2-week Update:

We had an anniversary cheat night last night. We both had cheese fries at outback, A had half of a sweet potato (prob closer to 1/3 since Iris [our dog] had some too), and D had 3 beers.

This is after A had her own cheat (after getting sick, so she was required to be on liquids [i.e. anything that becomes liquid once it enters the body]) of ice cream. I (A) had been moaning about wanting ice cream for a while now anyway, so it wasn’t a hard sell, and I’m really glad I had it… because I felt awful the next day. I had a headache that wouldn’t go away (despite lots of advil, ice, aromatherapy, etc.), so now I at least know how my body responds to it. On top of that, it wasn’t nearly as satisfying to have the ice cream (my favorite kind: Breyer’s Mint Chocolate Chip) as I thought it would be. It was good, but…. So now I know. If I want to have it, I have to be prepared that the next day may completely suck for me. As a substitute, the coconut milk ice cream sweetened with sevia was fine (though it has a tiny weird aftertaste). The best option seems to be frozen fruit blended with heavy cream or coconut milk like my mom used to make in the vitamix (she used to add sugar, though not a lot, and often whole milk instead of cream). I made up some the other day, when I was dying for something and wanted to do a Paleo cheat – it was good too, though again, not as satisfying as I remembered it – though it always had sugar when she made it, and I just used coconut milk & strawberries….

Last night’s cheat was useful too. The outback cheese fries were, in a word: delicious. However, we didn’t feel great after eating them, and my weight is up this morning (it’s been mostly a steady incline down, but never yet this much up in one day…. As of Saturday morning (13 days of eating Paleo), I (A) was down 7.2 pounds. That one serving of cheese fries apparently put 2 pounds back on. Not cool, cheese fries, not cool. As of yesterday, D was down 6.6 pounds… but he didn’t have the day of not eating that I had when I got ill… Apparently, eating Paleo really does make your body burn fat in times of famine!! (When he gets up he’ll weigh in for the day, but I imagine he’ll find the cheese fries + beer were not good for his numbers either….) [He was up 2.2 lbs today.]

So we’re learning a lot. D is quite happy eating meat all the time, and I’m getting used to cooking things that I never really made before. I’m learning how my body feels about certain substances, and finding out just how satisfying a sweet potato can be (it was sooooo good!).

On the subject of sweet potatoes, we have a two-week update to the challenge. See below. I will say on the subject of how we’re feeling that A is no longer experiencing insanely crazy mood swings (hopefully her body will detox those cheats out ASAP) but that she still feels fatigued from normal activity. This still could be mental though, as she is still job hunting. D seems to be doing fine, adjusting to his new job (which started the same time as the challenge), but is definitely ready for bed between 10-11pm….

We’ll keep you updated!

From Brian at Potomac Crossfit on the Paelo Challenge Blog:

Just as a general observation, I’ve never repeat NEVER seen training long slow distance runs and/or high volume of training generally improve any facet of fitness, and most of the time I see people gain weight.

So if your goal is to lose weight, and you’re doing something (training long slow distance/high volume of training), then you’re sabotaging your goals. [This was him responding to another question, but interesting enough to leave in!]

1) If you are experiencing good results so far: you’ve lost some weight, or a better indicator, you’re dress size/pants size has gone down, and you’re feeling good energy-wise: change nothing. We’re going to ride that pony until it drops.

2) If you haven’t experienced weight loss/decreased dress size/decreased pants size, and you feel crappy, then post something or email me and Kari so we can take a hard look at what you’re doing and get you on track.

3) If you have lost weight/decreased dress or pant size, and you are bonking on WODs then we need to add some starchy veggies:

sweet potato
butternut squash
acorn squash
spaghetti squash

Amount should be about the size of the palm of your hand if you are still looking for weight loss. If you are lean and are mainly looking for performance, bump that amount up to the size of your fist.
This should be eaten as quickly post-WOD as is humanely possible, along with some meat.


In response to Brian’s comment about running, in “Lights Out…” she talks about this. When we run for extended periods, our hormonal control center thinks we’re running from a predator. it therefore tells our adrenals to dump a crapload (technical term) of cortisol (ie the “fight or flight” hormone) into our bloodstream. And as we know, excess cortisol makes our bodies protect the vital (abdominal) organs by encasing them in as much fat as possible.

She talks about the runners high as well and how this relates hormonally to the cortisol release, etc.. It’s a good read if you want to learn more. Basically though, she says this “high” activates an area of the brain often referred to as the “god module” which is where the brain is most active during spiritual experiences. So, if you’re running from that sabre-toothed tiger, you’ve got the “flight” support of cortisol until eventually, your body gives out, then the “runners high”/ “god module” kicks in so you’re delirious when it finally tears you apart. 🙂 Thanks, biology.