Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Paleo Manila's Squash and Spinach fritata (I added papaya on the side)

I knew about the Paleo Diet years ago, but never felt any interest in trying it out. I loved my refined sugars and processed carbs too much. I mean, Cheetos, hello?! But after almost two years of really putting my health first, I decided to give it a go, since I am on a never ending quest to find the perfect lifestyle (not diet!) for me. I did calorie counting, which worked for weight loss, but when I forgot to adjust my intake after I got to my goal weight, I lost way too much and went down to a scrawny 98 pounds and started fitting into my 10 year old daughter's clothes. That was definitely not the look I was going for. I tried cutting out carbs after, but I knew from before that kind of diet is not for me. Finally, I decided to go Paleo for a week, care of Paleo Manila, to see if I could sustain that lifestyle and not feel deprived of anything.

I took a look at their sample menus and took everything with a grain of salt. I have tried numerous healthy food deliveries that have such yummy sounding menus and then when I actually eat the food, it's like "meh," and being a foodie, taste is super important to me! I was really excited to try it to see if I, the one who was never particularly interested in pursuing the Paleo lifestyle, could actually see myself converting.

Ok, I thought I would miss rice and I thought I would miss dairy, but in all honesty, I did not look for either through out the week. I was told by founder Isabelle Chiang, that they don't count calories in this diet, instead, you eat however much you feel your body needs when it's hungry, as long as you fill up with Paleo-approved foods.

Huevos Rancheros with roasted tomato sauce

How do you know if it's Paleo-approved? In my case, it was as easy as googling it. No dairy, legumes, starches, grains, processed food and sugar or alcohol. Seems like a lot, but in reality, I only really kinda missed the alcohol while on this diet. For my "sugar" fixes, I was provided with breakfasts of chocolate chia pudding (made with coconut milk- paleo approved) and bananas, and snacks such as bacon wrapped dates (perfect sweet-salty PMS food!) and even Black Velvet cupcakes (coconut oil and flour and anything 70% or more in terms of chocolate is considered non-dairy- YES!) A lot of the time, I would just check online to see if I could eat a certain thing if I was still hungry, but really, the servings were big enough that I could not finish my food most of the time, and I would be full without feeling bloated.

That's what I liked best about that whole week, not once did I feel sick, bloated, fat or sluggish. It kept me full and energized but still light. I loved how the cauli rice and mash made up for the lack of the real thing and the food was so flavorful that I didn't realize I was Chicken Tikka Masala with no rice (Indian w/ no rice or bread is almost impossible for me!)

Backyard Pork Fennel Burgers with homemade mustard aioli (not in photo)

I was able to get through my whole day never feeling hungry and had the energy to get through work AND my workouts. In other words, I felt great all week. Would I do it again? Yes. I actually wanna try the diet longer, say a month or so, to see if I can really sustain it. Right now, I feel I can go 80 percent Paleo, because I do love my wine and I do need that nuclear orange stuff called Cheetos at least once a month, plus what about my cheese cravings? Slowly but surely, I guess, but trying it out for yourself to feel the difference is a good way to start.

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