Friday, April 15, 2011

30 Day Challenge, Day 30 (The Final Day)

Here it is, the end of the 30 Day Challenge.  Thirty days has never gone by so quickly.  And even though I'm going to continue eating this way (with the occasional integration of some non-Paleo fare), I'm sad to see it end.

I'm looking forward to our "reward" foods tomorrow (real cheesecake, animal style cheeseburgers from In N' Out, chocolate), but part of me is feeling a little reluctant to put dairy and grain in my body at all.  What will happen?  Will I blow up like a balloon?  Will I get ill?

I've done a lot of thinking over the last month.  I've realized how tasty real food actually is.  I've realized how much sugar has been passing these lips unrealized, unrecorded, unwanted.  Even more astounding (at least to me) is how little I desire the rest of those little packets of aspartame on my kitchen shelf.  I can't imagine pouring that stuff into my herbal tea or my fruit smoothies anymore.

I've lost about six pounds this month.  That doesn't sound like much, but I was already on the small side.  Plus, I wasn't doing this to lose weight.  Ballerina lost eight pounds in the first two weeks.  I'll be interested to hear what her weight-loss was like while she was on Spring Break with her dad.

My lifelong troubles with constipation have ended.  Since junior high school, I've battled intense episodes of it.  I've been late to appointments, late for stage cues during a performance, all because of being stuck in the bathroom, unable to finish what I started.  I've been on two-week cruises without being able to find relief until returning home from the trip, even with the use of laxatives.  We're talking about nearly 30 years of pain and discomfort, and it's all gone!  I'm in no hurry to live that lifestyle again.

My brother is fond of claiming he prefers the "everything in moderation" diet.  My big question for that nutrition plan is, "how do you know if you're being moderate?"  How much is the "moderate" amount of any given food?  And really, the big question, the one that prompted the name of this blog -- how's that been working for you?

Ballerina and I have heard lots of people's excuses against the nutrition plan we've adopted.  Mostly, there is admiration mixed with despair as they bemoan their current weight but say, "Oh, I could never do that."  Well, if the way you were eating were killing you, could you do it then?  I don't mean to be an extremist, and I feel that everyone's nutrition needs are different.  However, if you're carrying around extra weight, or you have problems with your digestion, or you're staring down diabetes, you might want to consider that the way you're eating just might be killing you.

I've read plenty of Paleo blogs that are full of accusations against food like grain-free crackers or coconut crepes or paleo pancakes or cashew cream cheesecake.  Accusations like "Grok wouldn't have eaten that!"  Well, perhaps not.  But I'm not trying to be a caveman.  For me, the whole point of Paleo nutrition is to limit or eliminate the foods that cause insulin (and other) problems.  And my bowels, my skin, my muscles, and my really loose slacks all say, "that's been working for us."

I'm taking a break for a couple days.  I'll be focusing on Superman.  But I'll be back, sharing new recipes and random insights.  I'm still looking for the perfect meal-on-the-go "bar" recipe.  I have several I want to try.  Trust me, you haven't heard the last of me yet.

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