Live paleo

My Week on the Paleo Diet + Another Prep Dish Review & Giveaway!

January 6, 2015

Yes, you read that title correctly. For a week in December I went cold turkey on the grains and threw myself full-force into the Paleo Diet. This post is all about my experience on it and how Prep Dish helped me to successfully (and happily!) make it through the week.

My-week-on-the-paleo-dietYou might remember a few months back when I worked with an awesome meal planning program called Prep Dish. For the post I followed their gluten-free meal plan for the week and shared some of my meals and highlights from actually taking the time to prep my meals.

I thoroughly enjoyed the meal-plan so I was thrilled when Allison asked if I wanted to try another one. This time I decided to tackle one of her Paleo meal plans.

Just to recap, Prep Dish is a healthy meal plan service which is delivered directly to your inbox once a month with weekly meal plans for the entire month. There is always a gluten-free and paleo meal plan option so it’s great for people following either of these diets. Prep Dish was developed by Allison Stevens who is both a dietician AND a trained chef so as you can imagine the meals are both delicious and nutritious!

Jan-Plan-Week-1-Paleo-1

Photo courtesy of Prep Dish

Each weekly plan comes with recipes for 4 entrees, a salad recipe, a breakfast recipe, a dessert recipe and a snack recipe and it is meant to serve 2. If you’re on your own you will find you have more than enough food, but if you live with a very hungry boy like I do then you may need to fill in the pieces here and there.

My decision to complete the paleo meal plan this time was simple: I have a lot of paleo friends and readers so I wanted to get a better understanding of their lifestyle and also see how my body would feel if I stuck to it.

I completely get that it takes time for our bodies to adjust to different diets and miraculous changes shouldn’t be expected in a week but considering I eat a lot of grains and certain foods (like my beloved potatoes!) that aren’t part of the paleo diet, I was curious if I could a) survive without them and b) actually enjoy it.

Before I started I wrote down all of my thoughts. Here’s a taste:

-Why am I doing this?
-Am I going to die without popcorn, potatoes and wine?
-I’m like basically paleo (minus the quinoa, rice, oatmeal, bread, potatoes, beans and soy).
-I hate spaghetti squash.
-I’m down with eating bacon.
-There goes my grocery budget…

I think that gives you a good sense of my state of mind. Nevertheless, I tried to keep an open mind and actually stuck to the meal plan with the addition of some of my favourite paleo recipes from THM. Let’s have a look at my meals:

Breakfast: Hard Boiled Eggs & Cuties (clementines). You really can’t go wrong with classic HB eggs and clementines. I’ve been a clementine fiend lately so I was totally on board. This wasn’t quite enough food to start my day so I also added in my Paleo Banana Muffins and a new pancake recipe coming your way on Friday. I definitely noticed the benefit of starting my day with a solid protein source like eggs.

eggsSnack: Pears and Almond Butter. I always forget about pears and typically go for apples. I’m so happy I was reminded to change it up! This is a snack that isn’t far off from my usual and never gets old.

PearsEntree #1: Chipotle Bison Veggie Chile. Insanely delicious! Both C and I LOVED this meal. I was definitely on board with the beanless chili!

ChiliEntree #2: Almond-Crusted Catfish with Collards. Admittedly, I didn’t love this meal. I was worried the catfish might taste a little bland so I threw in some spices with the almond meal and I’m glad I did. I also needed some sort of carb to fill it out. Luckily I had some sweet potatoes on hand so it was all good.

fishEntree #3: Spaghetti Squash w/ Beef & Mushroom Tomato Sauce. I, Davida Kugelmass gave spaghetti squash a second chance. And you know what? I kind of liked it! My issues with SS in the past was that it gave me really bad digestive problems (I’m guessing from all the fibre?) but I decided to give it another go and I ended up being totally fine! Maybe it was the hearty and delicious sauce it was paired with, but my stomach was a-okay. Another hit recipe!

spaghetti-squashEntree #4: Sun-dried Tomato & Spinach Stuffed Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Loved it! The chicken was cooked perfectly and with a side salad this turned out to be a scrumptious meal that was ready fairly quickly.

stuffed-chickenSalad: Mixed Greens w/ Beets, Shaved Fennel & Walnuts w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette. This became my unofficial lunch for the week. I ate it with leftovers from the previous night’s dinner. I always forget about fennel!

saladDessert: Chocolate Pudding. So easy, so delicious! I love anything that sneaks in avocados and it totally curbed my late-night snack attack.

puddingSo as you can see, I ate VERY well all week. My grocery bill was slightly higher because I insist on only buying quality meat and fish from The Healthy Butcher and the meal plan was quite meat and seafood heavy but it wasn’t as excessive as I thought it would be.

I felt pretty great all week. I wasn’t hungry or low on energy. I also didn’t have insane energy and see the Whole30 light. I felt pretty much the same as I always do when I stick to clean, real food.

More than anything, it got me out of my food rut. I was reminded to grab things like collards and fennel and that I don’t need grains or beans to feel full. So here are my thoughts AFTER completing the week:

-I am so happy I did this.
-You don’t need popcorn, potatoes and wine to survive.
-I am so not paleo but I am open-minded to eating this way.
-Spaghetti squash is great! I actually have one in the oven right now.
-There wasn’t any bacon on the meal plan. So paleolites eat food besides bacon?!
-My wallet didn’t experience as much damage as I thought (see above)

All in all I had a really positive experience following the Prep Dish paleo meal plan and can totally see why my friends and readers love eating paleo. My body feels good when it eats things like quinoa and oatmeal so I’m not about to jump on board but I like that I now know that I don’t need to depend on these foods to eat a complete diet. Now where’s my popcorn…

// GIVEAWAY //

If you’re thinking of trying out the paleo diet or eating gluten-free or already follow either of these and want to try out Prep Dish, then I have an awesome giveaway for you! Prep Dish has been kind enough to gift one lucky THM reader a FREE month of meal plans! You’ll be sent both the gluten-free and paleo meal plan options and can pick which one you want to follow. Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Winner will be picked on Sunday January 11, 2015.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Prep Dish. While I was compensated for my time, all opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that allow me to fulfill my dream of running THM as a business. 

Do you follow the paleo diet? What are your thoughts on paleo?

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  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    January 6, 2015 at 5:29 am

    Davici I am proud of you. But seriously, I hope you had some epic spud concoction after.
    Arman @ thebigmansworld recently posted…Removing Toxic Friends Made Me Healthy

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      spud and cheese overload. Just making you and megs proud.

  • Reply
    Cat
    January 6, 2015 at 6:43 am

    Wow who needs bacon when your meals look like that! I think that’s one of the best outcomes from trying a new eating plan – you remember how much you love different foods/discover new ones. Fennel is going on my shopping list!
    Cat recently posted…Should You Make a New Years Resolution?

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      Totally! Switching things up always reminds me what I overlook at the grocery store and also what feeds I’d prefer not to live without!

  • Reply
    Brynn
    January 6, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Like you I love trying new recipes to learn more about how people eat and also to shake things up. Spaghetti squash is on of my favorite fake outs, even my husband eats it!
    Brynn recently posted…Healthy Happy New Year Giveaway!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      the boy has been requesting Spaghetti Squash all the time, lately! Good thing I now like it 😉

  • Reply
    Danielle {Styelleish }
    January 6, 2015 at 7:51 am

    Those meals sure look snarf-able, and they almost have me convinced to go full time paleo! But alas, I have done it for several weeks, awhile ago (even before it was “cool”!) And I just can’t give up some of my favorite foods…. cough.oatmeal.cough. but if I ever do decide to give it another whirl, I’ll be sure to sign up for those meal plans!
    Danielle {Styelleish } recently posted…Ankle Boots

  • Reply
    Stephanie Phelps
    January 6, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I always though Paleo would be boring or hard to do but these dishes look amazing! I would love try the paleo

  • Reply
    Harlee
    January 6, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Although you have made the Paleo diet look more appetizing, it is not the diet for me, While I enjoy some of those foods, I could not stay on it. I enjoy my grains, beans,and starches too much. I have found for me to stay on a diet, I just give up sugar and count calories. I’ve lost 25lbs. I eat sugar once in a while and then get right back on the wagon. This lifestyle works for me, but some of your recipes sound de lish!!!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      You have to find what works for you! Happy you’ve found a good fit 🙂

  • Reply
    Les | Balanced Berry
    January 6, 2015 at 9:28 am

    I tried the Whole 30 once…which ended up looking more like a Whole 12. Although I didn’t stick with it, I am ultimately all for anything that requires eating whole foods. I just needed a little peanut butter in my life/blocking out whole food groups doesn’t quite work well in my brain.

    That’s awesome you had such a good experience! The chicken dish sounds fab 🙂
    Les | Balanced Berry recently posted…Copycat All Hail Kale

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      ahhahaha Whole 12. I love it. Mine was whole 7 and it was enough for me. I loved everything on the meal plan but I didn’t love having the mentality that foods were off limits. And I totally missed my wine 😉

  • Reply
    Ann
    January 6, 2015 at 9:40 am

    I’ve done a paleo challenge myself last year, 2 weeks or something. The hardest part for me was to avoid dairy products! I eat Greek yogurt daily, and like cappuccino too. Going grain-free isn’t a problem for me at all, I’m basically grainfree all the time. So I’m kind of paleo like you with the few exceptions 😉
    The breakfast in this meal plan though is a joke… eggs and clementines, that is all? Nobody would be satisfied with this. And I thought that “paleos” don’t eat THAT much fruit. Well, to each their own. I like that you’ve modified the meals to your liking! That’s what everyone should do with every recipe in my opinion anyway.

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      yup! It was nice to have a meal plan which gave me the bare bones and then I could adapt it to what worked for me. I’m the opposite of you, I missed the grains, not the dairy. I love cheese but it doesn’t love me and every time I eat it I’m reminded of that haha. Though seemingly I never learn my lesson since I have no plans to give it up!

  • Reply
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon
    January 6, 2015 at 10:13 am

    I just ate a sweet potato for breakfast and am totally nodding my head to so many things you said in this post – mostly that real food is what makes us feel good! While I don’t need a label and also love quinoa + oats (with no digestive issues), I love that these meal plans are diverse and incorporate lots of different nutrients and foods!!
    Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon recently posted…Freezer Green Chile Black Bean Burgers

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:02 pm

      yup! I know we’re totally in line with our eating philosophies. Sometimes I happen to eat paleo, and sometimes I very much don’t. As long as it’s real, I’m good 🙂

  • Reply
    Georgie
    January 6, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Do you know if she has any vegetarian options? The salad looks lovely and your pics are gorgeous per usual!
    Georgie recently posted…Holidays in London

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      just the paleo and gluten-free and TBH they’re definitely meat-heavy so not ideal for veg but you could definitely find a way around it especially since I know how creative you are 🙂

  • Reply
    Kay @ Kay Bueno
    January 6, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Is it weird that out of all the beautiful foods you have pictured here, I’m really craving hardboiled eggs now?

    I’m glad you gave it a shot, the week looks pretty amazing, and definitely (maybe weirdly) not what I pictured paleo to look like.
    Kay @ Kay Bueno recently posted…Snapshots from my Holidays

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      ahahahhaha best comment. Is it weird that of all of the meals I ate I completely found myself craving hard boiled eggs? The plan called for 8 of them and I made 3 batches. HBfolyfe.

  • Reply
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma
    January 6, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I eat Paleo and include potatoes! And sometimes I even go a day without bacon 😉 And I rarely eat spaghetti squash 🙂 I think the best thing about actually trying out Paleo for a while is that you realize it’s just eating good food. I also spend less for my family on groceries now since I don’t buy processed or pre-prepared foods or snack foods.
    Michele @ paleorunningmomma recently posted…Why Life isn’t Fair and What to Do About It

  • Reply
    Lucie@FitSwissChick
    January 6, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Can I be your Paleo buddy next time? These meals look so delicious and I love all the ideas!
    Clementines are so good here right now and I love to add them to my salads, or eggy oats.
    I must make some of these recipes, I am in such a horrible food rut!!
    Lucie@FitSwissChick recently posted…Blasting in the Swiss Alps and a few resolutions

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:56 pm

      I feel ya! It was so nice to not have to think about my meals and have someone plan them for me. But now you have my craving eggy oats haha

  • Reply
    Pamela Makuta
    January 6, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Thanks so much for the wonderful giveaway! Fingers crossed! Happy New Year! xo

  • Reply
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious
    January 6, 2015 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve been eating Paleo for several months now and have noticed a big difference in my body, less cravings and better fitness performance. Would love to try this!
    Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious recently posted…Five Things That Changed Me in 2014

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:55 pm

      That’s fabulous! Glad you’ve found what works for you. You would love Prep Dish!

  • Reply
    Kristen
    January 7, 2015 at 9:16 am

    These dishes look great! I’ve never cooked with bison…nor do I know where to get it, but it all looks great! That beet and fennel salad sounds divine!
    Kristen recently posted…Real Weddings: Sarah & Nigel’s Vintage Rustic Wedding

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      if there’s a whole foods near you they sell bison! If you’re in Toronto by any chance I know The Healthy Butcher carries it too 🙂

  • Reply
    Alysia @ Slim Sanity
    January 7, 2015 at 10:03 pm

    I’d have thoughts similar to you… but really, no wine?? I’ve been craving clementines lately!!! so good.
    Alysia @ Slim Sanity recently posted…Daily Eats – Homemade Pizza and Steak Tacos

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      haha I know right? I think I might be able to handle paleo if they allowed wine!

  • Reply
    Jo @ Living Mint Green
    January 8, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I give the Paleo “diet” a thumbs up because it’s centered on unprocessed, whole foods, and I think it can be a great way for newbie healthy eaters to understand “how” to eat, or as an elimination/anti-inflammatory protocol. I’m basically Paleo, except I eat bread. Yeah, I don’t know.
    Jo @ Living Mint Green recently posted…Thinking Out Loud #89

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    January 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    I love spaghetti squash! Glad that you changed your mind about it a little 🙂
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness recently posted…The Organic Debate + My New Year Health Coaching Program Discount!

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    January 8, 2015 at 10:51 pm

    I’m glad you came around to spaghetti squash. Delicious! I went grain free for a while when I was vegan because my digestion was TERRIBLE. I remember it not being nearly as bad as I thought. Although, I definitely welcomed grains back in with open arms after 😉
    Gabby @ the veggie nook recently posted…here’s the thing…

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Man I’m not sure I could do grain-free and vegan! Though I totally can see how it would help digestion. Weirdly Spaghetti squash and I have had a tumultuous digestive relationship but we seem to be on good terms now 😉

  • Reply
    Paleo Mexican Hot Chocolate Pancakes with Salted Dulce de Leche - The Healthy Maven
    January 9, 2015 at 5:00 am

    […] Now you guys know I do not follow the paleo diet (you can read about my experience following it here) but I am certainly open to it. If you exclude the grains, legumes, white potatoes and tiny bit of […]

  • Reply
    lindsay
    January 9, 2015 at 3:38 pm

    nicely done! although, i don’t think i could have done without my glass of wine. Okay maybe, if goat cheese is allowed, i’m in!

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      January 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

      they actually included cheese in the paleo plan but I opted to go without it. I missed it though 🙁

  • Reply
    Nora (A Clean Bake)
    January 9, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    I guess I missed your review of this the first time around but it sounds amazing! I would definitely be all over the Paleo meal plan, especially after seeing all the great food you got to eat!

  • Reply
    Pamela
    January 11, 2015 at 9:32 am

    Thanks so much for the yummy recipes and generous giveaway! Can’t wait to try the chocolate advocado pudding! xo

  • Reply
    Shira
    January 15, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    I am curious about trying paleo/am totally on board with only eating whole, real, non-processed foods (which includes ice cream!), but it seems so restrictive to me/takes so much time to prepare the meals and do the shopping. As a grad student, quick meals that are easy to prepare are what works best for me. Any tips?

    http://www.theicecreamscoop.com

  • Reply
    Cassie
    January 20, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    So interesting! I’m totally with you and always think I need grains/beans to fill me up! I’m not having a love affair with meat at the moment so I don’t think I could go paleo right now… or possibly ever. #greekyogurt #icecream
    Cassie recently posted…Five Easy Kitchen Upgrades

  • Reply
    Anna Kelly
    March 26, 2015 at 8:04 am

    It can be pretty overwhelming to make a significant lifestyle change. For most people who take on the Paleo diet meal plan, their biggest concern is the question of “What will I eat?” Even when you understand which foods you can enjoy, and which foods you should avoid, the task of actually planning, shopping for, and cooking your meals can still be difficult.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    October 22, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Okay I NEVER knew this about you and I’m glad I found and read this blog post! I follow paleo (mostly strictly with the exception of peanut butter and occasional red potatoes) and I think it’s so cool that you did this to experience what your audience’s dietary preferences and restrictions are! I am always ecstatic when you post a paleo-friendly recipe or one that I’m able to adapt with the know-how I’ve spent the past few years gaining

    I am such a big fan of your blog and your honesty and I think we would be such fun friends 🙂

    • Reply
      Davida Kugelmass
      October 23, 2015 at 11:30 am

      Aw thank you Stephanie! I’m glad you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoyed the experience. Currently experimenting with pseudo-veganism and it’s been interesting! I love trying out the different lifestyles of my readers 🙂

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