The Paleo Experiment (5): Takeaways

By March 16, 2011No Comments

This will be the final entry in my Paleo series, and it will deal with how my wife and I have tried to implement the Paleo diet into our lives now that the 30 day challenge is over.

After eating like the Flintstones for 30 days, we felt better than ever.  We decided that we definitely wanted to keep eating this way.

Then we crashed into fiscal reality.

My wife – who was even more excited about the results than I was – sent me an email entitled, “I’m having second thoughts about this whole paleo thing…”  The substance of her angst was the fact that our grocery bill had more than doubled during challenge.  We simply could not keep spending that amount on groceries – it interfered with other key values we hold – notably thrift and generosity.

Incidentally, we decided that there had to be a way to eat healthy within a budget, and that it was worth our best efforts to experiment and make it work.  Practically, this meant  that we would only buy one jar of almond butter per week.  We would use regular honey instead of raw honey.  We would set a limit on the amount we allowed ourselves to spend on meat.  We would use frozen fruit whenever we could.

But the point here is that while we value healthy eating, we hold that in tension with other important values.  Some are simply more important.

When our commitment to health interferes with our commitment to enjoy and serve others, the latter commitment has priority.  This means that when someone invites us to dinner, we eat whatever is set before us.

(For me, that meant eating blueberry cobbler last night.) When out at a restaurant with friends, our most important value is our friends.

Finally, we have tried to build the Christian value of feasting into our lives.  As I mentioned in the last post, feasting is not about gorging yourself at Old Country Buffet but about tasting and enjoying and thanking.

I try to practice Sabbath.  What this means is that I work as hard as I can six days out of the week.  But I set one day a week aside to rest, celebrate and enjoy the gift of life.

I’ve begun to think of other areas of my life the same way.

For example, I want to keep a strict budget – to spend minimally and to save wisely.  But I also want my life to be characterized by instances of outrageous generosity.  There should be times (and will be soon, hopefully!) when I take my wife on a cruise even if it doesn’t make financial sense.

Similarly, I want to eat as healthy as possible. But I also want to feast like one who believes that God made the world, made it good, and made it that way so that its goodness would point us back to him.

Six days a week we try to eat Paleo pretty strictly.  We enjoy it.

But one day we don’t even think about Paleo.  I refuse to call it a cheat day.  It is a feast day.

Question: Any tips for eating healthy on a budget?


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  • Big Mike says:

    I Like it. A Feast Day. I think I will use that.

  • Big Mike says:

    I am and not doing so well right now. I mean I guess it was plausible that the first work out would have been a 1RM Dead Lift or something else i’m good at. Right now score is 222 but ‘im going to redo it this week and see how I fare. If I had Double Unders down Id be at 5.5 rounds I think. How about you?

    • I am doing poorly as well. Before they posted the workout, I was thinking “as long as there are no DU’s I might be o.k.” DU’s are the last CF skill to elude me! I finally got HSPU, pistols and MU’s but couldn’t do consecutive DU to save my life! I ended up buying a jumprope and working on them hardcore for 3 days before the workout, and started well, but then had a major, frustrating meltdown during the 3rd round. Could not string them together, and then it took a ton of energy from the snatches. I finished just short of 4 rounds. No plans to try again, though. I think I’ll wait till the next one. But here is another example of how CF produces humility – it’s humbling to know that there are more than 6000 people better than me! And Froning’s score is unreal.

      On another note, I am looking at putting a pullup bar and hanging some rings in my garage. Any recommendations on the bar? I’d rather not spend too much.

      • Big Mike says:

        When I was in my garage i just got a wooden dowel and stuck it through the rings. Couldn’t kip however that just helped me develop my dead hangs. worked a lot like this http://www.roguefitness.com/rogue-equipment/rpg-system/rpg-system.php Depending on the height of your garage their are a few different places though. The Rogue P3 and P4 can be attached to wall or ceiling and make solid bars that you can kip with. I think the cheapest one is $65 plus shipping. Again Faster Stud bar comes in different sizes for different ceiling heights and I believe it ships for $140 though I am not positive. Muscle driver sells a few different models that would be good though after and admittedly brief glance at their page i did not see anything worth buying over rogue or again-faster’s stuff. If you are looking to make one it often only takes a couple pieces of wood and some pipe from the local hardware store. Sorry for the long post Hope I helped. Question If you got to put together a work out that you had the best chance at placing in the top saw 10 ( Region or World) what would it look like?

        • Thanks for all the help. Yeah, I am starting to plan out a garage gym so that I can take some of my students into the world of CrossFit. I was looking at the stud bar, it’s a bit pricey. I’ll look into the P3 or P4.

          I love the WOD question! My best possible WOD would be maximum box jump, ha ha. Right now I’m at 52 inches, which apparently is just 4 inches off the WR of 56. But that’s a big 4 inches.

          If it had to be a metcon, I’d do 10 rounds of 10: 24 inch box jumps, pushups and deadlifts (135#). I’d feel reasonably confident with those movements.

          What’s your best case scenario WOD?

  • Big Mike, it looks like someone is reading my site. The next open workout is almost identical to what I’ve posted here. Guess I have to put my money where my mouth is now, huh? =)

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