The End is in Sight!

Well, you’ve almost made it! 30 whole days of Paleo Nutrition accomplished, WOOHOO!!! Now we need to do our Benchmark Workouts, final stats measurements, and final photos. Please send me your WOD results and your photos if you do them yourselves, or shoot an email to me so we can arrange a time to get your photos done at the gym. I’d like to get everything together by Thursday afternoon so we can pick our winners!

I hear there is a Sectionals and Paleo Party planned for this weekend, which would be a terrific time to present our results!

Many of you have done a stellar job keeping your logs, so congratulations on that! I know it’s a lot of work, but doesn’t it provide you with a lot of information? Pretty amazing to look at what a whole month’s worth of meals, isn’t it? I think a few people have only made it part way through the month; I’d love to hear what kept you from going all the way, and to encourage those who weren’t able to finish THIS Challenge to join us in the Fall for a new Challenge.

Please post to Comments today or tomorrow with your answers to these questions:

  1. Do you feel better now than you did at the end of February? If so, or if not (I’d be surprised!) in what ways (sleep, fit of your clothing, energy level)?
  2. What have been the best and the worst parts about “going Paleo” or “staying Paleo”?
  3. Did you get enough information and support throughout the Challenge? Are there other things that we could do to improve?
  4. Are you glad you took the Challenge, and would you encourage other people to do one?
  5. Are you going to keep up with your new Paleo lifestyle after the Challenge is over?
  6. Do you think we should keep our Nutrition blog going?

We’ll post about “Post-Challenge Indulgences” (aka. watch out for the effects of a big “Treat/Cheat meal!) tomorrow, because I’m sure there are some of you who are really looking forward to a “Forbidden Treat”!

Finally, a HUGE Thank You to THEO, who has contributed tremendously to  the Challenge with lots of terrific information in his posts and comments and conversation. You’re a great partner, Theo!

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18 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Miles on March 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Hey Cynthia
    I can’t make Thursday — I’m coaching my son’s Baseball team that afternoon. When are photos/stats/benchmarks due? I was planning to go to workout today and Friday, so I suppose I could start the benchmarks today and finish Friday.

    1. Do you feel better now than you did at the end of February? If so, or if not (I’d be surprised!) in what ways (sleep, fit of your clothing, energy level)?

    I’ve absolutely lost weight, and prob need to restart my pants/belt collection — nothing fits anymore. This despite March being my least # of workouts since I started — I hit about 1/4 less WODs than normal. I don’t really notice feeling any difference — energy levels, sleep, etc. I suppose there are less days I’m slogging through the afternoon, but I’m roughly substituting a afternoon snack of nuts instead of soda or coffee.

    2. What have been the best and the worst parts about “going Paleo” or “staying Paleo”?

    Weight loss is definitely my top pro. I’m looking at food pretty differently nowadays than last year– everything gets a category — can/can’t; carb/protein/fat; etc. Hardest parts have been:
    – alcohol when everyone else is having a drink. feeling very guilty about having a glass or 2 of wine. Probably more guilt around being in the challenge period than say, next week.
    – deserts. Was very tough to everyone having brownies and ice cream this weekend.
    – lunch at home. At work, lunch is pretty easy, since I don’t care too much about variety. Look at my log, and you’ll note I had the exact same thing every workday — salad with chicken. Away from work however, the effort increases, and I’ve not really found the go to meal.
    I started logging all my meals through an iphone app, loseit.com, but fell out of that routine — it was easier to just type in a description than find each ingredient and guesstimate its size — I don’t know how Zoner’s keep up that level of effort!

    3. Did you get enough information and support throughout the Challenge? Ar there other things that we could do to improve?

    Absolutely — you guys did an amazing job on the site.

    4. Are you glad you took the Challenge, and would you encourage other people to do one?

    Yes. It wasn’t that hard to give up (most) foods, and I saw pretty big weight changes.

    5. Are you going to keep up with your new Paleo lifestyle after the Challenge is over?

    I think mostly:
    – I’ll definitely add in some dairy. It looks to me like the “community” is very split on butter v olive oil (and the taste difference can be huge). The morning free latte may not be reintroduced as a staple, but it will definitely make its appearance. Similarly, milk will re-appear post-WOD snack — which completely disappeared this month.
    – I didn’t get too into the ultra-high quality foods — for instance, our normal mega-marts don’t carry grass fed beefs, so making special grocery runs probably won’t become part of normalcy (though I would like to investigate getting some portion of a cow for the year… somewhere I heard there is a Bay Area grass fed meat co-op like organization — just haven’t found it).

    6. Do you think we should keep our Nutrition blog going?
    It will probably fall off my radar pretty quickly — I scan robbwolf and panu pretty regularly nowadays…

    Reply

    • well done, Miles! and thanks for the feedback.. hey, did you read Robb Wolf and PaNu before, or did you find them through the Challenge? What do you think of Mark Sisson?

      Reply

      • Miles, Definitely no later than Friday noon for the benchmarks! If I don’t have everything by thursday I’m not sure how we will be able to judge the winner before Saturday (unless everyone comes in to workout on Friday afternoon!)

      • Posted by Miles on March 31, 2010 at 4:37 pm

        I was reading both before, I haven’t read much of Mark’s Daily Apple (aside from the posts you’ve linked to in various posts). I tend to like the understandable science explanations of the opinions offered.

        I’ll get the photos to you tomorrow night, and I’m planning to go to Friday evening’s workout — so I’ll do at least the pullup and mile benchmarks then. So, hopefully missing the deadline by a few hours won’t be too bad for the benchmarks.

  2. Posted by Brian Mc on March 31, 2010 at 12:14 am

    1. I do feel better, I have lost weight and my clothes are looser. I feel my performance in the gym is not as good as before, I have less energy.

    2.The paleo challenge has been great, it has opened me up to all kinds of new foods. I have tried a lot of new recipes. I have learned a lot about nutrition. It was pretty easy to stay on track because I was eating such great food, but there were a couple of nice warm days when I just wanted to sit out side and drink an ice cold beer.

    3.The support and information was fantastic. All of the posts on the blog were great. I would check the site every day hungry for more information.

    4.Yes. I have been telling anyone that will listen about Paleo.

    5.I started the Zone about 10 months ago which turned into Zoleo and then I went to about 80% Paleo. so my goal now is to stay 90%- 95% Paleo. I feel there are some foods I need in my diet for better performance.

    6.Yes keep the Nutrition blog going. I love all of the great information. But don’t kill yourself by doing daily blogs. A few posts a week would be great. This is a great place to direct people so they can more information on nutrition.

    Thank you some much Cynthia and Theo for everything you have for this challenge.

    Thanks
    Brian McCauley

    Reply

    • Hey Brian – great job! What do you think you need to add to your food consumption to improve your performance? My thought on seeing that you have less energy was that perhaps you are still low in your fat intake. If you get a chance, pop over to PaleoChix (www.paleochix.com) and read the 3 posts Monique did on “Adherence to Paleo”.. I think you’ll find a lot of insight in the Level 3 article that will help you dial in your nutrition and performance! It’s here: http://paleochix.com/?p=731

      Reply

  3. Posted by Stacey M on March 31, 2010 at 1:50 am

    First off, thanks to Cynthia and Theo for doing an amazing job with this blog! It has really helped me through the challenge.

    1. I would say I definitely feel better than I did at the end of February. The first 2 1/2 weeks were really tough, but after that I started to feel AMAZING, I no longer have the cravings for grains and sugar and I LOVE that. I have definitely lost some weight, which is awesome because yesterday was my first and only wod during the whole challenge. ( I did do a few short runs last week). My energy level is up and I have been sleeping great.

    2. The hardest part of going paleo was the withdraws from the “bad” stuff. Now that I’m through that I plan on staying 90% paleo.

    3. I feel you and Theo prepared us well for this challenge. The blog helped a lot as the daily posts plus the links to other blogs.

    4. I’m so happy that I took the challenge and stuck with it! I tell lots of people about the paleo way of life and I’m hoping to encourage more people to do it.

    5. I am ABSOLUTELY going to stick with paleo after the challenge. Like my husband, I also went zone about 10 months ago. I liked it but didn’t love it. I never really felt great on the zone.

    6. I hope you keep the blog going, It has been a great source of information.

    Can’t wait to turn in my results tomorrow!

    Stacey McCauley

    Reply

    • woohoo Stacey! Isn’t it amazing that you can get healthier and fitter even if you aren’t working out for a while? I think I mentioned that a couple weeks back 🙂

      I’m looking forward to seeing your benchmarks and stats & photos!

      Reply

  4. Posted by Zach on March 31, 2010 at 3:48 am

    Why were the benchmark wods again?

    Reply

    • Why? We’re CrossFitters so we measure performance! Why change your nutrition if it doesn’t improve your performance AND general health?

      What? 1. Max number of pullups 2. 1 mile run or 2000m row 3. 1 rep max clean & jerk

      Sent from my iPhone

      Reply

  5. Posted by Theo on March 31, 2010 at 5:39 am

    Hey Everyone!

    An early congratulations to everyone for embarking on this journey. Isn’t it amazing what one month eating a certain way could do for you?

    When I ran across people who are participating in the challenge, I always made it a point to ask how they are doing w/ their challenge, and I found out mostly positive things from everyone. Kudos to everyone.

    Also, a big thanks to Cynthia for giving me the opportunity to show off what I learned from my Nutrition Cert. It was fun coaching people through this. It provided me w/ a “mental check” to make sure that I was preaching what I taught. It was very fun to travel w/ you all in this.

    I hope everyone learned a thing or two w/ regards to optimizing your nutrition to look, feel, and perform better. Just a few minor tweaks to your eating habits, and voila!

    Once again a big “RAISE THE ROOF” for you all. The finish line is near, and you’re almost there.

    Make us proud!

    Cheers.

    T H E O

    Reply

  6. 1. Do you feel better now than you did at the end of February? If so, or if not (I’d be surprised!) in what ways (sleep, fit of your clothing, energy level)?

    I do definitely feel better now that last month. The main thing I notices is the more constant energy throughout the day. Before starting the challenge I would have coffee in the morning and afternoon, or sometimes take a nap in my car at lunch. I haven’t had coffee or the need for a nap all month.

    2. What have been the best and the worst parts about “going Paleo” or “staying Paleo”?

    I think “going Paleo” was fairly easy for me as I’ve done tried various diets / eating routines in the past, and I’m very much all or nothing when it comes to it. I’m either eating really good or really bad, I have yet to find a good sustainable balance. And think that is what make the “staying Paleo” more difficult for me. I think sometimes I go overkill with how picky about things which end up in me caving in at some point and falling off the wagon. I will say a few of the things I do miss are cheese and the occasional alcohol, especially all the take of beer over the weekend and all I could say was “2 more days”… Not that I drink that often, but its nice to be able to go out with friends for a drink every now and again.

    3. Did you get enough information and support throughout the Challenge? Ar there other things that we could do to improve?

    I think I did enough info during the Challenge, the only thing is from my side I should have kept up and posted here more. I’m really bad about that stuff. But all the information you guys put up was great!

    4. Are you glad you took the Challenge, and would you encourage other people to do one?

    Definitely glad I did the challenge. I was looking at Paleo prior to it, but didn’t quite get going on it… so the challenge was great to get me motivated to get going and stick with it. I think would be other folks to do it, it will help you re-evaluate your eating habits and try new things.

    5. Are you going to keep up with your new Paleo lifestyle after the Challenge is over?

    I do plan on continuing to eat clean, but not sure if I’m going to stick with strict Paleo. Before the challenge I was also looking at the Primal diet and might check that out.

    6. Do you think we should keep our Nutrition blog going?

    Definitely!

    Reply

    • Posted by Jesseb on April 2, 2010 at 12:07 am

      I gotta give you props ben!!! You definately toned down alot and still busted out a 275lbs front squat no problem !

      Reply

  7. Posted by Brian Medina on March 31, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    1.Do you feel better now than you did at the end of February? If so, or if not (I’d be surprised!) in what ways (sleep, fit of your clothing, energy level)?

    I’ve never had a problem sleeping but I did notice I felt more rested after 7-8hours of sleep at the end of the month than I felt at the beginning. Clothes are definitely loose/too big. I had to punch an extra hole in the belt I wear for work. Overall, I would say my energy level stayed more consistent throughout the day. Before I was suseptible to the post-lunch crash but nowadays I dont drag through the afternoons. Another big difference I noticed was my recovery after working out. Before Paleo, 4 days a week of WODs would burn me out. During the month I averaged 4-5 days a week of activity and felt great afterwards.

    2. What have been the best and the worst parts about “going Paleo” or “staying Paleo”?

    The best parts of going Paleo were being able to experiment with new foods, staying focused on a goal, and seeing immediate results. The most difficult parts are balancing the social outings/drinking with the diet, the extra time required to plan meals, and dealing with a few awkward lunches/dinners where I only ate what I could and declined the other dishes. I dont like being a burden on people so it was a bit weird having people accomodate for me.

    3. Did you get enough information and support throughout the Challenge? Ar there other things that we could do to improve?

    The support was great. I enjoyed running into the participants at the gym and checking in to see how the diet was going for them. The website was an awesome way to share information. When meals became boring and I felt myself getting into a rut, I’d check the website and food logs for ideas on new meals.

    4. Are you glad you took the Challenge, and would you encourage other people to do one?

    I’m extremely happy I participated and glad I made it to the end. I’ve never done a strict eating plan and the biggest reason I joined was to see if I could go through with it. I’m glad I was able to reach my goal. I’d definitely encourage people to do a Paleo Challenge, especially those who might be frustrated with performance/weight loss goals or feel themselves plateauing. The diet wasnt too hard to follow and I feel its a great way to give yourself a boost.

    5. Are you going to keep up with your new Paleo lifestyle after the Challenge is over?

    I plan on adding a bit of dairy back into my diet, mainly just milk. I want to avoid cheese, yogurt, creams as much as possible. As far as grains, I’ll probably have a sandwich 2 days a week for lunch and continue with a paleo friendly salad 3 days a week. I want to minimize pasta to no more than once a week and plan to pass on the garlic bread/dinner rolls that come with meals. I’ll continue to avoid rice and will keep beans to a minimum.

    6. Do you think we should keep our Nutrition blog going?

    I know both Cynthia and Theo spent a great deal of time creating and maintaing the blog and I would hate to see it go by the wayside. It would be great to have a weekly post or so and also allows us to have a place to share new paleo-friendly discoveries/ideas.

    Reply

  8. Posted by Jojo on April 1, 2010 at 5:01 am

    1. Do you feel better now than you did at the end of February? If so, or if not (I’d be surprised!) in what ways (sleep, fit of your clothing, energy level)?

    I definitely feel better, not feeling lethargic after a meal. Clothes, specifically my pants feel a bit loser. I still have to do the benchmark WODS to see the difference in my performance results..

    2. What have been the best and the worst parts about “going Paleo” or “staying Paleo”?

    The best part is that when I look in front of a mirror, I can see that I’m somewhat more defined. The worst part is realizing that some of the stuff that I thought was “paleo” was actually “not”. (i.e. whey protein shakes) Unfortunately, I’m’ committed to taking them as well, especially after finding out this info AT THE SECTIONALS this weekend. Oh well…

    3. Did you get enough information and support throughout the Challenge? Are there other things that we could do to improve?

    This blog site, thanks to Cynthia and Theo, provided an abundant amount of information. That “kelp” noodles blog was an eye opener.. I can’t wait to try it!

    4. Are you glad you took the Challenge, and would you encourage other people to do one?

    Yes and yes..

    5. Are you going to keep up with your new Paleo lifestyle after the Challenge is over?

    Yes. I will keep up with the paleo as I have, but will add “raw” milk every now and then to vary my calcium and vitamin D intake. I luv the coconut milk, but it’s nice to be able to have a variety.

    6. Do you think we should keep our Nutrition blog going?

    I think this nutrition blog is so valueable especially when discovering new paleo items on the grocery aisle, and I can always try other new paleo recipes..

    Reply

    • good Job Jojo – how cool to see that even though your nutrition was awesome to begin with, there was still room to improve! Can’t wait to see your stats & benchmarks!

      Reply

  9. Posted by Stacey M on April 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Question about corn…

    I know corn is considered a grain and therefore it is not paleo. Is it ok for an occasional cheat? I’m wondering if it has any damaging effects on the gut like gluten or lectins?? I don’t eat a lot of corn, but I like to have a corn tortilla every now and again with fajitas.

    Reply

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