With no prior experience of Clean eating/Paleo Diet, I was curious to see if I could gain the energy they say I can without wheat and grain carbohydrates. I began eating from a Paleo book (Paleo for Athletes) on December 1, 2012 with only four days of deviating (Christmas eve, two separate "Christmas" days and New Year's Eve). By January 31, 2013 I had dropped from 196 to 180 pounds .
Weight loss was the side affect. My real gain was that I experienced the constant energy you get from the larger amount of quality nutrients going into your body.
- Kindling:I have the picture in my mind of a fire place. The wheat and grain carbs are kindling that flame up really big and then burn out. It gives you a large ebb and flow of energy.
- Log:The vegetable and fruit carbohydrates are like the log on the fire that stay hot and steady for a long period. This gives you a constant comfort while you exercise.
The Transition: This is not an overnight process. We have to give our bodies a couple of weeks, starved of the wheat and grain carbs, to grow the pool of warriors (mitochondria) inside to give us energy from the fruits and vegetables in the same quick way that we get energy from the wheat and grain carbs. BUT, once we do, then we can eat these other foods and feel the energy we need every day.
At three months in, eating clean, I performed two trail runs and a hard effort rode bike ride to specifically test the diet's energy provision. I took only raisins and almonds on the bike ride and nothing on the runs without any energy issues. The runs were aggressive 90 minute trail runs with 2000 feet of vertical climbing. I took water and had no packaged sports nutrition. I had very little energy loss. 2 months prior, I could not have imagined having that steady an energy flow and certainly not strictly from fruits and vegetables. When I got back to the car I grabbed a handful of raisins and almonds and drove home. No problems.