Repost: Paleo Challenge: Day 12 – Answers/Suggestions for your Paleo Frustrations

13 Sep
This is a repost from CrossFit Oakland, one of the few CrossFit blogs that I follow religiously. For those of you who are struggling with eating out or food preparation or planning your meals in general, check this article out.

We are just a few days away from reaching the half-way point of our 30-day paleo challenge.  Congratulations to everyone who’s been able to tough it out this far; the first two weeks are the hardest!  For those of you that didn’t make it to day 12 (or day 6), your commitment and hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and remember that you can always go gluten & dairy free on your own terms whenever you feel ready.

I was away for the first week of the challenge (thank God) but when I returned I heard a lot of grumbling from my CFO fellow cave people.  Aside from Joe P and Dan, most people have been finding this challenge to be, well, pretty damn challenging.  So for tonight’s post, I thought I would try to address some of your concerns.

Concern #1: My friends don’t want to eat out with me!

Eating out can be super frustrating if you’re trying to avoid sugar, gluten and dairy–I’m sure you’ve all experienced this by now.  Here are some dining out tips that you may find  helpful:

  • Before you go out with friends and shock them with your paleolicious food choices, let them know what’s up so they won’t be annoyed.  Better yet, try suggesting a specific restaurant that you know will have more options or be more accommodating.
  • Tell the waitperson exactly what you need to avoid. Make sure you use their terminology likebreading and glazes.  Not everyone knows what gluten and dairy are so let them know you need to avoid flour and milk products.
  • Ask for substitutions or order things a la carte.
  • Just say no to cream-sauces and dressings; they’re likely to be loaded with sugar and butter. Instead order your veggies steamed or sauteed in olive oil.  Use vinegar and olive oil on your salad.

More and more restaurants are becoming much more aware of the food allergies that plague thier patrons and offering gluten-free options.  I even know of a pizza place in the East Bay that serves up an amazing gluten-free pizza (with cheese)!  I’ve found that most restaurants are happy to answer any questions about their menu items and can usually work around my specific restrictions.  Just be sure to tip well and be extra nice to your wait staff!

Concern #2: I’m just so tired and hungry all the time!
Check out this forum thread for more on this topic.

Concern #3: I didn’t know I had to cook this much!
This is a tough one.  It’s hard to get excited about cooking if you don’t have experience or you don’t think you’re good at it.  But like everything else, you’ll only get better with practice. The internet is a great place to start; there’s an abundance of gluten-free, dairy-free websites and blogs.  Brian C. turned me on to this one: lots of easy-to-follow recipes.

This is a variation of my good friend Jeanne Pieters’ date bar recipe.  I was surprised at how fast and easy it was to make.  You just throw everything in the food processor and voila!  This is a keeper for sure!


Lemon Date Bars

1.5 cups raw almonds
0.5 cups raw pumpkin seeds
0.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
5 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup dried figs
rind from 1 organic lemon, finely grated
juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves (optional)
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of salt

In a food processor, chop nuts and seeds until coarsely ground.  Add figs, coconut, cloves, cinnamon, and salt and pulse for 1-2 minutes.  Then add dates and lemon rind and blend for another minute.  Finally, add the lemon juice and blend until the mixture sticks together.  Press mixture into a glass pan and refrigerate. Cut into small squares and enjoy!  Makes 9 bars.
Nutrition info (per bar): 236 calories, 16 grams fat, 7 grams protein, 28 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber.


One Response to “Repost: Paleo Challenge: Day 12 – Answers/Suggestions for your Paleo Frustrations”

  1. paleofor6weeks September 17, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    wow that lemon date bars looks easy to make. i want to try but my feeling is it’s going to be really sweet. no?

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