I get this question a LOT. The other variation is “So you are doing the Paleo diet?”. The answer, “no not really”. I’m not really following any specific diet. I looked into the Paleo diet (as I posted here) and it is probably the closest thing to what I’m doing that currently exists, but no not exactly. I like to keep things simple and that’s really what I’ve done.
Breakfast: I juice for breakfast 90% of the time. Typically it’s the Mean Green Juice. Some days I just don’t feel like juicing and those days I most often make sweet potato hash with sweet potatoes, onions,green peppers and bacon. Sometimes, we go out to eat.
Lunch: I’m bad. I don’t eat lunch a lot of the time. Often, it’s just coffee. Sometimes I go out to eat and then it’s typically a salad or Mexican. I eat a lot of Mexican food (sans cheese and always on corn tortillas). The truth is I sleep late so it’s not uncommon for breakfast to be at 11am or so and then just grab coffee and some almonds mid-day.
Dinner: Dinner is typically a salad and sometimes some meat. This is one area where I veer heavily from Paleo. I just can’t eat meat every day. I feel yucky when I do.
Snacks: almonds, fruit (apples and oranges primarily), and you bars that I custom order with exactly the ingredients I like. I also enjoy carrot sticks with (or without) hummus.
What about eating out?
Yes, we do that quite often actually. It seems like we’ve been doing it more lately. Early on we barely went out at all but as I’ve found more places where I know what I can eat, we tend to go back to those same places over and over again. Like I said, Mexican is a big one. I just happen to really like Mexican food and there are some really great local places that we go to where I know they have good corn tortillas (and chips, chips are important). We are getting a Chipotle here soon,also. This makes me happy. There are also several other really great local places that actually make their own food from scratch (unlike some of the big chains). We do avoid the big chains. Too much of their food is processed, and therefore is likely to have things in it that aren’t necessary.
Mainly, I avoid wheat and dairy and eggs. At most restaurants I stick to ordering a meat with a salad and a veggie side. I have to remember certain things like no croutons or cheese on the salad please. I’ve also found that rice bloats me, so I don’t eat rice or, well, any grains (except corn). I do eat beans but minimally (which is really how it’s always been).
Mostly, I just have figured out what foods bother me and I avoid them. It really is that simple. I have found that by greatly increasing my fruit and veggie intake I feel a lot better. That’s where the juicing comes in. Juicing allows me to get a lot more fruits and veggies in my system without actually having to eat non-stop all day long. I feel better when I start my day with Green Juice. I feel even better if I drink juice again at some point during the day. If I could convince myself to juice full time I’d probably do it. But, I like to eat and I like variety. My diet has allowed me to have variety and to feel better at the same time.
But, isn’t it expensive?
If you are comparing it to my old way of eating, yes. And by that I mean that we were using coupons and had significantly decreased our grocery bill to almost nothing. I was getting a LOT of food free – which you can do if you eat out of a box more than 50% of the time. So, it’s more expensive than that. By shopping locally (avoiding the chain grocery stores) and using CostCo for some things, our grocery bill is less than $100/week. I’m no longer using coupons on food, but I still use them on some household/personal care items. FWIW, that $100 budget includes those items. It also includes necessities like chocolate and wine. It also takes into account that I buy organic a lot of the time. I really only spend $50-$75/wk on actual food groceries.