Paleo Eating Experiment – Part 2


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

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  1. Way to go! I know the beginning is the hardest part. I do a feature called Paleo Meal Mondays on my site if you need some ideas! http://www.livingcrunchy.com/category/recipes/paleo-recipes/

  2. Thanks so much for posting your progress! I found your 1st post at Fight back Friday and was so intrigued with your post and the comments it generated that I started right in on Monday LOL! I’m very interested in reading your journey thru to the end!!!

    • Stevie,
      I’m glad you got into it! I’m still doing well and I am planning on posting some Paleo recipe ideas and reviews later this week.
      Thanks for the support :)

  3. Wow Jen. Glad to hear you are doing well on the Paleo Whole 30. I still eat an occasional honey or maple syrup treat or traditional sourdough. But for sure I’ve cut way back from what I used to eat of those things. It’s made a huge difference. Look forward to hearing your progress.

    • Jen,

      Thanks for the support, so far so good! I’m on the homestretch now, I’ll be posting a week 3 update and a wrap up at the end of the 30 days. I am liking this style of eating way more than I expected and I am really happy about that. Let’s see where this leads me!

  4. You’re not too far ahead of me with the Whole30! I started mine on July 1.

    It also looks like you’ve been reading the same Paleo blogs for inspiration and ideas that I have (not surprising, since they’re the most well-known). :)

    I’m planning a mid-way recap post soon, as well as a final one at the end. I’ve definitely noticed some changes (one of them being a 4-lb weight loss in the past two weeks, which is more than I was expecting). And that’s all without counting calories and eating until I’m full…it’s a wonderful thing.

    Always great to read about other people doing the same thing!

    • Zan,

      I was surprised by a 4lb loss as well. I love that I’ve been eating delicious food until I am full and never feel hungry or deprived! I’m interested in reading your mid-way post, I’ll be looking out for it.

      I wish you continued success on your Whole30!

  5. We recently did an elimination diet, and it was hard but well worth it to find the things that were upsetting my little girls stomach.

    Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

    • What was your method to reintroduce foods and evaluate their effects without getting confused? Did you have to spread out the reintroduced foods over an equally long period of time as the elimination? What was the spacing between foods?

  6. I have flirted with the idea of going paleo for a while – I love Advocare’s cleanses, but have been looking at a longer term solution to boost the products and results. I’m excited to follow more of your journey (just liked your FB page). So glad I hopped over tonight from Hearth & Soul. Hope you will swing on by one of these days, say hi, and maybe enter the giveaway I’m hosting celebrating my launch! (I used to be EKat’s Kitchen.) :)

    • Maybe try the Whole30 to see how you like it? I thought I would feel “deprived” of my bread and cheese but I’m finding that I don’t miss them too much. I am surprised. I’m headed over to your site now :)

  7. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  8. It is wonderful to know about this paleo meals. Thanks for sharing with Hearth and Soul blog hop.

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