Taking Paleo for a Test Drive

Check out my full site at A Diabetic Ballerina

So for the past two months I’ve been eating a paleo diet to see if it would smooth out my blood sugars so I could better handle my busy schedule of dance and school. Here’s what I’ve discovered during my paleo test drive!
If you’re curious about the Paleo diet check out one of my favorite sites! http://paleodietlifestyle.com/

Trying a paleo friendly lettuce wrap burger at Flip in Birmingham!

Blood sugars are steady as a rock!
I ate about 50 grams of carbs per day so my mealtime boluses were much smaller than what I was used to. By consuming less carbohydrate and taking less insulin my lows and highs were smoothed out. Since I was also eating more fat (Healthy fats of course) any spikes I had were much slower. I still needed my basal and I made sure I bolused for every gram of carbohydrates, even veggies. All in all my blood sugars were almost normal. Wow!

I realized that processed foods made me feel sick
On paleo I made sure to eat foods that were minimally processed. I ate fresh fruits and veggies, organic meats, nuts and seeds without any seasoning. I played with recipes to create my own banana bread, brownies, egg muffins and fritattas. The ingredients were so simple! For example my banana bread just contained ripe bananas, eggs, almond flour, almond butter and vanilla! Once I had eaten these unprocessed foods for a while I realized that my body didn’t feel achy and tired. It was a nice experience to get rid of the chemicals that I couldn’t pronounce.

This is your blood sugars on Paleo…on a good day!

I gained weight!
I know it sounds funny but I actually gained weight eating paleo! Since I was consuming a lot of healthy fat my blood sugars weren’t too affected, so I thought “fats didn’t count!”. I always am conscious of the carbs that I eat but I forgot about fat and fat has lots of calories too. I didn’t gain too much weight but good to know!

Feeling full and lots of energy
I was able to dance and complete my workouts just as much as I was before I started eating paleo. Even though my carbohydrate intake was low I didn’t experience any dip in energy at all.

I missed my favorite foods
I love cereal and popcorn. I’m just going to be honest. I think restricting myself so much put my favorite foods even higher on the pedestal of things I wanted. For quite a while I didn’t crave sugar or grains but after a while I needed to have a little bit of my favorites to keep my sanity

My favorite recipe, egg muffins! Portable and yummy.

What did I learn and what will I take away from my paleo test drive?
The less carbohydrate equals less mealtime insulin equals smoothed out blood sugars. I’ll definitely be keeping a close eye on my carbs.

I also realized that processed foods make me feel like garbage. Even though I’m eating some crackers or cereal I’m going to make sure I can pronounce (and KNOW) what the ingredients are.

Fats still have calories! Eating healthy fats like Omega-3’s help keep me full and slow down my carbohydrate spikes but overeating them isn’t helpful either.

Speaking of fats, I love coconut oil! I had never experienced it before I tried paleo and it’s great!

Will I continue with Paleo?
While I’ve enjoyed my time exploring what paleo has to offer me, I think that my original way of eating (balanced portion control) will be better for me to maintain in the long run. I have learned a lot and I’ll be making a few adjustments. I’m definitely cutting out the processed food and keeping my carb intake low. It’s still a work in progress for me to figure out a healthy, long term way of eating that keeps my weight in check for dance, keeps my blood sugar stable and gives me energy to power through my classes. In a few more months I’ll let you know how my next experiment goes.

-Exit Stage Left