What One Week on the Paleo Diet Taught Me

Abigail Blank - The Upside Blog | Vitacost.com/blog

by | Updated: December 4th, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

I took another adventure in food this month. This time, I tried the Paleo diet for a week. When I researched the Paleo diet, I was surprised to find out how little I actually understood about it. First of all, it was far more restrictive than I was expecting. No grains I knew and totally accepted. No legumes, no beans, no dairy – that was harder to swallow (pun entirely intended).

Woman on the Paleo Diet Chopping Vegetables in Kitchen | www.vitacost.com/blog

I get the concept, even if I don’t wholeheartedly agree. Our bodies will run more efficiently on the diet our Paleolithic ancestors ate. This means cutting out anything that needs to be modified in any way to become edible. I found a paleo diet foods list online that broke it down for me pretty simply and I jumped right in.

Eating Paleo was easy, honestly. I love pasta, I love cheese, I love bread. I gave all of those up immediately and without regret. It might have been a tad bit easier because the night before I started I ate a HUGE piece of cake I affectionately call “Death by Chocolate” and was so over-sugared that even thinking about eating another piece made me queasy.

But I would marry hummus. That’s was the breaking point for me. Hummus. Who would have guessed? So in the interest of full disclosure, I was not one hundred percent Paleo because I refused to give up hummus.

The surprising truth

Here are the parts that completely caught me off guard. I ate less, I was easily satisfied, and I felt better physically. This last part made me so mad. Truly angry. It is hard for me to accept the fact that the years of bloating I have suffered after countless meals immediately disappeared. Yes, even without being strict and allowing myself to eat garbanzo beans. My best guess, and this is a guess, is that eliminating grains was the key to this success.

Since that week on the Paleo diet, I have added back in dairy without much issue, though I will admit I have kept it to a minimum. I intend to try rice next and see how that goes. As much as I hate to admit it, I think that wheat will become a significantly reduced part of my diet from here on out. But I find fault with the logic behind cutting beans. Beans are a very healthy source of fiber and carbohydrates and to cut them did not suit my body’s nutritional needs.

My takeaway

What I learned from this experiment is that everyone’s body is different. If eating a Paleo diet is where your body feels best, by all means, embrace it. Strict Paleo isn’t for me, but it taught me something very valuable about my body’s ability to digest grains, which is a path I will learn more about and hopefully find an even healthier state for my body.

But I will always eat hummus. Always.