Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Reader's Self Experiment Week 1

Well, I hope that I had something to do with this.  I am guessing I had just a little to do with it.  I have a neighbor who I have known for a very long time.  For this purpose, let's call him Leroy.  I have been talking to Leroy about the paleo way of eating off and on for about 3 years now.  He has kinda laughed me off or dismissed me as nuts (he is kinda right in that respect) until very recently. He has decided to try paleo for a while and document his progress on a weekly basis.  Here is update #1. 

"Week 1:  I have been reading/discussing the Caveman/Paleo/Primal diet for a few weeks now & among the many health benefits, here are a few other reasons why I chose to do this…

1.      I run about 10 miles per week…I would like to run further, but my joints just won’t let me.  At times, I have to ice down my knees at night b/c I just can’t get comfortable.  Last year, I ran the 5.7 mile stretch of the Akron Marathon for our relay team & I could hardly walk after the race.  I am a pretty active fellow, but it is frustrating that my legs won’t let me go further.  Is there a direct correlation between my grain consumption & inflammation in my joints?
2.      Every Saturday morning, my wife & I plan out our dinner menu for the week before I head off to the grocery store.  Each week I found myself buying French bread (3-4 loaves), pasta & rice.  These were staples on our dinner menu.  We did eat meat & veggies, but they were each accommodated by bread, pasta or rice.  We have all heard of beer belly, but have you heard of wheat belly?  I may be starting to get one.
3.      I have been suffering from allergies for about 13 years.  I’ve been to multiple doctors & have been tested for everything, but nobody can tell me what causes my allergic reactions.  It starts in the morning while showering…my nose will start running, followed by sneezing.  No kidding, I may sneeze up to 60-70 times per day & the same with blowing my nose.  The only positive is that it only lasts for 1 day.  The very next day I will wake up & all symptoms are gone.  However, I don’t know when the next attack is coming…could be in a few days or a few weeks.  I’ve been on multiple meds…both oral & nasal.  Nothing has worked & I refuse to take them…it’s a hellish nightmare. 
How have I felt?
So I just finished my 1st week & I feel great!  I lost 4 lbs. & have a lot more energy throughout the day & I have no more 3pm crashes!  I have more energy during my runs, but I haven’t really noticed a big difference in the soreness of my joint yet…I am hoping that changes. 
How hard has it been?
Chips & Salsa:  I eat chips & salsa everyday.  I used to buy my salsa direct from the manufacturer & now I haven’t had it for 1 week…not sure how much longer I can hold out.
Beer:  Giving up beer hasn’t been that bad…we will see how hard it is when college football starts. 
Bread:  This is the big one for me.  I LOVE BREAD!  I ate bread for lunch & dinner, so it is still very tempting.
Sugar:  I never was a “desert” guy, but there are many foods/condiments that contain sugar.  With a family of 4, it is next to impossible to rid of all of these, but I have cut down on them.
G2:  I used to have one after I ran, but now I just drink water.  It really hasn’t been that difficult giving this up. 
What haven’t I cut out?
Cheese:  String cheese, fresh mozzarella, others…I will still eat cheese, but I am trying to cut down on how much.
Chocolate Chip Cookies:  I used to eat (1-2) after lunch, (1-2) after dinner & (2-3) at 2:30 am…yes at 2:30 am.  I have given up the lunch & dinner cookies, but I still have them in the middle of the night (only 1-2 now).  Once this batch runs out, I am gonna try to stop completely (doubt that will happen). 
Today starts week 2.  Our dinner menu has changed drastically – No bread, No pasta, No rice.  New additions this week:  Fish, thin-julienne sautéed zucchini & bun-less, grass-fed beef burgers."
Leroy asks if I have "heard of wheat belly".  Yes I have.  It was documented on one of my favorite sites.

I want to thank Leroy for such an honest and thorough summary of the last week.   I also want to encourage him to keep it up, the first 3-4 weeks can be tough to push through.  He left one thing out that maybe he was too embarrassed to share.  I am not embarrassed and besides, his identity is hidden very well.  He has told me in the past that he has counted his farts and they totalled 60 in a day.  He is now down to 3.  If nothing else, that has to make his wife and co-workers happy.  I too can say my flatulence has decreased dramatically.  There are people (you know who you are) who I would greatly appreciate if they also adopted this diet.

Stay tuned for future weekly updates from Leroy.



Anonymous said...

Leroy's identity is hidden very well...I wouldn't know who to begin to guess it is. I can attest to having success by making some changes to my diet of late as well. I definitely have more energy, stay up later, wake up earlier, and just feel better.

I haven't went total "caveman" yet, but after watching Food Inc. I thought MUCH harder about what I put into my body. I have about 12 boxes of cereal in my pantry that haven't been touched in 2 weeks. Breakfast has been Greek Yogurt or Cage Free Eggs. Cereal was always quick and easy, but I'd be hungry a few hours after I got to work. This week I made an Egg Bake (linked from this site), which took about 10 minutes of prep time one night and has been a quick and easy breakfast every day this week.

Chuck said...

Good for you. Keep on keepin' on.

Anonymous said...

I have not noticed a decrease in Leroy's flatulence. I've also seen him drink a case of beer and down a bowl of guac and chips just about 7 days ago. Just sayin.


Anonymous said...

Hmmmm 5.7 mile leg of the Akron Marathon relay....no such leg exists - can i trust anything in this post?

Chuck said...

For all of you attacking Leroy's credibility, stop hatin'. He speaks the truth. His sources of rumors are typically incorrect but his personal experiences are the truth as only he knows.

Anonymous said...

OK, turns out there is a 5.7 mile leg now - back in the Paleo days it used to be a 10k (6.2 miles), but has now been shortened to 5.7 miles. LeBron always liked the first leg at 6.2 miles. Akron shortened it to 5.7 and he left Cleveland for Miami. Coincidence - I think not.