Introducing the Irish Paleo Girl (IPG) January100% Paleo Protocol
Too many nights on the town as well as indulgences we are not used to have left many of us feeling bloated, heavy and just plain sluggish.
For this reason we will be launching a brand new 30 day challenge on Wednesday next the 1st January 2014. What better way to start a brand new year than a 100% Paleo challenge: get in shape and loose those Christmas pounds!
Who is in?!
The idea behind a 100% challenge is to allow our bodies 30 days break from the main food allergens: grains, dairy, sugar, legumes and alcohol. In doing this we are allowing our guts to heal, reducing inflammation, beating sugar cravings and identifying possible triggers and allergens.
The reason we do it 100% for 30 days is to allow our bodies to heal but also to allow us to beat lingering habits such as sugar cravings (which many of us may experience due to festive indulgences). It usually takes 30 days to break a habit and takes this time for inflammation to be reduced.
Just a note that during this 30 days we will be eliminating all types of sugars including honey, maple syrup or stevia. We will not be replacing sugar or baked goods with Paleo substitutes. I believe that doing so will only impede progress and hinder the sugar detox. Afterwards we can eat some well deserved Paleo treats!
Why Do It?
The results are amazing and really worth the effort - reduced bloating and other digestive discomfort, clearer skin,improved joint mobility, shiner hair, improved sleep quality, more energy, better bowel health and elimination and of course weight loss - the list is endless!
Will It Be Difficult?
I prefer to think of it as "challenging"! Anything worth doing is a challenge right? It is sometimes tough, particularly if you have never done Paleo before or if you currently eat a lot of sugar or refined carbs. But it is like beating any addiction, the first few days are the toughest but it does get better. Just think about what you will get from it - and once the weight falls off and you start getting comments on how great you look it will all be worth it.
Will I Get Withdrawl Symptoms?
Some people do experience withdrawl symptoms. If you eat alot of sugar and refined carbohydrates you may experience some headaches or tiredness, especially around day 4 when many people feel a little tired. Do not despair, this is perfectly normal and is your body starting to move from using energy from carbs (glucose) to metabolizing fats. It also signals your body beginning to burn fat which of course will lead to weight loss for you. Try not to worry about it to much at this point - we will let you know how to deal with these symptoms when the time comes.
How Will I Prepare For It?
The coming days are important for preparing yourself both mentally and on a practical level for the IPG Challenge.
Carry out the following preparation before Wednesday night:
- Begin to remove non Paleo foods from the house.If you are the only person in your family doing it of course everything can't be removed. However, you should remove all sweets, crisps, cheese, chocolate, ice cream and biscuits from the house. I understand it is a difficult week with all the Christmas sweets that are probably lying around, but make sure you get rid of it all by giving it away. If you leave this food in the house it will only tempt you. Many people say "Oh it wont be in the house for me, it is for the kids" - your kids don't need this junk either. Get rid of it all together. It is far more difficult to go out and buy junk when a craving hits than it is to just reach into the cupboard or fridge. There is no point giving yourself added temptation.
- Begin to get rid of any "bad" fats you may have in the house such as vegetable oils, frying oil or spray fats. These fats are not good for us and the spray versions often have stabilisers and other nasties added. Bin them as soon as possible. Stock up on Kerrygold butter (which you should clarify) olive oil and coconut oil (available in good supermarkets and health food shops) Also stock up on avocados - they are often under ripe in the shop and need a couple of days to ripen. They add invaluable fat to any meal.
- Begin stocking up on healthy Paleo friendly snacks such as raw almonds, walnuts, fresh fruit and plenty of vegetables, as well as lean cuts of meats. Snacks will be your friend in the coming weeks. The key to success is ensuring you always have food to hand if you get hungry. Real food can be eaten at any time, there are no restrictions. (I will do a more detailed shopping list tomorrow but snacks really are crucial so bear it in mind) Portable snacks are important.
- Make sure you have containers for bringing packed lunches and storing leftovers in. These will become your staples!
- If you have time, boil some eggs and store in the fridge as snack and portable lunch ideas.
- Get into the mindset of cooking extras in meals to bring as leftovers the next day for lunch. For those of you who find it difficult to get time to cook, this is vital for ensuring you have food ready.
- Start reading the recipes here on the blog as well as other great pages such as Balanced Bites, Nom Nom Paleo, The Civilised Caveman, Everyday Paleo and many more. It will give you an idea of what types of foods you can eat as well as giving you ideas ahead of time for meals.
- Purchase a tape measure and take your measurements at the following points: Waist (around belly button), thigh, arm (at bicep) and hips (widest part). You should use these to get your "before" measurements. I think inch loss can often be the best measurement to focus on and I really regretted not doing this when I started Paleo. It is nice to have something to base it on.
- Take a before photo - again it is nice to have something to look at to focus your results on. When the going gets tough it will be nice to focus on how far you have already come.
Lastly, try not to get too over whelmed. I know it seems easy to say but it really isn't as difficult as it seems. It is all about preparation and balancing your meals. We will all support each other along the way and the important thing to remember is it is possible. You are just as likely to succeed at this as I or anyone else it. The only one getting in the way of you succeeding is YOU!
Check out my blog post on what foods to buy and also some meal ideas to start you off here!
Looking forward to beginning the journey with you all.