Doing a 30

Matthew and I have done one 30 so far. In our ordinary lives I’m pretty paleo pure and he’s more divergent, but we both went extreme paleo for 30 days.


We did an ‘autoimmune protocol’, which meant that in addition to regular paleo, we also excluded eggs, nuts. seeds, coffee, black tea, all alcohol, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, goji berries, etc), and almost all ‘bar codes’ (meaning we got our food from its original container rather than a factory-made one: fresh lemons rather than bottled lemon juice, homemade bone broth rather than packaged stock, no tinned coconut milk or coconut flour). What’s left? Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit. We did include store-bought olive oil, coconut oil, red palm oil, coconut aminos, a few green olives, and a couple tins of salmon, just ‘cause.

I will not lie: it was a lot of work, but I felt like a superhero by the end. Even though I had been pretty religiously on the paleo path for a year, doing a 30 took things to a whole new level, and some interesting things happened afterwards:

  • Matthew found he could give up gluten altogether post-30. He also decided he didn’t want to eat eggs & legumes very often. And he lost 10lbs.
  • I stopped feeling the urge to cheat and found it easier to withstand having my favorite non-paleo crunchy things lurking in the cupboards. Which has resulted a lot more freedom and a lot less suffering, because when I was preoccupied with the crunchy things in the cupboards (or on the grocery store shelves) I was suffering, whether I broke down & crunched on them or not.
  • I transcended the idea that I needed to have something white in my morning brew. Pre-30, I was running a fair bit of coconut and almond milk through my system in order to achieve a white-ish cuppa. I was putting white stuff in coffee, black tea, and even herbal teas. But I don’t anymore. Unadulterated is good.
  • I stopped needing coffee. If you think this could never happen to you, I was right there with you pre-30. Pre-30, I used to say coffee was the only vice I had left, and I viced it all day. I knew it was a problem, and I struggled to give it up periodically, but when things got stressful I was always right back on it. Before my 30, I thought green tea was sad. I was sure I was not mature enough to drink green tea. But I drank it for those 30 days and now I still do. By choice. Every morning. (I’ll tell you a secret: like anything else worth drinking, red wine most especially included, it has to be really good green tea). The truly exciting thing is I now have a healthy relationship with coffee. I can have it, and I do have it, once or twice a week, without that becoming a slippery slope. Matthew and I can whip up a batch of coconut cream (or not), get out our go-cups and still have our favorite low-budget weekend afternoon date (we call it ‘having coffee and walking around’).

Not everything sticks. I made a resolution that I would only ever from now on eat soaked nuts and seeds.  That lasted a month or two. That resolution was for naught, but in truth I am now eating fewer nuts and almost no seeds. I do grab a bag of roasted cashews sometimes when I’m on the go, because I just love them and they make me happy.

But I’m feeling ready for another 30. I don’t know what it was exactly that made me feel like wonder woman by the end of my 30 in July, whether it was the absence of nuts, eggs, nightshades or barcodes, but I want to find out.

Find abundant information for doing a 30 (yours doesn’t have to be extreme!) at Nom Nom Paleo.

Looking for a book? I recommend Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilippo. Diane explains the whys of paleo, provides guidelines for various customized 30-day diets for specific health concerns, and has some excellent recipes.

Here’s what we ate on our extreme 30:

Between breakfast & supper we didn’t plan a lunch-type meal. Sometimes we ate leftovers or just veg. Sometimes we ate nothing. It wasn’t an enforced fast, but an opportunity to respond to what our bodies required.

  Breakfast Supper
Prep day Scrambled eggs, jicama hash, sauerkraut, avocado BBQ steak, zucchini pasta w. prawns & homemade pesto, salad
1 Chicken thighs, hash of leftover jicama & zucchini pasta, sauerkraut Slow cooker soup w. beef, fennel & pesto
2 Bacon, avocado, hash of leftover chicken, jicama & zucchini, Fry-up of ground lamb, garlic scapes, broccoli, kale, zucchini & cabbage
3 Hash made with tinned salmon, yam oven fries, avocado, sauerkraut Roast chicken, roast turnips & carrots, green salad
4 Baked pink salmon w. tapenade, sautéed patty pan squash, kiwi cherry salsa with shallots Bone broth soup w. chicken & caramelized onions, yam fries, crudités
5 Bacon, avocado, hash of turnip, carrot, chard & chicken, Baron of beef, spaghetti squash & zucchini pasta with avocado pesto
6 Leftover baron of beef, Jicama hash, brocolette, sauerkraut Cabbage rolls made with cauli-rice and bison cooked in bone broth, crudités
7 Hash made with leftover bison cabbage roll filling & patty pan squash, avocado Roast chicken, roast carrots & beets, spaghetti squash & zucchini pasta with avocado pesto
8 Seared ahi tuna, carrot & beet hash, avocado, sauerkraut BBQ steak, Vegetable kabobs
9 Portobello turkey burgers w. avocado pesto, cauli-rice pilaf, sauerkraut, Bone broth soup w. chicken & caramelized onions, homemade kale chips
10 Bacon, yam fries, hash of mushrooms, zucchini, shallots & broccoli Fry up of ground beef, mushrooms, zucchini, shallots & broccoli w. avocado pesto, cucumber
11 Hash of ground beef, mushrooms, zucchini, shallots & broccoli w. avocado pesto, sauerkraut Ham, stir-fry of chard, collards & beet greens
12 Portobello chicken burgers, avocado, hash of zucchini & mushrooms, Leftover chicken patties, leftover ham, fry-up of chard, collards, beet greens, zucchini & mushrooms
13 Baked pink salmon w. tapenade, sauerkraut, emerald city soup Tuna salad with celery on avocado, leftover fry up of chard, collards, beet greens zucchini & mushrooms
14 BBQ steak, peaches, cucumber & snow peas Roast chicken, roast beets & turnips, avocado, crudités
15 Baked pink salmon w. tapenade, avocado, hash of beets, turnips & pattypans, Bone broth soup with chicken & fennel, spaghetti squash & zucchini pasta with avocado pesto
16 Fritters made with tinned salmon & leftover beet, turnip & pattypan hash, steamed chard, sauerkraut Meat muffins made with ground turkey & fennel, leftover soup, homemade kale chips, avocado
17 Bacon, leftover salmon beet fritters, zucchini pasta with avocado pesto BBQ lamb & steak, cauli-rice pilaf, cucumber & green olives
18 Leftover lamb & steak BBQ, yam fries, leftover cauli-rice pilaf, avocado Leftover lamb & steak BBQ, steamed beet greens, green salad
19 Leftover lamb & steak BBQ, jicama hash w. mushrooms & beet greens, avocado Leftover meat muffins, portabellos stuffed with leftover lamb & beet greens topped with peach salsa & avocado pesto
20 Baked pink salmon topped w. apricot & lime salsa, hash of zucchini & kale, sauerkraut, avocado Zucchini boats filled with ground bison & topped w. avocado pesto, green salad
21 Seared ahi tuna, yam fries, sauerkraut, avocado Ham, leftover zucchini boats, emerald city soup
22 Leftover bone broth soup with chicken & fennel, leftover ham, sauerkraut BBQ steak, spaghetti squash & zucchini pasta with avocado pesto
23 Portobello turkey burgers, turnip oven fries, sautéed patty pans, avocado Roast chicken, roast beets & carrots, homemade kale chips
24 Red snapper topped with peach salsa, hash of beet, carrots & zucchini, sauerkraut, avocado Bone broth soup with chicken, fennel & caramelized onions, leftover BBQ steak, cauli-rice pilaf
25 Fritters made with snapper, beets & carrots, jicama hash, sautéed zucchini, avocado BBQ steak, tabbouleh salad (made with leftover cauli-rice pilaf)
26 Bacon, sautéed beet greens, leftover tabbouleh salad, avocado Ham, leftover bone broth soup with chicken, fennel & caramelized onions, leftover tabbouleh salad
27 Seared ahi tuna, yam fries, hash of beets greens & zucchini, avocado Shepherd’s pie, peaches
29 Zucchini boats filled with leftover shepherd’s pie, yam & carrot oven fries, sauerkraut, avocado BBQ steak, spaghetti squash & zucchini pasta with avocado pesto
30 Leftover BBQ steak, rutabaga oven fries, sauerkraut, avocado Leftover BBQ steak, leftover zucchini boats & leftover pesto pasta
31 Matthew reintroduced dairy & coffee (all in one cup!); I reintroduced eggs
34 We reintroduced nuts in the form of soaked & dehydrated almonds
37 We reintroduced seeds with a piping hot panful of pepitas
40 Matthew reintroduced gluten-free grains with some brown rice
43 Matthew reintroduced legumes in the form of some store bought hummus (& then decided he wouldn’t eat legumes very often)
46 Matthew reintroduced eggs (& then decided he wouldn’t eat eggs very often)

15 thoughts on “Doing a 30

  1. Pingback: Getting started | petra8paleo

  2. You have an excellent blog!!! I did strict Paleo for six weeks. I lost 35 pounds and felt amazing. Now I have a modified semi-Paleo diet, but it still is much healthier than my pre-Paleo days.

  3. It has been one week since I saw my friend Petra’s amazing post. It was then that I was introduced to Paleo. It has been easy to introduce a Paleo life style for me. I first thought I would do it for the week and then allow myself to “cheat” on the weekend. Well I did allow for popcorn on the weekend and some red wine. I am excited to see how I feel at the 2 week stage! Thank you Petra for opening my life to something new with great benefits!

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