So I jumped in 100% to Paleo and after trying to maintain that diet, I have decided that ultimately, Paleo is not completely for me. Not that I am just turning my back, but I am modifying Paleo / Primal to fit my needs. I guess you can call it the Sasquatch / Bigfoot / Harry & The Henderson’s Diet (I am probably not the first to coin this diet name). Really anything Harry could eat is fair game (pets are off limits, though). I am still trying to adhere to as close to Primal specifics as possible, but am making some modern day changes that still work for me.
I really excluded most non-Paleo items from my diet in the first few weeks and have slowly re-introduced items back one at a time to gauge effects on my system. Yes, I had 100 times more energy and feel amazing since changing my diet, but I also attribute those energy levels to the increase in exercise and the reduced stress levels I have tried to create in my life. So far, all white starches are out for good, as are most grains (I am eating some rice here and there). I have also brought back some beans to my diet, since they seem not to have any real negative effects on me and are a good source of protein from a non-meat perspective. I was just eating way too much meat and that can not be healthy for me in the long run. Sweets and sugars are still used very sparingly, if at all. I am also much more aware of any processed / preservative-filled foods I am consuming.
So, overall, I have transformed from a fast food fueled, dead-end diet to one that is very healthy and easy for me to maintain going forward. Trying to go full-Paleo was a great catalyst for me to get where I am today.
On another note, I have lost at least 10 pounds to date (mostly in my stomach area) and have gained a good amount of muscle. My strength and stamina has increased dramatically and my blood pressure is maintained at a very healthy level. I have seen huge gains in my workouts and my overall outlook on life. My mood is much elevated and I am killing it at work (since I am in software sales). I owe so much of the “new me” to my Crossfit coaches and family. Specifically Murph and Caleb for constantly pushing me past limits I thought I could not exceed and the guys and girls I train with on a daily basis for challenging me, as well.
The challenge is really only 1/3 over, but I am seeing such tremendous changes in my life and health already.