D-Day: Paleo/Whole 30 Challenge 2012

It starts today.  Officially.  A six-week nutrition bender that bookends the Whole 30 program with a week of hard-and-fast Paleo.  I’ve been eating mostly Paleo for the past month, but have allowed myself to cheat with Gaucho bread, whiskey, quinoa cakes, Coors Light, lots of cheese and Greek yogurt.  For the next six weeks, those morsels of goodness are no longer going to be a part of my life.  And the thing is, I’m really excited about it.  Here’s how it’s going to work:

July 1-8: Paleo, Paleo, Paleo

July 9-August 9: Whole 30 Marathon

August 10-17: Paleo, Paleo, Paleo

August 18: Brynn & Ryan’s wedding, where I will chow down on cake and red wine like nobody’s business.

I know what you’re thinking – “Brooke, have you lost your freaking mind? You’re going to embark on a Paleo/Whole 30 mega challenge during the middle of the summer when there is nothing to do but attend bachelorette parties, wedding and BBQs? The 4th of July is next week – what about THAT?!” To that, I say this: if a pregnant lady can make it through these trials while watching her belly get progressively bigger (and bigger), then I can too.

You also might be wondering why I’m book-ending the Whole 30 with Paleo eating.  There are two reasons I’ve decided to do this.  First, next week is the 4th of July AND the bridal shower for one of my dearest friends.  I know myself well enough to know that I’m gonna eat some chocolate at both of these events and will be literally surrounded by non-Paleo, non-Whole 30 food groups.  Allowing myself some Paleo treats at both of these will help me learn to keep modifying my behavior toward the month-long Whole 30 marathon.  Upon completion of the Whole 30, I will need a week or so to reintroduce some foods to my system and see how my body reacts before diving back into “less healthy” habits.

Ultimately, I want to emerge from this process with a solid idea of what foods help me perform and what foods do not. I’m not settling into a lifetime of eating nothing but eggs, ground meat and steamed vegetables. There are plenty of brownies, enchiladas and ice cream cones in my future… just not for the next six weeks.  Here is what will be on my plate (and reflected on this blog):

Paleo Diet:

  • Meat, seafood and eggs- anything and everything my heart desires, so long as it’s high-quality and minimally processed
  • Vegetables – anything! everything!
  • Fruits – anything that is local and in peak season (yet another reason I picked summer for this adventure – SO many fruits to choose from!)
  • Almond butter, various oils (olive, avocado, coconut), and nuts.
  • On the outs with… grains, dairy, refined sugar, vegetable oils, legumes, caffeinated beverages, dairy, alcohol

Whole 30 Diet:

  • First three bullets, just as with the Paleo diet
  • Good fat – oils, nuts, seeds.
  • Anything with only a few ingredients, all pronounceable ingredients, or NO INGREDIENTS AT ALL
  • On the outs with:  any sugar (of any kind), alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, Paleo-style desserts or “cheat” foods

The major difference between the two diets: Whole 30 allows for coffee (phew).  Paleo allows for “cheat” foods that incorporate almond/coconut flour and honey (phew).  Both allow for high-quality, unsweetened cocoa (phew).

Game face is on.  I think that I’m going to survive.

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