My week as a Paleo

It’s edgier than vegan because you don’t even know what it is

I’m a massive foodie and always look forward to making my breakfast in the mornings. I believe you should show consideration and appreciation to what you consume, although not to the extent of the attitude “my body is my temple”. I lead a well-balanced lifestyle as it is, and am known among my friends for being the healthy one.

After researching, I realised Paleo was a term used to refer to the Stone Ages. All I imagined was meat and two veg, if I was that lucky. Maybe just one veg on second thoughts. Brilliant. However, after Googling, I realised it may be a little harder than anticipated. The list of what you couldn’t eat seemed to be far longer than what you could. I felt my enthusiasm decreasing by the second.

You can basically eat all grass-fed meats, fish, fresh fruit and veg (nothing dried as the sugar content is too high), eggs, nuts and seeds and healthy oils. Nutritious, no? Sounds easy.  Bet you’re reading this thinking, why is she making such a big deal? Yes I’m healthy, but this meant saying goodbye to everything marginally unhealthy or just plainly cutting things out. That meant no rice, no potatoes, no cereal, no chocolate, no nothing. Restriction to the max.

Day one

I wake up with anticipation, knowing I can’t have my standard bowl of oats with stewed fruit or if I’m in a rush and craving some sugar, a bowl of mini chocolate Weetabix. Not even a piece of toast and butter – don’t think I’ll be in the best of moods this morning.  I normally have almond milk as it is, so no change to my dairy intake there.

I have recently been given a NutriBullet, so I put it to test and make myself a banana and berry smoothie. Things are looking up. By lunchtime I’m starving, but only have the pre-prepped prawn and avocado salad to look forward to. God, I really didn’t think this through. Only halfway through my day at uni and I’m already thinking about dinner; going to have to make a trip to Essentials for a mid-afternoon snack. It’s 4pm and I’ve made it to Essentials, but there’s actually very little I can have. No crisps, no chocolate. Not even a cereal bar. Fruit it is.

We’ve all decided to make falafel for dinner; it’s my favourite and I’m excited. Let me just check they’re Paleo: ‘Chickpeas are a legume, and as such, they aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet.‘ I’m not letting that stop me, I will not be excluded from falafel night. My alternative is a courgette and cauliflower falafel I found on Paleo blog.

They look how they taste; burnt and shit. Emphasis on shit. The courgette was too watery, I do not recommend. All I could taste was garlic; this is better than the taste of burn and I’m feeling envious of my housemates as they go on about how delicious their falafel is. Thanks for the support guys.

Day two

Today was going to be a good day – I try and gather some inspiration for breakfast and make myself an omelette with some onion, tomatoes and spinach. #winning

I had a homemade chicken caesar salad without the dressing, croutons, parmesan. So yeah maybe just chicken and some lettuce. As a queen of salads, I don’t even think it deserved to be referred to as a salad.

Day three

Brunch-time. That meant two things – poached eggs and avocado. I do love me some avos and questioned why I hadn’t begun my week with more. I slowly started to realise everything was going to be ok after all. I snacked on some nuts and fruit throughout the day before yes, another salad. I felt adventurous so went for smoked salmon. And yes, that is sarcastic.

Day four

Why is it that everything seems more difficult on a Monday? I was in a rush for uni so made myself a classic banana and berry smoothie. By the evening and yet another salad down, I decide to make myself some chicken and veg. However, I only have one thing on my mind, chocolate.

It wasn’t much of a guide, just a statement. CHOCOLATE IS NOT PALEO. Fabulous. I decided to talk to my housemates for moral support or some kind of inspiration.

Thanks guys, really helpful.

Day five

After my downer yesterday, I feel like I should really put more effort in as I have been appalling. For lunch I’ve decided to give the falafel another go with some sliced avocado. I decided to try make it look appealing, as the saying goes we ‘eat with our eyes’.

By the afternoon I’m feeling peckish so grab myself some lib snacks. I’ve learnt to deal with the restrictions.

Day six

I am no longer thinking about what I can’t have and more looking forward to what I can eat. Although unfortunately, I will never be able to have eggs for breakfast. I can’t even stomach the thought of eating an egg before 10am, let alone eating one… After my “yet another salad”, I’m excited for supper and get some poached eggs involved. Roast veggies and avocado are my best side options.

I know i know, it’s perfection. Eggscellent job on my part. I know what you’re thinking, great yolk. Oops…

Day seven

As it was my last day, I decided to surprise myself with another salad: tabbouleh, butternut squash, prawn and tomato. My final dinner consisted of a treat of steak with some roasted veg. I thought it would be best to end on a high note…

Although I haven’t had dairy, sugar, grains, potatoes or much but prawn salads and veggies in the past week, I can safely say I completed the Paleo diet and did not feel as if I were on much of a diet. It’s very easy to adapt to and after a few days I didn’t even think about the limitations. I would definitely recommend it as it is applauded as the healthiest diet going and is seen as more of a lifestyle than a diet; definitely a long-term commitment.

Would I do it again? Yes, long-term. With the occasional exception of some oats for breakfast and chocolate here and there. What I missed the most? Hummus.