Paleo Challenge Update: Week Three

I’m through week three and going strong! The hardest part has been on the few occasions where I’ve eaten out. I thought it would be easy to find paleo-friendly menu options, but it is admittedly harder than I realized. Salads wind up being the default, which can get a little boring after a while. But hey, you can never have too many greens I suppose.

Favorite Meal

Meatballs! I know they traditionally go with spaghetti, but of course we can’t have spaghetti. In retrospect, a great paleo alternative to spaghetti would have been spaghetti squash, so maybe we’ll have our meatballs with some spaghetti squash next time.

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I also really loved this meal, which was actually our dinner last night. I am definitely a beef and pork eater but if given the choice I tend to gravitate toward poultry, so this was my kind of meal. We had chicken roasted with sweet potatoes and apples, with a side of greens.

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Favorite Snack

Bear with me here because I had lots of good snacks this week. In fact, for some reason I’ve found myself having large snack-like plates for lunch instead of full meals on most days. This snack plate was my lunch the other day. Prosciutto with a little drizzle of honey, olives, sugar snap peas, a pear for “dessert”, and some tea to warm me up on a windy day.

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Another day I broke open this papaya to snack on. Yup! Just me, my spoon, and this baby. Sweet and delicious!

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I also got a little more creative with the nuts this week. and put together a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and dried cranberries for a little munching.

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Something Learned

I have been noticing this week that my skin has been clearing up dramatically during this paleo challenge, and after a bit of research it turns out my love of dairy and bread has probably been a significant factor in my acne to begin with! This resource explains it more in depth, but basically a diet high in carbohydrates and lactose can cause your insulin to react differently than intended, and the hormones that create the oil in your follicles become out of whack. Voila! More of those little red enemies. Also, lactose generally can cause inflammation of all sorts, so it makes sense that less lactose would mean lowered inflammation of your skin. Here are two resources that I fond helpful to understand this better:

How I Feel

Like I mentioned, I have noticed a huge improvement in my overall skin health. My energy level has been staying pretty consistent still. And I’ve even noticed that my pants are fitting better! Now I don’t want to tout this as a weight-loss diet, because it truly is all about getting healthy and eating more naturally. But I’m not surprised if a little weight loss comes a long with it. I am so much less inclined to snack because I don’t have those dramatic drops in blood sugar that scream “feed me” at all odd times of day. Plus, the types of foods I snack on are no longer potato chips, cheese and crackers, or bowls of cereal (yes, I used to have that for a snack… all lactose and carbs). Instead, I snack on papaya or nuts. Much more interesting and tasty! So all in all I’d say I am a lot healthier than I was just a few weeks ago!

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