Leave it to me to start something challenging — going Paleo, Whole 30 style — for 30 days, and make it more complicated. In addition to Whole 30, I quit sugar full-stop. There’s no added sugar in the Whole 30 plan. I’m going the extra mile, cutting out fresh and dried fruit and anything else with fructose according to “I Quit Sugar” by Sarah Wilson . I have no mercy on myself, apparently. I’ll give you the full results of this sugar cut-off in a future installment in The Seattle Times in Fit For Life. So far, I have spent a lot of time parsing the sugar levels of kombucha.
I’ve done a lot of cleanse/diets, including anti-inflammatory, and Paleo is the one that has stuck; I’m now on my third round. Why Paleo above all others? I don’t agree with all the Whole 30 rules. But my CrossFit offers Paleo every three months or so to support a re-set of our eating habits. I like eating healthy; I like remembering how much not-so-great stuff I’ve been putting down the hatch; and I like the camaraderie of doing it with other people in the same food boat. We get points for how we eat and we post our meals daily on Facebook, including how much we slept, our water intake, workouts and mobility. It’s nice to do it with others. I stick with the rules so I can get the points. And in general, the rules create good eating habits, even though I can get argumentative about not eating fresh corn and legumes. My body is much happier when I focus on vegetables and good fat and protein; Paleo provides my body with the nutrition it likes best. After eight days, I wish I could say I have more energy, but I’m exiting the “I just want to nap” phase of Whole 30 . Energy is coming.
Also, I have discovered lots of delicious recipes, like this coconutty granola from Sarah Wilson’s book.
I was not organized enough to activate the nuts by soaking them overnight, although Sarah says that makes them healthier. The granola is not sweet, but it’s rich and satisfying. The hardest thing about any kind of diet or cleanse is eating on the go. I’ve been carrying a jar of the granola around, and it’s the perfect snack.
Coco-Nutty Granola by Sarah Wilson
3 c. unsweetened coconut flakes
2 c. almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds (preferably sprouted)
2 tbl. chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
5-7 tbl. coconut oil, melted
Makes 5 cups.
Method: Preheat oven to 250-degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Spread evenly on the tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden, turning pan halfway through the cooking time. The darker it is, the crunchier. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then eat while still crispy.