52 Days of Paleo – Day 1

Right off, one of the challenges of the 52 Day of Paleo is the effort involved in making food. I thought I chose an innocent start to the adventure, a breakfast recipe called Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. I bought ingredients last night and woke up excited to make it through the first Paleo meal on my journey.

An hour later, my breakfast is still cooking and I’ve not yet eaten. The potatoes had to be baked first (50 minutes). Other ingredients (bacon, onions, garlic) needed ten minutes on the stove top. The final step (adding an egg back into the sweet potato skin and baking it) is ten minutes in with no end in sight.

Planning. Thinking ahead. This is an immediate opportunity for failure. I could have baked these potatoes last night to be ready for quicker meal prep this morning. I could have modified the recipe (used the same ingredients but sauteed them). I could have, could have. Either way, this way of making food is a struggle compared to grabbing something pre-made or already prepared and throwing it together. Or, simply skipping breakfast for a lovely chocolate and sprinkles covered donut (sigh).

But oh crap, it was worth it. I am frigging stuffed. That sweet and salty combo was so filling, I don’t anticipate needing lunch. We’ll be out all day and I’m not ready to face packing and prepping food for the day so the plan is to skip lunch and hit a Paleo-friendly restaurant for dinner...

It’s evening now. The day is done. I took Keli for a motorcycle ride to Canyon Lake. We rented a speedboat and tooled around a bit. We stopped and ate dinner on the way home.

Paleo dinner - chicken and vegetables

The plan to not eat lunch backfired. My body is craving sweets. I had to push through that until dinner and even after a full plate of Paleo-approved foods, I am hungry. And it’s playing tricks on my mind. I’m going to go to bed hungry.

The lessons from Day one are to 1) include lunch in the daily meal plan, 2) buy some Paleo-approved snacks and keep them in the house, 3) I can eat radishes (I never would have picked radishes in any form for any meal but they were included in the vegetable mix with my dinner and they were amazing), and 4) don’t buckle to the never-ending mental chatter telling me to forget this whole thing and have one of the donuts my son left in the kitchen.

Sleep quality: 91%. I use an app on my iPhone called Sleep Cycle. It acts as an alarm that once set, monitors my sleep (detecting sound and vibration from under my pillow). Every morning, I get a graph that maps how long I slept, when I was in deep versus light sleep cycles, and which produces an overall rating for the night. The app tracks your sleep quality over time and gives you comparisons for bedtime, waking time, sleep length, sleep quality scores, snoring, sleep quality affected by lunar cycles, air pressure, etc. against general population data. It can also pull in heart rate and activity data if you use your phone to track activity during the day and show you the correlation between how active you are and how well you sleep. I’ve been using it for a while and find it helpful to track the quality of my rest and recovery.

Weight upon waking: 178.8. I weighed in today, to set the benchmark for how Paleo affects that part of my human experience. I’ll only weigh myself in once a week, and at the same time of day (first thing after waking up). If you’re embarking on your own 52-day Paleo challenge, I don’t recommend you weigh yourself more than once a week. Or, in fact, think of this as a weight challenge. If I follow the plan (that’s a big if) I expect to get a little leaner. That’s the promise of correcting your nutrition in this Paleolithic way. But if I make this about weight, I could be tempted to chase the number and make unhealthy daily choices to produce a weight-centric result.

Breakfast: Coffee, black with raw honey. Twice-baked sweet potatoes from page 78 of Paleo in 28, which are essentially potato skins made with eggs, bacon, and chopped onions.

Lunch: None.

Dinner: Half-baked chicken with roasted vegetables at Covenant in Scottsdale. Water.

Snacks: None today.

Exercise: None today.

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