30 day paleo challenge

Sugar addiction

Hello, my name is Liz and I'm addicted to sugar.

You think I'm being silly. But I'm not. This has been a rude awakening. A very rude awakening.

You all should hear the battle in my mind when I am trying to not eat (or break free from) sugar. I can do it... I did it... for a few days. (Do I sound addicted already?) No, seriously. I would like you to re-read this blog post as if I were talking about a real, hard drug. Because even though sugar is completely legal, it is a drug. So let me reword this.


Hello, my name is Liz and I'm addicted to cocaine. I can totally not use it for a few days, so I am sure I have some control over it. But after a little while I can easily convince myself that it would be okay to just have a little bit. Unfortunately, that little bit just makes me want it more. And then before I know it I am totally binging. But, seriously, it's not that big of a deal.

It gives me mood swings and makes my body hurt. But that's okay. Those symptoms always go away eventually.

It makes me feel embarrassed and defeated that I don't have the self-control to give it up for ever and ever. But then I just brush it off and think "at least I'm not on heroine or something worse."

I get headaches if I haven't had any for too long. Good thing I can access it anytime I need to!

It keeps me up at night, but I still choose to have some before bed. It's just so, so good.

I know it's not good for me or my body, so when I have some I make sure my daughter doesn't see. I don't want her to have the same problems I have.

That white, powdery substance just makes you feel good. You can't get it off your mind, and you keep coming back for more. The more you have it, the more you want it! But even when you try to stay away from it, it finds ways to sneak into your life almost daily. What can you do? - Breaking Your Sugar Addiction


I know, that sounds dramatic. But you all, it's serious. This has been a very rude awakening for me and I feel like I have absolutely no self control when it comes to sugar. It is completely bad for my body and after being off of it for a little while, I can totally SEE and FEEL what it does to my body.

Two nights ago I had a serious craving for cookies and cookie dough. I walked through the grocery store (Right after dinner, mind you. So this wasn't a hungry-grocery-store-run) and filled my cart with delicious whole foods, produce, and other essentials. I had just finished my paleo meal planning for the week and I was trying to stay focused. I was in the last aisle before walking to the register and I passed the cookie dough section. Twice. I grabbed a container of cookie dough and put it in my cart. Then I picked it up and read the ingredients. Hmmm... some things I can't pronounce. So, took it out. I decided, if I was going to cheat and if I really wanted cookie dough, then I could make it from scratch at home.

So I did just that. I returned home and made cookie dough. I didn't even bake cookies, you all. I just ATE THE COOKIE DOUGH FOR DINNER.

And here is what followed:

  • I had to secretly eat it so as to not be questioned by Tommy.
  • Then I started to resent my husband for being my diet babysitter. Ugh. Annoying.
  • I tossed and turned all night.
  • I woke up with a headache the next morning.
  • My spirit felt low and defeated.
  • I felt depressed and overwhelmed all day long.
  • I could not focus on my work.
  • I felt tired and lazy most of the day.
  • I had mood swings and pretty much ignored Tommy and Sunday all evening. They were "bothering" me.

I was really, really shocked. I had no idea sugar took such a toll on my body. No wonder I've been a drama queen my whole life. I have been feeding myself drama drugs!!

So... where to go from here. I do not know. I do know that I am just about OVER dietary restrictions right now. I will get back on the saddle of this Paleo challenge and finish it out strong. After that I will try to manage my diet and truly eat in moderation. I don't know if I will need to attempt a Sugar Detox Diet or what... but I do know that I'm not even going to consider it right now. My mind is blown by this simple realization and in due time I will seriously approach the issue. But I'm not mentally ready to tackle it.

Recognizing the problem is the first step, right? (sigh)


Week 2 Meal Plan | #30daysofpaleo

Paleo Weekly Meal Plan

One of the best ways to plan for success is to plan… I can plan 4.5 weekly menus…! Easy peasy! It’s following the plan that’s the hard part, of course.

Here's my plan for this week:

I am starting the week off by cooking 1lb of ground beef and 1lb of nitrate-free bacon to have ready-to-go in the fridge (used most with breakfast omelets and lunch meals). I will reserve 1 spaghetti squash and 1 whole chicken for meals later in the week.


Breakfast: We are traveling, so: eggs & coffee Lunch: Taco salad with salsa & guacamole (still traveling) Dinner: Chicken stir fry (no noodles)


Breakfast: Grain-free porridge and fruit for Sunday (Recipe can be found in Practical Paleo) LunchTaco veggie lettuce wraps Dinner: Roasted whole chicken with vegetables (onions, carrots, broccoli) (plus rice for Tommy)


Breakfast: Omelet with ground beef, mushrooms and spinach, grain-free porridge (and fruit for Sunday) Lunch: Leftover chicken with sautéed sweet potatoes and onions Dinner: Spaghetti squash with olive oil, sun dried tomatoes and basil (chicken quesadilla for Sunday)


Breakfast: Grain-free porridge and fruit for Sunday (Recipe can be found in Practical Paleo) Lunch: Leftovers Dinner: Almond breaded chicken with mashed cauliflower and steamed vegetables


Breakfast: Omelet with bacon + spinach, grain-free porridge Lunch: Leftover mashed cauliflower with bacon bits, steamed veggies Dinner: Spaghetti squash with grass-fed ground beef and tomato sauce


Breakfast: Paleo pancakes Lunch: Chicken breasts, strawberry and spinach/romaine salad Dinner: Avocado chicken salad (skip the mayo)

Okay... let's see how this week goes! I was feeling a little uninspired with this menu plan and had trouble finding variety. But, we strive off of routine so I think it'll be alright!

5 new foods I love because of the Paleo Challenge

A few weeks before the Paleo Challenge kicked off, I attended a small paleo workshop presented by one of the owners of my Crossfit box. She shared a lot of information and encouragement during the workshop, but one thing she said really stuck with me. I kind of think about it daily. She said, "I get so excited when I hear someone is going to do a paleo challenge because I think they are finally going to taste food."

At first I thought… Blah. I am not looking forward to tasting those foods. Veggies… ew. Chicken liver? Bone Broth? Suaerkraut? So gross. And, anyway, I really like my sugar, salt and cheese.

But, 5 days in I can tell you she was right. I have a handful of new favorite foods already. Guilt-free, good for me, delicious and savory foods. Foods I never would have tried had I not taken on this challenge!  If you've never tried these foods, I challenge you to pick one from the list below and make it this week!

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash - The best kept squash secret!! There are a ton of ways to make spaghetti squash (just as there are a ton of ways to make spaghetti pasta). I simply substituted the squash for pasta in our traditional spaghetti dinner. But you could sauté it with garlic, grass-fed butter, and salt... or sauté it with olive oil, basil and tomatoes. The list could go on. I used this recipe for our dinner the other night. So, so good. I won't miss pasta at all! (Actually, I already miss cheese-stuffed pasta. :))

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes - These were instrumental in my survival of the paleo diet. Sweet, savory, filling, and can we say CARBS?? Emotionally needed (comfort food!) and guilt-free. I love to peel, cube, and sauté sweet potatoes in a pan with a chopped white onion, coconut oil, salt and a dash of cinnamon! It's like candy!!

Grain Free Porridge

Grain-free Porridge - I thought I would never get to have a creamy, warm, filling breakfast cereal again (I am a huge oatmeal and cream-of-wheat fan!). Well... who would have thought that almond butter + coconut milk + coconut flakes + vanilla would be a delicious and creamy winter breakfast? And it seriously leaves me satisfied for hours. (Warm it all up on the stovetop, of course!)


Onions - Anyone who knows me well know I do not like onions. Or peppers. At all. I'm kind of a texture weirdo and I have avoided them my whole life. Now, I've always been able to appreciate the taste of onions (but not peppers) and in the past few months I started recognizing the flavor of onions really added to a meal. So, I started using teeny, tiny onion pieces in my meals. Until this week. I made a roast the other night with large onion chunks (for Tommy - he loves them) and those slices of onions were super delicious. The next night I served sauteed onions as a side dish to our meal. Hah. I am SOLD! So, so good!

Trader Joe's Ground Beef

Grass-fed Beef - When people would tell me how much more delicious grass-fed beef was versus simple generic ground beef, it would totally go in one ear and out the other. I'm not a ground beef fan. I find it pretty much tasteless and I have never been a big burger fan. When I made spaghetti in the past, I'd use italian sausage instead of ground beef. Until now! This stuff is PACKED with flavor!! And truthfully, it may just be that my taste buds aren't coated with salt and sugar so I am finally tasting the meat. It doesn't matter. It's delicious.

So there you have it! Five new favorite foods in five days! It's like I'm becoming an adult or something. :) You should really give one of these a try!

Week 1 Meal Plan | #30daysofpaleo

Paleo Weekly Meal Plan

One of the best ways to plan for success is to plan... I can plan 4.5 weekly menus...! Easy peasy! It's following the plan that's the hard part, of course.

Here's my plan for this week:

Friday Breakfast: Eggs with bacon bits, mushrooms and spinach Lunch: Sauteed chicken with sweet potato, brussel sprouts, broccoli and onion Dinner: Spaghetti squash with grass fed beef and tomato sauce Juice: Romain lettuce, a lot of carrots, 1" chunk of ginger, and avocado

Saturday Breakfast: Eggs with bacon bits, tomatoes and spinach Lunch: Leftover spaghetti squash with grass fed beef and tomato sauce Dinner: Taco Veggie Lettuce Wraps with salsa and guacamole Juice: Spinach, cucumber,  a lot of carrots

Sunday Breakfast: Eggs with mushrooms, onions and tomatoes Lunch: Leftover taco meat with salsa and quacamole Dinner: Planned cheat meal for the Super Bowl Juice: Romain lettuce, a lot of carrots, 1" chunk of ginger, and avocado

Monday Breakfast: Eggs with bacon, mushrooms, and spinach Lunch: Sauteed grass fed ground beef with sweet potato, brussel sprouts and onion Dinner: Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken with Broccoli Veggie Saute Juice: Spinach, cucumber, celery, and carrots

Tuesday Breakfast: Veggie Bacon Frittata Lunch: Chicken veggie salad with avocado herb dressing Dinner: Leftover Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken with sautéed veggies and Sweet Potato Mash (minus the syrup) Juice: Romain lettuce, a lot of carrots, 1" chunk of ginger, celery

Wednesday Breakfast: Leftover Veggie Bacon Frittata Lunch: Chicken veggie salad with avocado herb dressing Dinner: Sauteed veggies with leftover Lemon Garlic Herb Roasted Chicken Juice: Spinach or kale, a lot of carrots, cucumber, celery

Thursday Breakfast: Leftover Veggie Bacon Frittata Lunch: Brussel sprouts with bacon Dinner: Almond breaded chicken and Cauliflower Rice Juice: Romain lettuce, a lot of carrots, 1" chunk of ginger, and avocado

Oh gosh. I might turn orange with all the carrots and sweet potatoes in my diet. Good thing I can have fruit next week... I'll be laying off the carrot juice for a while!!

Also, as you can see... I have no problem with routine and eating the same meals repeatedly. At least, I have no problem planning it. Let's see if I can stick to the plan, though!

My 30 Day Paleo Challenge Journey | #30daysofpaleo

Alright, friends. I think I have figured out a way to share this journey with you and really only share it with those of you who care. :) I set up a category in my wordpress back end for the challenge and this category (30 day paleo challenge) will not be showing up on my homepage or in any of my RSS feeds. If you would like to follow along with this challenge, you can do so by using this link. I also added a fun Paleo Challenge button in my sidebar so you can hop over to my site and click through to see what's going on.

30 Day Paleo Challenge

Okay, so, this is going to be harder thanI thought. See, I own the book Practical Paleo... which is kind of the bible of Paleo eating. And IN the book the diet allows fruit and sweeteners (natural sugars like maple syrup, honey and dates). So I figured... I can do this. It'll be tough, but I know I can do anything for 30 days. And at least I've got my escape of warm, sweet tea. Yummm. I am excited, I want to learn to listen to my body and understand why it does/feels the things it experiences. Yeah! Let's do this!

And then... you guys... I got the email about the challenge on Tuesday night. Here is a brief overview:

How to Earn Points during Days 1-7:

  • 1 point for each meal you eat clean (NO: sugar- including honey or maple syrup, grains, gluten, legumes, dairy, or alcohol). Refer to page 10 of the resource guide. Each meal must have a protein, veggie, & fat. (You can’t eat just sweet potatoes for breakfast (What! This is nuts!!)). Also no fruit for the first week. (Are you KIDDING ME?!!!)
  • ONGOING BONUS: add 5 points for each super food you eat (organ meat, homemade bone broth – not boxed or canned, sea vegetables - dulse, kelp, seaweed) There are a few more super foods, but we will add them in the coming weeks. (How about I don't eat any clean meals but I just add a super food to each day of the challenge?? That's like... more points than just eating clean meals!)
  • Weekly challenge- track your water intake. 1 point per day that you get 64 oz of water (not including water consumed at the box)
  • On the 14th day (Valentine’s Day) – Dark chocolate will be allowed without penalty.  Must be 80% or higher.
  • Fruit will be added back the 2nd week (post wod only).

When I read that right there about no FRUIT for the first week... I wanted to quit then and there. I can't do this. I don't WANT to do this. You-have-got-to-be-kidding-me. And then... oh, look! It comes back the second week! But only after I have completed the Workout of the Day (WOD). 

And I mean... that kind of puts a major damper on my 30 Days of Juice challenge I'm in the middle of. What did I even get myself into here?! Imagine me right now... kicking and screaming and throwing a fit. (If only Sunday could see me.) I wish I had never even mentioned the challenge on my blog. Because now I have to do it. And I really don't want to. But... I really do want to. I want to break my addiction to sugar. I want to learn to eat three meals a day without snacking between them. I want to learn to love clean, rich foods. Foods that are so good for my body. Yes it's going to be hard... but it's going to be amazing. And... well... I am really looking forward to the results in my after pictures. Maybe, if they are good enough, I'll share the pictures with you guys, too.

So - the challenge kicks off tomorrow. I'll be sharing exactly what I am eating and how I am feeling over here. Feel free to follow along. I could use any and every bit of encouragement, even if it's just click throughs to the blog posts. :)