My Paleo Faux Pas...

Hey all! Happy Tuesday! Today I'm going to talk about last week's approach to Paleo! I'm calling this post My Paleo Faux Pas because I made so many little mistakes, whether it was eating things not realizing they weren't Paleo or having things I knew weren't, but I felt I couldn't live without! It's a whole new food world when you cut out grains and dairy, and different than anything I've ever tried before! Here's what worked for me, and what didn't!

What didn't work: 

  • Alternate coffee creamer: I tried using coconut cream in my coffee instead of my usual coffeemate creamer, but it was GROSS - in all caps! I dumped it out and tried the coconut milk with vanilla I picked up from Trader Joes, but it still wasn't right. I'm not a happy camper without my morning coffee, so, when I got to work, I broke down and got my usually cup of jo! I plan to try almond milk next! 
  • Homemade trailmix: Aaron prepped his own trailmix of peanuts and raisins, and was pretty excited about it. Neither of us realized peanuts weren't paleo until I got to work the next day and talked with a coworker about the diet. She said, "Wait, are peanuts allowed?" Doh! I have no idea how we overlooked this little fact. Aaron was quite disappointed when I texted him the news.
  • Justin's nut butter single packs: At Target, I picked up a few packets of Justin's maple almond butter. My thinking was that I could give one to Aaron to try, because he's not a fan of almond butter (and peanut butter is off limits). The packet was SO delicious --this was my first time trying Justin's maple butter--but after scarfing down the maple almond butter one day and the chocolate hazelnut the next, I realized it might not be Paleo, based off the fact that there's sugary ingredients in it/processed. (It's so, so good, though!).  Are Justin's nut butters considered Paleo? 
  • Salad throw-ins: Surprisingly, I didn't miss my usual gobs of salad dressing! I tried variations of olive oil, lemon juice, rice and red wine vinegars, and they were all pretty good. However, I didn't find myself adding a few questionable throw-ins into my salad, like goat cheese and bacon bits. The bacon bits are clearly processed, but I couldn't fault myself... After all, I was giving up DRESSING!

Paleo-Salad

  • Working out low on carbs: I definitely felt fatigued fairly quickly during my workouts this past week, and they may have something to do with the lack of whole grains in my diet... Aaron, especially, felt this on Saturday morning after eating pretty strict Paleo Friday and working out on an empty stomach (bad idea). It was a really tough workout (6 rounds of 24 air squats, 24 pull-ups, 24 lunges, and a 400 meter run), and without some fuel in his system, he said he almost passed out. If I chose to stick to a mostly Paleo diet, I'll probably opt for grains post-workout for added energy.
  • Saying no to whey: I didn't realize until mid-week that whey is dairy, which was pretty disappointing. I love protein shakes and they make me feel great. I can't say I'm going to give these up. I'm open to trying non-whey alternatives.

What did work: 

  • Dinners were great this week! I ate kale and chicken salad seasoned with sunflower seeds and avocado Monday night and another kale salad topped with salmon, sun dried tomatoes, and pineapple Tuesday. On Friday night I cooked chicken and made whipped butternut squash by blending the chunks of squash with a little coconut cream. All of it was delicious and satisfying. (See the pictures below)

Paleo-Dinner-1

Paleo-Dinner

Paleo-Dinner-2

  • Mmm coconut milk!: I loved the vanilla coconut milk poured over fruit (blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries). One night I even threw in some almonds and that was yummy, too! Having the coconut milk on hand, I added it to a few of my smoothies as well. It added a deliciously creamy texture! So glad to have finally tried this lovely milk alternative!
  • Paleo dessert are tasty! I made fried bananas for the first time and they are so, so good! I also made Paleo cookies and really, really liked them! I can't wait to try other paleo desserts!

Paleo-Bananas

  • Paleo bowls from Chipolte are yum, but they're pricey. I didn't like adding the guac for an additional $2, because I usually get the vegetarian bowl and it's included. Other than that, my bowl had steak, lettuce, fajita vegetables and salsa in it, and it was good!
  • I felt good. I felt satisfied. I thought some of my food lacked flavor, but other than that, I didn't feel deprived this past week. Each meal was filling and I felt like I had enough options to where I didn't get hungry. I plan to continue to incorporate the Paleo/whole foods concept to my regular diet.
  • More than anything, my stress-free approach to Paleo has been the most rewarding. If I couldn't make it work (which was the case with my coffee creamer), I didn't stress it. While I think it's good to buckle down and get really strict with yourself sometimes, I also think that with any diet/nutrition plan, you gotta do what works for you!

How was your first attempt going Paleo?

Did you have any slipu-ps, or as I like to call them, faux pas?

*I'm sorry these pictures aren't better! They were all taken with my iPhone!