Hello, my name is Beth and I’m a carbohydrate addict. I’ve been grain and sugar free for exactly 30 hours.
My head hurts, I’m exhausted, and I pretty much hate everyone on the planet. But I know from experience this feeling will pass … hopefully in another 24-48 hours.
I’ve battled my weight since my mid-20s, but things really got serious about two years ago. What changed?
I went back to work full-time after seven years working from home while raising my kids. My new job requires about eight hours a day of riding in my car or sitting at my desk.
Stress and inactivity added up, and suddenly I find myself breathless at the top of a tall flight of stairs and hitting the couch more often than the treadmill. It’s long past time for a change.
First, I Got Rid of Bread and Sugar
Last summer, I dropped bread and sugar from my diet. I also dropped 30 pounds in three months. It was the only time in my life I’ve achieved significant weight loss, and I felt like a new woman.
I did some research and realized that what I was already doing was very close to the Paleo diet. And so, in an effort to get a handle on my carb addiction- (which is once again getting the best of me) once and for all, I started my own personal 30-day Paleo challenge.
So, What Will My Primal Diet Look Like?
- No added sugar. Why did I put this first? Because I believe it’s the most important for me, and that it’s also the most difficult. The one exception to this rule will be a very small serving of dark chocolate chips now and then. See below.
- No grains of any kind
- Limited legumes. This is not strictly Paleo, but I am going to allow the occasionally spoon of peanut butter or dish of peas.
- No processed foods and likewise no food additives.
- No dairy
- No vegetable oils
Fortunately for me, I kicked the soda habit several years ago and only drink water. I only drink alcohol occasionally, so this won’t be hard to give up either.
What will I eat?
My goal is to stay 80% on the Paleo track. When I do go off plan (the 20%), my goal is for it to be something like a cup of brown rice or a sushi dinner with my husband. No cupcakes.
- lean cuts of meat
- the occasional not-so lean cuts of meat (bacon, anyone?)
- nuts and seeds
- oils as needed for cooking
In limited portions:
- starchy root vegetables
And for the occasional treat:
For 30 days, this is it. Thirty days to retrain my mind and my body to crave wholesome, nutritious foods and natural sweetness. Thirty days without violent blood sugar spikes and drops that leave me fatigued and in a fog. After thirty days, my hope is to again allow more whole grains back into my diet and to continue to work toward weight loss — my goal is 50 pounds — in a balanced way.
If you are a Paleo expert, this series is not for you, though I welcome you to read along and chime in. I can use all the help I can get. But if you, like me, suffer from carb-addiction and think that the Paleo lifestyle is too far out of your comfort zone, then let me be your guide.
If I can do this, anyone can.