Sunday’s Reflection/Weekly Challenge #1!

Sunday’s Reflection

Today is the first post to reflect on your first day of the paleo challenge.   This is a mandatory assignment for everyone participating.  You can reflect on your experiences. For example, today, discuss your first day 100% paleo!  In the future, did you try a new paleo recipe that turned out good? Did you have a great workout week?  Did you have trouble eating on the run in the morning or quick meals in the evening?  Share your thoughts!

p.s. make sure you’ve taken measurements (waist -largest area around belly button), chest, arms,and  thighs), weighed yourself, and took a before picture (preferably in bathing suit or tight fitting outfit).

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Weekly Challenge #1

How the weekly challenge works? The challenge is for individuals, not teams.  Weekly challenges will vary week to week. The prizes will vary week to week.   The weekly challenges are for fun and not mandatory.  We will consider your participation, however, when we decide winners at the end of the challenge.

What is the challenge this week?! You will go shopping (you, not someone shopping for you) and find meat and vegetables.  The Catch? Your entire plate will be full of food you’ve never tasted before.  You must find at least 1 vegetable and 1 meat that you’ve never tasted in your mouth.  By Friday night (10/7), you will have taken a picture of your meal w/ a short critique and Submit it via facebook.  If you legitimately do not know how, do not have a facebook account, or do not have the technology to upload pictures, then you can email with your critique.  Winner will be raffled.

What is the prize this week?!  Bath and Body Works gift package! Good for men, too!

***Below are some options, but not limited to items on the list. Google some recipes for ideas!***

Meat Options: Beef, bison, elk, goat, chicken, duck, quail, turkey, kangaroo, lamb, ostrich, pork, veal, venison, alligator, goose, duck, calamari, clams, crab, lobster, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shark, shrimp, octopus, swordfish, tilapia, tuna, herring, oysters, haddock, grouper, scallops, mussels

Vegetables Options: artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocado, beets, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, kale, collard and mustard greens, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, fennel bulb, green beans, onion, kimchi, lettuce, mushroom, okra, olives, onions, peppers, radish, shallots, bok choy, tomato, zucchni, turnip, parsley, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, kelp, seaweed, wakeme


About hcfchallenge

The Paleo diet is simple yet remarkably effective for fat loss and halting or preventing a number of degenerative diseases. To reap the benefits of the most effective nutritional strategy known, one need simply build meals from the following: * Lean proteins (ideally) grass fed meat, free range fowl and wild caught fish * Seasonal fruits and vegetables * Healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil, and coconut oil Our 6 week challenge will help you ease your way into the Paleo Diet. Regardless of your fitness or health goals, you WILL look, feel and perform your best on the Paleo diet. For most people the fact the Paleo diet delivers the best results is enough. Improved blood lipids, weight loss and reduced pain from autoimmunity is proof enough. Many people however are not satisfied with blindly following any recommendations, be they nutrition or exercise related. Some folks like to know WHY they are doing something. Fortunately, the Paleo diet has stood not only the test of time, but also the rigors of scientific scrutiny. View all posts by hcfchallenge

61 responses to “Sunday’s Reflection/Weekly Challenge #1!

  • Angie Truelock

    What a great start to Paleo!!! I am so excited! I got to meet my awesome partner, Jen R.! My daughter and I walked/ran the Clear Creek trail, 4.11 miles. I even ran!!! Pretty much half way! And those of you who know me from 6am workouts…that’s huge for me! Good luck to everyone!!!

  • Katie Heeter

    Hello Fellow Bloggers,
    First day of paleo went pretty well for me, Carne Asada seasoned steak courteous of Trader Joes’ with steamed broccoli was very tasty. i made paleo chocolate chip cookies which turned out amazing! The only thing that I want to improve on was eating fruit at night. I ended my day with frozen fruit smoothie.I was still a bit hungry (I ate dinner early because I ate a light lunch) so i indulged in late fruit as opposed to running to my usual pre-paleo late night snacks. I will try to eat a bit later to stave off late night hunger.

    I was at Kroger grabbing some rotisserie chickens and other things I needed to make cookies and I caught my self giving people’s carts the “stink eye”. I was looking at their sugar laden carts and really was grossed out. I had a superior feeling (which i felt a bit guilty about), but it really made me feel better about my cart and the decisions that I am making to make myself healthier 🙂

    Also, I felt AMAZING when I woke up this morning…. all of the bloat that I didn’t really realize i had was GONE! I didn’t realize I felt crappy until now, so it is great motivation to continue because I already feel benefits. I am going to make ground turkey, marinera sauce and spaghetti squash today which will last at least 3 lunches this week. Pretty pumped!! Good Luck fellow accountabilibuddies 🙂

  • Samuel Spade

    For me, the first day of this Paleo challenge was…interesting. Meghan’s family was in town from Pennsylvania to see her in the opera, so we went to see the IU/Penn St. game too. But what could have been a huge Faileo, turned into small Paleo wins across the board. All it took was a little planning and willpower. Knowing that the fam wanted to tailgate before the game, I bought a couple Oliver Winery ciders to get me through the morning (Shaun says they’re paleo!) along with avoiding the chips and cookies. We also went out for dinner, and I was able to find a paleo option at the restaurant (braised duck breast and leg in a balsamic reduction with wilted spinach). I was really happy and a little surprised that I got through Day One successfully.

    Today, Meghan and I grill for the week, including pork chops and mashed cauliflower for dinner. Tomorrow, I head to the Butcher’s Block for an interesting meat option. I’m really looking forward to giving something new a try…it’ll remain a secret for now, though. 😉

  • Heather

    Yay! PALEO!

    Day 1 ROCKED! I made a trip earlier this week to bloomingfoods to pick up some free range eggs (yummy!), some fishers farm pork and I tried chicken thighs (this is new for me). I have yet to have fruit, I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake and I even dropped the honey from my coffee.

    Pam and I made a trip up to Trader Joe’s and I bought some Ahi Tuna and Alaskan Cod- I am going to have to learn how to cook this- but I am super excited about new protein! I pulled a Scott T this afternoon and cut up a bunch of veggies for the week.

    Like Katie, I wasn’t bloated when I woke up this morning, which was nice for a change. I am ready for great things to happen to me (and the rest of you!) this month! I hope to have greater gains in and outside of the gym (I need to get on Katie and Jenna’s level!!).

    “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.”- Tommy Lasorda

    You can do it HCF’ers!!!! I believe in you! 🙂 Good luck this week!

    • Denise

      You are such an inspiration Heather…thank you 🙂 I am dreaming of the day I can make this paleo lifestyle a constant lifestyle…and where it all comes naturally. To be on a Katie, Jenna, and Heather level 🙂

  • Andy Weddle

    What a great start for October!! I am now through my headache stage from no caffine, since I cut out my addiction to dr pepper and I actuly feel pretty good, I plan on finishing today with planning out my lunches for the week,and preparing them to take with me each day, this is my plan for staying out of the fastfood drive throughs!!!!!by far my worst enemy!! As I think of all the menu ideas I realize, for me its not about what cant I have, its more about all the great foods I am going to try for the first time and Im excited to be apart of this experience. good luck!!! We can do this!!!

  • Pam

    Well, almost 2 days down and doing well. I was excited for the challenge because its forcing me to make some healthy diet changes that I hope to stick to after its over..especially cutting out my sugars! I stocked up on goodies from Trader Joes and was amazed after reading ingredients on labels how much junk we really consume!
    My first real challenge was today at the annual sheep roast. I grabbed a plate and fork and followed the others in the food line. As they loaded their plates, mine remained empty until getting to some raw veggies. We are talking around five long tables full of food that over 150 people brought. Then I hit the jackpot when I went straight to the fire pit…it was full of lamb, pork shops, and roasted chicken and it was so good! I did have to explain to several people why I wasn’t loaded down with all the other items they called “the good stuff” but that was fine.
    I’m really looking forward to seeing how I look and feel at the end of the 30 days!


    • hcfchallenge

      Way to Go pam! It’s tough when you have so many “tasty” options and you can’t have them, especially all the home-made desserts. One day, you you’ll have the choice to eat that stuff, and you just won’t want to.

  • Kristin Poage

    The first day of paleo was great! I spent time yesterday with tons of vegetables, just processing them into easy to grab bites in plastic containers. I know I rely on fruit way too much, so I thought if I had veggies easy to grab, I might go to them first.

    I also cooked a bunch of easy meats (chicken breasts, bacon strips, etc.) and hard boiled some eggs to have on hand in case my week gets crazy and I need a quick grab of protein without having to cook it right then.

    The BEST recipe I found in the last day was homemade Lara Bars (dates, almonds, cinnamon, a few raisins, and 1 Tbs almond butter). I put it in a food processor, pressed it into bars…voila! Delicious.

    Dinner tonight is paleo spaghetti….can’t wait to try it.

    • hcfchallenge

      Preparing in advance is the best! keep it up, Kristin! and, you’re right about the fruit. It’s so easy to grab and go; i’m glad you planned ahead and cut up some veggies. I also will have almond butter on celery sticks. Sunflower seed butter was good too.

  • Dawn Volungis

    The last couple of days have gone better than I imagined. I think it was helpful to clean out my frige and pantry knowing that this was starting on the 1st. The shopping list from the seminar were great because all the lists were prepared. I didn’t buy everything on the list but having the options of “safe” foods were great. The mental determination really helps you make-it or break-it!!

    There was lots of temptation this weekend! I walked a 5K yesterday at a winery. I savored that one glass of Merlot at the end and was actually okay not having more. I didn’t go for the sandwich and bananas after either. I love bananas so that was tough. Today I volunteered at an event and there were all sorts of juices and bagels and baked stuff that I didn’t touch.

    As far as mood, I do notice my energy level stays more consistent and like the others above, the loss of that bloated feeling is noticeable. I have struggled with headaches over the last two days and a migraine today. I think it was because I didn’t plan enough snacks away from home. Headaches aren’t new for me but I do hope this challenge helps them stay away more.

    I bought some ground bisen from Sahara Mart and cooked it tonight. It was really good and tasted a lot like ground beef. I bought Kale to try later in the week. Coconut oil is fabulous and it smells amazing!!! I have already been getting great tips from my Paleo buddy, Sam. I ordered the Paleo recipe book because I am more likely to make new things if I have a book on hand. I did but the almond meal and coconut flour and am excited to try them out in something.

    It’s great to have this forum to see what everyone else is doing too. We make it through a weekend…that’s great!

  • Cara Hays

    My first two SUPER PALEO days have gone really well! I’m referring to this as super because I realized I have wayyyy too many “minor” cheats. I’m really excited to see how taking all of these out changes how I feel.

    Catherine and I met at Scotty’s Saturday night and both had the Blue Cheese and Steak salad, without the blue cheese of course! We talked a lot about paleo, our goals, and got to know each other a little bit. I brought her some paleo granola that I had made and she assured me that it was good so I’ll leave you all the recipe!

    Paleo Granola

    2 cups toasted coconut
    1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
    1/2 cup almonds
    1/2 cup sunflower seeds
    1/2 cup pecans
    3/4 cup honey (you don’t need quite this much)
    1/2 cup coconut oil (not as much of this either)
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon vanilla

    Preheat the oven at 350 F. In a saucepan, melt together honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, and vanilla. Spread the nut/seed mixture into a baking sheet and pour sauce on top. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring every five!

    Hope everyone has a good week 🙂

  • Terry

    The last couple of days have a day of firsts. First time that I have blogged, first diet and the first time that I went into a Mexican resturant and did not have chips and salsa. So far, it has not been too bad.

  • Andy Weddle

    what a way to start October!! I already feel better, I did go though caffine withdraw, but now feel fine, I think Im going to focus on all the new foods Im going to try for the first time instead of the ones I can no longer have, I am going to challange myself to try 30 vegetables Ive never had before, I know this sounds simple ,but for me this will be a exciting new expierence and a challenge to myself, I wish everyone the best of luck, together I know we can do this.

  • hcfchallenge

    Day 1 did not go quite as well as I had imagined, but only because I felt like crap on Friday and didn’t do the planning I had intended and consequently didn’t really have the foods I needed. Let’s just say I ate a lot of meat & eggs yesterday and not so many veggies. I’m gonna get my act together today. So lesson #1 is that I have to plan ahead if this is gonna work. I also learned that Bfoods will accommodate you with a lettuce wrap if you ask (and they have 2 Paleo side options), though it is not an option on their menu. And I managed to survive a pitch-in and was thoroughly amused to look at the huge spread of food there and not find one.single.vegetable. Not one!!! And no fruit either. Just some meats, lots of desserts, cheese balls, lasagna, and other grain & cheese-based foods. So that was interesting food for thought and in the future, when going to non-Paleo pitch-ins I won’t struggle with deciding what to bring… sauteed asparagus, a salad, SOMETHING green. Or perhaps orange. -michele

  • Bryce Wininger

    This Paleo thing has been easy to stick to until that wily temptress Eric Gonzaba starts wanting all the things I can’t have! Stay strong! I’ve been doing Paleo since two weeks ago and I’ve already seen some changes and have enjoyed it thus far. While working on the wards and clinics, it won’t be any problem at all to continue to stick with it. I am definitely looking forward to seeing how my WOD performances improve, too. I will say, at yesterday’s team WOD, I was very proud of myself for doing better with the 1000m. rows than I ever have before. Maybe the new diet had something to do with it?!

  • Megan Cirgin

    Well My first day of Paleo was a little harder than what i thought. Since i am diabetic i dont really eat that much sugar but what i love is diet coke. It has been a challenge for me this weekend. Nate and i went to the grocery store today and spent a good amount of money but we came home and cook some good food. After i feel like i ate a ton, i didn’t feel like i was going to die after dinner. In about 5 minutes i am going to cook lunch for myself because like Andy i am never at home for lunch so i am trying to plan out lunches for this week. Yesterday was extremely hard with caffeine, i had a headache most of the day and (hung over from friday night). So far it’s not that bad, just the challenge is going to be a little bit difficult to do since i am never home for lunch.

  • Leah

    Ditto what Terry said..1st time blogging, 1st time in mexican restaurant without devouring chips and salsa, then pigging out on rice n beans. I’ve tried a “modified” paleo type diet this summer, I continued to have some (very little ) cheese, and my beloved french vanilla coffee creamer! Not to sad about cheese, but frightened about no creamer. So far, ick. Black coffee is an aquired taste, but im willing to struggle thru it :). Looking forward to trying lots of interesting meats and vegetables.

  • Karen Peterson-Taylor

    I have 2 days down! Yeah. Yesterday I went shopping . I was so surprised to see my cart half filled with veggies and fruits instead of boxes of stuff with unknown inside. I spent a lot of time reading labels. I made out a list of ingredients to try new recipes. I bought bok choy and turnips New veggies to me.. I hope to try those in a new recipe this week. I also spent most of today preparing some food for the week. My husband is afraid he will starve! Not! Cheers to the week ahead!

  • Jenn

    I have been experimenting with Paleo style of eating for a few weeks, not strict, but I notice a big difference when I am following the plan and when I am not. Challenge has not started the way I had imagined. I had the stomach flu all weekend so there was no planning, cooking, and the eating was NOT an option for me. I did get out to store today and bought what I will need for the next few days. I have a lot of recipes and I hope to get them all made and posted ASAP! Monday is a new day!

    • hcfchallenge

      My first paleo challenge I had a fever and was so sick! All I wanted was chicken soup and definitely contemplated quitting the challenge just to have that comfort. Veggies were the last thing I wanted! I can say that I know how you feel. Look forward to your recipes!

  • Janssen Jones

    Saturday and Sunday were pretty good paleo days for me. Uncured bacon, omega-3 eggs, grass-fed steak, grass-fed beef jerky, kale, chard, collard greens, broccoli, almonds, raspberries, apple lemon, lime, and paleo biscuits and gravy (from Paleo Comfort Foods), and lots of liquid fish oil. No major issues to speak of. Ready for another great week of on-ramp!

  • Kyle Swinford

    Rough start for me. Cutting out the sweets is really hard. Luckily my girlfriend bought some dark chocolate to satiate my craving. Was never big into fruits so that’s not something I have to worry about. My goal is to expand the variety of vegetables in my diet. I tried an artichoke concoction last week from Bloomingfood’s and an edamame salad that I might pick up again. Anyone know where we can find exotic meat in Bloomington? I might try a spaghetti squash recipe too this week!!! 🙂 Good luck everyone!

    • Ellie Bernstein

      Butcher’s Block has exotic meats!

      • susan

        They do! It was amazing. I went there today because I wondered how I was going to find a meat that I hadn’t tried in my 49 years. There were so many new things to choose from and they were so helpful with suggestions and cooking instructions.

    • Sam Spade


      Hit up the Butcher’s Block. It’s in the little strip mall that’s next to Best Buy. They have all kinds of meats and a lot of different cuts too. If they don’t have something in the case, just ask. You’ll be amazed at the variety they have. I’m definitely heading over there tomorrow for my mystery meat…

  • Ellie Bernstein

    Hey Guys!

    So far the Paleo challenge has been going really well for me. I’m usually a carb monster at night and so far i’ve had ZERO carby/sugary cravings at night. Amazing! It’s like some type of magic?! Anyway, I’ve found two areas of difficulty thus far. Number one–breakfast. I’m a cereal girl and am already sick of eggs. I’m jealous of all you bacon eaters… it sounds so easy to whip up some eggs n bacon for breakfast but I don’t eat pork. (And turkey bacon is soooo processed!) I also don’t eat shellfish, rabbit, or any other non kosher meat so it is going to make this week’s mini challenge even more challenging. I’m going to look for a fish I’ve never had before and hoping I can pull off a halfway decent preparation. I’ve always been a big veggie person so there are really only a couple veggies out there I haven’t tried…hopefully trying a new one isn’t part of the challenge each week. Yes, I was that freak child that brought a bag of lima beans to school for a snack instead of oreos. Ok, second thing that has been a surprising challenge for me is not being able to chomp away on gum. Usually I am chewing some type of delicious sugar free gum at all times. I got into this habit when I quit smoking and it’s been really hard for me to not be able to chew gum. But I’m staying strong! I’ve actually been brushing my teeth immediately after all my meals so I don’t have an urge to reach for some gum. My dentist will be so proud 🙂 I’m a huge sushi fan so I bought some nori and am going to experiment with some paleo-friendly sushi options. When I find one that works, I’ll be sure to share! One piece of advice I’ll give is that if anyone is nervous about trying a new meat and has never had bison or buffalo, TRY IT. It tastes just like beef but has more protein and less fat and cholesterol than chicken breast!! I eat it all the time…it’s delish. Just watch how fast it cooks because it’s so lean. Once it overcooks it does get a little gamey.

    Can’t wait to try that granola, Cara! Maybe that will be my new breakfast 🙂

    Keep it up everyone!

    XO ellie

  • Jen Smallwood

    I started out this challenge with a horrible head cold!!! Blech. I’m pretty sure that Nyquil isn’t paleo– but omg, a girl’s gotta sleep!!! Anyway, being sick on the couch has probably made it easier, since I wasn’t out and about with all the ice cream and things calling my name. Besides sticking to the diet over the weekend, I did have one challenge that I managed– on Saturday before my sickness got bad I was bowling for a charity cause with some friends– and did not have even one drop of beer. This is a fairly big victory, if you’ve spent much time in bowling alleys. 🙂 As for the challenge this week– new meats and veggies– this may be difficult for me. I’ve tried LOT of htings in my life– including alligator– already. The things that are left untried are mostly untried because they seem vile to me and I will NOT be trying them. Beef tongue, anyone? Pigs feet? No, I don’t think so, but I’ll see what else I can think of!

  • Denise Brown

    Yesterday was good…I had a moment in the afternoon where I found myself wanting some comfort food but found that keepingyself busy with something else kept my mind off it until it passed. I even went bowling with work friends last night and had no problems with cravings :). So far so good. Worried about this first work week

  • Ellen Barrow

    Almost two days of paleo down and I am feeling great! For once I wasn’t bloated or sluggish when I woke up this morning, it was great. I’m looking forward to continuing to feel better and also to another great week of On Ramp!

  • Justin

    Didn’t do to bad for the first weekend. Going to have to get better at eating tbe vegetables. Had alot of meat so far and sober nuts. Looking fwd to this weeks challenge. Going to try bison and not sure what vegetable.

  • Jameson Russell

    October has been a good month so far! I’ve been back in Jasper all weekend for a high school friend’s wedding, so it was nice to see everybody I haven’t seen in a few years. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to eat anything at the reception but they had pork loin and grilled chicken with steamed vegetables, so it worked out great! Today I woke up to paleo breakfast pizza my mom made with a crust made from eggs. It was delicious. This evening she made an entire paleo dinner (she’s been enjoying this more than me, I think.) For dessert she even had paleo energy bars that I’ll try to get the recipe for everyone because they are awesome! Hope everyone is enjoying the challenge and looking forward to the weeks ahead!

  • Audra

    For day 1 of the challenge I was out of town for a college friend’s wedding. I was a bit concerned leaving this weekend knowing I’d be with friends I haven’t seen in a couple years and there would be a substantial amount of time spent at a wedding reception with free beer and lots of cupcakes. I survived! We all went out for lunch before the wedding and I was able to order some smothered chicken without the cheese and asked for extra steamed veggies instead of mashed potatoes. At the reception my options were limited, but there was plenty of meat and salad. The hardest part was resisting the cake….it smelled sooo good! My saving grace this weekend was some planning to be sure I had plenty of paleo snacks to get me through the weekend (they were great in the car for my 7 hour drive!). My stash included carrots, celery and sliced red bell pepper, turkey from the deli, guac, some paleo trail mix and zucchini brownies Heather posted on her blog. Those brownies were very easy to make and tasted fantastic. Plus they made up for the lack of wedding cake for me. Thanks Heather! 🙂

    • susan

      Hi Partner Audra!
      I’ve got a wedding to go to this coming weekend. I’m going to take your inspiration and good ideas with me. I’m so happy for you that you did so well!
      I’m looking forward to meeting you.

  • Nate Fair


    I am really excited to see where this leads! The hardest thing for me will be not having any diet soda/coke (depends on where you grew-up I’m told). Until Saturday morning we, Megan and I, usually consumed an insane amount each and every week.

    We went shopping and I made us some delicious meals the last 36 hours while Megan watched (of course I am kidding; she did watch AND ask invigorating questions … “when will it be ready?” … hahahaha).

    The hardest thing for me will be passing on the baked goods at work. My team of co-workers love to bake and make sure that every meeting is full of bagels, doughnuts, and all the other sugar/grain demons that cause my nightmares! I want to believe that this month’s changes will stop the question I usually get to end most meetings, “Nate, could you finish off the ___? That way I don’t have to take it home.” For those of you who might know me just a little bit, it’s really hard for me to disappoint, and even harder for me to say: “NO.”

    In the words of the great Barney Stinson, “Challenge Accepted!”

    It’s a lifestyle change! I’m ready for it! Let’s GO!

    • hcfchallenge

      People sometimes say that vegetables are so expensive. My reply is the $7 you spent on soda is now in your pocket for a few pounds of broccoli. I look forward to your progress during the challenge!

  • Rob Mason

    Day 2 has actually ended well…. I have been testing paleo out for about 2 weeks since starting my OnBoarding at HCF. I started out by eating Paleo for one meal per day, usually breakfast. I then went to two meals per day. As of yesterday I went the whole day Paleo… Not bad at all. I feel after the seminar last Sunday and the studying I have been doing on line, that paleo can be a sustainable lifestyle.

    As for meals I have incorporated omega 3 eggs vs. regular eggs. I have been using coconut oil and eating chicken, buffalo, broccoli, asparagus, spinach, bananas, lots of berries.

    I love almonds and walnuts, but have to watch my intake. Trying to not eat more than a handful a day. Nuts work well w/my berries.

    Also, this weekend may have been the first Saturday in 20 years where I did not have a beer…. (not sure what to think about that right now), but I am commited…

  • Christy Allford

    My first two days of paleo have been eye opening. I’ve been working at Lennie’s all weekend, and besides having to explain to my coworkers several times that I wasn’t drinking any beer for the month, I also had to dodge all the tasty temptations that I am bombarded with at work. The paleo food highlight of the weekend for me was a simple salad made with ahi tuna, mango and avocado. So simple but so delicious. Usually when I’m at work I scarf down a stromboli or sandwich and feel lethargic and downright awful after finishing the last bite, but after my salad ,I felt refreshed and energized.

    I’m looking forward to going to Bloomingfoods tomorrow, for the first time, and finding something new and delicious to try. I’m going to try and keep my meals as simple as possible, Simple meaning meat and vegetables. I’ve always been afraid to cook seafood at home, but I’m definitely going to give it a go this week.

    I hope everyone has a successful first week!

  • Cliff

    I’ve been sick all week and haven’t eaten much, so Saturday was a good day to restart eating. Still want feeling up to much lunch, but made tuna steaks, asparagus, and some random veggies, all grilled. Normally do pancakes Sunday mornings, but did a mushroom and onion omelette and didn’t really miss them. Fingers crossed I’m feeling better this week and don’t miss anymore workouts!

  • Jen R.

    Today was the first day of the Paleo Challenge. I didn’t feel that great when I woke up; this was probably due to the fact that I ate a Snickers cyclone with real chocolate ice cream (not frozen yogurt like I’d normally eat) as a ‘last snack’ before the Challenge. Probably not very smart. No, definitely not very smart, especially considering the fact that I’ve had quite a bit of trouble with my digestion lately.
    Since I didn’t feel all that well when I woke up, I really didn’t want to eat. I finally had to make myself eat before we left the house for the stadium, just so I could take my medicine and not get sick. Because I waited so long to eat, I didn’t have much time and I just really couldn’t deal with food, so I just grabbed a Larabar (lemon).
    I really didn’t feel much like being at the stadium, so I left my husband to his work duties and I took my little man with me to the meeting at HCF, mostly because I really wanted to meet my partner. I think she is a 6AMer, because I always see her name at the top of the board, but I’ve never been in class with her. I am so NOT a 6AMer. I couldn’t stay for the whole meeting, because I had to get back to things at the stadium, but I was glad that I made the effort, because it got me more excited about the challenge and it helped my morale. I am really hoping that I’ll get recipe ideas and cooking advice to help me out, because I am just not all that confident in my kitchen abilities.
    I should have brought food with me to the stadium. I didn’t think I’d get hungry since I didn’t feel good, but I did, and there was NOTHING to eat…NOTHING. At first, I thought I could just go get some nuts, but all they had was peanuts. No fresh fruit, not veggies, nothing. It’s amazing, really, when you stop and think about it: how much food gets consumed at sporting events? If you consider that 99% of what is purchased and consumed at sporting events is complete crap, is it any wonder that the United States is an obese nation? I’m not trying to pontificate, because I’m definitely not a swimsuit model myself, but it’s just something interesting to ponder. Anyway, I was absolutely starving, and the only thing I could find to eat was a dried fruit/veggie stick that was in the diaper bag. Not ideal (because I know fruit naturally has sugar), but technically Paleo since it was just fruit and veg, no added sugars or anything. It helped a little bit, but not much. After the game, we went to Pete’s office for a bit and I did a little research on grocery lists for the Paleo lifestyle. I went over to Marsh to get some stuff: cucumbers, green onions, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, yellow onion, spaghetti squash, Portobello mushrooms, regular mushrooms, tomatoes, avocado, a few apples, a chicken, lean ground beef, bacon, white balsamic vinegar, sunflower seeds (in the shell and without), pumpkin seeds, and some hot banana peppers for my salads. The hot banana peppers, seeds, and vinegar were the only things that I bought that weren’t on the periphery of the store. Interesting. I also learned that all products are not created equally. The generic sunflower seeds had a million ingredients, while a more expensive brand was just the seeds.
    I was excited to get home and start cooking – a minor miracle, really. Typically, we always eat out on Saturday nights (usually at Yogi’s), but I just didn’t want to deal with temptation, so we went home to try out my new burger idea – eating a hamburger between two Portabella mushroom caps and dress it with traditional fixings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and mustard. I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. I cooked the mushroom caps in a skillet with just a little bit of olive oil, white pepper, garlic, and pure onion powder. My husband grilled the burgers, and voila! To go with it, I really, really wanted oven fries, so I chopped up a regular potato for the hubby, and a 2/3 of a sweet potato for my little guy and I. I lightly drizzed the pieces with a bit of olive oil, added just a pinch of kosher sea salt, and baked them. Yummy. At first, I totally wanted the white potato, but the sweet potato tasted so good that I didn’t care after we sat down to eat. The only bad thing about the sweet potato is that it was REALLY difficult to cut, so much more difficult to cut than the white potato. I’m fairly strong, and it was still an ordeal. Regardless, I was proud of myself for taking the challenge seriously and trying something new – a small victory, but a victory nonetheless. We also had nice, fresh salads.
    I definitely should have eaten more during the day, though, because I’m still hungry. Night time (after the little dude goes to bed) is when I crave a sweet snack like frozen yogurt or a Snickers or something else that I have no business eating. My goal is going to be to ween myself off of sugar, so I’m currently munching on a fourth cup of raisins with four little squares (very little – four squares was just ¼ of the serving size on the wrapper) of 70% dark, organic, fair-trade chocolate – kind of homemade chocolate-covered raisins. Probably not the very best thing I could eat, but much, much better than the utter crap I’ve been consuming over the past month. I think…no – I KNOW – that I’ve been comfort eating, especially at night. I’ve had a lot of trouble sleeping because of my own physical pain and because I’ve had a lot of worries on my mind. As a result, I’ve gained weight over the past month. The higher doses of my medicine haven’t helped, but the comfort eating late at night has really been the biggest issue. I need to find a healthier way of coping, and that is a serious goal of mine during this challenge. The issues that have triggered the comfort eating are not going to go away, so unless I want to become really, really unhealthy, I need to change.

  • susan

    I’m finally here. I’m either dedicated, stubborn, or nuts, or all of the above. Several hours ago I started this assignment and my laptop crashed. So I dug out this old computer and after a couple hours of updating and scanning and less than 2 hours left until Sunday is over, I’m FINALLY doing my first blog. It is so slow it’s like having dial-up again even though it’s not.

    So far so good. Yesterday I made a dairy free fritatta with eggs and lots of veggies…baby portabellos, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spinach, red peppers. yum. I also put my almonds and brazil nuts in 1 ounce servings in snack size bags to help me with portion control on those. And I prepared and individually froze salmon, talapia, and chicken breast. I feel ready!

    I ran most of trail 5 at McCormicks Creek today. And I was thrilled with “most”…it was way more than I have ever done before. It was a perfect cool fall day for a run. Well, my running is very low impact and slow…speed walkers go faster than I do, but it works for me for now.

    I wonder what my new protein and veggie will be?

  • Culley Pearson

    So I figured this Paleo thing would be a breeze. I, as your average alpha male, could not be happier eating as much animal protein as humanly possible. The problem arose when I decided to flop down onto my couch and watch football yesterday. Something was clearly lacking – beer. Luckilly, I made it to the store with time to spare, and – following the lead of one Sam Spade – purchased a few Paleo-friendly ciders (strictly fermented apple juice and spices). All in all, an excellent start to what I hope will be a great experience.

    Culley/Terry 2011

  • Trey Russell

    So far everything is going really well. I started getting into paleo mode last week. Went to the store on Wednesday, grabbed a wide variety of vegetables. Along with some strawberries, bananas, and pineapple. I’ve had to work from 11-4 the past two days, which makes it tough being around all the sandwiches and pizza(mancinos) I usually stick to eggs in the morning with a chicken salad for lunch when i do have to work. The foodee project website is a huge help and has so many recipes that look awesome. I’m trying to improve my cooking so this challenge is already teaching me some great ways to cook extra healthy, while still maintaining delicious tastes. Ready to see what paleo is all about and challenge myself to stick to the goal! Good luck!!

  • Kristen Bex Payton

    Busy all weekend so just getting around to this. I found the first day to be surprisingly easy. The second day wasn’t as easy though. Despite all of the peer pressure to eat out, I stuck with the paleo lunch I brought to my class on Saturday and Sunday. That was hard but a big milestone. I’m excited for the challenge and the results. Good luck to everyone!

  • Catherine Campbell

    After trying to post on my phone several times, I’m resorting to another alternative so, thus, my Paleo Path begins here……
    I tried prepping myself for this challenge in more ways than one in the days leading up to October 1st. The first step was buying some of the books Jenna suggested in Rob Wolf’s “The Paleo Solution” book and “Everyday Paleo.” I had a pretty empty fridge and pantry so I felt prepped as far as shopping goes. The mental part was a little more daunting as i’ve had my own personal reservations about Paleo for some time (i’ve had countless nutrition talks as a Division I athlete) so I decided that approach hasn’t worked for my “big girl” body type, it’s time to try something different. I will admit, my own stubbornness accounts for other reasons i’ve failed to start a Paleo diet change.
    The first day proved challenging as I knew I had to be out of the house pretty much all day for the IU football game. What was an excuse has now become motivation for preparation. I was able to cook two eggs, slice up a tomato and halve an avocado. Drizzled some balsamic vinegar on there and even convinced myself to try food without, GASP, salt and pepper. It was pretty tasty and, as I would soon discover, undeniably satisfying. With little time left to head out the door, I packed a small container with walnuts and raisins. Once we get to the office we are unable to come back for another 6 hours. I went into the game thinking I will be absolutely exhausted after watching these kids but surprisingly had sustainable energy that lasted me well into the day. Instead of coming back into the office hungry, stressed and gorging on everything (popcorn, pecan turtle candies, chex mix) I was immediately turned off and reached for my little trail mix. I noticed that I was calm in more ways than one and headed for my next course of the day: horned frogs.
    “Horned frogs?” I know some might be asking but I am a proud SMU graduate and absolutely detest anything TCU/Horned Frogs. I had the pleasure of watching the game at a couple’s house who live in Bloomington (ironically, I ran into them at the HOC with HCF family). So, no they didn’t really have horned frogs (Sam, cough) on the menu but we did get to fry some hypothetically. GO MUSTANGS!!! Off my rant back to Paleo…I am a social person by nature and was ecstatic meeting new people and sharing an afternoon of great football. Football is typically paired with food, always. The first beverage offered was a margarita. I quickly obliged thinking “these are new friends, I can’t look silly or socially awkward by declining a drink.” I reverted my thought process and said this was only the beginning and I couldn’t start the very first day by cheating!! Instead, I stealthily spooned some guac and salsa onto my plate (definitely feeling awkward at this point) and went to town with a spoon. I noticed that I associate food with social situations and gauge what others are thinking – sounds silly but that’s what I was thinking about instead of “this is actually healthier for me.” With this in mind, I think I should add the concept to my list of goals. I had texted my partner, Cara, to tell her I was on my way to dinner after a HUGE WIN for the Mustangs 🙂
    Cara suggested we go to Scotty’s as it had several Paleo friendly meals. I followed her lead and ordered the steak and bacon salad without dressing. I thoroughly enjoyed her company and discussing our own personal paths with crossfit. At the end of the meal, she graciously handed me a baggie of Paleo granola (I have the best partner, btw). It’s great to be with someone who has some experience with the lifestyle so I’m sure I will ask her a lot of questions along the way.
    Saturday night also proved challenging in the fact that I received texts asking to “come out.” I thought about the consequences and day of studying that lay ahead and opted to stay in bed. I awoke the next morning at 8:00 AM feeling fresh and ready to start studying. Again, I knew I had to prepare before heading out the door so I prepared the same breakfast as Saturday and packed the granola along with the walnut mix to tide me over.
    Sunday flew by and, in hindsight, looking at previous study sessions I always needed to “refuel” with a drink or typical sbux food pastry item. I was extremely satisfied with a grande Awake tea and my packed food items. I wasn’t craving anything of the sort between 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. Is this for real?? I come home and broil some tuna steak with mushrooms and asparagus. Get some chuckles from my roommates and comments like “Good luck with that.” I finished the night reading Wolf’s book who paints a clear picture, one that isn’t demeaning, of the reasons why Paleo is a healthy alternative to the way the modern human consumes food. I closed my eyelids knowing this was the start of something good, I mean…real good.

  • hcfchallenge

    Eating meat and veggies is so easy! It’s a little bit of grilling, a little oil on a pan w/ tossed veggies and you’re done! I’m so proud of you for taking this challenge!

  • Lindsey

    The challenge is going great so far! The hardest part was finding something that I liked and felt satisfied with eating for breakfast. This week I have sparked the interest of co-workers at lunch that make the comments “That looks healthy” and then I get to lay the Paleo Diet Challenge on them. 🙂 Every Friday at work we have a pitch-in breakfast this week I’m going to make a Paleo dish and see how it goes over.

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