Sunday’s Reflection/Weekly Challenge #3

Sunday’s Reflection

Today is the Third post to reflect on your second week of the paleo challenge.   This is a mandatory assignment for everyone participating.  Reflect on your experiences and share your thoughts!  Have any questions!? See what your peers have for advice!

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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 was the challenge Last Week?!  Paleo Sit while eating!  We raffled all participants in this week’s challenge and the winner was Kristin P! She won a pair of Hoosier CrossFit pink tall socks!  They will arrive in the mail this week and be on sale for our Barbells 4 Boobs Fundraiser on Saturday 10/22!!

What is the challenge this week?!  Participants will go to a restaurant and order a paleo meal.

  1. Restaurant Name
  2. Are you ordering breakfast, lunch or dinner
  3. Original Menu ingredients/items
  4. Did you make changes?
  5. Restaurant Experience: Was the staff understanding of your substitutions? Did they have many options?  Were they knowledgeable about menu ingredients?

Shaun and I had Brunch at the Scholars Inn Gourmet Cafe & Wine Bar.  I had the Eggs Oscar: lump crab, seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs, english muffin and Bearnaise Sauce.  I asked what the seasonal vegetables were (she said something about tomatoes, onions, and zucchini, but I found only a small amount 1/2 slices of grape tomatoes in it), what the sauce was made of (which was hollandaise sauce with herbs added to it), then I asked how they made hollandaise sauce (one of my favorite sauces!) and of course it has butter in it.  The meal came with potatoes, bread, and the sauce.  I asked for the meal to come without those things and my server ask if I’d like a complimentary bowl of fruit.  That was extremely nice and that type of service is going to depend on the particular server you have, not necessarily the restaurant. I’ve been to Uptown Cafe twice, and they gave me complimentary fruit one of those times without me asking, and the other time I didn’t want to ask.    Our server at Scholars Inn was great, very understanding.  The cooks and management were, also, supportive of our dietary needs.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This is a phobia many people have; stop fearing that you’ll be judged or considered nuisance if you ask questions.  Questions help you become more educated and we can all use a little bit of that.  If you’re a shy person, then overcome this challenge.  It’s Your Responsibility to Ask What is IN your Meal and How it’s MADE So You Do NOT BREAK CHALLENGE RULES!
  • You just HAVE to ask questions. You don’t know if dairy, legumes, corn syrup, etc. are hidden in the soups and sauces, if grain based thickeners are in the gravy,  if  beans, corn or rice are part of a mixed vegetable option (even though they aren’t vegetable), or if they add butter to the vegetables.  Most salad dressings are a NO GO.
  • Ask for more and just pay it.  It seems that Restaurants welcome large portions of deep fried foods, but small portions of vegetables and meat.  I assume it’s more expensive.  Regardless, Shaun ALWAYS has to order a larger meat and extra vegetables.  Chances are your $3.50 cup of broccoli will barely fill the palm of your hand, but you’ll feel a little more satisfied.
  • Seek out a restaurant that isn’t a chain.  Usually their food will be fresh, sometimes local ingredients.  It’s my opinion they will be more understanding of your needs.
  • It’s ok to talk about your challenge.  At the table I discussed our needs with the server, but didn’t go into detail about our challenge.  But, on our way out of the Scholar’s Inn, I took a picture of the menu because I forgot at the table.  I didn’t want to leave the hostess clueless because, come on -that’s weird. So, I shared with her our challenge details (and how proud we were of you guys!).  She had heard of paleo, and we talked about it for a minutes.  You never know you can change someone’s life with a simple conversation.  It could be nothing, but it could be something!
  • In general, be careful about eating out.  As you may already know, restaurants aren’t using olive oil or coconut oil.  There’s a reason why we don’t eat vegetable oil, so eat it very much in moderation. It’s critical you do not eat out everyday.

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

67 responses to “Sunday’s Reflection/Weekly Challenge #3

  • Jenn H

    Last week went really well. I made a lot of new meals, seafood soup, paleo chili, protein bars, paleo bread. I am really enjoying cooking new things. I have not had any cravings for the garbage I used to eat. I love waking up in the morning with NO bloat. I am going to try a few new recipes this week. Today I am in NY for a wedding and hoping there will be food I can eat at the reception. It is a traditional italian wedding which means PASTA! and a LOT of it. WIsh me luck!

    • hcfchallenge

      So Proud of you Jen! “Vacation” + Wedding is tough. Airport traveling, eating schedules, and sometimes people making you food and you have to politely say no (that’s hard).

    • Denise

      Way to go partner!!! You give me inspiration for the business trip I’m taking in a few weeks. If you can resist and stay on track during traveling and a wedding…I can stick to it during my business trip. I’ve already scoped out crossfit gyms in the area and found one 6 miles away…yeah! I shared a quote on Sam’s post below that I like…”Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”. I have been feeling that “skinny” feeling this past week and it’s such a high. I think I’m actually starting to see some stomach muscle definition…lol!

      Keep up the good work!!!! Go team J&D!!!!!!

  • Karen Peterson-Taylor

    Wow, another week accomplished totally paleo. I can’t believe both my husband and I have come so far. I really love the challenge and I am so proud of him and myself too. We are enjoying paleo pumpkin pancakes for breakfast when we tire of eggs.
    I am spending alot of time on the web and in paleo cookbooks looking for exciting recipes. I made Brazilian fish stew, no bean chili and Jameson’s energy bars . Boy! were those bars good. I also made banana ice cream for two which I had to share with the whole family, darn.
    I have become stronger in resisting temptations. I went to an expo after a run yesterday and they had free food and free beer and I ate a banana. I even went to Starbucks today with my lovely daughter and resisted my favorite white chocolate mocha and opted just for an all fruit smoothie.
    Yes, my life has always been about food. I love to eat but now I am having fun experimenting and tasting new and exciting foods. I am enjoying the way I feel.
    Now if it would only fix my breathing it would be the total package life plan for me. Onward!

    • hcfchallenge

      Nice job, Karen. I’m glad to see the variety in your diet. Sometimes trying new things BOMBS and sometimes its so tastey you can’t wait to make it again! I totally understand your experience at Starbucks; when I was a student, my favorite BAD day was when I could cheer myself up with a Cinnamon Dolce Latte or Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. You still must be careful with TRICK words like “ALL FRUIT.” Many Smoothie dealers or blended ice dealers use chemicals to sweeten the drink, plus it creates a favorable consistency(it never chunks up like the smoothies you make at home).

  • Ellie Bernstein

    So far, so good! I’m feeling a lot better, sleeping a lot better and feeling more energized. I’m definitely starting to get a little bored with my diet, but I know this is just a result of me being lazy and not experimenting with new recipes like I did the first week or so. I made a few things I liked and now I am eating them ad nauseum. Which brings me to this–anyone else getting nauseous after they eat? It’s happened to me three times the past two days 😦 I’m also starting to get cravings for random food I miss like falafel and indian eggplant curry. I need to try and Paleo-ize these items before I go nuts! I’m still totally free from sugar cravings which is awesome and somewhat unbelievable. I was the sugar queen! My husband’s best friend came to visit us this weekend so there was a lot of temptation around and I resisted it all…I am so proud! Pizza, reeses peanut butter cups, beer, you name it, they were eating it in front of me. I stayed strong though. I’ve been inhaling Cara’s banana pancakes for breakfast all the time…they are so good and so easy to make! If you haven’t tried them yet, the recipe is under last week’s reflection. Keep posting recipes you guys! And have a great third week 🙂

    • hcfchallenge

      Ah. I’ve been there done that with the boring food phase. And that is what is was for me, a phase. I’d love nothing more than just meat and vegetables now, but a long time ago meat and vegetables were not enough to peek my interest. AND WOW. You just named all of the things I LOVED THE MOST – pizza, chocolate and peanut butter, BEER! You are so strong and your commitment to this challenge will rub off on others.

    • Dawn Volungis

      I have been having some of the issues with nausea. Usually it’s in the morning for me and then fades around lunch. I have a way of making my stomach ache when I am anxious so wondered if it was just me.

  • Pam Weddle

    Another week down and still doing well! I did have some issues with my stomach and feeling bloated but I think that is getting better after some advice to cut back on my nuts and add more water into my days. I thought I would miss my starbucks the most and sugar but it turns out the hardest has been not eating chips and crunchy things. I was really bad about eating when bored, hungry or not, and I’m still working on that. At least it’s healthy paleo choices when I do snack. I am much more aware of what I eat and how much than I was before.
    My partner Michelle and I met up with Cara and Catherine for dinner at Cara’s last week for a Paleo pitch in and to do the challenge. It was fun and gave us a chance to talk about struggles and exchange ideas. We are going to make this a weekly thing for the rest of the challenge.
    I love cooking but man…the dishes are outta control!
    I’m hoping to try out a few new recipes this week as weel. My favorite last week was a chicken salad I made with the Paleo Mayo but adding extra spices and stuff to it. Chicken salad in a lettuce wrap makes a great lunch!
    Hope everyone has a great week!

    • hcfchallenge

      Shaun and I were so impressed with your cavegirl dinner evening.Make sure you share with us the chicken salad recipe! Also, look into making beet chips or kale chips for that crunchy craving.

  • Sunday » Hoosier CrossFit

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  • Andy Weddle

    This past week I did feel 100% as far as my energy, I did have a day that I was busy with work out of town and I had forgot to bring my lunch with me or any snacks and I kept thinking about what I could eat and the more I focused on it the more hungry I got, to a point I was starting to panic, and mc donalds was the only place to eat where I was, I really tried to justify going in and just getting a couple grilled chicken breasts and that’s it, the more I thought about it the more it seemed to be justifiable, then I thought to my self if I couldn’t go 30 days without eating in a fast food restaurant I do have a problem, so I didn’t go in I just kept driving, at that point I was a hour away from home I decided I wasn’t going to settle and I drove back home, and I passed 3 more McDonalds on my way back and I relized that in the past I had stopped at everyone of them before to grab some lunch, I started relizing how bad my choices really were in the past, I think by me forgetting my lunch really help me relize about the choices I make and the qaunity of food I have eaten before, I would stop in a convienece store grab a supper size soda and a bag of chips and a couple of candy bars, just for a “snack” and relized it was a act of habit, not because I was hungry, so that was my big wake up call this past week

    • hcfchallenge

      Well Said, Andy. Thanks for sharing that! BY the WAY. McDonalds Chicken is NOT just CHICKEN.” Chicken Selects® Premium Breast Strip: Chicken breast strips with rib meat, water, seasoning [potato starch, salt, autolyzed yeast extract, maltodextrin, chicken broth, natural flavors (plant and animal source), spice, chicken fat, sunflower lecithin], sodium phosphates. Battered and breaded with: wheat flour, water, food starch-modified, leavening (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate), spices, salt, modified cellulose gum, wheat gluten, garlic powder, onion powder, soybean oil, xanthan gum, spice extractives, extractives of paprika (color). CONTAINS: WHEAT. Prepared in vegetable oil (Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness). Dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent.”

    • hcfchallenge

      New Grilled Chicken Fillet:
      Chicken breast fillet with rib meat, water, seasoning (rice starch, salt, sugar, yeast extract, canola oil, onion powder, maltodextrin, chicken skin, paprika, flavor,
      sunflower oil, chicken, garlic powder, chicken fat, spices), sodium phosphates.
      Prepared with Liquid Margarine: Liquid soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed and soybean oils, water, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, soy lecithin,
      mono-and diglycerides, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (preservatives), artificial flavor, citric acid, vitamin A palmitate, beta carotene (color).

  • Cara Hays

    I felt pretty good about this week. This whole challenge has really been about figuring out paleo for me- Cara Hays. I think we often forget that every body is different and every body needs something slightly different. I was listening to Robb Wolf’s podcast the other day and he said “look under every rock and think about yourself.” For a while, I’ve known that I’m pretty sensitive to the nuts/seeds/paleo flours and it became very clear to me this week. Wednesday night I had some zucchini brownies (which were totally delicious) and the next morning I felt like I had eaten a real brownie! The first week of the challenge I was really good about eating only meat, only vegetables, and only fruit. My entire system felt much cleaner and consistent. For optimal health, I need to steer away from the paleo treats. Not everyone is like that… which I’m slightly jealous of, but that is what I need to do.

    On another note, I finally invested in a food processor. Honestly, I don’t know why I waited so long. It is so convenient! It has made my cooking much faster and cleaner!

    The challenge has also gotten me to try new things, which was a must! I had gotten into a paleo rut- threw whatever meat and whatever vegetable I had into a skillet. Most of the time, it didn’t even sound good. But this week I made Jenna’s Sunbutter burger (I LOVED THIS), Coconut Curry Stir Fry, and Stuffed Bell Peppers. I really think that continuing to eat this kind of paleo will help me to be more consistent because I don’t feel like I’m missing out. It’s a celebration, just like Jen said. I loved that comment and it is so true.

    Also, I think everyone is doing an awesome job embracing paleo. I wish I would have been more like this the first time I tried it. Keep up with the success- have a good week!

  • Audra

    Another week down! I tried some new foods this week. Brussel sprouts went pretty well and purple cauliflower tastes like the regular white stuff (but it’s pretty!). I had a couple days this week where I lacked energy and was generally crabby, and on those days I really wanted non-paleo foods (pizza, chips and salsa). I didn’t cave though, and I’m glad I stuck to it. I even managed to survive a lunch at Kilroy’s. A couple friends and I were walking to lunch and one of them really wanted the breadsticks there, so we went. They were sweet enough to offer to go somewhere else if I couldn’t find something to eat, but I made it work. I ordered a burger w/o the cheese or bun and got a side salad w/o dressing. My friends got breadsticks, cheese quesadillas, fried pickles and wings. Guess who felt like crap an hour later? Not me! On Friday I also had a friend tell me I inspired her to make a healthier choice for lunch, so instead of just grabbing something on the run she packed up some veggies and other healthy food she had at home.
    I made a pizza for lunch today with the pizza crust recipe on Heather’s blog, and I’ve got paleo chili in my crock pot right now. I made mayo yesterday that I’m hoping to use for some chicken salad and who knows what else later this week. I’m ready for week #3!

  • Catherine Campbell

    I’m going to stretch this connection, so bare with me… after reading several articles on Steve Jobs and his preference for beauty, functionality & simplicity, I naturally thought of Paleo. Each meal i’ve prepared contains simple ingredients that help my body feel and look better. The more I read from Rob Wolf’s book and the more I experiment with cooking, the easier it is for me to understand the basic Paleo principles that contribute to my overall health.
    While I do feel better overall, I have to say that I broke out really bad this week. I kinda hope that it is just my body reacting to the “bad stuff” leaving? I also shared my snacking problems with Shaun during Friday’s WOD and he had some helpful advice in preparing bigger meals when I’m not hungry. I also want to couple this concept with eliminating the nuts & fruit I bring as snacks to work and just drink water instead. I have a horrible habit of eating it if it’s there.
    Wednesdays have become the “cavegirl double dates” with my partner Cara and dear HCF friends Michelle and Pam. It was a hit! The chance to sit down, cave girl style, and discuss our both challenges and celebrations made the week a little more manageable considering the circumstances (cough, Pam, lol). Looking forward to this week where I get to bring the “cooling beverage”!!!
    I was able to make my first Saturday team WOD since we didn’t have any sporting events that morning. It was great fun and I enjoyed seeing some faces I’ve never seen before as part of the rooster crew. As many noticed at Saturday’s WOD, I tend to get a little anxious when it comes to waiting around. I have the same approach when trying to see results. I know that change doesn’t take place over night but each day I know, with the right choices, I’m one step closer to achieving my goals.
    By the way, did anyone else do 20 burpees for time?! Best of luck on the upcoming week,,,

  • Dawn Volungis

    All in all this was a great week to round out the middle of the challenge. In a way it seems like a long couple of weeks, but then not so much on the other hand…if that makes sense. I have been really thinking about food but in the way that I am wondering how to switch up what I am eating so it stays fresh and how to make sure there is enough variety.

    I have been craving salty, carb kind of things too like chips and crackers and cheesy, carby things like pizza. I feel like I am over my sugary wants for now. Fruits and a square of 85% dark chocolate is helping me there without triggering more cravings for sugary things.

    So far my willpower has held and I know it will continue. This really is a challenge literally for me. I made it through halfway with no cheating and I am committed to finishing off the month (and onward hopefully) with the same dedication. I cannot handle the thought of letting myself down by cheating.

    This weekend some friends and I did some hiking and then then beer waiting at the end. I brought about 2 glasses worth of Merlot and felt like I fit right in without being deprived or them asking why I wasn’t drinking their beer, which normally I would be all over.

    • Ellie Bernstein

      for those salty, carby cravings make some sweet potato fries! i cut up a sweet potato into little wedges, brush them with olive oil, sprinkle a little bit of sea salt and some cinnamon. lay them in a single layer and bake in the toaster oven for about 15-20 minutes at about 350-375. you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

      • jenna

        Also, berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are low in sugar and a good little snack. Sometimes i’ll cut up 4 strawberries – it’s an illusion that i’m eating a LOT because it’s many small bites rather than a few big ones.

  • Cara Hays

    So, I commented earlier from the library and just realized it’s not here 😦 if it ends up on here twice, I’m sorry!

    This week went really well for me. This whole challenge has very much been a time for me to figure out what paleo needs to be for me- Cara Hays. Every body is different and needs different amounts/proportions of foods. I was listening to one of Robb Wolf’s first podcasts this week and he said, “look under every rock and think about yourself.” I think this is a great piece of advice. For a while, I’ve known that my body is sensitive to nuts/grains/paleo flours, but it was something I kind of ignored for convenience. A baggy of nuts and seeds is just so easy, but is it really worth it? Earlier this week, I had some zucchini brownies (which were totally delicious), but the next morning I felt like I ate a real brownie! I just didn’t feel as good. My system clearly runs better on only meat, only vegetables, and only fruit. Optimal health for me means steering clear from the nuts, seeds, and yummy treats. This week my goal is to eat these things in emergency situations only and see how my body and attitude feels.

    Throughout the challenge, I have been very much inspired to cook fun, creative things. I used to just throw in whatever meat I had with whatever vegetable I had and it just wasn’t that exciting. I loved what Jen said a week ago about paleo being a celebration of food. It definitely is and you have to view it as that. I actually think I got so bored and lazy with my meals that I felt like I was being deprived (and cheated more than I would like to admit). This week I made Jenna’s Sunbutter burger (LOVED THIS), Stuffed Bell Peppers, and Coconut Curry Stir-Fry. I genuinely enjoyed cooking them and eating them.

    Side note- I bought a Ninja this week and it is one of the better investments I have made! Preparation is much quicker and cleaner!

    I have really loved watching everyone embrace the paleo challenge. I really wish I could have been more like that when I first began. Keep up the good work and success! Goodluck to week threeeee!

    • jenna

      Yay! You’re on the ninja train! congrats 😉 I love mine. Also, continue to listen to your body. You might have to try to cut up raw veggies for snacks. It’s ok they are not refrigerated. I’ve also kept some meat for a few hours with me without keeping it cold in the fridge…. i’ve done it my whole life with school lunches…and i feel ok.

    • Nate Fair

      Megan made me buy a Ninja right before the challenge! (shhh- she was right good investment)

    • Jen R.

      glad that you are enjoying the ‘celebration’, Cara! I loved your meatloaf…it actually took away my craving for pizza – isn’t that weird? It really had kind of a pizza taste to it, though, and I bet if you added some oregano, it would have even more of that kind of flavor. Would you mind sharing another recipe? I’d love to know how you made your coconut-curry stir fry. I’m a huge fan of curry!

      • Cara Hays

        Now that you say it, I can totally see pizza! Glad I could help you through a non-paleo craving haha! I love curry too! This is something I make on a very regular basis!

        Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

        1lb tender chicken
        2 cups broccoli
        1 can coconut milk
        1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
        1 teaspoon grated ginger
        fresh spinach (I’m not sure how much, I typically put a lot because I love spinach)

        For the sauce, mix together coconut milk, curry powder, and grated ginger. Stir fry the chicken and broccoli. When the chicken and broccoli is almost done, add the spinach and sauce. When it’s all warm and the spinach is slight wilted, it’s done!

  • Katie

    This week went really well! I made quite a few of my favorite dishes then mixed in some new including Cara’s meatloaf recipe which is great….. still eating it into this week! I tried a great quick and easy chicken recipe:

    Sprinkle Chicken Breast with a bit of salt and pepper
    place a few rosemary sprigs on chicken
    wrap each chicken breast in 2-3 strips of nitrate free bacon
    Grill until done

    This was really great and the crispyness of the bacon really hit the spot.

    This weekend posed a great challenge for me. I was a bridesmaid in a wedding and I knew that I was going to be tempted by many things so I tried to prepare as much as possible by loading my bags with paleo goodies such as carrot and green pepper sticks as well as a few lara bars. The dinner was a buffet so it was pretty easy for me to load up on the paleo friendly foods and not feel like I have to leave 3/4 of my plate untouched. I was full, had a few glasses of red wine and a big whiff…. not taste…. of the wedding cake. Luckily there was plenty of fruit for me to munch and get my sugar fix. Very proud of myself and i am looking forward to what this week has to bring! (yaaaa FALL BREAK :))

  • Jen R.

    We thought we were going out-of-town this weekend, but instead we had visitors here – my old roomie and her husband and two little boys. So, I had to get busy and clean the house. I also had to cook and prepare a bunch of food, because I don’t want to be without something ready that is a part of the life I’m leading now – I didn’t want it to be easy to order pizza or something, because that can’t happen for me. So, I went to the store and restocked all of our raw veggies – cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, green onions, mushrooms, celery, sweet potatoes, onions, broccoli, and cauliflower – so that they would all be easily accessible and easy to grab and eat on they fly or throw in a stir fry or something. I made some sweet potato fries up ahead of time; I discovered that they are actually very good reheated in the toaster oven, so now those were there, and we had leftover cauliflower mash available for sides. I also made a big pot of Paleo chili to have on hand, and – I’m most proud of this – I roasted a chicken. I really wanted to just pick up a rotisserie at the store, but I couldn’t get my conversation with Jenna out of my head (and that’s the truth!). Then, when I went up to the meat counter, they had organic, free-range whole fryers on sale, and there was just one left, and it was calling my name, so I had to get it. I just couldn’t go and pick up one of the store-made rotisseries after knowing how many ingredients are in them, especially when I already knew I was going to be working in the kitchen anyway. So, I rubbed some olive oil on the chicken, did a little bit of organic seasoning, and put in in the oven. It turned out well, though I probably cooked it slightly too long. Anyway, after it was done, I took the meat off of the bones, so we had that available for salads or whatever. I loved the way our refrigerator looked right after I finished all of that!

    Another thing is this: I finally ate out. This is a HUGE deal for me, because I’ve been really nervous about it. I didn’t want to feel ‘tortured’, and I also didn’t want to fall off the wagon at all. Well, I got into a jam on Friday and we pretty much had to eat out, and I was I was pleasantly surprised, because it was much easier than I thought. We went to Qdoba and I had a ‘naked’ taco salad, meaning it had no corn shell. It was just lettuce with grilled (gluten and butter free) chicken, roasted red and green peppers, roasted zucchini and squash, pico de gallo, and salsa verde. I did it – I found something Paleo in a hurry that was both tasty and satisfying. It was such a relief to me to get over that hurdle. I don’t know why it was such a big deal to me, but it was, and I passed the test. Yay! Then, I did it again for the second day in a row: we went with our out-of-town guests to Sweet Grass on Saturday night. I chose Sweet Grass because they are always so good about accommodating my gluten-free diet, so I figured that they would be good about accommodating Paleo. I had the special: sea bass that had a Portobello mushroom salsa on top. The salsa was the only thing slightly questionable as far as Paleo goes: it did have a few corn kernels in it; I was able to pick most out, but I might have ingested just a few (literally) kernels. There were honestly hardly any in it. The rest of the ‘salsa’ was the mushrooms, green peppers, olive oil, and spices. It was delicious. It was served on top of (dairy-free) butternut squash puree. For my sides I had asparagus (olive oil, kosher salt, pepper) and a salad (spinach, roma tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, vinegar and oil). It was so flavorful and so yummy – one of the best dinners I’ve ever had! Absolutely delicious and fresh. It was perfect (minus those like ten corn kernels, I suppose!) Too bad I didn’t know about weekly challenge #3 at that point – I completed it and didn’t even know it! Anyway, I’m feeling great, and I hope you all are, too. You all are the best support system ever, and I’ve needed that. Cheers to week #3!

  • Bryce Wininger

    Week two went splendidly. Of course it did. Of course. The biggest problem I’ve had, however, is keeping my energy up through FOURTEEN HOURS OF GYNECOLOGY A DAY. Several times, I found myself getting lightheaded and lethargic after being in the OR for a few hours. It’s almost impossible in that setting to somehow eat and drink frequently–and eat the right things. I’m having to focus mostly on nut- and fruit-based snackies for convenience-sake. You really can’t carry around a slab of meat in your scrubs pocket. It’s frowned upon in sterile environments. I think all this directly impacted my WODs at the gym, too. When trying to do weights that I normally would have had no problem with, I felt…overwhelmed…by them. I can’t think of a better word for it. It was like I couldn’t possibly continue on with the weights I knew I could do. I felt this weird anxiety like I would hurt myself or wear myself way down if I even attempted it. I hope this is just a growing pain from the dramatic schedule shift I experienced this past week. It definitely troubled me, whatever it was. Happily, however, my asthma continues to improve, and I haven’t had any attacks at the gym in several weeks. Before everyone cries “PALEO DID IT,” everyone simmer down: my family medicine doc I was following last month gave me a bunch of samples of corticosteroid inhalers and Singulair to try. These are meds that approach asthma prophylactically, versus just rescuing you during an attack that’s already started. That’s actually perfect since you can’t really step out of a Crossfit WOD and go take your albuterol…and then wait for it to work and not do anything else. That would be lame. So as much as I hope that everyone ELSE’s cool inflammatory disorders are helped by Paleo….mine probably is not significantly.

    • Ellie Bernstein

      it’s not just you…my asthma has seemingly improved too! perhaps it is outside reasons–weather, changing allergies, etc. but i’ve noticed a marked difference. i use the xopenex rescue inhaler and i usually have to use it about once a day, and i have only used it twice in the 16 days we’ve been doing the challenge. once after the sprint day (not unusual–running always induces an asthma attack for me) and once after i emptied out the vacuum cleaner. so, like you, i’m not 100 pct convinced it’s all paleo…but there might just be something to it! 🙂

      • Bryce Wininger

        Whoa–rescue inhaler every day?! Girlfriend, we call that “not well controlled!” I’m glad you’ve improved it for sure. Since things like emptying the vacuum set you off, sounds like there’s a strong allergic component, too. Paleo may or may not be helping if that’s the case. Who knows! Congrats regardless. 🙂

      • Ellie Bernstein

        lol i had no idea once a day was a lot! it’s definitely triggered by allergies, running, and cold weather. maybe i’ll look into singulair too!

    • Jen R.

      Is it wrong that I giggled when I read that you were lightheaded after ten days of gyno? I’m like twelve. Anyway, I totally understand what you are saying regarding that ‘overwhelmed’ feeling when it comes to weights. I think I’ve had it because of a lack of sleep. I got a lot more over the weekend, so I’m anxious to see how I do/feel tomorrow. Oh, and Singulair is great stuff. My little man takes it and it has made a huge difference for him, though I swear it constipates him…could that be possible Dr. Wininger? I have no shame when it comes to soliciting free medical advice. Seriously, though, hope you continue to feel better this week. I miss seeing your face at WODs!

      • Bryce Wininger

        Ellie, your daily use of your short-acting rescue inhaler actually puts you in the second most severe category of uncontrolled asthma! Ha! I mean, it’s not funny. Maybe it is. If it were funny, it would be only because you now have it under better control.

        For people in your situation, we usually add a prophylactic steroid inhaler to use once or twice dialy to prevent attacks; and Singulair is definitely getting more popular as prophylaxis for both allergic and exercise-induced asthma. It seems like it’s a pretty clean drug, but…JEN…like almost EVERYTHING, it can cause nausea/vomiting or constipation. I’m not sure if there’s any good reason why the leukotriene inhibitors would affect the GI system, or if it’s just some unintended side effect from one of the inactive components…

        In other news, I miss y’all too! However, and you may not know this, I will soon (this Saturday) be moving in with our very own fearless leaders for a two-week stint with outpatient OB/GYN, which should be WAY better than my current situation. So get excited. It’ll be a pleasure to enjoy my company. For you all.

      • Jen R.

        Bring on the Beyonce! BTW, is she really pregnant? Rumor has it she’s wearing a baby bump and paying someone else to carry the child…yes, this is what insomnia does to a person.

      • Ellie Bernstein

        bryce, thanks so much for the advice! i had no idea how not normal it was to use a rescue inhaler once a day. i’m due for my annual physical soon so i will definitely talk to my dr. about this. thanks again! 🙂

  • Kristin Poage

    This week has been really good for me. I can’t believe this is the third Sunday post. It’s just crazy how time has gone so quickly the last two weeks. My goal this week was to stay away from fruit and less Paleo treat-type stuff and I think I did a really good job. When I looked back through my journal there were quite a few days without any portion of fruit or Paleo granola.

    My one concern is that I feel like I get bloated still or kind of swollen-like in my fingers, especially, when I wake up in the morning. This usually happened to me with grains in the past, so I need to play around with this and see what’s up. I’m very sensitive to salt in this way, too, but I haven’t had any other that what come in vegetables naturally. Hmmmmm….any ideas? Also, I don’t think I’m losing pounds, but my clothes feel looser. Anyone else feel that way?

    I went out to a restaurant today to watch football. I got a 1/2 pound Angus burger, no bun, added bacon and a bunch of lettuce, tomato, etc. and it was really good and filling. No sides necessary. Here was the crazy part. I feel like I’ve broken so many little cheat habits at home, but in a new venue it was different. At one point we were all talking about football, fantasy leagues, a great play that happened, and I automatically, without thinking, reached over and popped a waffle fry off my husband’s plate in my mouth!! I started chewing and was like, “What is this? Yuck.” It didn’t even taste good to me. I really had no desire for that fry….it was just a in the moment/ habit kind of thing. I was so mad at myself. It made me realize, once again, that certain food is simply a habit for me and I need to be on the lookout for that.

    Hope everyone else had an awesome week!

    • Heather

      The only thing I can really think of for the bloating is 1. what is your salt consumption like? and 2. what kind of meat do you buy? if it comes in a bag read the back! sometimes they sneak sugar and salt in there to “preserve it” — also! check your spices too! sometimes if you use Mrs. Dash or whatever there is salt hiding in the ingredients (surprisingly) sorry if this doesn’t help :-/

      OH! also- don’t necessarily worry about the weight – Us women are weird – how do you feel? how are your WODs? are you happy? concentrate on that- not the poundage right now 🙂

      • Dawn Volungis

        Good comment on the weight issue. I actually hid my scale in a place I wouldn’t see it from today onward because the check-ins were frustrating. I haven’t cheated and have been making my WODs consistently plus doing other active stuff during down time. Sometimes, like Jenna and Heather suggest, you just have to roll with it, know you’re on track, and enjoy the process.

    • Jen R.

      medicines can definitely bloat you…anything new on that front? I totally know what you mean about the ‘habit’ stuff…it’s unbelievable how much that stuff adds up. when you become conscious of it, it’s amazing to realize how much crap you’ve consumed. oh, and go Steelers…missed you guys today!

  • Leah

    I cant believe its been 16 days! I feel as though I am annoying my family and non paleo friends with my constant chatter about how good I feel! Hopefully not just a fluke! As I ran today in what felt like 35mile/hr winds, I thought about what this paleo challenge and crossfit has done for me. I have more energy, feel stronger, sleep better,have less headaches, joint pain, and cramps! I also have finally lost the’ last 5lbs’ that I have been trying to lose for 15 yrs! I hope that when the ‘paleo challenge’ is over, and the holidays start up, I am able to continue on this change in the way I eat and prepare food. I am thankful to have had such a great physical response, that it should be enough motivation. I also thought while running how disappointed I was when I ran the IU half marathon in the spring. At mile 12, I walked for a minute!!! I justified it by saying “you just ran 12miles, a 1 min walk is justified” At the end of the race, I was disappointed with my time and my attitude. Since doing crossfit, I know I could run 13 miles, then do 2 more just to make it an even 15!
    I am enjoying some of the recipes and have made the paleo chili twice! Not a huge amount of variety, but I was that way prior to paleo as well.
    Hoping for an awesome week for everyone. If anyone has made a paleo pumpkin pie…I need the recipe!!

  • Heather

    Another week down the hatch! As most of you know or don’t know I have been paleo for about 9 months and I am now just being strict about what I consume. I have kept my fruit intake to a minimum which was/is a goal of mine and now I am working on trying new things. Once I find something I like I usually stick with it, so eggs and brussel sprouts are my “go to” meal- but this week I had some eggplant which was ‘unusual’ for me! Oh by the way- I use to be a ‘kroger brand egg consumer’ but if you have not spent your money on quality 3.99 eggs from local farms in Indiana from bloomingfoods – I HIGHLY recommend it! (not necessarily for experimental baking but for eating!!!) I have found that I am either going to pay for my food or my health care – – I’d rather pay for quality food than get weighed every time I have to go to the doctor, wouldn’t you?

    I also have been reading everyone’s posts and am so proud of the obstacles that are being overcome! We all have to start somewhere and for me the first time I did the paleo challenge- was a lot different than how I am doing it now. I had this mindset that a lot of fruit was paleo and technically it is but it is going to spike your insulin level and lets face it, cause you not to see the results you want by doing this. We all are going to have hardships and face challenges during this 30 day period – we will face temptation and even negativity from our peers but don’t forget why you signed up for the challenge in the first place- to better YOURSELF and your LIFE! 🙂

    “It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, the ability to triumph begins with you. Always.” – Oprah

  • Terry

    So far so good. I have to admit I am feeling better. I don’t think I am as stiff as I was before. The only hiccup was Friday when I went Mountain biking for about three hours with friends in Brown County and then we rode to Nashville and ate at Subway. Believe it or not,,,I ordered a salad and while making it, they ran out of lettuce. Go figure! They did add more tomatoes and cucumbers. I must admit it was a bit challenging to watch the others inhale $5 footlongs and I was stuck with my dry chicken, almost lettuce free, salad. All was not lost as I did feast on steaks for dinner.

    • jenna

      As long as you ate vegetables and “meat” (i don’t know if you saw my reply under andy’s comment), then you’re fine and I congratulate you! How did mountain biking feel?

  • Denise

    1/2 way thru the challenge…16 days down and going strong! I had a better week this week. I didn’t have the cravings I did the first week…yeah :). I ate more through the day and less in the evenings (I have late nights at work teaching, or studying and don’t see home soom enough to eat of an evening). I made some new recipes…Cara’s meatloaf (yum…it made so much I had it several times this week and still have some left) and no-oat oatmeal (awesome…tastes better than real oatmeal). I’ve had a bit more energy for the morning workouts too. One thing I need to work on is getting more sleep throughout the week. I sometimes don’t go to bed until about 11 or 1130 pm and have to get up at 4:45 to make the 6am class 4x a week which results in a 1-2pm slump of trying to stay awake. I plan to try a few more new recipes this week, not sure yet which ones…I would like to try a chicken pot pie 🙂 Have a great week this week everyone!!! Stay strong and stick to your goals. Don’t even take that first bite of your temptation…one bite leads to more bites and more temptations.

  • Angie Truelock

    Another week down & I feel great! I’m not really missing things like I thought I would. (unlike any other diet I’ve ever tried) I have really enjoyed trying new things & I even like all of the cooking 🙂
    I am surprised by the will-power I have had too! I have been able to “say no” even when my family ordered pizza 🙂 And today we went to the Covered Bridge Festival & I brought along Paleo Apple Pie Cupcakes & Paleo chocolate chip cookies (thanks to Heather Ross’ Paleo blog) & that made it much easier to pass up all the usual festival foods!
    I have realized as long as you think ahead, you don’t ever have to “go without” yummy food!
    And I’m so happy for my partner, Jen R.! She is doing AWESOME! Keep to the good work Jen!

    • Jen R.

      Thanks for the shout out, girl! I’m so proud of you, too! I’m even pondering making a 6AM workout so that we can workout together…that would be my biggest challenge yet, haha.

  • Jameson Russell

    Hey there paleo’s, I find this challenge a fun yet challenging experience at the same time. This week for my challenge I actually just finished tonight. I ate the seared raw tuna at Malibu grill. It was fantastic, not gonna lie, they were fantastic! I didn’t have to do any modification to it bc it was all paleo. It was pan seared tuna on top of a slaw made of cabbage, carrots, and some lettuce. I highly suggest it to anyone who goes there, even if you don’t like fish! Only a few weeks left till I can have a beer…btw I have a batch of beer that will be ready around thanksgiving (I will bring some in to a WOD after its ready for anyone who wants to try some!)

  • Jen Smallwood

    I’m still doing pretty well, 2 weeks in! I did have some challenges this weekend as I was visiting family. I tried to describe my restrictions before going to my mom’s, but there ws some confusion on her part (or a lack of clarity on mine), but nonetheless, it all worked out. She’d made a pot-pie for dinner, that was going to have some ingredients that I couldn’t have by the time it was all said and done, so I scooped out some chicken and veggies before she thickened it with cornstarch and I had soup (picking out the potatoes). I also brought a number of paleo snacks because I knew that she’d have treats that I wanted– and indeed there were two pies, ice cream and lots of other junk. I ate more fruits and nuts and dark chocolate than I might have otherwise, but I kept my fingers out of the sweets that she had. I was proud of myself for resisting the warm homemade bread as well, and all the other stuff. My brother (an endurance cyclists and cyclocross competitor) took a look at my copy of The Paleo Diet for Athletes and we were both surprised to see Joe Friel listed as an author (he’s also an endurance cyclist.) Who knows, maybe he’ll look into it as well. I have another big challenge next weekend, when I’m traveling to Cleveland for 3 days. Oh! I also went to my first restaurant on Friday- Hu Hot (mongolian grill). It was not a bad place to eat paleo- you can’t choose any of their regular sauces, but lots of meats and veggies and you can choose the oils and the chili sauce (if you order here, look on the allergy menu for sugar content, soy, dairy or gluten ingredients which helps you sleuth out the most likely paleo choices.) It’s also “all you can eat” meat , fish and veggies, so if you’re not embarassed to get up and get in line 3 times, you can get a pretty good amount of food. Their salad dressings are all a no-no.

  • Sam Spade

    Overall, Week 2 was better than Week 1. Because of my WOD “shortcomings” last week, I decided to amp up my protein intake on my workout days. It seemed to do the trick. Sprinting made me nervous, but I did much better than I anticipated (must be my long legs). My other workouts included small victories as well, including multiple handstands and having my double-unders begin to “click”. It felt good to be able to share those accomplishments with the others in the gym at the time.

    Another positive was in the wardrobe department. I have a couple pairs of “skinny” pants that, up until last month, hadn’t been wearable for probably a year and a half. Even though I could get them on again, they were still a bit snug. One pair was especially snug. Wednesday, however, I was able to wear them…comfortably! I think the addition of veggies to every meal has really helped me trim down noticeably. Hopefully that trend can continue into the next half of the challenge and beyond.

    If there was anything I could look to improve upon from this week, I might pick two things. The first one happened Friday evening at the store. I went meaning to pick up ingredients for paleo brownies. Upon seeing all of the sweets in the bakery area, though, my inner fat kid was screaming at me to get something. I was able to resist, and instead, made an impulse buy of some baked chicken. I hadn’t had dark chicken meat in a while, so it was still a treat. The other improvement I could make is with my veggie intake. I’m still eating them at every meal, but I’ve gotten into a rut with which veggies I’m eating. This week, I need to try to eat more than just peppers, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Any suggestions are welcome!

    Oh, we made a few things this weekend. Two successes, one Faileo. The faileo was the paleo mayo. It just never turned out. I’m too pissed to go into it, so ask Pam if you wanna know. The two successes were Paleo meatloaf (not Cara’s) and Kristen’s paleo brownies. I’m so happy that I was able to recreate the perfection that Kristen brought into the gym on Monday. Meghan says they’re the best paleo creation of mine yet. They’re FANTASTIC!!

    Sorry for the long post. See all you crazy kids at the gym this week. Cheers!!

    • Sam Spade

      P.S.–Here’s Kristen’s brownies recipe, courtesy of

      Paleo Brownies

      16 oz of walnuts
      1 egg
      1 cup honey
      1/2 cup baking cocoa
      1 tbs pure vanilla extract
      1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
      1 tsp baking soda
      2 oz unsweetened dark chocolate chopped
      1 – 2 tbs coconut oil


      Preheat oven to 325.
      Grease a 8 x 8 baking dish with coconut oil.
      Pulse walnuts in food processor until smooth and creamy.
      In a large bowl, beat an egg. Add in the nut butter and vanilla and honey and stir to combine.
      Add in cocoa powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in chopped chocolate.
      Pour batter into greased baking dish.
      Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes. It will puff up in oven and settle when it cools. To check doneness, insert a toothpick or knife in the center. It should come out clean.
      Cool for 15 minutes and then cut and eat.

    • Denise

      Congrats on fitting into the “skinny” pants…I love that feeling 🙂 It’s such a ‘high’. heres a quote I like…”Nothing tastes better than skinny feels” you can even substitute ‘strong’ for ‘skinny’ in that quote. The trick is recalling this quote in times of need, like when you are in the grocery store surrounded by ‘sweets in the bakery area’ … lol. Good job this week Sam!!

  • Kristen Bex Payton

    I can’t believe this is the 3rd week! My fiance and I are more in-sync with the cooking and cook a lot. The dishes are out of control! I was really tired this week though. I don’t know if that has to do with the paleo snacks (like brownies and Jenna’s apple pumpkin goodness…yum by the way!) that I had this week or if it is something else. I too haven’t been dropping pounds but clothes fit better. It felt really good trying on bridal dresses and bridesmaid dresses this weekend and seeing that I was almost down 1 size! My wedding gown is 1 size too small, so I have increased motivation! It’s getting easier to pass up the goodies and others know that I’m on the diet and no longer attempt to persuade me to give in. My partner has been awesome and a blessing. Thanks Kristin!

  • susan

    This week: I had a YUCKY food day this week. I had several things that were happening that I thought were going to be issues, but I was strong and made it through those 100% Paleo. Then, when I least expected it and on a day that should have been a breeze, whamo! And once it started it was ridiculous. I have a long history of being a closet eater…but I got brave and confessed to my Paleo partner Audra and also to Sam. That was a big step for me. They were both wonderful and supportive: I wasn’t a bad person, I was human. I was strong enough to STOP IT and start fresh. I hadn’t ruined everything.

    Time has flown by so fast. I hadn’t realized until I read the other posts that we have made it halfway. And I had my first real workout last Friday. I’m on the schedule Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week and looking forward to it.

    I wanted to copy and paste the STRENGTH thing that I found on the Hoosier CrossFit facebook page. But I couldn’t make it work. I highly recommend checking it out.
    Some of it:
    STRENGTH My mind, body and spirit are strong * I take time each day to rejuvenate and recharge * I draw from a deep well of peace and calm * I breathe in strength and release my fears * I focus on my goal and have the strength to make it happen * I am strong * Each day I am getting stronger * The strength of others inspires me daily

    • Audra

      It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our “bad” food days, but don’t forget you had 6 other days that were good! Plus you made it through the days you thought would be most challenging. You re-grouped and started right back on track. I have no doubt the next two weeks will go as well or better than the past two. Have fun tonight at your workout! 🙂

  • Megan Cirgin

    Well this week went by pretty well. I am not having any of the cravings that i had last week for non paleo foods. I also have done a lot of baking because i wanted to try new things. I made some of Jameson’s moms energy bars and nate even took them to work with him because everyone keeps asking what we eat. They were a hit ha ha. We had paleo pancakes for dinner one night and i pretty much fell in love with those. So far it has been a good week and i am excited about trying this week’s challenge. Nate and i sat down last sunday and actually planned out what we wanted to fix for the week before we went grocery shopping. That was so helpful for us because it saved us a lot of time and plus i had left overs to take on campus with me. I do a lot of salads for lunch because it something i can take on campus. I realized that i need more meat with my lunch because its not carrying me over as long before i am hungry. I also love snacking on peppers. They seem to do a really good job of helping to feel my void of snacking. I also feel that i am doing better in my workouts, I feel a difference in how long i last before lactic acid sets in and i start to get tired. I have said this before too, my sleep has gotten so much better, that i love.

  • Nate Fair


    I say that tongue and cheek, of course.

    However, I am very glad that we decided to take on this challenge together. We did a much better job of planning last weekend and it was extremely helpful. We were able to have our meals planned before we were standing in the kitchen asking one another the “what do you want?” … “I don’t care …” routine. I actually encountered a bunch of negativity this week from co-workers when I took a meal of leftovers for lunch. Most of it was a good laugh for us all, but I was able to get the last laugh as Megan made some of the “energy bars” — no one knew — no one asked —- everyone loved them! Then I broke the news, and even though they had made fun of my eggplant/spaghetti squash lunch I still had a few requests for the “energy bars” recipe!

    Overall, the week went really really well! I have been so impressed with how much better I feel — how much better I sleep — how much better I look (HAHAHA).

    But … here’s to another week! I don’t even need Luck any more!!!

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