I’m definitely late in posting this since the challenge was finished in the middle of February. That did allow me to go back to eating the old foods during my last weeks of half marathon training and it’s an interesting perspective I now have.
What was the challenge?
The 30 day Crossfit and Paleo challenge was just that – 30 days of strict paleo eating, food journaling, Crossfit workouts, mobility exercises, and sleeping well. Thirty days, cold turkey, of no added sugars or grains or legumes. I jokingly called it the “no” diet. I think paleo gets a bad rap because it’s a “fad diet” and those all tend to disappear in due time. I think the premise behind it is solid – eliminate things that are known to cause inflammation in your gut. Eating and meal planning was the most difficult part. On top of that was exercise of all kinds – Crossfit, running, walking, rowing and mobility – and tracked our sleep patterns.
I felt like I lived on the scale, weighing in every other morning or so and I was frustrated. The weight wasn’t shifting. Was this really working? Did I feel better from the change of diet? Not really? So what was actually happening in my body during this process?
During the challenge
Here were my baseline numbers:
- Lean Pounds: 109.8
- Body Fat: 34.1%
- 500 meter row time: 2:19
- Burpee total in three minutes: 33
- 5 minute AMRAP (5 pushups, 10 squats, 15 leg lifts): 4 + 15 sets
- Plank hold time: 1:12
I lost my mind and cheated one day with buttery roles from Texas Roadhouse. Not gonna lie, they were delicious. I wouldn’t say I did great with eating paleo. There were days when I just couldn’t figure things out so I resorted to a dry salad. There were days where I was just miserable because I felt like I was eating the same things over and over again. There were days when I felt great because we were converting our favorites into something we could eat. At the end of this I can honest say that eating paleo is difficult.
The majority of my workouts consisted of runs since I was on the tail end of my half marathon training. I had a few Crossfit workouts mixed in there along with the 25,000 meter rowing challenge. This was on par with my normal workout routine.
30 Day Paleo Challenge Results
We went in for the body fat retest and I was positive there wasn’t going to be any change in my weight or body fat. Here are those results:
- Lean Pounds: 112 – Up 2.2 pounds
- Body Fat: 32.5% – Down 1.6%
- 500 meter row time: 2:02 – Shaved off 17 seconds
- Burpee total in three minutes: 41 – 8 more burpees
- 5 minute AMRAP (5 pushups, 10 squats, 15 leg lifts): 5 sets – 15 more reps
- Plank hold time: 1:36 – Held 24 more seconds
30 Days Post Paleo
As I mentioned, once the challenge was over and the weigh-in was final I carb-loaded like I’ve never seen carbs before. I did have a half marathon in a week, after all! Turns out, there’s something to this diet. Once I started eating grains again, things I used to eat on a regular basis, my gut didn’t want to cooperate. I was bloated. I had gas. Stomach pain. Diarrhea. My Crohn’s Disease came out in full force. I had a small glass of chocolate milk – it completely did me in! One month later and I’m still having issues. I’m exhausted all the time.
Looking back I can see the changes it did for me. They weren’t things I was really expecting and they were so subtle that I didn’t even notice. But going back to the old ways was eye-opening.
So guess who’s going to back to a version of a primal diet? This gal. I’m not going to go strict paleo as before because I really think I need more carbs to keep running. (My training runs were brutal!) It’s going to require some testing and changes so stay tuned to see how it goes.
Photo Credit: Healthy Eating! by atache