I went caveman for a month to see if it would help ease my digestive issues. Now, I’m here with the full report on my Paleo Diet Results.
If you’ve been hanging around this blog for a while, you may have noticed an influx in paleo-approved recipes. That’s because I decided to give the Paleo Diet a try. Why? You can learn my reasons right over here, but the quick summary is that I have been suffering from many a digestive-issue and wanted to see if Paleo would help.
For one month, I decided to be pretty strict. That meant nothing processed (even if it was technically Paleo-approved), no grains, no legumes, no dairy and no alcohol.
Here’s the lowdown on my results.
Overall Stomach Happiness
I’m happy to report that while I wasn’t 100% free of digestive issues during my month of Paleo, my stomach was significantly happier than my usual non-paleo eating. While I still experienced some bloating and stomach distention, they were both less frequent and didn’t last as long as usual. My trips to the bathroom were also much more (erherm) regular and less uhhh strenuous than usual.
While I wasn’t doing this experiment to lose weight, I figured it might be a not-unwelcome side effect. I ended up losing 5 pounds, an inch and a half off my waist and two inches off my hips. My clothes just fit that much better, and I’m totally ok with that!
SO much better. I still wake up to pee pretty much once every night, but my overall sleep is much more sound and of better quality than BP (before Paleo).
I didn’t notice a significant difference in energy during my workouts, but I did notice that I would have a steady flow of energy throughout the day and get tired when it was time for bed. Before, I felt like I would start to crash around 3 and then get a second wind right before bed time. I much prefer the Paleo energy levels.
I was expecting to really miss my daily oatmeal and protein powders, but I really didn’t miss them at all! The only thing I had a craving for was wine. I don’t know what that says about me, but I like a nice glass at the end of a long work week. A glass of red wine was the first non-paleo thing I had post experiment, and it was glorious.
So What Now?
Knowing all of this, am I going to stick with this strict Paleo lifestyle? Yes and no. I love how Paleo makes me feel. I know I’m eating well and the increased levels of protein and healthy fats keep me fuller for longer and have reduced my cravings. However, I don’t think a strict Paleo diet (basically just meat, veggies and fruits) is sustainable, at least not for me. I have started to incorporate Paleo-approved things like coconut flour and natural sweeteners. I’ve also started adding non-Paleo things like gluten-free oats and some of my favorite protein powders (affiliate link) and healthy snacks to see how they affect me. Also – wine is a must.
My first week post Paleo experiment, I think I tried to add too much back in too soon. As a result, I experienced terrible bloating for an entire week. No fun. So, I’m back to mostly Paleo (though less strict than before) with a few other things and am trying to be more conscious of what bothers me and what doesn’t. I still haven’t tried adding any type of bean or any grain besides oats – and I don’t really miss them! I’m interested to see if they bother me at all when I do have them, but time will tell!
One thing I am going to keep up is no more artificial sweeteners. I never had a lot, but I rely on it in my morning coffee. Over the past few weeks, however, I’ve learned to love plain black coffee and Bullet Proof Coffee on the weekends. If I do want something sweetened, I’m going to stick with natural sweeteners like maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey. I am also going to be more conscious of my sugar intake in general. While I’ve never been a big fan of added sugars, I don’t think I realized how much sugar I was consuming even from natural sources. While natural sugars from things like fruit are a.ok, I still think I need to minimize my fruit intake a touch.
What does this all mean for you? It means you can expect more Paleo and Whole-30 approved recipes around here. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any non-Paleo recipes (I actually have a deliciously healthy one in the works right now), but there will be more and more whole-food, lower carb and lower sugar focused recipes. Hooray!
Well, I think that’s all the news that’s fit to print on the Paleo front. For any of you thinking about trying Paleo, I hope you found this helpful!
Before I leave you, don’t forget about the PROBAR Giveaway! These bars aren’t Paleo, but they are made with simple, real ingredients. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan! Woot!
Have you ever tried Paleo? What were your results?
If you haven’t tried Paleo, would you?
Ever have digestive issues? What helped?