I’ve been a little quiet about the progress of my diet the past month and for good reason. I haven’t really been following one the past month. As has been heavily chronicled the past 4-5 months, I had been following the Whole30 to success of a 35lbs. weight-loss. Not bad.
This past month my plan was to follow a bastardized version of the Whole30 — or basically a Paleo 80/20 diet plan. But, I learned two things this past month — one, the body needs a rest from aggressive weight-loss and, two, it’s hard to follow a diet when you’re sick. Especially when it last 2-3 weeks.
This that an excuse? Yeah, probably. I won’t deny that. But, it’s also a learned lesson about my body that I need to remember and honor. Physically, my body just can’t be expected to go through more than three months of aggressive weight-loss. But, I think that probably applies to pretty much anyone.
But, it wasn’t that I gave up after one roadblock. About three weeks ago I got a pretty nasty cold and it’s just lingered for waaaaaay too long. It’s hard to stay on a specific diet (at least for me) when I am sick. Mainly because all I want to do is drink gallons of Powerade, hype up on vitamin C and eat nothing but soup and sandwiches.
I am kind of surprised that during the past three weeks I managed to run a couple of marathons while keeping my weekly workout regime. Probably not the “smartest” thing in the world to do, but — hey, I didn’t die — so no harm, no foul. Right? Right.
So about two weeks ago I just made the decision to maintain my diet. I didn’t want to worry too much about my diet, just maintain my workout regime and running plan. This was made not just because of my lingering cold, but also the realization I just had to give my body a rest. So I decided to pick up where I left off with a “month break.”
In addition to that, I also gave my body off a week from running after the Huntsville Marathon. My cold was still lingering with a nasty sore throat that wouldn’t go away. I just needed the rest — so I just focused on my strength training, gave my legs and cardio a rest and decided to get back at it this week — which I have.
So, here I am.
Instead of rebooting the Paleo 80/20 — I decided to follow another diet plan. It’s similar to the Whole30 in many aspects, but with a few different factors. It’s called the Bulletproof Diet. It’s nothing new, it’s been around for a while, but the first I heard about it was from my cousin who’s been following it for a quite a while with some pretty great results. And, with about 20lbs. left of what I want to rid myself of, why not give it a try?
I’ll give a brief synopsis of it below. But, for the most part you can read about here, here and here. Like I said, it’s very similar to Whole30’s approach, except for the rigidity of the diet. And, the biggest thing for me — is the emphasis of not eating a lot of fruit. Especially with my love for bananas and grapes that helped me through the Whole30.
Don’t worry though — I am sure I’ll eat my share of bananas during and around my races. But, I’ll share more about that later as I get a firmer grasp on the diet.
But, if I learned anything from the Whole30 during the summer it’s that — I can do it. And, mentally, this past month has been a good break from that mentality. It’s made jumping into Bulletproof a lot easier.
Anyways — I’ve jumped into the diet today with the goal of mapping my progress on the 24th of each of the next three months. So, October 24th, November 24th and December 24th with a free day on the 24th before starting again on the 25th. Basically in November and December that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas. And, if you have to ask — yes, I’ll be having pumpkin and mincemeat pie both holidays.
I am going to reassess the diet after each of those 30 days as well, just to make sure my body is handling it well and I have the strength to do it. I am a little hesitant to do it three months until Christmas, but that’s all going to depend on how I feel come November. I think the important thing here is listening to my body.
So what is the Bulletproof Diet all about? Some describe it as a Paleo 2.0 diet, which can be argued is valid. A lot of the diet’s emphasis is on grass fed proteins and wild caught foods, This isn’t much of a problem for me since I only eat grass fed beef and have chickens (that last sentence sounded like I exclusively shop at Whole Foods … forgive me). And, there is a lot of emphasis on how you prepare your foods as well.
But, I’ll outline most of it below, but you can read a lot about it here, here, here, here, here and here. There are also a number of critiques about the diet out there too, which is important to consider — you can read some here, here and here. Like any new diet or routine, I think it’s important to see both sides of the story. It’s also further proof that everyone is different when it comes to fitness.
One aspect of the Bulletproof Diet that I am not planning on — at least right now — is the Intermittent Fasting. Mainly because that involves consuming the Bulletproof Coffee. Being Mormon there’s obvious reasons for that. I’d like to do a week of it intermittent fasting in some kind of way. But, until then — intermittent fasting is a no.
But, that’s about all I’m not planning on doing. I’m excited to get it started and see what it does for my health and energy levels.
14 STEPS OF THE BULLETPROOF DIET
Okay, so there are 14 steps to the Bulletproof Diet, they’re fairly simple, but important to follow, They are …
1. Eliminate sugar (including fruit juices and sports drinks that contain HFCS, honey, and agave) .
2. Replace the sugar calories with healthy fats from the Bulletproof Diet such as grass-fed butter, ghee, Brain Octane™, Upgraded™ XCT oil, or coconut oil.
3. Eliminate gluten in any shape or form. This includes bread, cereal, and pasta. Do not make the mistake of resorting to gluten free junk food, which can be almost as bad.
4. Remove grains, grain derived oils, and vegetable oils such as corn, soy, and canola. Also remove unstable polyunsaturated oils such as walnut, flax, and peanut oil.
5. Eliminate all synthetic additives, colorings, and flavorings. This includes aspartame, MSG, dyes, and artificial flavorings.
6. Eat significant amounts of pastured, grass-fed meat from big ruminant animals such as beef, lamb, and bison. Pair this with fish, eggs, and shellfish.
7. Eliminate legumes such as peanuts, beans, and lentils. If you must have your beans, soak, sprout (or ferment), and cook them.1
8. Remove all processed, homogenized, and pasteurized dairy. High fat items can be pasteurized, but they should be grass-fed. Full fat, raw, whole dairy from grass-fed cows is okay for most people.
9. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild caught seafood. Eat pastured eggs and some pork, chickens, turkeys, and ducks.
10. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables. This is more important for some plants than others. See this site for details.
11. Cook your food gently, if at all. Incorporate water into your cooking whenever possible and use low temperatures. Do not use a microwave or fry.
12. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day. Favor low fructose containing fruits like berries and lemons over watermelon and apples.
13. Add spices and other flavorings from the Bulletproof Diet. Favor herb based spices such as thyme and rosemary over powders. Use high quality ones, recently opened.
14. Enjoy your food.
SO WHY BULLETPROOF?
I’ve had a couple friends and family ask me why I am switching up my diet — and specifically to Bulletproof. Especially when it’s so similar to the Whole30 which I did from May to August. All good valid questions. So I thought I would sum it up here.
When I started my weight-loss journey I started with literal baby steps. I didn’t jump right into a diet. I just watched what I ate and progressed from there. Eventually, I hired a trainer and got a diet plan set up that helped me lose a lot of my weight.
One thing I learned about my body — it hates routine when it’s trying to lose weight. Meaning, eventually within 6-8 weeks — my body will plateau if I stick to something too long. I realized this early enough in my journey that I made the conscious effort to continually change my diet every 6-8 weeks. And, for the most part it’s worked.
This change is pretty much in the same vein of mentality. I knew Whole30 wasn’t a longterm solution for my weight-loss goals. And, that showed when I lost something like 5-6lbs. during my last round. Honestly, it was a round too many.
Now that doesn’t mean I am completely done with Whole30 or a paleo diet. Bulletproof is very much a paleo diet. I believe in paleo diets. And, when I ready to maintain my weight I want to do so on a paleo diet. But, my body right now just needs to change things up.
So why Bulletproof? Well, there were a couple of things that persuaded me. My cousin has been following it for a while and strongly suggested I give it a try. And, the more I read up on it, the more I liked what I saw. I love the emphasis on grass fed and wild caught proteins and organic fruits and veggies. That’s something I’ve been trying to make sure to consume. Having chickens helps this. I hate store bought eggs. Hate. But, that’s a story for another day.
I was also intrigued by the notion to limit consumption of fruit. I won’t lie — on Whole30 fruit was my savior. Bananas, watermelon, grapes, berries and melon were go to foods when I wanted to down a birthday cake. So, limiting those — especially bananas — will be a will of testament at first. But, I’d like to see what happens with the restriction.
With marathons, half marathons and my 50 miler still planned during this time I fully plan on fueling more with fruit than anything else, much like Whole30. So there will be the exception to that. But, I have also taught my body to fuel off of sweet potatoes — so reliance on bananas and other fruit shouldn’t be too neccessary.
The next 30 days should be an adventure, especially considering that my 50 miler is less than a month away as well. That will be the big test, but I am honestly not too worried about it.
Here goes nothing, right?