My week on the paleo diet


If you are unfamiliar with the Paleolithic diet, it is essentially a diet based upon what we are supposed to be eating from an evolutionary standpoint.

The Paleo diet has often been given the nickname of the “caveman diet,” due to the fact that it uses the components of what a caveman could have eaten. Essentially, if a caveman did not have access to it, you cannot eat it.

In the most basic sense, the diet permits:
• Grass- fed meats
• Poultry
• Fish and seafood
• Fresh fruits
• Fresh Vegetables
• Eggs
• Nuts and seeds
• Olive, walnut, flaxseed, macadamia, avocado coconut oils (in small quantities)
On the opposite end, the diet is very restrictive of foods such as:
• Grains
• Legumes
• Dairy products
• Refined sugar
• Potatoes (sweet potatoes are permitted however)
• Processed foods
• Salt
• Vegetable oils

The Paleo diet has recently gained popularity for its variety of benefits. It helps you to gain lean muscle due to the excess of protein, lose weight due to the absence of sugary, processed foods, and prevent against heart disease, and certain cancers. It has also been known for its ability to dramatically reduce stress, a component that is popular among students.

While I could go on about the many advantages, along with disadvantages to the Paleo diet, I’ll leave you with this link that helped me in my own research, and continue to tell you about my own experience (link).

When I first heard about the Paleo diet, it was from a family member, who talked positively about the many benefits, along with healthfulness of the diet.

Going into this week, I did not think of all the challenges that I would inevitably encounter: the inability to exercise as much as needed (exercise is a necessary component of the diet, as cavemen were always moving) and the many outside influences of food, and the difficulty of finding food to comply with the diet.

It started out well; Monday was kept strictly, with only fresh foods, and just over two hours of exercise. The change was nothing noticeable yet, except I noticed I felt fuller, on a lot less food. This was most likely due to the increase in protein.

Tuesday also went pretty smoothly, except for coffee in the morning, and I had about three and a half hours of exercise (you need to incorporate strength training, cardio, and weight lifting into your daily routine).

Wednesday was the first day I encountered true problems with the diet. In the school day alone, I was offered (free) doughnuts, pizza, and candy; three foods that are more than not allowed on the diet. Following this, I realized how effective planning in the diet is needed. I did not have that many food choices available beyond raw fruits and vegetables. There was also only an hour of exercise this day due to a lack of time.

Thursday, I attempted to get back on track. It all went pretty well as I had a new sense of will to be successful.

Through the week, I was able to learn many things about the Paleo diet such that it requires high willpower, a great deal of planning, and a good amount of time on your hands. It is not a fad diet, but a hard lifestyle choice. Truthfully, I did feel the health benefits of it through the few days. I felt more energized, healthier, and happier.

While such a restrictive diet may not be for everyone, trying it for just a few days won’t hurt you, and you may even see benefits that you never thought possible.

While this first week may not have been perfect, come Monday it is a new week, and a new opportunity to try again. This time however, with better planning, more willpower, and more knowledge.