Day 1 -- Paleo Challenge

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My Box is undergoing a 30-Day Nutrition Challenge...the 2 nutrition plan choices -- Paleo or Zone.

Of course, I cannot pick the easy course..that goes against everything in which I believe!

Since I had started researching the Paleo lifestyle a few months ago, it was a no-brainer...I was going Paleo. Then Jamie mentioned that we could combine the 2 plans which offered the benefits of wholesome eating with built in portion control. So of course, I had to switch my plan to ZOne/Paleo.

As previously mentioned, Paleo eating is "centered on commonly available modern foods consisting mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils." There is no portion control...no counting calories, fats, carbs...zilch. The premise is that you eat until you are satisfied. Since meats (the backbone of the plan) have a higher satiation score than fruits/vegetables, you will 'naturally' stop eating after consuming a reasonable amount of food and, therefore, not need any external portion control...NOT!

Most people are familiar with the ZOne concept which breaks meals down into 'blocks' of protein, carbs and fats. Each person is allotted so many blocks per day...like the point values on Weight Watchers. ZOne does not exclude food groups (i.e., dairy, beans, sugar, grains, etc.). Basically, you can eat whatever you want as long as it fits within the blocks.

Each plan has its own learning curve and preparation built into it. Paleo is ensuring you have enough meats and vegetables/fruits available and prepped; ZOne involves the same preparatory steps as Paleo with a wider variety of foods. Combined, the meal planning becomes a little tricky. The Paleo recipes I've found do not easily convert to the ZOne blocks and vice versa with the ZOne recipes which incorporate non-Paleo ingredients. I have decided that these first 7 days will be spent just getting the hang of putting together meals/snacks that satisfy the parameters of both plans. Piece of cake, right? Me with my experience incorporating the 'Eating Clean' principles in the Weight Watchers points value plan, it should be a cinch! Lol.

Today wasn't too bad. I had 2 challenges. My main challenge was finding enough sources of protein for my meals. My 2nd challenge was that I clearly underestimated the amount of vegetables I would need following this hybrid plan.

A typical meal for an active woman of my frame = 4 blocks protein + 4 blocks carbs + 4 blocks of fat...that's a LOT of food to eat at one time! 1 block of protein roughly equates to 1 oz of a meat...pretty standard portion across eating plans. 1 block of carbs, on the other hand, can range from 1 small piece of fruit to 1.25 c. cooked greens/4-6 c. salad greens...this is where the volume comes into play!

To illustrate this point, I prepared a roasted vegetable dish which typically serves 4-6 people...a sizable dish. They weren't following ZOne/Paleo when they set the serving size...it barely covered 2 meals! My dinner literally made me sick just looking at the amount of food on my plate--the culprit..my vegetable selection of turnip greens. I only used 2 of my allotted 4 carb blocks for my greens...but that 2 blocks = 2.5 cups of greens! Do you know how much that is?! And that was just half the carbs, I still had 2 more carb blocks + my protein blocks and fat blocks. I could not eat it all in 1 sitting! It's a good thing that I had a brutal CrossFit training session! Thank you, Pete!

I will follow the prescribed program for the first week as written. After that, I will tweak it as needed...I'm sure the very 1st modification will be serving size reductions!

All in all, not a bad start...except for my unsweetened coffee...I'm not a fan!

But, they say Day 3 and/or Day 4 will be the killer day(s). That's when I will start to feel the effects of the sugar/sweetener withdrawals. Oh joy, something to look forward to! LOL!
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.