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November 30 Day Clean Eating Challenge & Paleo/Primal Explanation (of sorts)

Friday, October 19, 2012

I ended Whole30 ( and didn’t blog about it and I have had people ask me about it and haven’t taken time to really talk about it more than my initial one.
There is a lot to it. I highly recommend reading, making lists and being prepared if you embark upon it. Be informed. It can be intimidating. I DID go through sugar withdrawal or carb withdrawal and had what is referred to as "carb flu" symptoms days 4-5ish. My family embraced it and we had some amazing meals, made new friends, learned lots and I am ready to do it again!

There are so many resources. Google away. Share forward. Join teams. Ask ?'s. Embrace the journey! And honestly, for me, I wasn't looking at it as a diet but a lifestyle but many do lost LOTS of weight.

Having completed it and now going into another Whole30 beginning 1 November and a challenge that my good friend TEKRU1 aka Terry has proposed , now is a good time to speak to that more as well as to talk myself through some things like Paleo/Primal/Hunter Gatherer and such.

First the 1 November Challenge.

NOVEMBER ONE -30 day clean eating challenge! Everybody is welcome to join! You don't have to go all the way to a WHOLE 30, but make a commitment to yourself to avoid something you KNOW isn't good for you! Is it fast food? Deep fried? Too much sugar? Soda? 30 days without something that is holding YOU back!

What is clean eating?

Eating food in it’s most natural state.
Nothing white (flour, sugar, rice, etc).
Avoid all things processed and refined.
Lean protein and healthy fats (like those from nuts)
Lots and lots of organic fruits and vegetables.
Shopping for organic and grass fed products.
No preservatives, no fast food, no alcohol (gasp!)
No or limited dairy (depending on who you ask)

BONUS: A recipe!

It is much like a challenge Terry first proposed when she was a co-Cappie of Azure Destinations back in August I think. Whole30 is very radical and at the time when Terry first proposed the one above I remember saying to her - NO WAY, I am EVER doing anything this radical lady; are you on drugs? Give up sugar (artificial and natural), milk, alcohol, grain?!* And you aren't SUPPOSED to weigh yourself at all for the 30 days but that isn't an option during the BLC so that part is off the table. One of our Azuritas (I won’t say who) who was doing it weighed after 10 days or so (we were on a break) and had lost like 10 # or more and while I was intrigued, I admit that for ME what really pushed me into trying it when someone said they were doing a second round beginning 9 September was the possibility of (ok so this is unrealistic but I've tried everything else) finding that some of my growing laundry list of ailments, maladies, autoimmune issues etc. might be remedied or lessened. I've tried everything else so why not this? We are the only mammal on earth that continues to ingest dairy after weaning ourselves. So many are gluten intolerant etc. I just thought what did I have to lose except 30 days of being resentful and why was THAT any different than any other fad "diet" I'd ever been on (lemonade, maple syrup, cabbage soup - you name it). And for ME/US it wasn't that huge a change as it turns out because I am a foodie. I prepare our meals with great love and time commitment each week. Shop naturally and without much processed having converted long ago eliminating food colors, preservatives and processing making most things with love from scratch most often. BUT (and some of you know what's coming next....and I have a whole lot of junk in my trunk), just because it's made from scratch doesn't make it healthy. So yes, there were adjustments but it was like a foodie's adventure for ME and my family actually embraced it for and WITH me.

It couldn’t have been THAT radical or terrible because I’m in for another Whole30 and with a smile! Did it cure my maladies/ailments and old age? Of course not. Do I feel better? I think so. I am also down a good bit and wearing jeans I haven’t worn since 2004 and well on my wEIGH to wearing my USMC dress blues that I last wore on August 19, 1988. THAT is a WIN in my book!

Whole30 isn’t meant to be forever. It is fairly strict/radical. So where do you go from there? Let’s talk a bit about that because honestly I didn’t know anything about Paleo/Primal/Hunter Gatherer etc. when I started this. I was a total virgin and it was a crash course (btw, if you’re going to start on 1 November, read up ahead of time because it is time consuming and a little bit of knowledge and planning goes a LONG way toward success).

I need to move forward after Whole30 so this is part of my plan that will make this blog my blog for the mid-round slump challenge along with joining the new spark fitbit movement,

It gets confusing and my head begins to spin (not a pretty picture). I wanted to find a chart and the one that I found to be the most helpful is below and includes Atkins which while isn’t in our discussion actually isn’t bad to compare since many of my Spark friends do do a low carb diet and consider it similar. This shows how each diet looks at carbs. Atkins only considers low carbs not whole foods or quality ingredients. You can have sugar free and processed foods and grains and count carbs on Atkins. This may have been one reason why Whole30 wasn’t a huge change for us because we already were eating relatively clean, whole and unprocessed foods. Paleo and Primal are very similar. This chart sets out the biggest difference between the two. Dairy. The Paleo diet is about high fat (interesting on a “diet” site right?), high protein, hunter/gatherer style eating like our ancestors ate. It does not allow for grains or dairy products. The Primal diet has a similar goal and does not allow for grains, but it does include high fat and dairy.

What is Paleo Eating:

Paleo is also called “caveman” or “primal” eating.
Lots of organic and grass fed lean meats
Lots of organic veggies and fruits.
Lots of nuts and healthy fats.
Consuming food in it’s most natural state.
No sugar, no beans, no grains.
No dairy.

The biggest difference between paleo and clean is that clean allows whole grains. The main premise of Paleo is to eat only foods available 10,000 years ago in their most natural state (a common myth is that Paleo is raw food but this is not true. But the less processed/cooked the better in their eyes).

I really thought it was be terrible not to have bread and butter and mashed potatoes and ice cream and cheese. As it turned out I initially most missed stevia in my coffee and chewing artifically sweetened gum all the time. Seriously. I missed those two things the most.

Oh; and the one thing that made Whole30 doable was they told me no alcohol but they didn’t tell me no coffee or all bets would have been OFF!

Now post Whole30 round 1 I am at a crossroads. Do I stick with the Paleo lifestyle or start adding back whole grains and let myself eat clean? They are both compelling arguments and they both make a lot of sense.

Post Whole30 reset I am afraid that if I were to start eating steel cut oats for instance that would lead to whole grain breads and then I'm right back where I started so for me, for now, I think I'm going to try to live 85 or eve 90% Paleo and go from there.

I am going to commit to a lifestyle change that is permanent for my family. Of course we’ll make exceptions but for the most part, we are going to try to find a word that causes fewer weird looks and raised eyebrows than any of the above do (since when do I care what people think? Oh...always).

Where will your journey take you?

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Hey Kal,
    Thanks for the information. I considered doing the Nov 1st challenge, but was just so in the dark about everything decided to do some research. I agree it's similar to Atkins which I have been doing for a while. I LOVE the plate. Thanks so much for sharing so much I formation. I do have a question. When eating the Paleo plan, does all meat have to be cooked rare? That wouldn't work for me. I eat everything well done. I'm talking beef.

    Anyway, I think the blog is GREAT just like You😃😃😃
    1893 days ago
    Now that I've studied this a million times (okay maybe exaggerating).....100,ooo times.....why not do Paleo 80% and Whole30 20%? I have researched both and really like what I'm seeing, (other than the having to give up things I like that is).

    For the current challenge I am simply eliminating foods that hold me back. I am hoping after the challenge is over and I've maintained this, that at the beginning of the year I will try Whole30 for a month and then Paleo for a month. Then, I should've had time to wean those things that I love from my life and be a lot closer to a healthier lifestyle!
    1994 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Great blog and good luck!
    1995 days ago
    Great blog, Kal! Thanks for all the info on Whole30/Paleo/clean eating. I'll be joining in on the clean eating challenge. I think at this point Whole30 would just be too strict for me. It's going to be tough enough going without sugar, but adding giving up grains and dairy on top of that might be a bit much. But I know you have found something that works great for you. I know for those of us that commit to doing whole30 or clean eating for the 30 days of November are going to be a whole lot healthier and slimmer by the end of the time!
    1998 days ago
  • LW8843
    So do you have a fitbit? I LOVE mine.
    2005 days ago
    My trainer does paleo eating and has mentioned he wants to eat this way most of the time. I am still doing research on it and have a hard time with "organic" food as better since I consider all food organic by its chemical nature (darn engineer - just the science I learned).

    I wish they would come up with a different name for food grown in a different farming method created to feed masses who cannot get fresher food without it.

    I wish that we would not create new definitions for words with specific meanings also.

    As an old codger, I know why so many foods were developed that it is hard for me to dismiss them as bad in one fell swoop. So many were developed for convenience of cooking, to help rid our lives of diseases, and to turn my back on those reasons is hard to do.

    I don't understand why dairy is on the not whole food, it comes from a cow, and butter and cheese are made from this. And why is food grown with hand sprayed bug killers better than that sprayed with giant sprayers? From my chair, it just looks more expensive. I know one of the reasons vegetables from your garden taste better is because we get them right from the plant, whereas most of the fruits and veggies in markets are from another part of the globe and maybe not USA at all.

    I am cynical also as my DH has known those "farmers" selling at the local markets and know some buy their goods at the same place the big markets do. Maybe not so much any more since there is this organic certification which raises the price of food.

    hmm think I have gone on way too long for here but will leave my comments as these are all the questions I have about the paleo, whole foods, etc. THanks for sharing, I wil keep reading and see where it takes me.
    2006 days ago
    Well written
    2008 days ago
    I would agree with EGALITAIRE, Wheat Belly is a very informative book! I am about half way through it and I am blown away! I started eating paleo a week ago and so far have lost 6 lbs! Love it and will stick with it! Great Blog!
    2008 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    You make this sound reasonable and even fun to try. Maybe next time you do the Whole Thirty again I will join in. I will do something for the November Challenge but not sure what yet. Maybe it will be dessert at dinner only, or something like that. While on the cruise I know I won't be able to resist ALL the goodies, but if I limit myself to just one at dinner I can forgo them during lunch. I've found that the dinner desserts are better tasting than the stuff you get at the cafeteria lunchtime restaurant.

    Have fun and enjoy!
    2008 days ago
    Ok, I love the way YOUR plate is allocated -- animals and plants! Simple, plain. Thanks for this explanatory blog.

    2008 days ago
    That's a lot of information! I may have to read it more than once. I am making strides but I don't think I'm far enough along yet to do this challenge. One day I will. Just don't want to overload myself. You are such an inspiration with all of your information and success!

    2008 days ago
    EXCELLENT blog, Kal!! I'm reading both, The Paleo Diet, and The Paleo Diet Cookbook, by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., right now. Yesterday, my breakfast plate was half salmon and half veggies and today it was lean pork, an egg and veggies!! My taste-buds have rediscovered the SWEETNESS of fresh fruits and I am like some kind of ravenous BEAST when presented with a bowl of red grapes and sliced bananas!! LOL!! Oh yes, I must have my espresso!! THANKS for sharing!! xoxoxo
    2008 days ago
    Congrats on your success. Sounds like it has been a very rewarding journey so far. It is a lifestyle. Before deciding whether to add grains back into your diet, I would encourage you to consider reading the book Wheat Belly. It provides some compelling information, well researched, on the effects of wheat on our bodies. Also check out Peter Attia's blog for more information on the role of insulin production (our bodies use insulin to process carbs).
    2008 days ago
  • TEKRU1
    Wow! You put a ton of time and thought into this! Good blog! If I wasn't the one who started you down this road, I'd be doing some research about now :- )

    2008 days ago
    This is very intriguing to me. Like you, I tend to eat fairly clean, with very few processed foods--and of those, none have high fructose corn syrup, modified starches, or any of that. I just want a fast pasta sauce from time to time, and occasional high fiber pasta. Almost daily coffee and occasional alcohol; soda or other sugary drinks extremely rare. I don't have the resources at this time to pursue all organics or grass-fed, but I have sourced it locally and have a general sense of how much it would cost.

    I followed the advanced plan of Mark Hyman's Blood Sugar Solution approach for over two months, among other things eliminating caffeine, dairy, sugars, and all flours--whole, intact grain was permissible, as were legumes (if I'm not mistaken). I learned that I can actually do this, which was news to me. I also learned that it was too restrictive for the long term, at least for me at that time. Since I don't actually have hypertension, insulin problems, or any of those things, I don't have the motivation to stay on a highly restrictive nutrition plan.

    I've seen the buzz around Paleo and Primal, and of course Whole 30. I don't subscribe to the full philosophical argument surrounding these approaches, but don't feel I truly need to. Some of the zealotry I've seen has been really off-putting, but then there is great zeal among certain followers of almost any philosophy. I want to read the Whole 30 book to make sure I know what they're setting out in their month-long plan; from what I've gathered, it's pretty reasonable. 30 days to reset one's eating and lifestyle approach, and to allow one to recognize and question the "usual" reactions and habits to which we default. Makes sense.

    I won't be able to do this during the month of November--I'm traveling to visit my aging parents and it's important culturally to eat traditional family foods. I have an aunt whose food peculiarities has created tension with the family in the past--her zealotry contributed to an attitude of disdain for my parents, really hurt their feelings. They do NOT eat cleanly, but they do eat honestly and simply and are good people who deserve to feel accepted and appreciated. I can suspend my own food preferences for a few days; I can also prepare wholesome food during my visit so that they can enjoy and appreciate what *I* bring to the table, without judgement.

    Okay, so this is a massive essay in response to your post. I guess where I'm going with all of this is that I support all of you doing the November 30. I won't be joining in this round, but you have all inspired me to consider what I *can* do. I'll probably end up choosing some kind of "reset" for 30 days, even if it starts tomorrow and ends on November 20th. I will choose by tomorrow and declare it on my blog.
    2008 days ago
  • JO28352
    Thanks for sharing.
    2008 days ago
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