Living in Florida has this one big problem for me….

I constantly feel like I’m on vacation!

While that’s an amazing thing and I’m so thankful I feel that way, it’s been pretty rough on my nutrition and health-nut status, not going to lie. Last summer I was eating and feeling so good, and I want to get back to that! Lately, I feel like I’ve been “treating myself” with food far too often.

Soooo what am I up to now?

A 28 Day Paleo Challenge.

That’s right, I’m going back to my roots (as a human) and working on that caveman diet thing. I’m currently taking a course in Paleo-based nutrition, and it all makes sense to me… so now I want to put it into action! I tend to gravitate towards eating this way anyway, so I don’t think it will be too much of an adjustment, I will just need to be more food conscious.

What is a Paleo diet?

A Paleo based diet is one that includes high quality meats, an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds, and excludes grains, dairy, and processed foods. However, contrary to popular belief, a Paleo or “caveman” diet is actually NOT a meat-heavy diet. It focuses on high quality (grass fed, humanely raised, antibiotic/hormone free, free range, organic, etc.) meats and animal products in moderate portions. It’s all about quality, not quantity! In fact, this way of eating tends to be very vegetable-heavy, as typical sides of breads/rices/pastas/etc. are eliminated, and the bulk is replaced with produce.

As for the elimination of grains, I’ve already been going mostly gluten-free, so I expect the transition period to be okay. I’ve been reading quite a bit on grains and how they affect the body (Grain Brain, Wheat Belly, The Wahl’s Protocol, Practical Paleo are all great reads) and the evidence is enlightening. I already know that I tend to feel better when I eliminate them, so this was just confirmation for me. However in our society the elimination of this food group is a challenge.

Dairy also has lots of evidence that it is potentially harmful to your health, but to be honest I’ve eliminated it in the past as well but haven’t noticed much of a difference. I seem to tolerate it pretty well, but again, this is something I already limit in my diet, so getting rid of it completely should be fairly simple (except for ice cream… and cream cheese… ugh).

What are the benefits?

Of course this varies from person to person, but studies have shown the following benefits:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased energy
  • Better blood sugar balance
  • Improved cholesterol
  • Improved digestion
  • Better mood, concentration, and neurological health
  • Demonstrated to help with autoimmune diseases
  • Hormone balance

How will I hold myself accountable?

The last time I did a challenge, I tried doing weekly recap posts…. That didn’t work. So this time, instead, I’ll be posting on my Facebook page with daily updates. I may not post every single thing I eat, but if I cheat (which I’m going to try not to!) I will tell you there!!

Not following me on Facebook yet? Click here and like my page for updates!

I will be challenging myself from Monday, April 17 to Monday, May 15.

Where am I getting my recipes? Am I following a meal plan?

Because life is unpredictable, I will not be following a 28 day meal plan. However, I already meal plan every week and adjust to fit my own schedule, so I will continue to do that!

Most of my recipes will be coming from the book Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo, which I highly recommend! I love her book because ½ of it is all the science behind a Paleo diet, and the second half is all simple, clean recipes with only a few ingredients… something I can handle!

I also have a Paleo-based Pinterest board full of yummy recipes, which you can find here!

Truth be told I’m very excited about this challenge. Like I said, I already eat close to these guidelines anyway, but I need that little extra push right now to get myself out of treat mode! Looking forward to keeping you all updated! J I’m also considering putting out my own whole foods based nutritional guide after I complete this any my course, so be on the look out this summer!

Stay tuned!

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