wife June 8, 2011 - 7:14 am

I think the paleo diet is a GREAT diet plan and I have a friend who follows it and loves it. I can’t wait to hear how you ended up doing at the end of your 13 days… I bet you can do it!!! Eating out would be the hardest thing for sure, just since you might get stuck with salad as your only option. What protein powder do you use? I want to start making morning smoothies like that and I don’t know what protein powders are good out there.

jobo June 8, 2011 - 5:54 am

Hey, that’s awesome!!! I am so glad this works for you. I honestly love my greek yogurt and other dairy too much to quit it cold turkey, but I could totally see how this works. The calorie counting I am doing is really helping me stay in line and I realize I eat when I am HUNGRY more than just because it’s a certain time of day. Huge departure from the past. Can’t wait to see you guys soon (I’ll email you!) 🙂


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