Luke’s Journey To Paleo – “It. Was. Awesome.”

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Ya know, I’ve always been prone to trying crazy things when it comes to “health and fitness”. I’ve run the gamut of different supplements (nothing too crazy there), different diets, different workout routines, and most all of this based off all the “expert” advice I gleaned from reading stacks upon stacks of muscle rags. I mean, after reading 30-40 magazines full of pictures of oily, ‘roided bodybuilders, I figured I was basically a personal trainer/dietitian. The amount of useful information you get out of the ads alone is amazing! (snark)

I’ve gone through the whole calorie counting thing to get cut (it worked, but took months), and at the other end of the spectrum tried 30 days of the GOMAD diet to gain weight (and needless to say that was brutal). When I wasn’t experimenting with crazy diets, I was just trying to “eat healthy”. Which naturally included whole grains, half a gallon of low fat chocolate milk, and Combos (they’re a weakness okay).

Well over the past year or so, since I started blogging and trying to dig in a little more, I realize by the day that I really had little to no real knowledge of what is actually healthy and/or fit.

Enter the Paleo Solution. I read the book, swallowed it hook line and sinker (as I’m prone to doing whenever I read something), and since I enjoy giving things a shot and really seeing the effects for myself, I decided that would be my next “challenge”.  I mean, shoot, if I’m crazy enough to drink a gallon of whole milk a day for 30 days, why not give this a shot and see what happens.

So that’s what I did, and when I say I’m going to do something, I do it legit. So for 30 days I was pure Paleo with my diet, as well as getting that 8 hours of sleep that Robb so highly recommends.

How was it?

It. Was. Awesome. I felt like a million bucks after my body adjusted to the new schedule (didn’t take very long), had tons of energy, was super motivated, and the craziest thing was… I lost weight.  Many of you may think, well isn’t that the point? Well, for some, yes, I guess that’s “the point”, but honestly that wasn’t at all what I was going for. I had NO intentions of losing weight.

Why? Well for one, I was more trying the diet to see if it was an all around “healthier” option, and two, I have been working on a handful of power and Olympic weightlifting goals that all involve achieving a 1 repetition maximum. My previous experience with weight loss? Losing weight = losing strength. I couldn’t be
having that.  But not this time. This time I dropped weight (a total of 8lbs. in 30 days, as well as dropping from 9.6% body fat to 7.8%) and continued to make strength gains in the gym. Needless to say, I was ecstatic.

So how did I do it? Counting every calorie while eating small portions of meat, some carrots, and a fig? No, no, no. I didn’t count a single calorie, didn’t limit my portions once, and never reigned in my appetite. I ate tons, and tons of food. It was glorious.  And not just chicken breasts and broccoli. No, this was legit food. People at work were amazed at the stuff I was bringing in. One guy would come over almost every
day to ask what that “amazing smell” was…

“Oh this? I made it. It’s 4 grass-fed hamburgers on a bed of romaine, topped with homemade guac sprinkled with organic pixie dust…. Have fun with your hotpocket of death” (paraphrase)

All in all, the 30 day challenge was awesome for me; and while I’m currently not 100% “Paleo” (a man’s gotta drink now and again… okay, well this man does), almost all the food I make for myself is Paleo friendly, and it certainly affects all my decisions in the grocery store, and out on the town.

And I feel, much, much, better for it.

Anyway, if you aren’t sold yet, I’d encourage you to take up Robb’s challenge like I did myself: just try it for 30 days, take measurements, get before and after blood work done (you can see the results of that on my blog), get your sleep (important for me!), continue to exercise, and just see how you feel.

Over and out,

Luke

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  1. Susan Alexander
    July 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Amy:

    Great post. I’ve long known about Robb (via CrossFit).

    I’ve been Paleo for about 3 years. I love seeing stories about the amazing transformations it leads to (like the one in this post).

    One thing I think needs emphasizing sometimes, though, is that there are people who perceive paleo as an eat-as-much-as-you want paradigm. So, there are people out there who are paleo with quite a lot of excess body fat.

    My take on this is that the initial switch to paleo often leads to weight loss, intended or not, because of factors like lowered carbs and reduction/elimination of sugar and processed foods. After a while, plateauing can occur (in terms of weight loss), and there can be over consumption, because paleo food tastes good.

    Personally, I just can’t gorge on protein and fat and not gain weight, even when my carbs are low. To keep my weight where I want it to be, I have to have a plan and follow it reasonably closely. By a plan, I mean a balance of macronutrients that aligns with my size and activity level. (Right now, I happen to be experimenting with strict adherence to a particular macro balance, but it’s not something I do all the time.)

    My point is simply I’m not one of those people who can eat as much as I want, even if it’s all paleo food, and I don’t think I’m the only one. (There are a lot of macro-balancing CrossFitters out there, and they’re very strong an lean – because of the interplay of macro balancing and CrossFit.)

    One big factor, it seems to me, is age. I’m almost 50. I don’t think expect to be able to eat the same way as a 20+ year old guy just making the switch to paleo.

    These are my observations, and I’d like to know what you think of them.

    Great post, Amy. Thank you.

    Susan

    • Amy Kubal
      July 26, 2011 at 11:16 am

      Susan – I agree with you! I have had quite a few clients that can’t understand why they aren’t losing or are gaining weight while eating ‘paleo’. In a lot of cases I think there is a confusion as to what paleo is and how it works. It is very simple for the most part and eating until you are full definitely works IF you are choosing the correct foods. Often people will go wild with nuts, fruit, meat, etc. and completely neglect the vegetable component. While I don’t promote sticking to a specific macronutrient ratio or weighing and measuring in most cases (I feel this often creates stress for many), I do emphasize the importance of vegetables and really drive home the point that nuts, paleo cookies, raisins, 2 lb steaks, and larabars cannot be substitutes for them. It’s all about balance! All the components need to be in there in order for it to ‘work’!!

  2. hazmat
    July 25, 2011 at 9:34 am

    mmmm…hotpocket of death. Great job, very inspiring.

  3. Mari
    July 25, 2011 at 10:09 am

    What is the url for Luke’s blog?

  4. J
    July 25, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Good write up. I’m experiencing very very similar results as yours. I, too, was not interested in losing weight. I was looking to increase performance. And it is incredible! But as a (positive) side effect. I’m down to 7.0% body fat (down from 9.1) and lifting heavier than ever, more reliably, with more energy! The only difference is that I have stayed clear of alcohol and have less interested interaction at work. Regardless, I am the best for my decisions and I have recruited members of my family to become Paleo as well.

    And as a communications specialist in the US Army, you never use “over” and “out” in the same transmission ;)

  5. Crunchy Pickle
    July 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I love the line about the “hotpocket of death”! I just read it aloud to my family. :)

    Big congrats!!!

  6. Luke R.
    July 25, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Muahaha, you WOULD use that picture of me. Awesome, thanks for the shout out guys!

  7. Karen Fallen
    July 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    I am a regular reader and fan of Luke’s blog, “The Yoking,” and am glad to see him featured here. Glad he found something he enjoyed so much more than “GOMAD!”

  8. adrienne Wright
    July 25, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    NIIIIIIICE!

  9. stephen
    July 26, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    link to luke’s blog?

  10. Marc
    July 27, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Your article mentions his blog twice, but doesn’t share a link to it…

  11. Marcheline
    July 28, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Never heard of the “GOMAD” diet. When I read this post the first time, I thought it said “GONAD”… which may have been more appropo, actually. 8-)

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