Monday, July 27, 2009

Diet or Lifestyle Change?

Which is it? Thanks to Summer for this question. This is not diet. This is a lifestyle change. If you want to see any long term changes like increase in energy and performance enhancements then you'll need to stick with it long term. Now, does this mean you can never eat grains or dairy again? No. The actual Paleo diet recommends a cheat meal or two every week depending on where you are in your progress.

Here is a break down of the levels Dr. Cordain has come up with how how much Paleo/open meals should be in involved:
  • Level 1 should follow a 85/15 split. 85% of meals are strict Paleo and 15% are "open".
  • Level 2 should follow a 90/10 split. This is considered the maintenance level. This comes to about two "open" meals per week.
  • Level 3 should follow a 95/5 split. This is the maximal weight loss level with one open meal per week.
What is an Open Meal?
Open meals are not an excuse to go crazy. This means I will not be indulging in a full bag of Twizzlers when I see "New Moon" in November. You shouldn't indulge in everything, but it is a way to help you from feeling too deprived of your favorite foods. This would be your chance to have a small scoop of your favorite ice cream, a piece of really amazing homemade bread or maybe some potatoes. Do not over eat these items. Everything in moderation. As long as you are eating well during the week a small open meal shouldn't throw you off too much. Be smart.

Do We Get Open Meals When We Start in August?
N.O.P.E. No open meals for you in August. This is a strict thirty day Paleo introduction. After August I am going to start reintroducing some things into my diet during my "open" meals. It will help me learn how my body will tolerate different grains and dairy. Maybe I will have no problems and maybe I will. It should be interesting. Now, I completely understand that not everyone may want to go 100% Paleo this first month. Maybe Level 1 is a good place to begin for you. After a couple of weeks you can move into Level 2. I really encourage anyone following this with me to jump in 100% and go for it. I think we'll be amazed at the results!

I Like Snacks
Yeah, me too. I'm a grazer. It is bad. I guess Paleo may be a good fit for me as long as I am eating when I am actually hungry. What are some good snacks to have on hand? Here is a list Cordain provides (page 139):
  • Fresh fruit of any king
  • Homemade beef jerky (no salt)
  • Homemade dried salmon strips (no salt)
  • Raw veggies with homemade guacamole or salsa dip
  • Cold skinless, broiled chicken breasts
  • Avocado or tomato slices
  • Nuts (limit 4 ounces per day if trying to lose weight)
  • Dried fruit (limit 2 ounces per day, but avoid if possible!)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Cold slices of lean beef
  • Peel-and-eat shrimp
  • Unsalted sunflower seeds (limit 4 ounces per day if trying to lose weight)
Also, try some Lara Bars. A couple a week are totally fine. They are made completely from fruit and nuts. You can find them at Whole Foods and limited flavors at Wal-Mart. I have heard Cherry Pie is amazing.

Five Days and Counting
Saturday is the big day. Are you ready? What questions do you still have about what you should or should not doing? Post questions in the comments and I will try to find answers and report on them this week.

Paleo Playlist
I'm putting together a Paleo Playlist. What songs pump you up? What gets you going and gets you motivated? I recommend The Bravery "An Honest Mistake", Muse "Supermassive Black Hole", Kings of Leon "Be Somebody", Jimmy Eat World "Pain" and anything Britney...yes, Spears. Get pumped, eat Paleo and hit some PR's.

A big congratulations to my husband who got his Level 1 CrossFit Certification this past weekend! Way to go!


  1. Yippee!! I couldn't stand not being able to post a second longer so I broke and created my g-mail acct. : ) I am seriously thinking I could do Level 1 even before baby gets here.. don't you?? Breck is going to participate in the challenge so it should be easy to resist temptation.

  2. Yea! We are getting quite a good group together doing the challenge! This is great info Ginny! Thank you for doing all the leg work and breaking everything down for us. I am very pumped. The snack blog was great for me today. I think sometimes (like once a month ;) I want snacks more than other times, so this is really helpful). Let me know when our first dinner party is! I can't wait to share and taste different recipes.