Paleo Challenge: Day 4

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    From May 11 – June 10, I’m doing a paleo challenge with Gina. I decided to journal this as something to look back on and also for others to follow along and to use as reference in case they want to take on this challenge in the future. I’ll link to recipes (either mine that I developed on this journey or other people’s) when applicable, but I don’t usually cook from recipes for myself so if you leave a comment asking for the recipe for something, there is none unless otherwise noted. My purpose of doing this isn’t to lose weight. It’s changing up my eating habits to see how it works for my body. I’m not a health professional so I cannot offer you any advice. There are numerous resources out there for paleo. Do your research before committing.

    Follow along with our Instagram posts #RTTKTFTpaleochallenge for more ideas on what we’re shopping for, eating, and more!


    May 14: Day 4

    Notes: not much, but got a lot of thoughts below, hence the ‘just breathe’ graphic!


    Breakfast: three banana chia bites (these are freaking amazing. they taste like banana bread but they’re paleo-friendly), two egg cup muffins, one cup of cold-brew coffee w/unsweetened coconut milk (from the carton, not the canned ones)


    Lunch: chocolate chili leftovers (I’m telling ya, it made a lot), mango strawberry kiwi fruit mix, clementines (not pictured)


    Dinner: paleo orange chicken with roasted sweet potatoes & tomatoes and sautéed spinach


    Snacks: a pack of dried seaweed

    Drinks: H2O and grapefruit juice

    Exercise: walked 1.5 miles

    Thoughts: okay so it’s day 4 and I’m starting to break down slightly. It’s not the eating part that I’m breaking down with. I’m fine with eating paleo, in fact, I’m totally loving it. I don’t really have a craving for sweets or carbs but I’m breaking down and slightly overwhelmed because of the prep work that is involved in eating paleo. It’s really hard for me to have a decent breakfast or lunch because I work full time Monday-Friday. I work from home every other Friday and I’m off every other Friday so that’s fine because on those days, I can probably have a legit awesome breakfast, but M-TH kills me. I have to basically have everything prepped and it’s a grab ‘n go situation in the morning unless I want to wake up at 5am. Problem with prepping is that I’m exhausted after work and I cook dinner and then after dinner, I have to think ahead to the next day or couple days and prep what I would be able to grab ‘n go in the morning. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, and maybe I am, but I guess I’m just talking it out and why eating paleo is slightly hard when you aren’t at home. I don’t want to spend $$$ on going out to eat all week for lunch and I also don’t have very many paleo-friendly options in the city so I would likely just end up eating the same things cause those are ‘safe’ and familiar but then it’s boring. I need to get better about prepping but that’s also the one thing that is making this hard – I feel like I live in my kitchen, like I mentioned yesterday. Plus, I feel like I’m constantly running to the grocery store for produce. I really hope I can get in this prep groove because I might not make it if I keep feeling super overwhelmed and stressed out over eating. Obviously I’m going to force myself to ‘make it’ because I’m loving what it’s doing to my body but I just wish there was more time in the day ;)

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  • Gina says:

    I totally get it. I felt this way last time and that was when I was working from home! Office jobs suck, you should just quit. Paleo > paycheck. Kidding. I know I’m no help ;) you got this though…

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen says:

    Love reading your posts about this! Maybe you could do smoothies for breakfast with a plant based protein powder and fruit? Might be easier then prepping for breakfast at least! Or hardboiled eggs? Can’t wait to check back!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Monique! Yeah, I actually just got Deborah’s smoothie book in the mail and I think smoothies might be the answer soon, haha – definitely way more easier to grab ‘n go than prepping a full breakfast!! :)

  • Lauren B. says:

    You’ve got this! I don’t eat strictly paleo. but I make good choices and consider most of my food to be “clean,”
    For lunches, try mason jar salads! Yes – it’s repetitive for the week. But there’s so many options, so you can change it up on a weekly basis! Plus, they take about 30 minutes or so to throw together on Sunday & then you’ve got lunch all week ready to go – no need to think about it on a weekday night! It’s seriously helped me get on track, keep my lunches healthy, and not have to worry about it in the morning.

    My favorite blog for jar salads is Organize Yourself Skinny, but there’s also tons of variety on Pinterest. Check them out!
    & a tip: use the wide mouth, quart-sized jars :)

    Good luck!!

  • Ruchita says:

    Hi! Long time reader, first time commenter. I really appreciate you sharing your daily meals and links to recipes as part of your paleo challege. Also, thank you for being honest about some the challenges! I tried doing a Whole 30 and lasted about a week. Like you mentioned, the food was not a problem but it was all the time spent in the kitchen. I work full time and at the end of the day, it’s really hard to spend hours in the kitchen. I enjoy food, but I don’t necessarily enjoy all the cooking and clean up it involves. :-) I felt like I was constantly thinking about food and going grocery shopping. I could do a big food prep on the weekend, but frankly I’m lazy and I really some time to relax. For now, I’m taking baby steps and trying to incorporate parts of paleo into life. For example, I’m meal planning for next week so I’d like to plan a week of paleo dinners. Thanks again for posting links to paleo recipes. It’s been very helpful as I try to incorporate more aspects of paleo eating into daily life!

    • Julie says:

      I’m glad you’re finding some good links for paleo recipes! The clean-up is my least favorite part too and yes, food and grocery shopping is constantly on my mind. Can’t catch a break! I think doing this challenge more-so forces you to make better decisions so you can continue with it after the challenge so maybe afterwards, when it’s not this strict, it’ll be easier for us! Good luck with yours if you ever start to do it again!

  • Josie says:

    I live in rural Iowa, so I can really relate with how much prep work is required to eat healthy! If I don’t bring my lunch to work, I have practically zero healthy options nearby. One thing that really helps me is to freeze individually servings of cooked chicken, taco meat, etc that can be thrown on a salad or even eaten by itself when I’m in a pinch.

    I’m enjoying reading about your Paleo challenge! :)

    • Julie says:

      Love the freezing idea – thank you!! Gotta brainstorm ideas today :) I love that you’re enjoying reading about this! I was nervous posting daily but I think people are definitely enjoying it!

  • amanda @ fake ginger says:

    The prep and the dishes are the worst part of eating paleo. I feel like I do dishes all day, every day when my husband and I are both eating 100% paleo. Uggghhhh.

    • Julie says:

      Haha I started to tell my husband that he can’t eat “my” food anymore. It doesn’t stretch as far when both of us are eating it and I literally cannot be spending 4 hours a day in the kitchen just prepping. Gotta make it last if I’m going to last these 30 days!!

  • Lisa says:

    Those muffins sound amazing, my problem is finding all of those ingredients somewhere in NYC! i think in the end these muffins would be quiet costly haha

    • Julie says:

      You should use Amazon! Or if you have a Trader’s Joe near you, the ingredients are cheap there. Or try Thrive Market online – they have great deals on these types of healthy products :)

  • Lisa says:

    I have the same problem as you though with work! I come home from work, cook dinner, clean, then prep lunch and by the time that’s through its 9:30 and i need to go to bed. Its miserable! I started making crock pot shredded chicken and making salads recently but that still takes time!

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