My Paleo/Real Food Day

I thought I’d try a little experiment and photograph everything I ate today, both to demonstrate what one person’s version of Paleo eating might look like, and also to see if I had anything to learn by seeing a visual representation of everything I ate in a day.  I didn’t take photos of any water I drank, but I got just about everything else.

I did learn one thing for sure, and that’s that I sure do eat often.  I really like the idea of eating like a predator, but I find myself grazing.  One solution might be to eat bigger meals, but eating a big meal during the day makes me feel sluggish.  Dinner is a great time to eat a big meal, because it doesn’t impact my daytime productivity.  So I’ll probably continue to graze for now.

A couple notes: I don’t always eat breakfast, but I did today. I do have some (mostly full-fat) dairy in here, which isn’t strictly Paleo, but I’m OK with it. Overall I would prefer to eat less fruit than I did today, but it’s summer and the fruit is only here for a short time, so I’m going with it.

So here’s what I ate today, in pictures and notes:

Janna’s Real Food Eats on July 7, 2011

Starting at 6:30 am, coffees 1, 2 and 3.  The coffee is only about 1/4 caffeinated, and I mix a little Mighty Leaf Chocolate Chip Truffle tea in the filter basket.  (Weird, I know, but it’s delicious!)  I had 2 tbsp of coconut milk in cups 2 and 3.

I got hungry for breakfast at about 9:30.  This is half of a small container of plain Fage 2% (only got the 2% because I couldn’t find the full-fat kind in small containers), 1 tbsp of raw almond butter, and some organic strawberries and blueberries.

About an hour after breakfast I had two figs and an apricot (not pictured)…

…and then my supplements.

At noon I went for a short run, showered quickly and grabbed a string cheese to stave off my hunger while I dashed to a 1:00 meeting.

I finally threw lunch together at 1:45.  Lunch was a hard-boiled egg, a Wellshire Farms Turkey Snack Stick, some Bubbie’s sauerkraut (my fave!), sugar snap peas and baby carrots. (I ate one of the carrots before I took the picture.)  Lunch filled me up without making me lethargic, but I was hungry in about an hour and a half, which led to…

Afternoon Snacks 1, 2 and 3!  First was a small pile of sunflower seeds, then another Turkey Snack Stick and a square of Alter Eco’s 85% dark chocolate (another fave!), then 2 more figs (one not pictured). Since I ate these all in the space of about an hour, I guess you could call them one snack.  Definitely grazing.

Somehow by the time I got home at 4:45, I was hungry again.

So I made myself dinner.  Two pastured eggs, half a large onion, a couple chard leaves from the garden, an ounce of farmer’s market cheese curds, all fried in a 1/2 tbsp of bacon grease, and topped with some of last summer’s home-canned tomato sauce.

After dinner I treated myself to 6 squares of this chocolate.  It’s nibby and delicious.

At 6:45 I felt like I hadn’t had enough protein for the day (looking at my macronutrients to write this post), so I snacked on a slice of US Wellness Meats Braunschweiger (made from grass-fed beef!  looks unappetizing but tastes delicious!), and another hard-boiled egg.

Tracking Calories and Macronutrients

I’m tracking what I eat on, both for the macronutrient tracking, and for calories. I’m finding tracking calories, while not necessary for everyone, helps me be mindful of what I put in my mouth, so I’m doing it for now. (Thanks for the suggestion, Gary.)  I’m also aiming for a moderately low carbohydrate intake; 65-75 grams a day seems to keep me happiest lately.  Today was a little high in carbs and low in protein.

Interestingly to me, while the dark chocolate only added about 10 grams of carbs to my total, the two biggest contributors were the figs and the half onion.  The figs are surprisingly sugary compared to berries, the 4 figs I ate contributing roughly 15 grams of carbs, while all the berries I had for breakfast only totaled 7 grams.  The onion also surprised me.  I recently ordered a digital scale and discovered that the onions I’m using may not seem that large to me, but they are extra jumbo by the nutrition charts, which seem to think a large onion is 150 grams (just 5.2 oz.).  My onion tonight was a behemoth, weighing in at 10 ounces (it really isn’t that huge), so my half onion had about 12 grams of carbs.

Overall this isn’t a whole lot of calories, but it seems to be enough.  When I don’t track and then go back and try to recreate the day before I always find that I’ve somehow consumed ~2500 calories (or more), but when I’m mindful, ~1500 seems to be plenty.  Funny how that works.

So what do you think?  Is this interesting?  I’m tempted to do this more often, just because I like to see it.  Also taking a picture of everything makes it pretty hard to sneak bites of whatever sugary treats await me in the break room at work.  And I’m just happier when I eat in roughly the manner I ate today.


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