paleo day 2: something’s fishy

Um, because that’s all I’m eating? No, not really. But I guess if I do want my co-workers to come and chat with me every once in awhile, I should wash my plate pronto. Oops.

Two days down. I know, I shouldn’t be counting yet, but I can’t help but feel that two days is a marker of sorts. One day, anyone can do. It’s a flash in the pan. Heck, people fast for full days (and even longer). Maybe by the time I’ve done a full week I’ll have a different perspective, but as I near the end of my second full day eating Paleo, I can honestly say, it’s not that bad.

No, I’m not at the THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING THIS EVER! stage. I imagine that will come eventually, given the comments already left on my first Paleo post. (What gives? I go on a blogging hiatus and then crack out an entry on eating Paleo and suddenly readers come out of the woodwork? Fine by me!) Nope, I’m still at the humble “I can do this for a month,” stage.

My first Paleo breakfast–sorry for the blur, it looked fine on my phone!

I’ll be candid here: this way of eating is a ton of work. I spent the better part of Sunday night preparing my fridge, and after a 6 am Masters swim Monday morning, spent at least an hour preparing my breakfast, and snacks and lunch for the day. But I don’t think the time element is unique to Paleo. If I was getting meal plans from any coach, it would involve extra time. I actually welcome this change in my life. Before this experiment, I was too haphazard about eating, and would often just grab a can of sardines and a banana and call that “lunch.” I think this project will teach me, at the very least, how important it is to set aside time each evening to plan out your next days’ sustenance. Especially if you’re an on-the-go triathlete who doesn’t like to spend a lot of money buying lunches or eating out.

So, Monday. Poach salmon while I unpack my swimming stuff and check my email. Steam kale on a steamer above the poaching water. Chop up tomatoes, sprinkle with flaxseed and olive oil. Voila! Sure was a lot more colorful than my usual toast or oatmeal. Then I grilled some chicken. 75 grams for morning snack (with red grapes and walnuts), half a breast for lunch (with spinach and more grapes, flaxseed and walnut oil), and 100 grams more for afternoon snack (with avocado and carrots). Dang, that’s a lot of chicken.

The only non-Paleo foods I’m allowed

I’ve learned already that I’m going to end up improvising and substituting a little here and there. Grapes, because I bought a huge box at Costco, instead of the prescribed cherries or apple. Kale, because I have it, rather than chard. There’s only so many different fruits and greens a girl can keep in her house before going bad. (It’ll be easier when Mark gets back and can help me eat all this stuff.) I’m also going to end up adding a lot more spices, onions, and garlic than my coach has in the prep. I know she’ll be OK with this, given the recipes in her awesome cookbook. I figure that for now, she’s kept it pretty simple so as to not overwhelm me. It’s enough having to weigh out pieces of fish and handfuls of nuts, and measure spinach. I’m sure that after a few days, I’ll get better at “eyeballing” things and listening to my body when it’s asking for more.

Day One brought with it a mild headache and some gas. But when you’re on a brand-new diet, it’s hard to tell if those would’ve happened anyway, or if they’re an effect of the foods you’re eating. Maybe my body just has to adjust to all the new fiber and protein I’m throwing its way. By Day Two, both ailments had subsided, but I had a few weird pains in my gut. Again, here’s to honesty!

I had my first pre-workout smoothie this morning, which involves almond butter, banana, water, and egg white powder. Not as good as my usual fruit-and-kefir concoction, but manageable. I couldn’t get the “gel per 25 minutes of activity” prescribed down, however, so fueled my two-hour ride on one and then scarfed down some extra post-ride figs. Unfortunately Mark wasn’t here to soak them in espresso for me.

That’s all for now, folks. Off I go to mix up some egg white powder and banana to fuel my 6 o’clock track workout. Maybe I’ll add some cinnamon and raisins just for fun. Then it’s home to more fish. And kale. And whatever other nuts and fruit I feel like throwing into the mix.