Skip to content

My Paleo Experiment, Part 4 of 4

17 Jul 2010

-by Elizabeth

As week four comes to an end, I am reaching the successful finish of my paleolithic experiment!

In the past four weeks, I have eaten fish and steak for breakfast, eaten a watermelon at a party instead of cupcakes, baked paleo key lime pie and paleo banana bread (mmm), spit out almond butter when I read “Organic cane syrup” in the ingredients, eaten homemade, dairy-free and sugar-free ice cream (coconut milk based), eaten eggs from my own chickens, eaten berries right out of the yard, and even picked and eaten a wild-growing mushroom (only a baby one, just in case. Paleo people also died at 30 for sudden reasons such as poisoning!).

Even though I never got around to trying bone marrow, pemmican, or an animal I killed with my bare hands, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job living like a cavewoman, at least in the modern world where my cave is air-conditioned.

Here’s what I conclude about the paleolithic diet. I think that ideally, this is a very pure way to go that can be very beneficial. I think it’s right on the money limiting artificial foods, added sugars, and grains.

If I were writing a book, then I would have just ruined any chance of sells by giving the ending away on the first page. Oh well…I know that some of you just want the bottom line and some of you might actually be interested in my quest to live like Grok. So for the latter, here’s all the juicy details:

  • The Good:

In these last two weeks, my workouts have been strong, my energy levels are steady, and my digestive system is running like a well-oiled machine. Examining before and after pictures, I realize that I’ve leaned up a lot more than I noticed. I feel great.

My dad, the patriarch of clanfit, and I have been doing P90X for these last two weeks of my paleo month. I unfortunately have not been able to create many caveman, outdoor workouts, so P90X has served as a great modern replacement.

It’s not always possible on a modern schedule to find a chance to workout, but since nutrition is such a big part of health (see Scott’s blog “Tailored to fit(ness), the 3 S’s”), the feeling of “Pre-workout Depression” as I call it can be avoided fairly well if you’re eating the right foods. This was my saving grace at times, and I rarely ever felt like I had to workout to counterbalance the guilt of any food decisions. I worked out because I felt good and exercising made me feel even better!

Simply put, all of the food choices on the paleolithic diet are good ones. All that you have to worry about is the intake amount of those choices. (Here is where I would insert a cheesy, clichéic line about how simple it is that a caveman could do it…)

  • The Bad:

How is it on sustainability? A big thumbs down. Honestly, to be 100% paleolithic is pretty darn hard in the modern day world. It’s expensive (local Bison is $16 dollars a pound), and it’s very limiting. There are very, very, very few restaurants where one can eat purely paleolithic (though to compensate for that, many paleo people are in a paleolithic club, which means when traveling, local paleolithic families will provide them with a meal), and the diet forces you to give up a large portion of the foods you use to eat, most of it being very popular in modern day society.

  • Final Conclusion (drum roll please…) and What Happens Next:

All in all, I think this is the ideal diet that we all should shoot for, and I believe the claim that the Paleolithic diet can be the cure for diabetes (see “My Paleolithic Experiment, Part 1 of 4”).

For those people who enjoy being 100% strict paleolithic all of the time, I salute you. I’m proud of you, I admire you, but I can’t be you, at least not all the time. It can be pretty constraining, and unless you’re in a community of others like yourself (having a buddy go paleolithic with me made it much easier), it can be no fun.

So where to now? After a few rebellious days and then a month of a French-style diet in Europe, I’m going to return to being “80% Paleo,” meaning no artificial foods or additives or anything I wrote about in “The Thorns in Nature’s Side,” and grains will only be eaten in certain social situations or as a rare treat, not as an everyday diet staple. I still haven’t become a full follower of giving up legumes and dairy, though I’m not completely against it. This is a gray area for me that I’m still in the process of investigating.

Final conclusion: I am a believer in the benefits that can come out of this diet, and I think this is an experiment that everyone should try.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: