I'll just warn you now, this post is going to be a bit long winded, but if you're eating paleo to lose weight and optimise your health and energy like me you might want to read on. If you're just interested in the recipe feel free to scroll to the bottom. I had a conversation today (via email) with my friend Sarah who's in the navy. She's a great friend, fellow cross fitter and extremely knowledgeable on the whole30/paleo topic. She went to sea in February and decided to follow the whole30 program. She learned so much from the experience that she continued to read about using food as fuel and how best to keep her insulin levels stable.
Yay for you doing whole30!!!
I did it for the first 30 days when I left Australia back in February. It is HARD! I had to do it here on the ship; at least you get to cook for yourself.
The only advice I can offer is clean out your cupboards of any temptations, be very well prepared with planning your meals and don’t let yourself get addicted to fruit to help with the sugar cravings. It’s going to suck but you can fight through it, I have faith! I was having way too much fruit; I’m talking like 4-5 serves a day, which is ridiculous! When you do eventually eat sugar again, like in a lolly or something, you will feel like crap believe me.
I started this week and it’s been really tough. Did you try to eat larger meals so you weren't hungry for snacks? And I'm totally going to have a hard time with the fruit thing. Did you allow yourself a certain amount?
I ate unbelievably large meals, and I still do. Its just that the food is all clean and not very calorie dense so its all good :) I did develop an obsession with fruit and nuts though so be careful there.
Maybe try and zone as much as you can too - not for portion or block sizes but with the 1-2-3 theory - for every 1 gram of fat, double it for protein, and triple it for carbs - i.e 4 grams fat, 8 grams protein, 12 grams carbs, etc. which should hopefully help keep your insulin stable so you can make it to lunch/dinner.
With my fruit back then I tried to limit myself to one a day, but knowing now what I know about zone it probably didn’t help because I wasn’t eating it with protein or fat so insulin would have gone straight up! I think maybe I lost a few kilos but nothing extreme. I did feel great for it though and it helped give me the push to continue to eat clean. I don’t crave anything like dairy or bread anymore.
With zone I’ve been dropping carbs and having a bit of extra protein and fat to keep my calories up. The difference is really noticeable. I’ve started to get heaps lean and all my carbs are favorable carbs, except on the odd occasion there is pumpkin or sweet potato (we are very limited on veggie selection on the ship) its pretty much beans and cauliflower every night so I treat myself to a small serve of the good stuff if its there. When I have my fruit its with a sort of 2 block snack so I’ll only have half an apple or pear. Maybe try sticking to strawberries and blueberries - they are the best in terms of GI, you could eat a whole punnet of strawberries and it would be ok.
Wow you're so knowledgeable about all this. Have you learned this since doing whole30? I'm hoping through the process I'll learn a lot more about what does and doesn't work for my body.
I love all of your tips and I think I'll try to aim for 3 large zoneish type meals each day. The fruit will be a struggle, but maybe I'll have my apple with breakfast or lunch and avoid fruit the rest of the day.
I have spent heaps of time on the whole30 and zone forums. There is so much valuable information there to be learnt. The biggest thing I took away from it is carb sensitivity, i.e that consuming the right amount of carbs, especially the higher GI ones, still raises my insulin too much, therefore putting a stop to the fat burning process, so dropping a 'block' of carbs and replacing it with fat has helped me with weight loss and leaning out. It’s why I only have half a piece of fruit when I’m having a snack, this is a zone theory though but it might help you get results. Start as normal with getting all the right amounts of your proteins fats and carbs - don’t stress about measurements though just have a look at what’s on your plate. Give it two weeks or so and if your not seeing results start playing around with it; have less carbs but a little bit more good fat to balance it out. If your not making it to lunch time increase all your portions and try and keep your carbs to favorable as much as possible. If you need it only have one unfavorable thing on your plate. If you really want a big bowl of fruit salad or something, try to keep it to favorable fruits as much as possible and have minimal veggies with your lunch or better yet a salad (you would need to eat 2 whole lettuces to have one block of carbs!) then you've got some carbs up your sleeve to eat, just don’t do it every day.
If your out for dinner or in a situation where you need to find a zonish meal and you don’t have many options, carbs is where you cut yourself short. Make sure your always getting the protein and fat but if you need to miss out on anything, miss out on the carbs.
Fruit really isn’t that bad if your having the favourable ones, I just found for me I was relying on it too much to fill the sugar void when I was doing whole30. If you truly want to get over your sugar addiction then your going to have to cut it! Now I only reduce my intake for the whole raised insulin thing and trying to get lean.
Oh Sarah this is so helpful really!
No worries, if you need more info jump on the forum on www.zonediet.com/forums and also the one on the whole9 site, so much info and heaps of people that are going through the same thing you might be, its where I found all the advice about carb sensitivity.
With the zone thing honestly don’t stress about the blocks and stuff. I don’t have scales or anything here so I just do it by looking at the plate and having a vague idea about portion sizes from what’s in the block guide. I only worry about the carb side of it since that’s the part that really has any sort of affect on my insulin. I’ve had a long time to experiment with it so I’ve figured out when I see results and when I don’t. I figured the carb thing out after not really seeing many results for so long. I was eating too many carbs, and most of them were unfavorable, like huge serves of sweet potato and pumpkin, topped off with a massive bowl of fruit salad or a whole banana, things like that and nowhere near enough fats. It was really getting me down because I was working so hard, training twice a day and being so strict on myself and barely seeing any changes, especially on the scales to the point where I decided I was eating too much so I was skipping meals, only eating two meals and maybe one snack a day, but of course, I had reduced my calorie intake so low that I had no energy. I wasn’t gaining weight, but I certainly wasn’t losing it either.
That’s when I decided to give zoning a go and I feel so much better. I eat so much food so I’m never hungry, I have energy all the time - I’m a fat burning machine! And I have leaned out so much, and obviously so. You can see my abs and all the muscles in my legs. I actually enjoy looking at my body! So many people have noticed too, so I feel great getting all the positive feedback. I haven’t lost big numbers on the scale or anything, but measurement wise I have dropped heaps.
So I just make sure I have a nice serve of meat and if I’m super hungry I’ll just get more. At lunch time I’ll grab heaps of lettuce, capsicum, cucumber; salad I pretty much don’t count since you need so much of it to have any sort of affect on your insulin and 2 or so slices of beetroot since its unfavorable. I know that 12 asparagus is one block so I grab maybe 6. If there is broccoli and cauliflower I’ll get a few bits of that too (2 cups is one block so a couple of pieces is nothing). Meanwhile, my plate is overflowing! The boys are like ‘are you seriously going to eat all that?’ Yep I sure am! If the meat has some sort of sauce on it, like a casserole or something then I reduce the carbs down. I love it when there is a good stir fry or casserole and cauliflower. I have a bottle of olive oil here so I just put a little bit of that on if the meat portion was really lean or have some almonds. Dinner is the same but without the salad, just veggies. At the moment I’m going to bed straight after dinner so I have a bit smaller portions since I really don’t need much; only to keep insulin stable while sleeping.
You’ll get used to it I promise! If you can take away anything from all this rambling on, just make smart choices with your carbs, that’s the most important thing.
Wow, well I definitely took a lot away from that, and I hope you did too! If you have any questions about it just post in the comments and I'll try to answer them. With that being said here is today's recipe courtesy of my crossfit coach Troy, homemade mayonnaise.
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 cups extra light olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Mix the eggs, mustard, salt & pepper to taste and vinegar in a long narrow container
- Using a stick blender, slowly drizzle the oil in as you emulsify it into the egg mixture, the oil must mix into the eggs as soon as it hits the eggs, otherwise it will split the mixture and remain runny
- Transfer to a container and refrigerate