Fitness, health and nutrition have always been a part of my life. At some point, as I got older, my discussions and thoughts shifted from fitness and nutrition as a means to enhance athletic performance to fitness and nutrition as a means of weight control. To many people, this probably sounds reasonable and logical, especially as we age. However, I now believe this is an unhealthy view of our lives and of our bodies. Weight should not be what drives your fitness and nutrition, rather it is merely a result. With this shift in thought brewing in my brain, it dawned on me that I should do a personal nutrition experiment and so the beginnings of an idea were born.
Adopting a nutrition plan should not be a temporary fad. It should be a sustainable journey. Additionally, it should improve your body composition irrespective of weight. You should have the flexibility and ability to lose fat without losing muscle. Finally, as a working mom, the plan has to be manageable for me and my family. Eating should be an enjoyable experience, not a chore. Over the next 6 months, I am going to test 3 plans, each for 30 days with a 30 day break in between. I am documenting all of my measurements and composition at the beginning, middle and end and writing about the process. Finally, I will give a summary of my thoughts on each program.
The first 30 day experiment is Paleo. I’m doing this plan as strictly as possible with no cheat meals. If this plan is sustainable, cheating should not really be necessary or should be limited. I am almost half-way through my 30 day experiment and I have enjoyed the process of finding substitutes and alternatives for some of my favorite meals and items. I have even created a few baking recipes that will live long after this experiment is over. I will also adopt substitutes for refined sugar and butter because I know they are healthier for me and my boys.
My journey thus far has not been completely challenge free. I eliminated processed protein and had to replace those 50 grams per day, so I have been eating 10 eggs. I had to find alternatives for milk and sugar in my morning coffee, which has turned into its own mini-experiment from bulletproof coffee to spiced coffee with Gojii berries. I also had a few disastrous baking efforts and I somehow managed to make Paleo blueberry pancakes covered in pure maple syrup uneatable. My most challenging yet rewarding experience, however, was my business trip to China where I did my best to minimize non-Paleo items. That lead to some very interesting and let’s say, exotic meals.
Regardless of the outcome, going through this process has taught me to be creative with alternatives and substitutes and has refocused my efforts on really feeding my body quality foods. The only way to really learn more about yourself is to test your limits and then leap over them.