Last week instead of WIAW I shared a little information about my progress with making a transition to a mostly Paleo diet. You can read that post here. I wanted to continue this week with talking about some of the specific foods that I’ve found make me feel good or not-so-good. I think by taking some time away from certain foods it helped me to better understand how my body responds to them.
Dairy: I don’t think that dairy has any negative effects for me. I have continued eating plain Greek yogurt in my smoothies with no issues. I think that the times when I have diary and don’t feel great it’s because of eating a food not only with dairy but also with sugar. Some people say that their skin gets clearer when they stop eating dairy. I haven’t noticed any changes but I also wasn’t eating a ton of diary to begin with and didn’t have issues with my skin to begin with. I don’t necessarily miss dairy- if I’m going to use milk in a recipe I’ve been using almond milk. I’ll have ice cream or frozen yogurt as a very occasional treat. Same with Starbucks iced skinny vanilla lattes- I was addicted to them for a little bit but have pretty much cut them out. I still have pizza occasionally (maybe once a month) and feel fine with that.
Sugar: I am so glad that I have cut back so much on added sugar. There are still some foods that I eat that I know have sugar but its way less than I was eating before. I notice that if I have a piece of cake or something baked with alot of sugar I get really shaky and don’t feel good. I had ice cream a bunch of nights when I was on vacation and I think it caught up to me because I had a terrible stomach ache on the morning we were leaving. I never eat candy so that wasn’t a change. I’ve also mostly cut out processed protein bars that have added sugar and just stick to the most natural Lara Bars I can find. Out of all the Paleo concept this is the one that I have the most appreciation for. If I’m going to look at an ingredient list I am always looking for added sugars. But like I’ve been saying, I do treat myself to foods that I really like on occasion.
Grains: I really thought this would be harder for me than it was. I actually don’t think my body handles whole grains well even though I always thought it did. I realize now that my stomach never felt great after eating turkey on whole grain bread for lunch every day. I do still enjoy a good piece of bread if I’m out to dinner. Generally I don’t really eat grains anymore (if I’m really in the mood I may have the bun with a burger when I’m out). My digestion is better than its ever been, although I will still eat some pasta the night before my long run. It’s helpful to have learned what I can eat occasionally and what to avoid.
Beans, Nuts, and Peanuts: I was pretty surprised that beans and peanuts were not Paleo-friendly, although I understand the concept after reading about it. Like I said last week, I still have black beans in brownies and feel fine. I never really ate beans otherwise and still don’t. However, peanuts are a whole different story. I still eat peanut butter somewhat regularly. I buy the completely natural kind and maybe have it 3 times a week. I don’t really eat whole peanuts…and I have found that nuts in general may upset my stomach a bit. I need to be careful with them and make sure I don’t eat too many.
Fats: I continue to struggle with adding more fat into my diet. I use quit a bit of olive oil and I have also been cooking with coconut oil and ghee. I’ve been trying to plan more meals with avocados but that doesn’t happen regularly. We also eat salmon once a week, and I’ve been trying to get meat with a little more fat than I used to.
Daily staples: These are the foods I eat regularly: eggs, peppers, onions, spinach, bacon, tomatoes, berries, kale, bananas, almond butter, plain Greek yogurt, ginger, apples, pears, spring mix, carrots, cucumber, olive oil, grapes, raisins, almonds, cashews, lara bars, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, red potatoes, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, meat and fish (chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, pork), almond flour/coconut flour, coconut oil, and dark chocolate. Obviously I don’t eat all of that stuff every day and there are other things I may eat as well but I know I feel great when this is what I eat so these are generally the foods that we buy each week.
I think that’s about it! I think that this is an ever-changing process so I’ll be continuing to evaluate how all these foods make me feel. I honestly feel like my running has improved quite a bit over the last few months so maybe this has something to do with it. Hard to say for sure, but I’m planning to continue eating this way as long as it’s working for me!
Thanks Jenn for hosting WIAW!
Are there any foods that you have found don’t make you feel good?
What are some of the everyday staples in your diet?