Saturday, 8 February 2014

Paleo - One month in

So I have survived my first month of a Paleo lifestyle. I have had so much support from everyone, and lots of questions as to how it went, so here is an update at the one month mark. For the first two weeks you can read more here.

If you have been following our journey you will know that I am on a mission to naturally fight Endometriosis. A disease that has plagued me for at least 12 years, and that I am just sick of having.

The last month has been such an adventure, we have changed our shopping habits, drinking habits and eating habits. Here are some of the things we have been up to.


Butternut and Pork Stew - Rob made this and had it in the slow cooker, all ready for when we got back from Cross Fit - so good to not have to cook! And oh my, so, so yum. Next time we will add more broth and coconut milk, because it was so yummy. Rob used curry powder rather than garam masala and that worked great. I feel like this would be a great stew to add kale or cabbage to boost the nutrients really easily!

Paleo Carbonara - yummy, we were using leftover zuchini and we didnt have enough, but it was still really yummy. I would say, make sure your eggs are at room temperature - it will be easier for the sauce to take.

Paleo Spaghetti and Meatballs - we didn't use a recipe for this, just kind of altered how we would normally make normal spaghetti and meatballs. The main difference was that there was no breadcrumbs in the meatballs, and the spaghetti was zuchinni noodles. Our lesson learned for this one was to cook the noodles in the microwave, to let the water sizzle out. Cos, when we steamed them in water, we didnt give them enough time to drain, and it made the dish a little watery. But satisfying, and I didn't feel bloated like I do after I eat normal noodles. Yay.

Coleslaw - this is a wee recipe I put together the first weekend of Paleo to stop my cravings as Rob ate a burger. I will get it up on the blog when I remember to take photos.

Apple Crumble - So, at about the two week point - Rob was really starting to need dessert. I made some changes to something I would normally make. And it was super yum! Again, when I get photos I will post the recipe.

Paleo Spaghetti Meatballs

Getting the most of our shopping

Smoothies (see the two week post for my solution to speeding up the smoothie process)

So, at the end of last week I was going through the fridge looking at what we had, and what we needed to get in the shopping that weekend. Cos, as I have mentioned - I need to stay organised - or fall off the wagon, I will. Anyway, I found that we had half a packet of that prewashed lettuce (it wasn't going to last more than a day more), a lone apple, some berries and some mint. And instead of letting them go to waste and brown and manky up over the weekend, I took 5 minutes and popped them into a couple of freezer bags with half a lime each. The old me would have totally just let that apple go soft, and the lettuce kind of semi liquify. But instead, I turned it into two breakfasts. Healthy breakfasts. Paleo breakfasts. As you can tell, I am a little proud of myself.

Extra Veges

One of the things we are making a lot of one pot meals and slow cooker meals. If I know that we will be making a stew later in the week, I will make a slaw on the Monday - half of a cabbage will be enough for the slaw, and the other half I will chop up and throw in the freezer to pop straight in the slow cooker.

I know that ideally, one would blanch vegetables and prepare them for a freezer, but I am finding that, as long as the container is sealed, and you use them within a few weeks, the veges are fine. I am saving so many veges from being wasted this way. 


It goes without saying, that one of the reasons people mention for not eating Paleo, is the cost. If you switch from eating normal supermarket grade meat to grass fed beef and organic chicken, or cage-laid eggs to free range Omega 3 enriched eggs, yes, that cost will increase. However, we have found the saving from not going out to dinner once or twice a week is definitely more than the increase in money we are paying at the grocery store.

One thing we are now more focussed on, is looking for when there are sales on the higher quality meat and stocking up when we find it. Likewise with organic veges, now that we have our vegetable spiraller, we go through so much zucchini. When the organic zuchinni are on sale, I will buy several, and spiral them all then freeze them. Normally I have a mix of spinach or kale smoothies, but if Kale is on sale for multiple bunches, I will just buy the Kale for the smoothies. Instead of buying prepackaged snack packs of baby carrots, I buy a big bag and split them up into containers at home.

Nuts can be really expensive. If you buy the small "to go" packs they are hugely expensive per pound. but, why not wait for them to go on sale and buy in bulk.  We do this, then combine them all in a massive container, and spoon out enough for my snack each day.

How I Feel

Well, it has been an interesting month. If you have read my two week progress post you will know that my first week - especially Day 4, was hell. But, compared to detox experiences I have read online - I got off pretty lucky at only a week of detoxing.

In my third week I had four nights in the field. Now, geologists are known to enjoy a beer or two each night after field work, and if you are up all night on a rig, coke zero has always been my basic requirement. Let alone take out, burgers and chocolate to compliment the situation. However, I literally had no soda, alcohol, chocolate or burgers my whole time in the field. This is a freaking miracle. I had an all night shift on the rig where I snacked on baby carrots, raw nuts and drank tea. I am still shocked people. But also proud of myself, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it, and I did. So, yay.

My third and fourth week saw a REALLY bad flare up of my Endometriosis. Like, bad. I tried not to let this deter my good eating, and I got through it. Luckily Rob is fantastic and, as usual did an amazing job of nursing me. One of the things that worried me is that I would get down hearted that I still had such pain, after trying so hard on the Paleo diet. But, I have to remember that things take time, and you can't just get rid of all those toxins and suddenly be pain free. Paitience Sarah. Here is hoping that each month gets better.

Physically I feel a lot more alive than I did at the beginning of the January. I used to be such a morning person, but I found Rob was having to literally pull me out of bed or I would just keep pressing snooze on my alarm. I also had huge problems falling asleep, but I am finding myself naturally ready to sleep around 9 or 10 which is a relief. I had begun to have heart burn when some nights when I was trying to sleep but I haven't had heart burn since I started the Paleo. One of the best things for me personally, is not feeling bloated after a meal. I would always feel full and have a "food baby". In the last month the only time that happened was when I ate the pizza on my treat night.

As y'all know I said this is for the endo and not the weight. But if I lose weight making myself healthier, obviously that makes me happy. At the one month mark I have lost 14 pounds or 6 ish kilos.

Success at saying No

The more I say no to things I shouldn't eat, the stronger I feel. Although sometimes I feel kind of socially awkward. Someone bought pie into work and I sat there eating bell peppers lol. I felt like a bit of a dick.

Surviving the Super Bowl was hard. Although I stuck with it and made myself some paleo friendly snacks. I munched down on veges that I cut up, and dipped into home made guacamole and salsa. Although I let myself give into temptation and have 6 corn chips, I managed to say no to booze, buffalo wings, queso and chocolate: I was pretty proud.

My Treats

If y'all have been following from the start, you will know that I have been allowing myself one treat meal or drinks with a meal each week. At the end of the second week I had a girls night and chose Paleo food but had a few cocktails. At the end of the second week I had Pizza, but it was really unsatisfying and I felt bloated after (yes body, I am listening). At the end of the third week I had a burger - because I tell you what - I had been craving a Sonic double Cheeseburger like crazy. I got a few bites in and it just tasted gross to me, so I chucked it. I was both sad and relieved that the taste I had been craving for three weeks had become gross to me. My week four treat was a tequila with lemon juice and water. A tasty cocktail to sip.

Reading Material

"The Paleo Answer" Loren Cordain

This is a great article on what you might expect in your first month.
Cook Books
"Paleo Slow Cooker" John Chatham
"The Paleo Diet Cookbook" Loren Cordain

To Read
"In Defense of Food" Michael Pollan
I have read a different novel by him and am looking forward to getting started on this one.

"Endometriosis and nutrition" 
My darling friend Tehani bought me this and had it sent to me. It was a lovely and thoughtful surprise! 

"The Paleo Solution" Robb Wolf
This is on the way from Amazon at the mo. 


So there you have it, some notes on my first month. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below, or message me. I would love to hear from other people and see how their first month was, or if they have experience with healing Endo?


  1. If I were to go down the Paleo road this would be such an informative post. Proud of you Sarah! You've come so far and you can do this!!!

    1. Thanks babe, I was hoping it would be! Plus it is a good way to keep myself accountable : )

  2. I didn't realize you could make "noodles" with zucchini! I've always just sliced it up and steamed it and added spaghetti sauce.

    Glad it's going well! Good for you to not get discouraged and major props for surviving rig time and staying on track!!

    1. Meredith, that is a super good idea!! I hadn't even thought of that :P
      Thanks babe, I am pretty amazed I was out there without folding!

  3. Just a quick question as I don't know your back story- have you looked into having tests done for IBS? I have severe endometriosis and also suffered from terrible bloating and pain that would literally stop me in my tracks. I thought it was all endo related but then I got a diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was referred to a dietician. Turns out the all-bran and prunes were actually doing more damage to my system instead of helping, and now I feel a lot less horrible if I stay away from dried fruit, gluten and onions/garlic/cabbage and a few other things. Paleo is probably similar in that it cuts out a few things, but IBS could be worth investigating as it seems to be common in people with endometriosis.

    1. Hi Lauren,
      Thank you so much for your suggestion!I have had a couple of specialists suggest the possible link, but none have encouraged me to check it out further. I will have to look into it at my next appointment! Thank you so much,
      Sarah xx

  4. So proud of u paleo badger much better than pumping your system with chemical s hormones and operations with out trying other options first

  5. I'm glad to hear it's going well so far! Sounds like you're doing great. I'm always so impressed with people who can pull this off. I have to keep a gluten free diet (I'm gluten intolerant), but I've yet to try paleo. I may give it a go at some point just to see if I can do it!

    Becca | Ladyface Blog

    1. Hey Becca, I must admit, I didn't think I could do it, but I am getting there. Good luck if you do, I am definitely feeling better off for it!
      Sarah xx


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