Week One Review : Wahls Paleo Plus

April 9, 2014

Completed the first week on Wahls Paleo Plus (WPP) , and also 2 of the AIP reintroductions. Basically I’ve been eating AIP plus WPP this month (and will for the whole of the month) with the exception of days when I reintroduce.

Reintroductions :
1) raw milk, grass-fed, cultured butter : fine! Yippee! Will try conventional butter as a separate reintroduction in a few weeks, since the high quality stuff is great for home but does nothing for making life out and about any easier

2) black pepper : seems fine, I’m only 24 hours in. I didn’t expect it to be a problem and it doesn’t seem to be.

What is interesting is that I’m suddenly feeling the itch to reintroduce more and more foods – I suspect because I’ve started the process, and I’m no longer in the mindset of doing this completely. Coffee, in particular, is pulling me. I might end up juggling the reintro schedule a little to try it. Plus the reintros are going well and it’s making me want to either speed them up or double them up. But I’m also aware that I planned out my reintros carefully so that the month of April I’d be reintroducing things that are not on AIP but are allowed on Wahls PP, which would give me 2 solid months of avoidance of things before reintroductions (with the exception of my butter). Maybe I’ll waver some more, although I expect that once my houseguests leave and I’m back to my routines the itch to move faster will be gone and I’ll be able to stay the course.

Ok, on the Wahls Paleo Plus things are going well. I’m not getting a perfect score every day, but I’m doing quite well, usually only one or two items short.

Here’s what I’m trying to do every day :

The things that have been easy :
– Daily berries (yum!!!)
– Bone broth – I make a big batch that I divide into thirds, 2 containers get frozen and one is used to make soup immediately. I throw whatever veg I have around in to the soup and whirl it up, and the bone broth soup w coconut milk becomes breakfast every day. Having that plan has really helped me, I don’t have to think about breakfast. And the size of a batch of soup I make now is perfect, makes about 5 days worth (or 3 if I serve it to the family as a starter, which I often do too). Doesn’t take up an obscene amount of space in my small, European-sized fridge.
– 2 cups sulfur vegetables – generally pretty easy, sometimes I exceed 2 cups and hit 3. Balancing the right veggies to eat in the right proportions is actually quite a learning curve. My shopping and cooking are evolving, hoping in a week or two I’ll have a better handle on it. Again, I’m blaming the houseguests on part of the challenge of getting this right this week – I’ve not been able to count on any leftovers so my usual lunch strategy has been hampered.

Going well, and easier than I expected :
– Intermittent fasting – currently just trying for the 12 hour minimum. As I get back to my routines I think I could push this out a bit and start to make a goal of 14 hrs once or twice a week.
– Fermented food – found salt-cured Polish pickles that have helped make this easier (since I can buy them instead of making them myself!). Plus the coconut kefir is a good thing and keeps well in the fridge, I bit the bullet and ordered more kefir grains, hoping this time I can keep my mother-in-law from thinking it’s spoiled yogurt and chucking the 20€ grains in the trash… My sauerkraut experiment, however, does not seem to be working, I’m thinking I did 2 things wrong, one is too much salt and two is using tap water (which has chlorine). Will let it go another week but probably will try to start over.
– Coconut oil (and equivalents) – I’m sometimes a tablespoon or two short of my 5 T target, but generally it’s going fine. I’m not eating any fat bombs these days, if I see myself dropping out of ketosis I’ll consider making some, but for now just adding the coconut products to my diet seems to be working. I need to investigate further if I can really use the coconut chips (dehydrated coconut) to count for this – I’ve been doing it, but not 100% sure it meets the MCT requirement. I have been adding MCT oil to the bone broth soup in the morning though, that seems fine.
– 2 cups color vegetables : most days this is okay, but some days I’ve realized that I’m a little short in the “color” category. As mentioned above, working out what I should have on hand and available is a bit of a challenge on this diet.
– Daily check of ketones : I’ve done okay on this, I like the immediate feedback and it reminds me of when I first started low carb years ago (since then I’ve rarely tested for ketones). Testing at the same time every day is a good idea, it’s helped me remember to do it more. It’s also been good reinforcement, because the first several days I did it I was in negative territory and the past few days at ++, so I’ve seen a slide into ketosis, which is reinforcing.

Making progress :
– Seaweed – still a little bit of a challenge, it’s not something I love but I found flakes in a shaker at the organic grocery and they are easier to use than the other kinds I’ve tried. Will try adding it to the soup next time I make it, as the flakes have this yucky way of sticking to my teeth sometimes…
– 2 cups greens vegetables – I’ve had only a couple of days when I’ve hit 2 cups. If I have a big salad I’m okay, and my latest batch of soup is greens-heavy, a strategy I’ll continue in the future. On days when the salad is done I’ve been short, so I bought extra greens this weekend and prepped and cooked them to boost this, and also bought a sack of organic frozen spinach to add to smoothies etc that should also help on days I’m running short. I like greens, it’s just a question of having the right stuff on hand and ready to eat.
– Moderate protein – I’ve done well at cutting protein back a bit, at least the meat-derived protein. To my surprise I’ve seen that my protein grams daily has been in about the same range, mainly because all those veggies come with a couple of grams of protein per cup and eating 6 cups of veggies that’s enough to make up for the difference in protein from what I’ve decreased in meat on my plate.

Not going so well :
– No Snacking : I expected this would be a problem area, and it is. My snacking is way down from before, but mid-afternoon it’s still present. It’s been a hard week to work on this, though, since we have houseguests and so the eating schedule is all out of whack and I’m often out of the house for many many hours and bring food with me since the diet has so many weird requirements that it’s hard to find on-plan food on the go in Paris. So it’s much better for me to have a compliant snack with me (coconut flakes!) than to scrounge for food, or be cranky with my kids and visitors because I’m too hungry.
– Calories – I’ve had a hard time dropping calories a bit, which I’m attributing to having houseguests (cooking etc is all different from my usual) and to adapting to following all the other rules. Because calories have been on the high side I’ve hesitated adding in extra coconut oil (to my 5T target) since I seem to be in ketosis without it. In any event, it seems the macro/calories I’m doing right now are working out well, so I’m not sure I need to play with calories at this point.

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