Ryan & Paleo: Two Weeks In

Ryan & Paleo: Two Weeks In

Hey Guys! I’m Ryan, SwitchGrocery's marketing intern for the summer of 2017!

I’ve recently (as of August 1st) adopted the paleo diet! The goal is to track progress, make paleo friendly recipes and the feels of my transition to the Paleo diet; whether positive or negative!

Because the last blog post I got to ask Neha questions, she felt it was necessary to interview me this time around :)


I have one cheat day (usually on weekends) where I drink wine and/or sangria OR I'll eat and have a treat (something that isn't paleo friendly). I wanted to be realistic with myself as this is the first diet lifestyle I've pursued.

I come from an Italian background and pasta, breads and pizza are often staples and it has been a tough turning down Nonna's food but I can hold off (for a bit). Some of my aunts ask me if this is a life long journey, "are you not going to eat pasta anymore?" 

I also do intermittent fasting 5 days (16:8) a week 

Paleo Diet Goals: 

  • Shed some weight—Approximately 10lbs. From 210lbs to 200lbs over the course of August
  • Eat healthier and elevate my activity level
  • Move away from prehypertension 

Neha: The most unexpected thing about following paleo?

I was extremely surprised at the number of people who have adopted the paleo diet. Also, there is a plethora of products readily available like bread, wraps and even pancakes that are all paleo friendly! Finally, the feedback from the community is truly refreshing and gratifying all at the same time! When you have consistent support, recipes and resources, it's a great feeling.


Neha: What's your biggest challenge(s)? 

My biggest challenge has been the eating aspect. I didn’t realize the amount of grains that I consumed on a regular basis and a lot of foods are packed with carbs, sugars and high levels of sodium. It doesn’t help that I come from an Italian background that places eating as a major focal point of their culture. Pizza & pasta anyone?

The other challenge is how to manage consumption of alcohol, which I have tried to keep to a minimum. It’s hard because patio season is my favourite and I find myself visiting them often with friends and/or family. I’ve cut out beer, ciders and hard liquor. My go to is red wine and sangria in moderation. On my cheat days, my definition of moderation may be a little skewed in favour of drinking half to three-quarters of a bottle of wine but I feel like I balance it with eating well the other 6 days of the week & exercise!


Neha: What foods do you miss the most?

Nonna’s homemade cooking for sure. “Pasta Fagioli” (pasta with beans—soup like substance), Pasta al Forno (pasta in the oven) and of course pizza. I may have mentioned to Neha last week that I would immediately order a pizza on September 1st after the one month paleo trial period concludes :P 


Neha: What new foods are you starting to discover?

I’m not discovering new foods per se but I am discovering how versatile vegetables are as a substitute for grains. I’ve moved from traditional spaghetti dishes to spaghetti squash. Quinoa and mashed potatoes to cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower mashed. And for all you baked desert fans out there, cassava flour that acts as a 1:1 substitute for traditional flour in baked goods! I’ve made banana bread, muffins and cookies that are all paleo compliant.

Neha gave me some Legit Bread which is made with Otto's Cassava Flour - and my friends that don't follow Paleo loved it too! She also gave me some Live wraps (grain free, vegetable based wraps) that will be coming on to the SwitchGrocery store soon! These are actually Paleo and Keto friendly!


Neha: What tips do you have for managing social events in the summer?

This can be a major challenge but for me I’ve managed it well.
  • Don’t say no to anything. Go out and have fun, it’s the summer!
  • If you’re going to a bar/club/patio etc. minimize the consumption of beer and ciders as they have high amounts of sugar and are often made from wheat. I usually have red wine if the options are decent or one to two mixed vodka drinks like vodka and soda with a squeeze of a couple limes.
  • If you over consume, be sure to revitalize your self the following day with nutrient rich meals and/or smoothies. With, (if you’re body is up to it) at least a 45 min workout to sweat out all those toxins!
  • Finally, indulge within reason. What you put into this diet is what you’re going to get out and I always keep this in mind with my diet.


    Neha: What changes are you feeling, if any?

    • I’ve lost 5lbs, which is half way to my goal, and something I’m personally and pleasantly surprised about.
    • I do feel hungrier at night during the week as I tend to consume two large meals around 1PM and 6PM due to intermittent fasting but I’ve done pretty well with not eating after 8PM
    • As time went on I craved less crappy food and drinks like chips and pop and have wanted to fill up on veggies, nuts and limited fruits.


    Neha: Any changes that you'd make in the next 2 weeks?

    • I’m definitely going to up the physical activity over the course of the next two weeks. Weeks prior I stuck to mostly at-home body weight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups etc.
    • I plan on biking, roller-blading and continuing with body weight exercises.
    • I plan to bake more and experiment with Otto's Cassava Flour
    • Experiment with smoothies as meal replacements and track how i feel for one week. Smoothies with our awesome products like Philosophie and Nuez Nutmilks


       Neha: What resources did you use for research and tracking?

      Paleo Leap: This app has been my one stop to check if what i'm consuming is paleo friendly, recipe ideas and how nutritious the foods I'm consuming really are. I suggest this app to anyone adopting this type of diet for the first time as it's really done the trick for me.
      The Ultimate Paleo Guide: This has helped me tenfold with informational blogs and food guides that have helped with my one month paleo journey.
      Apple Watch: This has helped me reach my activity goals. Standing goal, calorie burning and keeping track of my workouts. I suggest using some sort of tech to help you along the way as it's definitely motivating and a convenient way to track.
      If anyone has questions, concerns or tips that have helped you in the past, please do not hesitate to leave a comment or contact me at ryan.maclean89@gmail.com


      And that's the end of Ryan's interview. I did not change any of his answers because I think it's important for us to be real. He is very committed to this one month - I offered him some hummus and he declined! I hope you enjoyed the read.


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