Wow, halfway through the Whole30 Paleo challenge already! While I’m definitely looking forward to it being over (just so we can ease up a little on the rules), I do think that this has been a good change and has taught us a lot. Including a few new foods that we’ll be circulating into our menu more often!
But first, here’s a look at the latest:
Unfortunately, a few of our meals this week didn’t turn out quite the way we hoped. We made some beef shanks, which were good, but really difficult to eat because they were so bony. We also tried to make this broccoli-cauliflower soup, which just ended up tasting like mushy flavorless broccoli. It was really gross! Sigh. We also made some turkey burgers with Indian spices, which were good but it required a Portobello mushroom bun. And… yeah, it’s definitely no substitute for a hamburger bun. It was way too stiff. However, in our Paleo cookbook, Practical Paleo, there is another option to use a sweet potato pancake as a bun, which I think would work really well! I just need something softer. However, all of our meals had leftovers, and we didn’t need to do any cooking on Saturday! The only thing we had to go out and get was more fruit because we go through that stuff fast! Both of us eat about two pieces of fruit (sometimes three) a day.
I suppose I’m a little disappointed overall with the lack of a boost of energy for me. I feel almost the same as I did when I was on a regular Standard American Diet. I do feel like I’m less bloated on this diet, and one interesting thing I noticed — TMI alert — is that my period symptoms were almost non-existent! Hardly had any cramping at all. Not sure if it’s diet related, but it was a nice change! And finally, the constipation is starting to go away, which is nice. Again, sorry for the TMI. I’m just being honest!
As for cravings, I really don’t have that many although I think the closer we get to the end of the month, the more I’m thinking about what I’m going to eat when it’s all over. I think one thing I really miss is popcorn, which of course comes from one of the worst grains! Sigh. I also miss having Diet Coke or at least Crystal Light. Plain water is just boring after awhile. However, I’m not sure how I feel about artificial sweeteners, so I think I might be stuck.
Since I’ve started lowering my insulin intake, the lows have dramatically stopped, which is nice. But it also means I’m having a few higher blood sugars. I’m still trying to find the happy medium between the right amount of insulin and fewer low blood sugars. It’s kind of a bummer than my overall average might start creeping up again, but I also don’t have to have an A1C under 7% that is built entirely on hypoglycemia. That’s not sustainable! I still think I’ll be able to get an A1C under 7% this year, but it just might take a little more work than I initially planned.
My Favorite Foods
So I thought I’d do a run through of some of my favorite things that I’ve been eating on the Paleo plan. Obviously, this isn’t something everyone will want to adopt, but if you can start integrating healthier options, why not?!
- Almond Butter: When I first tried almond butter, I really didn’t like it. I’m so used to the high-fructose corn syrup infused Skippy peanut butter, so this stuff tasted really bland. But the more that I ate it, the more I liked it! Plus, peanuts are not actually nuts, they are legumes. And legumes, from what research has shown, can be difficult for your body to digest. I highly recommend getting organic peanut butter if you are going to eat it (HFCS is bad), but you can also try almond butter, or even sunflower butter (I hear good things about that) if you want to start eliminating more legumes. Still packs plenty of healthy fat and protein!
- Sweet potatoes: I’ve never been a big sweet potato girl, and honestly, I think I tried a couple of sweet potato french fries and really disliked them. I was nervous when I realized that this would have to become a main source of carbohydrates for me, in the absence of grains. But guess what?! I love it! I eat probably one sweet potato every day (or at least every other day) and they are so easy to cook. Five minutes in the microwave, or you can boil them or whatever. And they pretty much go with any meal and they are super healthy.
- Ghee: We’re not allowed to have dairy on the Whole30, so this is our substitute for butter. Basically it’s butter minus the milk, so it’s essentially just the fat. It’s smooth and spreadable, and tastes pretty similar to butter too. I eat it mostly with sweet potatoes. However, there’s no guarantee all milk proteins are out of ghee, so it’s not consider lactose-free. Just FYI.
- Kale: We finally tried kale on the Whole30. I know, I’m so behind the times. We like it a lot and have been eating it for salad and also mixing it into egg scrambles. We finally bought a blender as well, and I’m planning on making some smoothies and juices out of it. However, drinking juices is frowned upon on the Whole30 so I haven’t done that yet.
- Applegate sausages: These sausages are pretty much the only Whole30 sausages we’ve found. They’re totally organic, and they are delicious. Erik loves the Chicken & Apple sausages so much that he bought three packs of it because he was worried he wouldn’t find the flavor again!
- Sugar-free bacon: We have only been able to find this in the butcher section of Whole Foods, but apparently they sell bacon that is made with three things: pork, water and salt. Nothing else! No sugar or anything. And I have to say: it is the best bacon I have ever had in my whole life.
These are just a few favorite so far! I’m sure I’ll have more to share as our adventures in Paleo continue!