Today Workout Wonks brings you the first in a series of guest posts from one of our earliest followers. Kent is an adventurous soul whose latest experiment is with a strict paleo diet for the 30 days of April. You can follow him @klassman or read about his training at http://radicalimmersion.wordpress.com.
My wife asked if I wanted to join her and do a nutrition plan for April. I thought, “Sure. Why not? It could be fun to do together, it might help and it won’t hurt me.” Secretly I thought that it may help me lose a few pounds too.
Wow. Not the most naïve thing a man has ever done in response to a woman’s question, but it may rank in the top ten.
What did I know? I knew she had done the Whole30 a few weeks before and really enjoyed it. She found new energy, better sleep and reintroduced a whole new set of meals and ingredients into our routines. Most of all and on point for me, after getting into the program she started to avoid the debilitating mid-afternoon sugar crashes.
We began on the first and for thirty days will cut out added sugars – real and artificial – as well as alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy and white potatoes. I recruited a friend at work who enjoys the “paleo lifestyle” to do the program and serve as my daytime support. I did a little research and then we were off and running.
Literally, off and running. I’m also training for a series of endurance events this spring and summer so the Whole30 had to keep me energized throughout long days, fueled during long workouts and replenished after it all. I was helpfully pointed to the Paleoista. She knows things. She is also a world class Ironman age grouper. Next I learned about Mark Sisson and his primal approach to exercise, food and health. Surely this would be enough to get through 30 days. I had support, information, and the promise of feeling better.
As the saying goes, pride goes before the fall. Monday afternoon the first headache hit. By Monday evening, I was in full onset grumpy. Tuesday morning, between the lethargy and the headache, I felt like I had a hangover in the morning. It wasn’t until Thursday that I conquered the problem of feeling hungry all day long. Until some point mid-day today, it has been a downhill slide but I may have bottomed out.
So far what has worked? The food tastes great. I’ve had butternut squash, sweet potatoes, eggs, steak, meatloaf, salmon, chili and a wide array of fresh fruit. In addition, I’m sure that the absence of Diet Coke, dairy and heavily processed sweets can only be good for me – especially considering how reliant I am on a sugar rush to “get me through” the next thing on the schedule.
Though I’m not yet five days into the program, I’ve succeeded at avoiding all manner of food temptations – from a late night cookie or three to Friday donut day at the office. I’ve also found the detox or introductory period is an abrupt eye-opener to the various “fake foods” that consistently go into my body without any thought through convenience or habit or subconscious “reward.” It is hard but I have to think it is worth it.
If only my head would stop hurting.