Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Paleo Challenge

This image is a good depiction for how I felt last week.  Monday I ran up the stairs at work and was saddened by how much jiggling was taking place.  It's amazing how much weight you can gain when you let down your guard and "reward" yourself that just one more.  As an active runner I like to grant myself a cheat day after a hard run, namely a nice serving of some good Mexican food and some type of alcohol.  The problem with these rewards is that one always leads to another and pretty soon the entire week turns into one big reward.
I have always enjoyed trying various diets to judge their impact on me and earlier this year fell in love with the Paleo diet.  I had some great success on it and was able to get my body weight down to 155lbs and earned myself a sub 3:30 marathon time in the process.  My only beef with Paleo (pun fully intended) is that it is gaining in popularity and with popularity comes the marketers.  Everyone seems to have jumped on the bandwagon and are trying to sell their books and products.  There are now so many people trying to convince others the proper way to follow the paleo diet that it is just ridiculous.  Lean protein vs high fat.  Low carb vs moderate carb.  Starch vs no starch.  Fruits vs no fruits.  Nuts/seeds vs no nuts/seeds.  Dairy vs no dairy vs some dairy.  This diet is so simple that it shouldn't even be considered a diet but rather a lifestyle and these people are making things overcomplicated.  And then there is the group that prefer to let their meat spoil a bit before consumption.  
Anyways, I have my own rules regarding Paleo that I like to follow which worked for me just fine earlier this year.  Hey, maybe I should write a book about it!  But this time I tend to go a bit more strict on it and go as organic and grass-fed as much as possible.  Luckily I found a farmer a couple hours a way who sells beef, goat, and sheep.  He is islamic and all the meat he sells is halal and is exceptionally clean.  And he has a few fruit trees that he graciously lets us pick from as well.  Well worth the drive and money spent in my opinion.
Vanessa and I have discussed the 30 day Paleo challenge and decided we'd start it immediately following Monday after the Noble Canyon 50k.  I actually plan to follow it a few days longer just so I can be 100% Paleo going into the Los Pinos 50k.  It shall be interesting to see how we fare for the next few days.
Our guidelines:
  • No grains
  • No legumes
  • No corn
  • No soy
  • No dairy (unless raw or fermented)
  • No processed foods (including foods with unecessary additives)
  • No sugar 
  • Grass-fed as much as possible
  • No calorie counting!
If I am unwilling to eat a food in it's raw natural state, then it has no business being on my plate.
I feel we should be taking photos of ourselves for a before/after comparison but I'll spare the world that vision and just post my beginning stats instead.  Both measurements were taken on my personal at home scale.  Although it may not be the most accurate method, at least it gives me a comparison point.
Weight - 170lbs
BF% - 20%
Today is day 3 and I am starting to feel better already.  My belly didn't jiggle as I ran up the stairs this morning.
A few links on the Paleo lifestyle:

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