I Tried Paleo For a Week

And it was an emotional roller-coaster.

By Allie Eames

Maybe it was how terrible my body felt after J-Term, Syllabus week, and everything I’ve been putting it through since I moved back to school. Or maybe it was Spring Break looming shortly. Whatever it was, I felt inspired to make a change to my eating habits.

I’ve never had terrible habits, but I do have a big sweet tooth and love to snack. I’ve also never tried any sort of restrictive diet before, so I wasn’t sure how my typically weak willpower would respond to cutting out some of my favorite foods. I set my sights on a “paleo” diet and thought I’d try it least Monday-Friday as a little experiment.

If you’ve never heard of paleo, it typically means you can stick to some main food groups: meat and fish, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats like avocados, oils, and nuts. I hesitate to say that I was really doing paleo because I adapted this and let myself also include the occasional cheese stick, almond milk for my coffee and smoothies, and alcohol, which would typically be no-nos.

Screen Shot 2018-02-19 at 3.39.17 PM.jpg
An example much prettier than anything I made last week. Courtesy of Paleo Cupboard

 

Sunday: I loosely planned out how the week was going to go. I did some grocery shopping and made sure to tell my friends I was trying paleo (at least annoyingly as possible) so that I’d have some extra accountability and pressure to not break the diet.

Monday: I was actually pretty excited to start, so Monday was more of just getting my bearings and getting used to substituting an apple for granola bar or yogurt when I got hungry.

IMG_2050
Teriyaki chicken and vegetables, courtesy of me and Kroger

Tuesday: This day was definitely hardest. I pretty much considered quitting for like 90% of Tuesday when I couldn’t find anything that was both paleo and satisfying at Dividends between classes and couldn’t make a huge quesadilla after my classes as per usual. Turns out I wasn’t really trying hard enough, but still. This day was definitely a hump to get over.

Wednesday: Not eating carbs and sugar was starting to become normal, but my body still hated me for it. I was more easily agitated and basically felt like I was having severe PMS. I let myself cheat for freshly made brownies at my house’s Galentine’s night, but I figured I had earned it.

IMG_0827.JPG
A truly sad moment when I ate everything but the M&M’s from my trail mix

Thursday: By Thursday, things were starting to look up. Even though I didn’t weigh myself, the mentality of eating clean was good for my self-esteem and made me feel like I was some sort of Instagram fitness guru.

Friday: I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue all day Friday, or call it a day and resume eating carbs after about noon. Turns out, I pretty naturally went all day without really craving any carbs, which was awesome.

Saturday: I felt super healthy and fit, which I’ll let you decide was worth my week of suffering. However, in the name of Spring Break, I decided that I’d keep the whole “paleo” thing going, just so long as I let myself cheat and indulge sparingly on weekends (because I definitely can’t go a month without pizza).

Overall, paleo, you are not terrible. I really hated you at first, but you seem to kind of work. Being able to eat things like nuts and fats really helps limit some cravings for salty snacks, and being able to eat berries helps on sweet cravings.

To some of my favorite foods: Jeni’s ice cream, popcorn, and cheez-its, I miss you, and I will see you in March. Until then, I will continue my 80%-accurate-paleo adaptation and will update this post with what results I see. Wish me luck.