The Personal Paleo Code – A How To

Courtesy of motivanova.com

Whats the number one goal for everyone? To perform optimally, right? It could be in daily life or sports performance. The Personal Paleo Code approach has enabled me to get back to feeling optimal and my workouts and sports performance have improved also. The PPC encourages a 30 day reset. This reset approach is encouraged in order to clear your digestive system and start fresh.

The foods you are allowed to eat in the reset are limited. You can still enjoy your food though as you’ll see from the pictures below, some tasty meals were had. No gluten, dairy, processed food, sugar or starch allowed for the most part. A very “traditional” paleo approach. Eliminating dairy and sugar is the most challenging aspect of all but 21 days in and you will conquer the cravings.

Fried egg & sweet potato wedges
Fried egg & sweet potato wedges

Here is a rundown of what you can eat liberally,  eat moderately, and completely avoid during the initial 30 Day Reset. An approach made popular by Chris Kresser in his Personal Paleo Code.

Eat Liberally

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Starchy Plants
    • Yams
    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Plantains
  • Bone Broth
  • Oils
    • Coconut
    • Duck Fat
    • Palm
    • Ghee
    • Beef
  • Vegetables
  • Fermented fruit and vegetables
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Coconut
Food prep
Eirinn’s Food prep

Eat Moderately

  • Processed Meats (bacon, sausage 2-4 per week)
  • Fruit (up to 4 servings per day)
    • Berries, grapefruit, oranges,
    • Peaches, apples, grapes, pears
  • Nuts and Seeds (1 handful per day)
    • Brazil, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia
    • Peacans, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts
    • Chia, flax, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Green Beans & Peas (4- per week)
  • Coffee & Tea (8oz per day before noon)
  • Vinegar
  • Restaurant Food
A personal favorite - Eirinns Burger Bowl. Pickles, bacon, jalapeños, avocado, tomato, sautéed  mushrooms & onions topped off with a fried egg!
A personal favorite – Eirinns Burger Bowl. Pickles, bacon, jalapeños, avocado, tomato, sautéed mushrooms & onions topped off with a fried egg!

Avoid Completely

  • Dairy
  • Grains
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes
    • Beans
    • Peanuts
    • Lentils
  • Sweetners
  • Chocolate
  • Vegetable Oils
  • Fruit Juice
  • Alcohol
  • Protein Powder
  • Unnecessary Supplements
Roast chicken, yam wedges and asparagus.
Roast chicken, yam wedges and asparagus.

As you can see from above, it is quite an in depth list as to what you can consume. I will say the most difficult thing was eliminating sugar and dairy. The carbohydrate sources were very limited. No rice, potatoes or beans. Yams, plantains and sweet potatoes have become a great alternative. They take some getting used to but you grow to love them. After eliminating the main culprits that are usually responsible for causing inflammation (grains/sugar/dairy), I started to feel a lot better. Around three weeks in the pain totally subsided, bloated stomach after meals disappeared and mental clarity swept in. Brain fog can be a double whammy from a hypothyroid condition and eating grains that don’t necessarily agree with you. For the longest time, IBS was a daily occurrence for me.

Irritable Bowl Syndrome is caused by a reaction to a certain food type and/or high stress levels. One in five Americans suffer from IBS. Many go through life without rectifying the situation. Most people just accept that this is how they will and don’t know that food or stress is the culprit. Common signs that you may have IBS include:

1) Abdominal pain or cramping
2) A bloated feeling
3) Gas
4) Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
5) Mucus in the stool

Food is a huge component of the PPC. My personal water consumption sky rocketed thanks to simply squeezing a piece of lemon in a glass and then tossing in the slice and filling your glass with water. With a slight change I now have a minimum of 5 pints of water a day.

Lemon water, Yam fries and a beef burger over a bed of lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, bacon & avocado.
Lemon water, Yam fries and a beef burger over a bed of lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, bacon & avocado.

After you get through the initial thirty days you can add back in one food item. I choose beans. I know from past experience that some dairy products do not agree with me so they join grains on the “never again” list. Let’s face it, alcohol and chocolate will be eaten as some point in the future. I’m Irish and have a huge sweet tooth! Chocolate with 70% cacao is a great option for avoiding the negative affects of milk chocolate. 

cacao 85%

A big factor in my decision to take on the Personal Paleo approach was the fact I knew that I could do a better job monitoring what I ate. I didn’t want to continue to feel like crap after most meals. I eliminated what doesn’t work and now I have zero negative gut reactions. I need to be very careful about what I consume but its worth it in order to have a settled digestive system. 

Being able to function optimally is something we should all strive for and having altered the PPC to suit me individually, I am delighted with the results. The Paleo diet isn’t the answer, listening to your body and how it reacts to different food types is the key. Be smart, phase out what causes a negative reaction. Its not rocket science. I’m looking forward to and excited for the Gaelic football season, summer in Boston and being pain free everyday.

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