Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our 45-Day Paleo Challenge Results

Ryan's Results
After 45-days of eating 100% paleo I feel terrible.  Ha!  Gotcha, I feel like a broken record, but when I eat paleo I feel great.  Period.  As expected I am full of energy, and I have lost a little body fat.  I am now beginning to see my ab muscles without having to flex, something I wasn't even able to do when I was working out twice a day playing college basketball.  If I am surprised by anything I would have to say it's an increased cognitive energy.  I seem to have a better recall on memories.  Not that I feel "smarter," but that now I can remember things I already knew more quickly.

Also, my knee problems are beginning to temper.  I was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome at an early age and have been dealing with the condition ever since.  Something I always felt was untreatable is now beginning to feel a little better, even though I continue to perform exercises that were unheard-of a few years ago (squats, box jumps, etc.).  I attribute this partly to wearing Vibram Fivefingers shoes when working out and also to balancing out my omega-3/6 ratios.  The paleo diet is supposed to reduce low-level inflammation, but I never thought it would begin to cure my Osgood-Schlatters.  Now after long runs, my calfs are sore, not my knees.  I don't consider myself "cured," but I think I'm getting close to feeling like it.

Going forward, I will continue to eat paleo, but will allow myself to eat out on occasion.  Eating out is near impossible to stay paleo, but I am going to make a concerted effort to do as well as I can.  Who knows, after several months of eating 95-100% paleo maybe I will begin to say that I'm smarter and will self-diagnose my Osgood-Schlatters as cured.  Time will tell.  I plan to share one way or the other.  Thanks for reading.

PS.  For those keeping score, I don't think I lost or gained any weight.  I didn't measure myself before we started because weight is a terrible barometer of health and fitness.  I had lost weight over December/January due to inactivity following surgery, and was expecting to gain a little during the challenge as I got back into weight-lifting, but I think that I stayed the about the same, losing some fat and gaining some muscle.  I'm just now beginning to lift heavy weights again, so it'll be interesting to see what happens here on out.

Stacey's Results
After 45 days of following our paleo challenge rules, I am one happy camper – for so many reasons.  The primary goal of the challenge was to just do it – I did not identify any specific goals.  But, I did measure myself at the beginning just to have a benchmark for comparison.
Quantitative results:
  • Lost 1.5 inches from waist, 2 inches from hips, 1 inch from thigh and 1 inch from arm measurements
  • Lost 6 pounds (I didn’t think this would be possible since we really ramped up strength training and I definitely gained some muscle)
Qualitative results:
  • I feel awesome; happy, rested and satisfied.  I find things that normally might have pushed me close to the edge or set my mood to change – have a much smaller impact on my emotions.  Overall I feel more even keeled.
  • I sleep so well!  (thank you blackout curtains)
  • My level of fitness is much improved; I can run, row, stair step and lift much more than I could pre-challenge.
Obviously, we plan to continue on this path.  For the first time, I am intrigued by experimenting with the foods I eat and trying (or eliminating) things to see how that makes me feel.  Next up, eliminate coffee (and all caffeine) for 100 days – currently on day 11 and feeling great!

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