Paleo Challenge: Week 1

If you missed the note, I’ve recently decided to do a 30 day paleo challenge! I will post the updates on Saturdays, mostly because I don’t want them to detract from my usual schedule on Tuesdays and Thursdays (and sometimes Sundays). Also not many people read blogs on Saturday, which is a perfect time to do more mundane ones like these. 

ARE THE 30 DAYS OVER YET? Oh, it’s only been a week? I’ll go back to eating a side of air with my air.

I’m kidding. It’s actually not that bad but I think I have it a bit easier because I’ve already been gluten-free for a few months now. I have to be honest: the hardest part so far has been finding fridge space. Because I share with 3 other roommates, one of which has an on/off girlfriend, it can be hard when everything I eat has to fit on one shelf. Note: did you know unprocessed food takes up more space than processed food? Shocker.


  • Anyways, so far I’m feeling good. My mood has been pretty stable and super peppy this week. I feel like I’m the energizer bunny at night when I should be getting ready for bed. But I really can’t tell if that’s just me cycling through a manic phase or if it’s because of paleo.
  • It’s also been pretty hard to track my emotional state because I’m PMSing right now. Boop, there’s some information you can’t unsee, bahah!


  • I tried my usual 2 intense ultimate frisbee games a week. Thought I was weaker on Wednesday, but that doesn’t really make sense because I started on Tuesday.
  • I feel less bloated in general. And not the un-bloated you feel when you haven’t eaten in 10 hours, but how normal, healthy people supposedly feel all the time? I’m suspicious of that.

Unexpected effects:

  • How much more I eat | I know people on the paleo diet always talk about how much less they have to eat to feel full. That part is true. What surprised me was how quickly I ran through what I estimated would feed me for a week! I think it’s weird adjusting from having things you can pull out of the cupboards, like oatmeal and pasta, for when you have little produce on hand to suddenly only being able to eat meat and produce. I definitely underestimated my grocery list. Yesterday, I bought a bunch of spinach thinking it would last me about two meals. My mistake was putting it “temporarily” on my plate and seeing if leftovers came from it. There were no leftovers.
  • How little I’ve needed to cheat | Of course, I thought I would have HARDCORE cravings for pizza, which I bought regularly every week. But I’m fine. I’ve been filling up my plates (see above with spinach example) with bacon and veggies and have been able to stave off the hunger that way. The first 3 days were a bit tough because I felt like no matter how much I ate, I kept getting hungry within a few hours.
  • How less RAGING HUNGER I’ve felt | Before, I would oscillate between not hungry at all to RAVENOUSLY STARVING within 30 minutes. It was weird and I never really understood why that was. My only response from my 23 years has been to run to the nearest food and stuff my face with all my might, regardless of quality. But since going paleo(ish), I haven’t gotten to that point of hunger or, if I have, I see it coming 2 hours away. Maybe it’s because the food that I’m eating takes longer to process instead of the burns-hot-for-2-minutes potato chips?

Snapshots (which all look the same):

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 23.20.43 Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 23.20.25

I’ve been reading online that the progress goes somewhat like this:

First week: Ok, this is fine, let’s see where this goes.
Second week & third week: Did someone kill me in my sleep without my knowing because I feel like a zombie.
Fourth week: Basically the paleo version of vegan superpowers from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. 

This process sucks for two reasons. One: That is more suffering than experiencing enlightenment. Two: I’m getting closer to the horrible parts.

But I just have to tell myself that the progress is similar for any type of lifestyle change I make—minus a lifestyle change in the wrong direction. It’ll probably feel great the first week and go downhill forever.

Anyways, here’s to miserable weeks #2 and #3! Wish me luck.

Have you ever tried going paleo? How did it turn out?

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  • Anna | slightly astray

    Oooh I’ve done the paleo thing. All my food looked like your pictures, hahah (though I did eat a bunch of sweet potatoes to make up for the lack of carbs, so I’m not sure if I was doing hardcore paleo). I think I was on it for like a year, with weekend cheat days of course. I remember being hungry every 2 hours and needing to snack A LOT in between meals. I’d have apple slices with nutella or make a protein shake with banana and peanut butter. I was also exercising hardcore during that time so I got to the fittest/least body fat percentage that I’ve ever been in my entire life. Now that I’m traveling, I’ve undone all of that plus some, heh. But I’m trying out a different diet/lifestyle change now that I’ll talk about soon! Best of luck! It’s a hard lifestyle change.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Sweet potatoes, in my oh so professional opinion, are paleo because they’re not empty carbs? HOLY SHIT A YEAR. You’re crazy. Or completely sane, I’m not sure which one yet. YES! I’m feeling the hunger real bad. I finished like a 5 pound bag of salted almonds in a day… is that bad? hahaha. Oh my god, with each sentence girl, I’m feeling more and more intimidated by your health status. Can’t wait (dreading ;) ) to hear about what you’re doing now!

  • Arman @ thebigmansworld

    Nice one, Mish! I did Whole 30 and then am did a 4 week Paleo challenge to create more recipes lol. My bad. It’s amazing how varied we all feel from it! Can’t wait to follow on!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahah I knew something was up with you! I saw a bunch of your paleo pancake recipes and was going to try some out pretty soon. Maybe seeing your posts put this weird subliminal message in my mind. How dare you.

  • Lani

    I did something similar for a very short amount of time and was told I was getting too skinny, so I stopped. I don’t look good too skinny. In fact, I eat a lot so I don’t look I’m sick. Do you hate me yet? Don’t. I’m probably not doing something right.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      It probably would’ve been better to not even leave a comment! Jk hahaha, but seriously you’re one of THOSE. Scoff. :p

      • Lani

        Oh dear. You might as well have found out now before our relationship goes any further…

  • Jamie | Gunters Abroad | Fit F

    I’ve never done paleo per se but I have started a cleaner plan and I am like you! I ate so much the first few days….but it was all good for me so it was all good :) Good luck on the next couple of weeks!!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Same to you! Before, I would get frustrated because I never really felt like I was eating “clean” so we’ll see how I feel about this! :)

  • Em

    Sounds like you’re off to a good start! My hairdresser back in the US swears by Paleo and talks my ear off about it whenever I’m home. She looks great, but I still think it must be a lot of work! ;)

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha yeah. I think there’s a high correlation between people who do paleo and the gym rats, you know? They’re probably going to be wayy more conscious about all aspects of health haha—no idea if I’m going to take on to being a gym rat, but we’ll find out!

  • Sara

    Ah good for you for taking on the challenge! I’ve never done paleo but have made an effort to eat clean before. But now that I’m living in Germany (ya know, the land of sausages, pretzels, and beer — super healthy stuff, obvi) it’s a lot more difficult so I wouldn’t even think to attempt a diet. Is that bad? No, don’t answer that. Ps. I nominated you for a Liebster award. :) I know I haven’t been following your blog for long but after significant creepage I decided I wanted to hear your answers :P

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ooh, I never responded to this! So sorry!! Oh my god, I think I at a sausage every single day while in Germany. It was sausage heaven (no dirty thoughts). But I saw it and I did it!! Will come out tomorrow :)

  • Courtney @ Adelante

    I used to be Paleo before I moved to Spain, and I seriously loved it! I felt so awesome and had so much more energy. Sadly it’s not very sustainable abroad, but as soon as I move back to the US I’ll probably hop back on the bandwagon. Keep at it chica – your gut will thank you!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Ooh, goody! Yeah, I wouldn’t have expected popularity of any “fad diets” abroad—and there’s no reason for it! Haha, I remember the food being so much less chemically treated and more local! Were there a few weeks where you had to suffer through lots of fatigue or do you just remember feeling great all the time? :)

  • Kerri

    I’m not even sure what paleo really means, so I’m going to go Google that.

    Also, when you previously mentioned it, I read it as “photo challenge”, hence actually commenting to wish you luck with said photo challenge.

    So, in the spirit, good luck with your photo challenge!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      It’s this thing Americans do when they’re too lazy to eat like a normal person and exercise at least once a month.

      Hahaha, I noticed that earlier but chose to ignore it. But thank you once again! ;)

  • Marianne

    I definitely laughed out loud (for realz) when I read “a side of air with my air.”

    There’s no way in hell I could do a paleo diet here, which is actually something I’m pretty bummed about. I live in the land of white foods: cauliflower, cheese, bread, pasta… yes, delicious but I seriously miss my green veggies.

    Good luck with the future progress! Hope that week 2 doesn’t kill you, but if week 3 is anything like the girl in Scott Pilgrim, you’re gonna be feeling amazing.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Oof, in France? Hellllll no. There is too much emphasis on the carb aspect (but how are they so skinny?!). It’s a wonder I didn’t need to take a multivitamin while living there or something.. I swear I only ate cheese and bread.

      Thanks :) I hope so too bahah. Or at least, the power to fly.