The Diet

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Let’s talk about food. *A collective cheer rises from my captivated reading audience.* 

Specifically, let’s talk about diets. *My once captivated reading audience quietly starts putting on their jackets and backing towards the exit.*

I’m not a huge fan of diets for a few reasons:
1.) I have a history of restrictive eating and my up and down relationship with food doesn’t lend itself to dieting.
2.) I’ve had personal success by just making sure I eat a generally healthy diet (i.e. choosing healthy foods more often than not).
3.) I eat cake at least once a week and I’ve yet to find a diet that says, “Day 5: Eat all the cake you want. Eat cake until you throw up.”

If other people want to try Atkins, Whole 30, etc.—more power to you! Do what makes you happy and healthy. It’s just not for me.

That being said, Clayton is doing the Paleo diet and I love it ... for him.

I love it because Clayton has put a lot of time and research into the diet (i.e. the science of why it works) and he really knows his stuff. He could easily tell you that while the diet encourages lots of fresh fruits and veggies, legumes are not on the Paleo list. Why? I don’t know, I forgot. But he can tell you!

Clayton decided to try the Paleo diet not only as a way to maybe shed a few pounds (that’s just been a happy side effect), but to see if clean eating could clear up some of the sinus issues he’s been quite literally suffering with for YEARS. My husband is a 7-day a week pill popper and if he forgets his Claritin D for just one day, he can’t breathe and has to sleep on the couch because he tosses and turns all night.

Paleo is simple (enough): Lots of meat, fruits, and veggies. Nothing processed. No refined sugars. No dairy. No bread. No alcohol (basically no to any of the things that could actually make America great again). Just eat like a caveman.

In short: You can’t eat any of the things your wife loves and she would be a total jerk for buying it and keeping it in the house when you’re trying to be good.

What would surely result in an immediate and tragic end for ME has proven to be quite successful for Clayton. He has so much willpower! I’m honestly insanely jealous of his resolve. He allows himself one cheat day a week (because … pizza), but every other day of the week he’s a Paleo rock star. Whereas I think not eating an entire bag of Twizzlers in one sitting is an accomplishment. 

Even though I’m not choosing the Paleo diet for myself, I’m trying champion his decision by getting on board for Paleo-friendly dinners. He and I are on our own for breakfast and lunch (the times of day when I get to eat all of the cheese and all the grains and all the peanut butter), but I’ve agreed to be a willing participant for supper.

Mostly.

This is a chicken, asparagus, and sweet potato skillet I made last week. Normally I would dissolve a bouillon cube or add some kind of sauce, but in an effort to stay compliant, I simmered everything in organic free range chicken broth. (When we were grocery shopping last week I had the sudden realization that we’re now “those” people.)


Right after this picture was taken, I doused my plate in soy sauce. Why? Because I’m like, 65% committed to this.

I also tried my hand at some kind of Paleo chicken, broccoli, and mushroom concoction, but it looked like cow cud and was mostly flavorless (aside from the heaping spoonful of nutmeg I added). We won’t be making that one again.

Honestly, the best Paleo meals have been simple plates of grilled meat and veggies. I used to eat steak once or twice a year, but now we’re having it every week. My iron levels are on the low side of normal, so I think my body will be pleased.



Our Paleo meals don’t take any extra prep time, but they do take some extra ingredients and we had a slight spike in our grocery bill. I now sauté everything in either olive or coconut oil, and we have this thing in our pantry called almond butter that tastes like crushed almonds and disappointment.


For the most part, Paleo meals aren’t too far off from how we normally cook. We never really cook with butter. Neither of us loves pasta. We always have steamed veggies. It’s just the absence of the ungodly amounts of cheese I use in most recipes.

And that’s the real reason why I can’t fully subscribe to this diet with Clayton: CHEESE.

And ice cream.

And cookies.

And toast.

And bagels.

And cereal.

And for the love of all things sacred and holy, FROSTING.

Watching Clayton do the Paleo diet is really shining a light on how bad of a sweet tooth I have. I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater who never turns down a vegetable, but getting a fun-sized Snickers bar this week was an embarrassingly euphoric experience for me. I didn't realize how much I loved junk food until I stopped bringing it into the house. 

But hey, my hubby has a sweet tooth as well and he is royally committed to finding a treat option that fits the Paleo guidelines and doesn’t taste like cardboard. We invited Dan and Emily over a few weeks ago for burgers and sweet potato fries (bunless burgers for Clayton) and he whipped up a pan of Paleo brownies for dessert. The brownies were made from overly ripe bananas, that damn almond butter, and raw organic cocoa powder (rolls eyes). But they were fabulous! So fudgey!

I don’t know how long Clayton will do the Paleo diet and really, I don’t care. That’s up for him to decide and I support him either way. If anything, he’s giving himself some really fantastic tools to make better food choices for the rest of his life. I can’t say enough how proud I am of his dedication. He dragged me out of bed early on a Saturday to go to the Farmer’s Market because he wanted grass fed beef and free range eggs. The man who struggles to wake up before 10am on the weekends woke ME up. 

And his energy levels have been so good that HE RUNS now. I’ve been begging him to run with me for the past 6 years, but it was always too painful for him. Now he’s out there running laps like a champ. (It figures that he would start busting out the miles right as I'm riding the running struggle bus. I’m not bitter or anything. Not really, anyway. I love my husband. The turd.)


If you have a favorite Paleo recipe that actually tastes like more than random whole foods thrown together, please let me know!

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2 comments

  1. Here's my Whole30 Pinterest board! It has some of my favorite weeknight recipes (not just favorite Whole30 recipes), and they're all Paleo-compliant. https://www.pinterest.com/mka81/whole30/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Same, here's my pinterest board w/ paleo recipes (some I've tried, some I have not). I have made the twix bars on there though and they are phenomenal!
    https://www.pinterest.com/smullins79/paleowhole-30grain-free/
    Mollie, I just started following your board! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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