why i’m a paleo bandwagoner.

8 Sep

If you follow me on any other form of social media, you’ve probably seen me throw around the hashtag #paleo in somewhat of a haphazard fashion, and I realized I never shared on my blog what that whole thing is all about.  So here we go…

Up until recently, I went by the “I am a runner and I work out a lot, I can eat whatever I want, it’s fine” rule of thumb.  Sure, that worked out well — I maintained my weight and was a marathon runner.  While this is true, I wasn’t really “toned” and I think that could be largely attributed to the fact I was not fueling my body with healthy, nutritious foods but instead I was loading up on carbs and lots of things that are, in hindsight, healthy junk food (read: oatmeal and ALL THE PEANUT BUTTER).

This is a photo of me on July 4, 2013.  I had run a full marathon one month before, and so I was essentially in the middle of a running hiatus and not really giving a thought to how I was eating or the amount of beer I was drinking at law firm events or anywhere else for that matter.  I had the exercise portion of being an athlete down but my diet was probably not doing ANYTHING to aid my efforts.  I know I look “fine” here except for the fact that my bikini top is completely ill-fitting and I was wearing a ratty old shirt I had literally owned for 7 years, but the point is I was essentially sabotaging what I was doing at the gym.  “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet” proved to be true for me.

941238_10102237691609883_1086689912_n

I have never been comfortable “dieting” — it is just not me.  I refuse to count calories or restrict myself, and have always been a proponent of “everything in moderation.”

1312_10102226107739053_1112759293_n

(5k time: 23:34)

Last April, a few of my friends from the gym and I decided to create a “paleo challenge” amongst ourselves for a few months.  For two months, I eliminated carbs (no bread, baked goods, french fries, oatmeal, pasta) as well as sweets, soda, and other junk. After the first week, I was fully adjusted — and you know what? I LOVED IT.  I loved how I felt, and I also loved that I could still eat A LOT with relatively little thought, and yet I was eating more nutritious food.

I didn’t weigh myself, but I noticed that I was more toned or lean, if that makes sense.  Here’s a photo of me from July 4, 2014.

10444364_10103255523341933_3587016145452131771_n

10392454_10103254574009403_2510789160625060235_n

(5k time: 20:41)

When our challenge formally ended, I kept it up all the way through the bar.  I took the month after the bar relatively easy on myself and cheated here and there.  After Labor Day, my gym fam kicked off cleaner eating.  I am again going paleo, and this time adding the additional challenge of cutting out dairy (I relied heavily on greek yogurt and cheese, so I am challenging myself to also give those up for three months this time).

Obviously I am not an R.D., but I wanted to share what worked for me and that I’m not #paleo just because it’s trendy or bougie or expensive.  It is easy for me to work into my life, and it has made me a better athlete.

Here are some of my tips:

There’s a lot of websites/literature out there that talk about how important it is to get certain types of organic meat and how you should cut out dairy, but I don’t really follow that – I just cut out all carbs (except for fruits and vegetables) and sugar.

What I do:

The HARDEST thing for me was to give up carbs in the morning.  I SWORE by oatmeal + peanut butter + protein powder in the morning and thought I “needed it” so I was so hesitant to give it up, but now I literally wake up every morning CRAVING eggs.

Here are my staples:

 

Breakfast:

3 eggs cooked in coconut oil + breakfast sausage or bacon over kale/mixed greens
Paleo Egg Muffins (like mini quiches w/o the crust, you can make these on Sunday for the whole week).
Oatmeal Minus the Oats” w/ Almond Butter for days when you just want something sweet.  Sounds weird but is DELICIOUS (can also substitute canned pumpkin for the banana, which I may even like better)
Chia Seed Pudding (also delicious)

 

Snacks:

– Celery/Carrots/Peppers cut up
– Fruit
– Hard-boiled eggs
– NUTS!!! (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans…whatever. ).
– I also LOVE LOVE LOVE Quest Bars (not 100% paleo, but VERY low-carb).  Great for pre- or post-gym. Stick them in the microwave for 10 seconds and your life will be forever changed.

 

Lunch/Dinner

I am the worst cook ever (seriously besides being athletic/smart/funny my husband needs to know how to cook because I SUCK) so I normally make a bunch of chicken, ground turkey, ground beef, or steak or something and eat it for a few meals along with vegetables, also makes it easy to take to work/school.  Some of my old-faithful meals:
– Chicken + Veggie Stir Fry + Soy Sauce (pretty self-explanatory)
– Chicken Lettuce Wraps
– Chicken or Steak Fajitas Minus the Tortilla
– Any type of salad
Cauliflower Pizza (surprisingly good)

 

Eating Out

– It makes it so much easier to just decline the bread/tortilla chips (you won’t miss ’em)
– Chipotle is HUGE for me because it feels like a treat — just order a salad and don’t skimp on the guac!

 

 

Advertisements

8 Responses to “why i’m a paleo bandwagoner.”

  1. Kaley September 9, 2014 at 5:29 am #

    I will never go Paleo living in Spain (I can do no bread, but NO CHEESE? Uh-uh), but good for you! I realize that cutting out unhealthy carbs is better for me, but it’s so difficult! I try not to eat carbs except at night. We’ll see how this year goes!

  2. Ashley September 9, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    I completely agree, I did a paleo challenge in march and I felt amazing and kept it up through May. I definitely noticed myself getting much more lean and eating more-but healthier. Summer definitely threw me off but Im working on getting back into it now because I definitely noticed a major change in my daytime energy and more restful sleep.

  3. Angela September 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    Uggh I needed to read this. I’m not going paleo, because being vegetarian and avoiding most dairy already limits me enough, but I definitely have not been focused on healthy eating lately. Way too many nights we just resort to pasta because I’m feeling lazy and my body is showing it :/

    • Gillian @ That's G September 9, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Are you kidding? You just CRUSHED Your PR and you look great!!! But I know what you mean about trying to eat better! Xx

      • Angela September 21, 2014 at 10:21 am #

        I like my life from you’re perspective 🙂 but I know we’re both the same that when we PR our next thought is, “Okay, so how do I get even better next time?”

      • Gillian @ That's G September 24, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

        I know…that’s the problem with PRing is you can always get a new one…

  4. Katie September 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    Yayyy paleo bandwagon! I’m getting ready to do another Whole30 at the start of October…the whole move and starting school really threw off my game, but I’m anxious to get back on track! It really does make a huge difference in performance when I eat to support my training 🙂 Catch ya for a football game this semester?

    • Gillian @ That's G September 24, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Awesome! Yeah eating better has done amazing things for my workouts, skin, and energy. It’s nuts! I’ll be at the UCLA game on Oct. 18 with Jenn!

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: