I started eating Paleo/Primal in November, just before the holidays. Dumb move, I know. I stopped eating this way from Christmas through New Year’s Day and then hopped right back on it. Here are few things I know from the nearly three months I’ve been eating no grains or soy, no sugar, no manufactured food, and very little dairy:
- I have lots of energy to exercise. I am exercising in several different ways pretty much every day of the week. And, I get sore, which is to be expected when exercising, but I don’t drag through my day like I did when I was exercising this much and eating a vegan diet. And, the soreness goes away and doesn’t inhibit my workout.
- I get lots of sleep. When I am finished with my day, I go to bed. There isn’t any dragging myself through my day, only to end up lying in bed tossing and turning until I finally fall asleep. I go to bed. I go to sleep. I sleep through the night. And, I wake up, rested, without using an alarm clock around 5 or so, which doesn’t mean I get up then, choosing instead to lounge around in the bed until 6ish.
- I can be much more inventive with my cooking. This week’s menu includes fish stir fry, a dish I never would’ve even considered before trying the paleo lifestyle (even when I ate meat before, I wouldn’t have considered it). We will also be eating a beef stroganoff served over spaghetti squash. I find myself wanting to experiment with food in ways I didn’t before, not that I was a bad vegan chef, because I wasn’t, but this is better!
- I don’t spend a good portion of every day in the bathroom. Not to be gross, but when I was vegan I pooped at least three times every day. Now I go once, and I happen to believe it’s because my body is using what I am feeding it rather than simply passing it on through.
- I am not bloated or gassy. For the last three years, while I’ve been vegetarian or vegan, I have had incredible gas. It’s been pretty disgusting at times. Now, I am not saying that I don’t have some gas, but it’s not ridiculous and it smells less horrible. I don’t belch loudly, for a long time, after every single meal. I also don’t eat to the point where I am so full and bloated that I feel like complete crap, because I am paying more attention to the full feeling I get when I eat meat. I know when to stop.
- I am losing weight—s-l-o-w-l-y—but I feel amazing. My original hope was that the weight would just come peeling off of me, like it does for some people who go low-carb, paleo, or whatever, but then I realized that I want to still be able to do long races and swim miles in the mornings, so I need to have some potatoes or yams in my diet. I am consistently losing two pounds a week, so I think that’s fair. In a year, that’s 100 pounds. Ha! I wish.
- My mental state is level and even somewhat joyful. I’ve blogged before about using niacin and Vitamin C to even out my moods. It works. I don’t have the pendulumesque, out of control mood swings I’ve had all my life when I take a little of those vitamins. I don’t even have to take large doses to help me out, just a bit works fine. However, since I’ve been eating paleo, I feel so much better in my mind (mental clarity, memory, and mood) that I am going to experiment with leaving even those vitamin supplements behind. I am going to ween myself of of all additives, except my multivitamin. Right now I have pretty expensive pee. 🙂
I have been sneaking in some barefoot running at Ball Gym. I feel rebellious, like I said in my last post, but more importantly my feet are getting so much stronger and my calves are raging! I ran for about an hour the other day, and while my calves—well, really my whole leg musculature—got sore, my feet felt great. I think there’s something to this cavewoman lifestyle I’ve submitted myself to! I just feel so primal and free when I run with no shoes, like there is nothing I can’t do. (I know. Double negative. Shut up.) I feel like I could just keep running and running and never stop, but I know that’s not true, no matter how much joy running brings me.
I’ve come home. To my first love. I’ve been swimming (if you can call it that) since I was about a month old in the big-ass bath tub at our original little hovel in the big HC. Sometimes I think I can remember what that first feeling of weightlessness felt like, but I know it’s impossible. I love swimming because it’s one sport where being a fat girl doesn’t matter, and, in fact, probably works to my advantage.
At any rate, swimming soothes me, stimulates me, and feeds my mind like no other sport. Maybe because I have been doing it for so long, I don’t have to think at all about it. When I run, I still have to think about my form; though I have to think less about it when I run barefoot. When I swim, the strokes come naturally, gracefully. I’ve been swimming three times a week for the past two weeks, and I feel full. At peace. Calm. Like I can do anything in the water. Swimming is grace. Swimming is joy.
You aren’t really supposed to drink any alcohol when you go paleo/primal, but I really love beer. Recently, I haven’t been able to drink beer much because of my allergies. I think I am really allergic to wheat, because I feel 100% better and my allergies have all but gone by the wayside since I stopped eating wheat. In case you missed it the first time I said it, I really love beer. So I occasionally have a beer. Like once a week.
Last night was “Festive Friday.” A bunch of colleagues and I go out and have a couple of beers to celebrate the end of the week and look for a better week to come, which is really a way of celebrating life if you ask me. I had a Bell’s Porter, one of my top ten all time beers, and my face swelled up like a little bright red, hot to the touch, strawberry. I had one beer, three glasses of water, a double bacon burger, and some fries, and my face swelled up with hives. It was ridiculous. I still love beer. There is no joy in being allergic to beer.
Here are my top ten, in no particular order because I just can’t decide, but the top five are the top five, in order:
- Hacker-Pschorr Dark, Hacker-Pschorr Brewery
- Bad Elmer’s Porter, Upland Brewery
- Riggwelter, Black Sheep Brewery
- Bell’s Porter, Bell’s Brewery
- Taddy Porter, Samuel Smith Brewery
- Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA, Dogfishhead Brewery
- Edmund Fitzgerald Porter, Great Lakes Brewery
- St. Peter’s English Ale, St. Peter’s Brewery
- La Fin Du Monde, Unibroue
- Levitation Ale, Stone Brewery
Sad day that I can’t drink one of each…