My husband and I are doing a 30-day Paleo diet challenge called the Whole30. For those who've never heard of Paleo, it's a nutrition plan that eliminates grains, legumes, and dairy (and a few other things, but those are the main ones). In theory the rationale is that it's an approximation of the diet that our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten. The real rationale has a lot more to do with in depth studies of how nutrition affects our bodies. To be honest, I haven't done all that much research on it myself-- my husband is far more the Paleo/Primal diet enthusiast-- and I don't necessarily buy the hunter-gatherer rationale. But I'm willing to give it a try.
So this 30-day challenge is to eat a strict Paleo diet for 30 days. No grains, legumes, dairy, added sweetener of any kind, alcohol, soda, MSG, soy, peanuts... like I said, it's strict. Here's what we can eat: meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, certain oils, and eggs. And clarified butter, for some reason.
No lie, it's not easy sticking to this strict of a diet. But I've already noticed a change in how I feel. Mostly, I feel hungry more often! Which I guess is a good thing-- maybe my metabolism is starting to kick in a bit more.
We started this challenge on September 1, so we're only a few days in at this point. We managed to survive a Labor Day lunch with my family. Fortunately, they smoked a brisket, which was fine as long as we didn't add any sauce, and we made creamed spinach and mashed cauliflower (yum). The creamed spinach had coconut milk in it to make it creamy, instead of regular milk.
Tonight, as we often do, we headed to one of our favorite sushi restaurants to meet up with some friends. The Snush (our favorite nickname for our 2-month-old son) is already a pro at hanging out here, and the waitresses all know his name and coo over him. Funny story-- since I couldn't have any raw sushi while I was pregnant, we didn't come here very often, especially later in my pregnancy. The first time we came here with the Snush after he was born, our favorite waitress just about freaked out. Apparently she hadn't realized I was even pregnant!
Luckily, eating Paleo at a sushi restaurant is quite easy. We both had a baked avocado appetizer, which had... some kind of seafood in it, I don't remember what. We had them hold the crunchy bits and the spicy mayo that normally would have gone on top, though. Then we each got some sashimi and hand rolls without the rice. A hand roll is basically a little cone made of seaweed with the contents of your roll inside. I ordered a California hand roll (crab, cucumber, and avocado) and an Alaska hand roll (salmon, cucumber, and avocado), both without rice, plus two pieces of salmon sashimi and two pieces of escolar sashimi (a tasty white fish with... an interesting side effect).
I actually filled up quite quickly and let my husband have my Alaska roll. But now I think I'm hungry again. I think there's some leftover brisket in the fridge that's calling my name.
Note: in the interest of full honesty, I am not being 100% faithful to the Whole30 rules, in one regard. I still start my day with a small bowl of oatmeal. Why? Well, I'm breastfeeding the Snush, and have had some milk supply issues that I've been laboring to correct, and oats are known to help enhance milk supply. If that means I don't get the full benefits of the Whole30, so be it. I top my oatmeal with almonds, ground flaxseed, and brewer's yeast. It's actually very tasty!