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getting in touch with my inner colorado girl

The paleo challenge


Much to the chagrin of my two older brothers, I have officially started the paleo diet. I was first introduced to the paleo concept through my CrossFit gym, but I have admittedly been reluctant about the diet from the start. Paleo basically encompasses eating “like a caveman”, focusing on healthy proteins, fruits, vegetables and nuts. Notably, you cannot eat grains, dairy or legumes on paleo. As a former distance runner, this was a difficult concept to wrap my mind around. I grew up in a sport that encourages grains like pasta, bagels with peanut butter and granola bars. Not to mention the fact that I happen to love grains and dairy. I especially am a fan of yogurt, and greek yogurt with honey has been my standard breakfast for the past year or so. I was once vegetarian for a year and I basically lived on grains, dairy and legumes. Giving up meat was absolutely no problem for me. Giving up grains? You might as well ask me to starve myself.

Still, I committed to trying paleo for 30 days, and I’m not one to go back on my word. After receiving some encouraging emails from my brothers, I only became more motivated to stick to paleo for 30 days. The actual excerpts below:

Supportive brother #1 –

I found this article very interesting particularly because of Paula’s “Paleo” diet, which I learned that she is following the last time I looked at her blog. This is probably the fad diet that I have the least respect for. Here is the story of human history in two parts:

I. (3,000,000 CE – 8000 CE) Small tribes of hunter-gatherers live as nomads, and of the 30+ variants of early bipeds, all but one go extinct. Average life span of 25 yrs.

II. (8000 CE – 2011 AD) Agriculture is invented, and grains in particular are domesticated and available for widespread consumption.  Human civilization grows and develops at an astounding rate. Life span approaches 80+ yrs.

Supportive brother #2 –

Yes, Paula, you are indeed borderline kicked out of the family if these vicious paleo diet rumors are true. The diet itself does not actually make sense.

I personally think that the increases in human life expectancy have more to do with advances in medicine than human diets, but I’m a pretty casual paleo adoptee and have not devoted much energy into actually researching the diet. I have definitely seen some solid results from people in my CrossFit gym, and I don’t think any diet that encourages you to eat healthy proteins, fruits and vegetables could possibly be a bad idea.

Anyway, I am officially on day three. It has not been too bad so far, because I am trying to focus more on what I can eat than what I can’t eat. Breakfast has been confusing for me. I previously ate greek yogurt or cereal, both of which are not allowed. I love bagel and egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos too, which are also not allowed. So far I have had scrambled eggs and applesauce for breakfast every day, but I am definitely going to have to start being more creative. The worst part of paleo is by far the fact that beer is not allowed. I am already fantasizing about India Pale Ale’s in my sleep.

Dear Fage, I miss you.  Love, Paula

I’m not yet convinced that I will follow paleo beyond my 30 day commitment, which will conveniently end on midnight of July 11, my birthday. I do love the focus on getting carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables though, and perhaps I will follow a modified paleo diet and limit my grain intake. We’ll see how I feel in another couple of weeks.


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

4 thoughts on “The paleo challenge

  1. Sounds a lot like the beginning stages of the South Beach diet. If you google phase one recipes for south beach diet you will come up with TONS of recipes and ideas! And that’s hilarious about your brothers. I know I haven’t commented before but I read your blog all the time. I’m glad you are enjoying being back in the big CO!

  2. Supportive Mom #1: Hmmm, hygiene and medicine may have helped us survive longer. If you were only eating one kind of fruit and one kind of vegetable – say bananas and carrots only – then you would be missing several important nutrients, but if you eat a variety you should be OK. Be sure to take calcium supplements (unless you REALLY love spinach and broccoli) and then enjoy. If you like this diet and it works for you, then at some point you can modify it to be a semi-caveman. Face it, we are all pretty fanatical about food in this family, including brothers #1 and #2. Not trying to create a family feud here either, though that might be entertaining for your readers.

  3. Your applesauce better not have any added sugar or you are already cheating.

  4. You support my Vegan so I’ll support your Caveman. Glad your not coming to KC int he next 30 days because I think my support level drops off at having to cook meat 🙂

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