Paleo challenge update: Hi, I’m hangry.

Oct 2nd
you are what you eat

Hey folks. On September 15, I kicked off the Lurong Living Paleo Challenge with a while slew of people at my CrossFit gym and other gyms around the country. As I hope you know, I’m not one to jump on fad diets. In fact, I prefer to make fun of them. But I decided to participate in this grueling, eight-week challenge for a number of reasons:

  • As an athlete who consistently does high intensity workouts, a high healthy-fat and protein diet makes good sense. Especially since one of my person goal is to  build muscle mass.
  • There’s no calorie restrictions. (More on that in a minute.)
  • The emphasis is on whole, unprocessed foods. Beyond just eliminating fast food and other junk, I’m really focused on lean meats and vegetables, primarily, with fruits and nuts on the side. I’ve been forced to make smarter decisions about my eating (rather than what’s just quick and cheap).

Now, there have been a few drawbacks…

  • Goodbye, cookies. And chocolate. And other yummy treats. Okay, so maybe this one is really a benefit. I know that I don’t need these things, and I know that eventually my sugar cravings will subside. However, there have been days where all I’ve wanted in the whole world is a damn piece of chocolate cake. I’ve literally salivated thinking about a Reese’s PB Cup.
  • Grocery bills. Not going to lie, I think those have been a little higher than usual. In fact, I spent $45 on nuts today (granted, enough nuts to last awhile!). But even when I’m dealing with a bit of sticker shock at the checkout counter, I remember that the U.S. spends very little on food. And I’d much rather spend money on nutrient-rich, healthy foods than on doctor bills.
  • Cooking meals at 7am. When you wake up in the morning and realize you’re fresh out of leftovers to take for lunch, you can’t just throw together a PB&J or plan to run to Subway over the lunch hour. Nope, better fire up the oven and get a pan on the stove cuz those chicken and veggies aren’t going to cook themselves. Yes, a bit more pre-planning could help me out in this area.
  • Hello, bathroom. Yup, this is a little bit of TMI but getting, er, regular took a little bit of time. In fact, I felt sluggish and shitty overall for probably the first two weeks solid. A big part of this was my own damn fault, though. Instead of easing into a new eating plan, I binged hard the weekend before, saying yes to all the pancakes and Oreos I could muster. Needless to say, I regretted that later… and for a lot longer than I had anticipated.
  • Hangry, hangry hippo. Even though I wasn’t feeling the greatest, I was starving. All of the damn time. I seriously could not stop eating for the first two weeks. All I wanted was a big ol’ dinner roll to sit in my tummy and make it shut up. No dice. So, I packed a crap ton of fruits and veg every day and munched all day long. And I didn’t have to worry about how much I was consuming… since there are no calorie restrictions. Luckily, that feeling has gone away for the most part and I think I’m leveling out a bit. Whew.

As part of this challenge, we also completed three benchmark workouts that we’re going to be completing at the end of the challenge as well, to see if we’ve made improvements. Since I’m not doing this for the weight loss, this will be my big test. Did I build muscle? Did I tone? I took some before pictures that I’ll consider sharing with some afters as soon as the challenge is complete. A little more than, crap, five  weeks to go.

SIGH.

 

Image here.