Eat Like a Caveman

So we started the Paleo Diet back in the beginning of June, and I can tell you it’s been an interesting journey.

First of all, it’s been expensive. 

We followed the meal plan in the back of Robb Wolf’s book for the first week and we didn’t like the food at all and it required all kinds of extra spices and stuff that we don’t usually use.  We learned a couple of good recipes that we’ll use but for the most part, we hated everything we were eating.  But even still, it is more expensive to buy most of your food fresh.  Produce and fresh meat are all very expensive even now in the summer time when there should be some sort of break.  One area where we are saving money though is in take out.  But we’re finding we’re just moving the money we were spending on takeout on groceries.

Second, you will lose weight on this – without being hungry.

Seriously, I am very rarely just starving.  Usually if I am really hungry it’s because it’s time to eat or I’ve forgotten to eat and now it’s catching up with me.  Since June 4th, I’ve lost 18 pounds.  When you’re my size, 18 pounds isn’t much.  But it is a major accomplishment to me.  I was last at this weight when I was pregnant with Phoebe and sick as a dog from morning sickness.  Between pregnancy hormones going crazy and just the constant throwing up, I got down to this weight.  I like getting here by eating steak much better.

Third, I have found that gluten makes me sick.

Really.  My birthday and John’s birthday are 4 days apart.  We decided that during that week, we’d take it easy and only do 80% Paleo and we would enjoy a little birthday cake.

I enjoyed it until 2 hours later when my stomach was killing me.

Then we decided to have a chicken sandwich from Wendy’s.  I enjoyed it until two house later, my stomach hurt very badly.

Then I had a peanut butter sandwich.  See where I am going with this?

I’ve tried it with dairy and legumes but they don’t make my stomach hurt.  Just bread.

Choosing Your Homeschool Curriculum

I’ve mentioned before about how to get started.  Mostly you need to learn some terms, find out how to do it legally, and then start researching.
I did these steps myself.  I read everything I could get my hands on: blogs, books, magazines.  The one thing that tripped me up was choosing my curriculum. 
Some folks – sometimes called “Unschoolers” choose to forgo the curriculum with preschoolers completely and wait until the child is 6 or 7.  But I knew that I needed some sort of formal program to keep me on track.
So I started by reading 100 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum.  I found this book to be quite helpful in both choosing my style and ultimately my curriculum.  I’ll talk more about what we choose later this month.
Other things you need to start thinking about:
  • Do you want to include your faith? There are a ton of options if you want to homeschool with faith based principles.
  • Do you want a computer option or book option?  Again, there a great many different options depending on which one you choose.
  • How interested are you in determining what your child learns?  Of course, since you’ve chosen this path, you are pretty interested in what your child learns.  But the difference is that some paths will be completely laid out for you and you only have to follow or you create the path and choose the books and determine timing.
  • How much money do you have for this?  It can be a pretty big outlay of cash if you go with some of the full curriculum packages or you can look for free or nearly free sources.

What is the Paleo diet?

So since my husband and I decided to start this journey, we’ve gotten a lot of questions.  Everything from “How can you give up bread?” to “Is there anything you CAN eat?”

After losing 14 pounds in the first month, I can say definitively that you can eat a lot of things and still lose weight.

In my opinion, the Paleo diet is basically this:  if God didn’t make it, don’t eat it.  So no twinkies, no packaged noodles, no candy bars.  But you can eat plenty of veggies, lean meat and fish, nuts, healthy fats, and fresh fruit.

You also, at least at first, need to stay away from dairy products, all grains including wheat, rice, barley AND corn, and legumes.  More about this in a moment.

The diet was really popularized by Loren Cordain, a professor of Health Sciences at Colorado State University and published in his book, The Paleo Diet: Lose Weight and Get Healthy by Eating the Foods You Were Designed to Eat.

I have found his book to be a little on the dry side – cough, cough – very dry – and got a lot more from Robb Wolf’s book: The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet

I find the Robb Wolf book to be very informative, entertaining even – and a good source of the science behind the diet.  They both do a much better job than I can do to explain why grain is the worst possible thing in the world for you to eat, but it comes down to this: humans haven’t been eating grain long enough for us to be able to properly digest/breakdown gluten.  Gluten won’t make most of us instantly sick, instead it’s like a slow, painful dance.  It disrupts our intestines and may contribute to Leaky Gut syndrome.  Grains raise our blood sugar levels and force our pancreas to work harder to lower it.  It’s just not a good thing.

Dairy is taxing to the gut and may increase inflammation.  Legumes, while rich in iron and other nutrients, are also inflammatory to the gut and should be avoided, at least at first.

Yes, it takes some planning and it can be expensive.  More about that soon…

This page is also posted on my new Paleo Weight Loss website.