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Paleo Challenge

Starting on Monday, May 19th, I am embarking on a one month challenge to lose some of my muffin-top and rid my body of the caffeine and sugar cravings that plague me every time I want to eat healthy. I have made some lifestyle changes in the past few years and I am gobsmacked that they have stuck. Normally I make a change and after one, stress-induced freak-out, I am back to my old ways. Sugar and caffeine are my worst vices and, therefore, the hardest to quit. Working out consistently is also a habit that doesn’t want to stick, even after the 21 day time frame the experts deem necessary for long term habit formation.

Once I started attending lunchtime exercise classes, I found that the three days a week schedule, the accountability of workout buddies, and ease of fitting in extra jogs/walks was what I needed to keep the habit. That and my oldest son wants to try out for baseball next year. He’s now my at home workout buddy.

This 30 day challenge involves a strict diet, exercise, hydration, and sleep regimen with a point system attached. One point for achieving your daily goal in each area. We are also measuring body fat and measuring our bodies to see how many inches we lose!  For the list of foods and rules that we are following, go to my source!  Crossfit Okefenokee!

Here are Paleo recipes from my blog and at the end of the page are links to other paleo blogs that I love!

Paleo Snack Bars

Chocolate Dipped Paleo Snack Bites

Butternut Squash Soup

Stuffed Mushrooms

Avocado Deviled Eggs

Balsamic Dressing

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Paleo Salad with Roasted Ginger Dressing

Spicy Shrimp Ceviche

Chia Seed Pudding

Crispy Celery Slaw

Roasted Red Grape Reduction

Bite-Sized Greek Salad

Sriracha Pineapple Wings

Mediterranean Lamb Meatballs

Coconut Vanilla Macaroons

Cranberry Orange Chia Seed Marmalade

Crispy Garlic Radishes

Homemade Whole Grain Mustard

Crispy Green Herb Chicken Wings

All Purpose Steakhouse Seasoning

I have also included them below in case you want to print them out and follow along with us!

Paleo challenge score sheet 2Paleo Challenge Score Sheet 1Paleo challenge good food listPaleo challenge bad food list

Here is my take on the four daily goals.

First, lets talk about the sleep issue. I haven’t had a solid 7 hours in a long time. Actually, it’s been since I was pregnant with my first child that I slept through the night. Braxton turns 11 next month! Reaching my daily goal will be impossible unless I can count naps in the car pool line.

Second, the hydration predicament. My daily fluid intake consists of unsweetened tea and only about 64 ounces of it. I only get 64 ounces because that is what comes in my two 32 ounce drinks I get from the nearest drive-thru window.  I did try the gallon water challenge for one week after noticing that I had only consumed 30 ounces of fluid, two days in a row. If you are not familiar with the gallon challenge, you drink a gallon of water each day. Seems easy, right? Well let me tell you how easy it was for me. I filled up my gallon jug at 6 am when I woke up the first day. By 3 in the afternoon I had consumed 16 ounces.  I did have my tea that day though.   I don’t like water by itself so I had to start coming up with ways to trick myself.  Cups with lids, goofy straws, water with a splash of tea to change the color of the fluid, lemon slices. None of these worked and by the end of the week I was only drinking about 40 ounces a day. That miracle was only achieved with the help of my hourly phone alarm and chugging 8 ounces at a time like a frat boy chugs beer on Spring break. This will be my toughest obstacle!  Large companies are pushing drops like Mio & Dasani.  It is one of Coca-Cola’s top strategies for growth.  Drops will throw you off due to the chemicals, so adding lemons, limes, cucumbers, strawberries, and or mint to water is a good choice.

Third is exercise. My oldest, Braxton, wants to try out for baseball next year in middle school so I told him that he needs to start exercising on a regular basis to compete with the other kids that have been playing for years. We have started running at 5:30 in the morning, five days a week. I am not a morning person, so this shows how much I love my child. Of course, it has had the added benefits for me such as not rushing my kids out the door with one shoe on and toothbrush in their mouths in the morning because I too am running late, getting more done before lunch so I can go to class, and going to bed earlier since 5 am seems to come so quickly after I close my eyes at night. As long as I get 20 minutes of exercise a day, Ill get my daily goal.  My brother-in-law has emphasized the importance of lifting weights in my 40s.  Working out now is less about the 90 minute power walk and more about weights with intense bursts of cardio.  I’ll share some of  my trainer’s tips later.

Last, is the diet. This is not a diet that I plan to follow forever! Some people think it is a fad, but I do believe that cutting out as many processed foodstuffs as possible is the best thing for your body, and your health. I want my kids to follow in my footsteps in this regard since they only eat chicken and potato chips and candy. At least my youngest has given up toaster pastries. This is a one month restrictive diet that cuts out all sugars, beans, grains and some starchy vegetables. It highlights tree nuts, lean meats, vegetables, and fruits. Nothing wrong with this, but I need beans and some grains. I am still trying to get pasta out of my system for good.

Each one of us will struggle with one or more of the daily goals.I added this page to my blog so that the ladies of the group can find some recipes for our challenge all in one place. Some will be mine and some will come from my favorite Paleo blogs.

Thanks and wish us luck! The best prize will be healthier bodies!

We lost 12lbs and 20lbs respectively!  We fell better, have stuck to the diet, and also won $100!

We will keep you updated on our progress! I turn 40 just days before starting this endeavor. Hopefully I can get all my splurging out before Monday! Send me positive thoughts on that day for sure! 

Here is my post-Paleo Challenge blog post!

For those not familiar with Paleo, or Paleolithic, it is defined by Wikipedia as:

The Paleolithic diet is a modern nutritional plan based on the presumed diet of Paleolithic humans. Although there are a growing number of variations, the Paleolithic diet consists mainly of fish, grass-fed pasture-raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts, and excludes what are perceived to be agricultural products: grains, legumesdairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.

Special thanks to my favorite Paleo blogs for their excellent ideas and recipes!

nomnompaleo, stupideasypaleo, everydaypaleo, paleomg, rubiesandradishes, and cavegirlinthecity.