Last week I posted about the start of my Paleo eating experiment where I have been following an elimination diet called Whole30 in an effort to pinpoint the cause of my digestive disturbances. To recap, this is a Paleo eating based 30 day elimination diet that specifically excludes all dairy, all grains, sugar, seed oils and legumes.
The idea behind elimination diets is that they are a useful diagnostic tool to calm and reset the digestive system so that at the end of the 30 days the patient can systematically re-introduce the potentially offending foods to figure out which one or ones were causing the symptoms. Once the offender(s) has been identified, the patient simply avoids that food and thus solves the digestive issue caused by that food.
I am currently halfway through the 30 days and I have had a big improvement in my symptoms so I am very motivated to see this through to the end. One of the questions I have been asked a lot over the past two weeks is “what do you eat if you can’t eat bread, pasta, rice or cheese?”. I am happy to say that the choices are plentiful and delicious, but it takes an adjustment in mind-set and in meal planning technique. It seems like most people expect the standard “protein, starch, vegetable” meal configuration and are therefore thrown for a loop at the thought of eliminating 1/3 of their familiar dinner plate. I like to point out that it is really an easy substitution, just replace the grain based starch with a second vegetable dish and they will have a great Paleo style meal.
I have been taking pictures of my meals to illustrate this point.
In order to help me reconfigure my meal planning, I have been looking to some of the very excellent Paleo blogs and cookbooks. One of the books I have really liked is Well Fed: Paleo Recipes for People Who Love to Eat by Melissa Joulwan who also runs the very informative blog The Clothes Make The Girl. In her book she not only offers many yummy recipes, but she also offers a food prepping system to help you organize your cooking so that you save time and never find yourself short on nutritious food.
One of the biggest challenges on this Whole30 elimination and in the Paleo style of eating in general is that the American food culture is not designed for the Paleo eater. Paleo is not a style of eating that has many commercial “grab and go” snacking options because the majority of commercial snacks are made with grains, sugars and seed oils (in addition to the chemicals, additives, fillers and preservatives). It takes a bit of planning to make sure that your meals and snacks are made of the nutritious, whole foods that make up the foundation of Paleo eating and Melissa’s book is a great help in doing that. I have tried, and liked, a few of the recipes from this book and I’ll be posting about them next week along with a few others.
Another blog that I like is Nom Nom Paleo, the food looks great and I find the writing to be funny, engaging and informative. I haven’t tried any of her recipes yet, but I plan to this week so I’ll let you know what I think. Paleo Comfort Foods and Everyday Paleo are two other books that I have purchased and plan on cooking from in the weeks ahead. As always, I will post here about the recipes I tried.
To see the prequel to this post click here: Paleo Eating Experiment.
This post is participating in Healthy 2day Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Foods Wednesday, Works for me Wednesday, Keep It Real Thursday, Freaky Friday, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Inspire Me Fridays, Foodie Friday, Monday Mania, Fat Tuesday, Heart and Soul Blog Hop, Make Your own! Monday, Traditional Tuesdays