We made it. Four weeks of Paleo eating. Recipe suggestions and final thoughts below.
Stuff You Could Eat Even if You’re Not Doing Paleo
- Chocolate chunks – I totally messed this recipe up by heating everything too long, but it was still delicious. This is an awesome way to make chocolate without dairy or refined sugars.
- Italian sausage and potato soup – you wouldn’t even know this was a Paleo meal. It was perfect for the slightly cold weather we’ve had lately.
- Creamy and smoky chipotle pork chops – definitely my favorite recipe of the week. I don’t use liquid smoke, so I used smoked paprika to achieve the smokiness factor. This will definitely be made again, although I’ll probably toss some pasta in the sauce. This time we ate it with a roasted acorn squash, which was still pretty good.
- Korean ground beef – this is actually a non-Paleo recipe that I’ve been making for years; I switched out some of the ingredients for Paleo approved ingredients. I am constantly recommending this recipe to people, as it’s fast, easy, and delicious. Just don’t do nearly as much sugar as she recommends.
Stuff You Probably Wouldn’t Eat Unless You’re Doing Paleo
- Fruit and nut bread – while it was great to have “bread” for breakfast instead of eggs, and this was pretty delicious, I’m still not a big fan of stuff like fruits and nuts and seeds in my bread.
- Spaghetti squash chow mein – I didn’t know what category to put this in. I may make it again some day, simply because it’s nice to sometimes skip a bunch of carbs with dinner. If I do make it, I’ll leave out the celery and add in some meat. Grant had it as a vegan Paleo meal, and I added eggs. We were really tired of meat at this point and needed a break.
- Lasagna – while this was better than I thought it would be, lasagna needs cheese. Period. And not freaky cashew cheese, which I actually left out, because I don’t like ricotta anyway.
- Slow cooker beef & broccoli – this was actually a perfectly good recipe, but I have other better slow cooker Asian beef recipes, which I will go back to after this diet.
My final thoughts:
- I don’t think that the Paleo diet is sustainable, in the same way I don’t think that a vegan diet is sustainable. I think we should be wary of any diet that cuts out a very large number of food items that have been eaten for thousands of years, whether those items are animal products or grain products. That being said, these four weeks will have an impact on my future diet – I will probably eat a lot less gluten, I’ll be much more careful about the dairy I eat, and I will definitely go back to eating frequent vegetarian meals.
- This diet did nothing for my health…at least that I can see. I have some pretty intense gastrointestinal issues, and the Paleo diet does not appear to have helped them. I say this only to point out that everybody has a diet that is right for them – there is no one-size-fits-all.
- I need some cheese. Stat. I often hear that not having gluten is the hardest part of the Paleo diet, but I disagree. The Paleo diet has shown me just how much I love dairy products.
Grant’s final thoughts:
- Not having bread or tortillas makes eating very logistically difficult, but other than that, he didn’t really miss refined carbs.
- Cheese, shmeese. Grant didn’t miss dairy at all. He did miss beans.
- If this diet were sustainable (he agrees with me that it’s not), Grant says he wouldn’t really mind doing it. (He’s a nut.)
- BEER. No other explanation necessary.