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It’s day six of my “Thirty-Day Paleo Nutritional Experiment” and other than adding back in the red wine on day two (mental health trumps all,) I am going strong and feeling great! I have been sans grains, gluten, dairy and sugar all week and, surprisingly, have not missed them. I’ve been sleeping better, had less pain in my joints, I can see my skin starting to brighten and have lost three pounds. I’ll post one recipe based on the majority interest. I won’t go into the science and principles behind this experiment, but you can learn more here or get this book.

The best part is that it has challenged me to be become a better chef without the crutch of butter, sugar, cheese and filling grains. It’s been so much fun and I’ve been cooking some really great food that I plan on recreating even after my 30 days are up. Time constraints and lack of daylight have prevented me from properly photographing my meals this week. However, I’ve included a breakdown of some of my tastier eats.

paleo-food-01

What inspired this?

First

Butter and Cheese! Photo by Shanda Foisy.

Butter and Cheese! Photo by Shanda Foisy.

I have been needing a nutritional reset for a while; a reminder that my food pyramid is a bit out of balance. I have a pretty healthy diet to begin with, but I’ll admit there is usually more cheese and noodles on my plate than veggies. Being a Foodie through and through, the “Love” always wins in my “Love, Love, Hate,” relationship with food.

Second

Photo by Kathleen Shannon

Paleo approved Spicy Shrimp and Okra. Photo by Kathleen Shannon

I was super inspired by Kathleen Shannon’s posts about her 30 day experiment to detox from a month of indulgence in Europe. I know that drill: Espresso > pastry > cheese > salami > gelato > espresso > pasta > wine > gelato > wine > wine. Ah, that’s a good day.

Third

Justin circa 1999. He will likely hack my computer and delete my blog for posting this. Photo by Leanne Moitoza.

Justin circa 1999. He will likely hack my computer and delete my blog for posting this. Photo by Leanne Moitoza.

Stating late last fall, Justin and I have been working hard to make regular exercise a foundation in our schedule. Justin has always been a very active guy, but never in a million years did I think he would join a gym with me. He goes 4 days a week and is back in the same stellar shape as when I met him when he was 25. Except better, because now he doesn’t smoke and isn’t living off of hamburgers, nacho cheese, Gummy-O’s and beer. Oh, that youthful metabolism is truly amazing. And speaking of metabolism, this brings me to…

Fourth

33 weeks pregnant at the Granville Market in Vancouver, Canada. Photo by Angela Rottler.

33 weeks pregnant at the Granville Market in Vancouver, Canada. Photo by Angela Rottler.

I gained 33 pounds with my pregnancy in 2011. Then, thanks to the miracle of exclusive breastfeeding, I lost 43! I was back to my pre-baby weight in 4 months and then continued to lose, even while eating up a storm in Italy. The truth is: I got spoiled. I could eat anything I wanted and my waist continued to shrink. I weighed less than I did in high school and was feeling great.

Then, growing tired of 13 month-old Sage pulling down my shirt in public, I weaned him in mid-October. Goodbye calorie burn. Although this didn’t sink in right away and I continued to nosh away like I had the previous year. Until, a week ago, when I stepped on the scale and was informed that I had gained 10 pounds, which on my small 5′ 5″ frame is more than a “whoops.” In fear that this could also be the dreaded Late 20′s Metabolism Change, I’ve stepped up my workouts to 4 vigorous pre-dawn sessions a week and am confident this nutritional reset is the secret ingredient. I’ll keep you posted.

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Shanda Foisy is a wildly independent, left-handed creative type, wino and foodie. Learn more about her graphic design studio, Pixel Soup, here.