30 days of paleo: a micro diary of my “soft launch” week

What is Paleo? In a nutshell, it’s eating fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and certain fats and oils. It’s avoiding grains, anything made with white or wheat flour, legumes, soy, dairy and refined sugar. In other words, a primal diet.

We started our Paleo eating plan this week, but since we still had some milk, leftover mashed potatoes and a quarter pack of Oreos left (and I hate to throw away food), it’s been classified as more of a “soft launch” or transitional week. But here’s a brief recap of the earlier part of the week anyway:

Sunday: For dinner, a romaine salad, roasted Brussels sprouts and my favorite sweet potato soup, in which I subbed the cream for coconut milk and omitted the bourbon. Needless to say, I went to bed hungry. Bob defeatedly tells me, “Get used to it”. I think, Oh no, are we going to be hungry for the remainder of the 30 days?

Monday: Coffee with the little milk that we have left over from last week. I’m savoring it, as I’ll probably run out by tomorrow. I have the leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast. A coworker tells me, “I love the way you eat! You just have whatever you want”. Yeah. Not for long. The salmon and kale pesto salad for dinner is delicious! I consume the last 3 Oreos afterward. You know…for the sake of getting rid of them, okay?


Tuesday: I watch commercials for Chex cereal, Dunkin Donuts’ breakfast sandwiches and Pillsbury toaster oven streudels within a 10 minute span. I am very much aware that I can not have these things, which makes me want them even more. Tuna with mashed avocado for lunch. For the first time this week, I finally feel full. Note: eat more avocadoes. No more Oreos, milk or mashed potato leftovers. I guess this is for real now!

Wednesday: It’s 11:30am and I have a headache, which is unusual. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that this was my first day without coffee. By the afternoon, my headache has only subsided slightly and so I make the decision to be lazy and not cook tonight. We order organic burgers wrapped in lettuce and sweet potato fries from Bareburger. Side note: Bareburger is a great place to order from whether you’re Paleo or not.


My initial thoughts on the week so far?

This is expensive! The veggie part of my list is acceptable, but the meat and fish are putting us over our $100/week grocery budget by a mile. Normally, I’d have no problem cutting meat from our diet, but it looks like the protein will be a big factor in keeping us satisfied. With that said, I’m going to incorporate legumes, which are not considered Paleo, in meals now and again. I just can’t see myself eating meat for protein every day—it’s too much!

Admittedly, I was a little underprepared this week (hence, the constant hunger), so I’ll definitely have to plan a little better and get more creative. But I love a good food challenge anyway. Bring it.

10 responses to “30 days of paleo: a micro diary of my “soft launch” week”

  1. We are on/off, lax psuedo-Paleo eaters here but we were diligent when we did the 30-day challenge. I suffered a huge headache the first day too, but it got better. The key really is lots of planning and prepping to make sure you have good stuff available. We ate tons of avocados with shredded chicken and cilantro/garlic sauce served with sweet potatoes. You can also make a mofongo since you can have plantains (in moderation). Also…Larabars! Get you some! Good for sugar cravings. You can also make homemade versions by processing dates with nuts/vanilla/a little salt. They’re great. Good luck; hope you get the results you’re after!

    • Jillian says:

      Thank you, Jenn! Some really great advice here. Yes, I’m finding out that being prepared is very very important. We’re going pretty crazy on the sweet potatoes here. It helps that they’re so cheap too. I am DEFINITELY into the idea of making my own energy bars. I had a Larabar yesterday (the banana bread) and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I feel like I could do better. Or anyone making their own, for that matter. But I have to admit, it’s great in a pinch!

  2. Marissa says:

    Wow – I’m very impressed, soft launch or not! Yes, you definitely have to eat plenty of protein to stay full, so if you have to incorporate beans, so be it. The important part isn’t going 100% paleo; it’s just eating healthier in general. At least that’s my two cents. :)

    • Jillian says:

      YES! That’s exactly it. I’m not sure how people can go 100% paleo. It just seems a little unrealistic to me, but the good thing is that this experiment is only for a month. I’m hoping I can be a little a little more disciplined with sugar and dairy once this is over.

  3. Ashley says:

    Do you have to stay away from coffee? Sac-relig!

    “I consume the last 3 Oreos afterward. You know…for the sake of getting rid of them, okay?”

    That right there is why you’re lovable.

    • Jillian says:

      Aw, thank you! I don’t necessarily have to stay away from coffee. It’s the milk or cream that I have to stay away from. And what is coffee without milk or cream?!?!

  4. Maddy says:

    I tried going paleo a few months back and LOVED IT – for like three weeks, haha. It really did make me feel like I was eating “cleaner” and made me focus on putting veggies and protein first in my diet (vs. structuring all my meals around carbs as I so typically do) but it definitely was hard to plan all my meals and it was way more expensive. So, there are tradeoffs for sure. I think it’s worth it to do it full blast for a while just to realize how full you can feel off of non-carb things, but that was just my experience!

    Also, I did a lot of reading beforehand about making the non-carb transition and how your body can react with some flu-like symptoms sometimes (Google “keto flu”) and the recommendation was to have LOTS of fats in the beginning. I forget the reasoning why but keep loading up on those avos! :)

    • Jillian says:

      Madeleine, thank you for your insight! I don’t know enough people that have done this Whole 30 thing, so it’s comforting to know that you have. I said I was going to incorporate beans, but since I planned a lot for this week, it looks like I may not have to! I definitely want to try to do this without any shortcuts. Although, my weekend with food was a little…eh…one step forward, two steps back (i.e. I had bread). I’m really trying to get on my grind this week.

      Keto flu, huh? I’ll have to google that. You better believe avocados are getting me through this!

  5. colleen says:

    good luck with the next three weeks! i have to imagine that if you’re hungry bob must be freakin’ starving!!! eggs are also a great source of protein and more affordable (not sure if those are allowed).

    • Jillian says:

      Thank you, I’ll need it! Would you believe that Bob is doing way better than me?! He gets hungry too, but not as much as I do, for some odd reason. So confused by that. Eggs are allowed, thank goodness. I’ve been making frittatas like crazy over here.

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