10 years ago by

I decided to change the way I eat.

I don’t think I’m necessarily a bad eater. I like to cook, I try my best to bring my lunch and make dinner at home. I try to read labels but tend to skip over the ingredient portion and focus on the numbers instead (How much sodium? What’s the trans fat?). I’m a sucker for those “healthy” cereals and granola bars that promise loads of nutrients and lower calories. I’ve got that “if it’s big bold letters on the front of the box, it has to be legit” mentality.

I tend to eat worse when I am on the go; I’ll grab something processed because it’s quick and easy and I won’t think twice about it.
I will disclose that there is a Domino’s located a little too close to my apartment and every once in a while, I feel the need to eat one million Swedish fish… I’m not sure that Gwennie would approve of that.

I read beauty product labels with more intensity then my Susan Miller horoscope so I started to ask myself why wasn’t I doing the same thing with food? If I can’t pronounce an ingredient (I’ll spend hours on the internet reading about silica dimethyl silylate) listed on a tube of lipstick, I try not to use it (keyword being try). But I can tell you that there are plenty of ingredients listed in those “healthy” granola bars I was eating that I couldn’t pronounce. I’m not running out the door with just any tube of lipstick because it was the closest one to my bag, so I shouldn’t be grabbing that random granola bar just because it’s there. It was time to take a step back and think more about what I was eating.

I decided to try eating paleo for 30 days (I decided to do it for 30 days because that sounded best for a hashtag. I mean, what would you click on? #23daysofpaleo or #30daysofpaleo? That’s what I thought). Along with giving paleo a go, I decided to cut alcohol and make it a point to walk the two blocks to my gym more often. I didn’t go into this hoping to lose weight, I didn’t think of it as a diet at all, but more as a new way of eating and taking care of myself.

Quickly, paleo is loosely based on what people were eating during the paleolithic era (loosely because I don’t think there were too many cavemen eating almond butter). You can have meat (grass-fed, free-range), fish, eggs (cage free), vegetables, fruit and some nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews). No processed foods, no added sugar, no dairy, no legumes (that means no peanut butter), no soy and no wheat or grains. Yeah, even when I write that now I know that it sounds a little bit crazy. Paleo isn’t saying that things like legumes or grains are unhealthy, they just don’t happen to be a part of the plan.

[Side Note: With this, I also did 30 Days of No Dating. It wasn’t that it was super hard to find something to eat at most restaurants, but I didn’t really want to have to explain my no dressing, no cheese, can I have extra greens and is there dairy in that soup? questions on a first date for fear that my food neuroses would scare away my potential future husband.]

At first it was really hard. Like really, really hard. I wanted chocolate, I wanted cheese (mostly I wanted cheese). But after the first 5 days, I started to get used to it. I made my breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks everyday (okay, except that time I bought kale chips to fill my popcorn craving when I went to see Grand Budapest Hotel). I ended up cooking every single day and tried to prep my breakfasts and snacks for the week on Sunday nights. For me, the snacks were key (I made my own granola bars! It was so easy! Let me know if you want the recipe!) because I’m a grazer, so I eat a little bit throughout the day. In my 30 days, I went through a 32 oz. tub of raw almonds that I had sitting on my desk (okay, Garance helped a little bit).

The first thing I noticed after I started eating paleo was that I was sleeping better. I wasn’t tossing and turning, I just slept through the night (my Sleep Cycle app will prove it). The next thing? I had more energy. I didn’t hit a wall at 4pm and go out in search of something sweet to perk me back up. I felt totally energized. My body just felt better. I wasn’t feeling sluggish and I didn’t feel bloated. I didn’t eat something and feel overly stuffed afterwards, I wasn’t falling victim to any food comas. My skin improved drastically, it felt balanced, it felt brighter (going without alcohol was a big part of that, because I can feel the effects on my skin after just one drink).

It’s crazy how much what you eat impacts how you feel, and to be honest, I didn’t realize the full scope of “you are what you eat” until I did this. I kept thinking, “Wow, this is how I should feel everyday and it’s 100% connected to how I’m eating.”

My official 30 days ended about three weeks ago, but I’m still eating paleo 85% of the time (I’ve added brown rice, quinoa, and little bit of chocolate– the darker the better) and I still feel really good. I’ve paying more attention to the way I eat (still nothing processed, no gluten, no dairy) which yes, takes maybe a little bit more money and time, but I promise you, that good feeling is well worth it.


Add yours
  • It’s so true! When I stick to a diet like this my mood improves, I look better, feel better…the very strange thing is: Why would I ever go off a diet like this?? ….and I do….then I feel awful….human nature is kind of bizarre!

  • i have never followed a diet in my life…

  • Je suis contente de lire un article sur le paléo. J’ai réussi à perdre 15 kilos grâce à cette alimentation et du coup j’en ai fait un blog:

    Si tu as besoin de conseil: I’m HERE


  • Je suis tout à fait d’accord avec toi, ce que l’on mange a un effet direct sur ce que l’on est. J’ai décidé de passer au tout bio pour les fruits & légumes, d’autant plus que j’ai des enfants, et je sens vraiment la différence.
    Depuis quelques mois je mange normalement la journée et très léger le soir, et ça porte ses fruits, les kilos de grossesse ne sont pas facile à perdre!

  • So, I am an apple…

  • C’est bien de se rendre compte de l’importance de notre alimentation!
    Je n’ai jamais testé ce régime, mais je sais qu’il est aussi recommandé pour les sportifs.
    Par contre, 30 jours sans fromage… c’est dur ;)
    Bravo pour avoir tenu ces 30jours et d’en avoir gardé certaines bonnes habitudes.

  • I am doing this as well and I have so much more energy, but I do struggle in the snacks so I would love your granola bar recipe.


  • Colette April, 17 2014, 9:53 / Reply

    30 days with no cheese when you’re French is unbearable …

  • Colette– I don’t know if I could be paleo in France…

  • ive been a die hard paleo advocate for 4+ years now and it’s tremendously exciting to see other people broaden their horizons to this lifestyle as well! it sounds restricting at first, but once you commit and adopt 100%, you realize what a dramatic difference it makes. knowledge truly is power. congratulations!

  • Forget the meat and eggs if you want to be healthy, try another lifestyle which is better for you Alex, the “Raw till 4”, you’ll see how it will change your life ! You should read the 80/10/10 Diet (Dr Douglas Graham) + the Starch solution (by Mary and John MacDougall). You’ll understand why fruits and vegetables make your body and your mind great and super healthy ;)

  • MissPimpin April, 17 2014, 10:02 / Reply

    J’aime vraiment beaucoup l’illustrration

  • Aurélie April, 17 2014, 10:04 / Reply

    Je t’admire vraiment ! Ce ne serait pas pour moi pour autant, le fromage et le yaourt sont la base de mon alimentation (j’exagère un peu mais pas tant que ça). Pourrait-on avoir cette fameuse recette de snake ? :D
    En tout cas, continue tes articles Alex, c’est vraiment un plaisir de te lire !

  • La vie sans pâtes ne vaut pas la peine d’être vécue.

    Sans pain frais non plus d’ailleurs.

  • Caroline April, 17 2014, 10:19 / Reply

    I agree with Jenny: I feel great when I follow a good diet (and terrible when I don’t). I went on a very strict diet a few months ago (for medical reasons) and, on top of losing weight, I was feeling good! However, it was so strict, it was hard to follow, and now I’m back to struggling with extra kilos round the waist, bad sleep and concentration issues. So, what’s the trick to maintaining a good and balanced diet? Anyone?

  • It’s quite easy (or maybe it’s easy how it sounds), but don’t be too strict for yourself!
    And I don’t mean that you can splurge on junkfood one day a week. I mean: eat non processed foods, prepare them yourself, so you get familiar with them. And find alternatives to the greasy pizza, the horrible sugary chocolate, etc. Your body will get used to the more healthy alternatives and you will never crave the junk food it replaced ever again.
    So keep it healthy, pure, balanced and not too crazy.

    Because honestly Alex’s paleo diet sounds way too crazy for me. It’s key to find healthy eating habits that you can stick with. And for me cheese, alcohol, bread and very dark chocolate (all in moderation though) are part of eating healthy. Right next to heaps of veggies and nuts etc.
    I must say that maybe this way of eating is a little more easy to do in Europe, where the food laws are stricter than in the US I think. Also, there’s corn syrup in everything in the US, I was so amazed by it. So again: stick to unprocessed food and familiarize yourself with it. And make time to prepare your healthy dinners and snacks in the kitchen, it can be so much fun!!

  • I agree completely!!!!
    Passa a trovarmi VeryFP

  • I guess I am 85% paleo too: very scarcely some gluten, diary or ‘industrial’ snacks. What helped me a lot to stick to my no sweets diet (except for dark chocolate and home made healthy cakes once in a while) is a realization that since I am thinking about healthy food a lot, since I am talking about healthy food a lot, since I read about healthy food a lot – and since one of really important values of mine is integrity, I should also eat healthy food to feel great. And I do :)

  • Hi Alex ! I’m intrigued : what are the scientific bases of this diet ?
    Have you considered the fact that you may feel better because you take care of yourself ? I mean, you’ve sticked to your diet, you do things that you know are good for you, and that makes you proud of yourself (it should !) ? I’m only asking because that’s what happens to me when I manage to maintain a healthier lifestyle for a while : I feel good about myself. And I think this has more effect on me than the actual effects of the diet itself.
    (I hope my English is good enough, I’m French :))

  • Hi Bulle! I definitely think it is a combination of what I’m eating (less processed foods) and the fact that I’m taking more care of myself! I’m really proud of myself for sticking to something healthy :)

  • The granola bar recipe! Pleeeeeeeeease!

  • Yes–I gave up bread & beer* and it feels so good! Alex, can you make a list of what you would eat for a week?**

    It can be overwhelming to start a new diet, so a little guidance would be helpful! :)

    *that only lasted 2 weeks pfff
    **and include some of your new fav receipes?!

  • I agree completely! My hardest craving to control is potato chips…

  • I eat more “chips” now than ever. Because… I use a mandolin to slice a yam or sweet potato (good flavor & nutrition) onto a baking sheet. Spray with Olive oil, sprinkle Salt & pepper, garlic powder or cumin… Whatever strikes me and about 15 minutes @ 450 degrees. Yum. Kale chips inspired me. Now I also do peppers, broccoli & asparagus this way.

  • I agree! My boyfriend is such a healthy eater and since I’ve been with him I changed the way I eat and feel so much better!

  • Miss Lamb April, 17 2014, 10:39 / Reply

    It sounds like a good diet, I won’t argue that, we currently eat way too much processed food, sugar, trans fat and dairy. I am just bothered by the miss use of the word paleo. I know it’s a fad right now, but I don’t think anyone in the paleo era was eating bliss balls or chowing down on domesticated meet, they ate whatever they could their hands on that they could digest and hopefully wouldn’t kill them.

  • I loved it!
    I’m posting looks from L.A. and accessories:

  • Hi Alex, Thanks for the post! I’m actually on my 25th day of Paleo diet and I must say, it seams easier for you than it is for me…. I do feel better but sometimes I have chocolate & bread starvation (I’m french lol)! Could I ask you your granola bar recipe? xo

  • Agreed, and thanks for your post! Changing my diet has helped my mood, skin, sleep habits, and has helped me feel better overall. But I must admit, breakfast and mornings are the hardest for me. I like your idea of planning both breakfasts and snacks for the week ahead on Sunday, and plan to put that into practice this weekend. Would you mind sharing your breakfast options? Thank you!

  • Hi Lisa! Here are some things I have for breakfast! Oh and don’t forget the coffeeeeeee!!
    – A hardboiled egg and fruit
    – Mini quiches: eggs with mixed veggies (kale, spinach, tomatoes, peppers) and bake in muffin tin, you can have them all week!
    – Banana Almond muffins, I like this recipe:
    – Scrambled eggs with veggies
    – Banana and flax “noatmeal”: Mix two eggs, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 mashed banana (ripe), 2 T. flax seeds (whole or ground), 1 T. cinnamon, 1 tsp. vanilla and cook on stove until eggs are cooked through (texture will be similar to oatmeal); add berries and a little almond butter on top
    – Banana Pancakes: 2 eggs, 1 mashed banana, mix well and pour on griddle, add some pure maple syrup! (Makes 6 small pancakes)

  • Oofff.. Alex, coffee? It’s a big task, with some withdrawal, but try to get off of it! In the morning replace it with black or green tea (both have caffeine in it, which you will notice once your tolerance has gone down from quitting coffee) and the rest of the day drink herbal tea. That will keep away moodswings and headaches and will make you sleep better even.

  • Thanks, Alex!! These all sound delicious! And will make my mornings much easier. :)

  • I would miss cheese soooo much!!! But I heard that eating goat chees is much better than cheese made of cow milk, non?

  • Diet is all. My diet is: 100% vegetarian, 95% vegan, minimum 50% raw.

  • And I would echo the person that says: forget the meat and dairy. Bad for you, bad for the environment, bad for animals. Science backs this up 100,000%–every study on disease supports vegetarianism/veganism/raw.

  • I have concocted a cracker that’s sensational. Perfect snack food for urban and mountain hiking, air travel, munchies. A chewy biscotti full of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs. Perfect pick-me-up, no cholesterol. My friends love it.

  • Tell us the recipe!!!

  • LOVED this story!

  • I love this! I had a similar revelation with a three-week paleo experiment almost a year and a half ago. You said it perfectly: I kept thinking, “Wow, this is how I should feel everyday and it’s 100% connected to how I’m eating.”

    I do paleo about 80% of the time now. And that balance feels sustainable and not like a diet. I don’t feel I’m missing out if my friends invite me over for a pasta dinner or I head home for a holiday. But man, I’m always happy to head back to my paleo foods.

  • Je mange presque paléo, en fait… si on enlève produits laitiers et blé…
    J’ai du boulot encore ! Je mange déja bio et je peux quasiment le prouver en me fiant aux carnets de santé de mes enfants, ça marche ! J’ai 3 enfants nés en 5 ans : pour le 1er on était un peu jeunes et perdus et pas encore passés au bio !, pour la 2ème on s’y est mis car elle avait des problèmes de poids (assez petite la crevette !), le 3ème est donc un “bébé bio”. Croyez-le ou pas le 3ème a une santé de fer, et seul le premier nous a fait petit des rhino-pharyngites jusqu’à ses 3 ans, il est aussi le seul allergique et asthmatique. Un grand merci à l’homéopathie qui a mis fin au cercle infernal.
    Tout ça avec le même patrimoine génétique ! Je suis convaincue que oui l’alimentation est cruciale.
    Je vois des collègues qui galèrent avec toutes les maladies infantiles, je les plains. Chacun fait ce qu’il veut, bien sur mais j’en ai ressenti les bienfaits dans mon corps et j’en vois les bénéfices sur la santé de mes enfants. Je ne suis pour autant pas une Gwyneth, mais ça vaut le coup de se pencher sur la question !

  • Alex, please share with us the granola bar recipe!! I’m just like the previous version of you, I love eating in small quantities and I always have a snack around 4pm like if I was a 6yo… I really wish I could do such a diet but life without cheese and chocolate? How can you deal with that? Anyway, congrats on that achievement!!

  • Hi Flore! Life without cheese has been difficult, I won’t lie! But I’ve been having dark chocolate (I like the Lindt 90% Dark) and it makes life a little easier ;)

  • Carrément trop trash pour moi ! par contre si j’approuve vraiment l’idée de faire attention à ce que l’on mange, me demande pourquoi paleolithique: ils avaient une espérance de vie de ouf???

  • hello Alex
    je suis à moitié convaincue. L’obsession alimentaire conduit à des comportements de restriction cognitive assez flippants (menant donc un peu à l’obsession des régimes et tout le tintouin). Pour moi, rien ne devrait être prohibé, si tant est que tu le savoures réellement. En France les docteurs Zermati et Apfeldorfer parlent beaucoup de cela, de ces palanquées de patients qui échouent chez eux pour des troubles du comportement alimentaire, qui ont commencé par ce type d’intérêt un peu marqué avec des aliments “interdits”. Je vais pas non plus mentir : c’est dur. J’ai moi-même envie parfois de raccourcir le truc en disant ‘bon ça, j’arrête pendant une période x et j’irai mieux”. Sauf que ça crée de véritables diabolisations alimentaires et ensuite, tu retombes dans les angoisses de régimes and co.

    De mon côté, j’essaie un truc “ajouté” à ma conso : plus plus plus de fruits, et un bol le matin. pour l’instant j’aime bien. Sauf que j’y pense vraiment beaucoup, et cet aspect-là me déplait…
    bref ton post est intéressant, mais quand on lit les réactions en-dessous, le “fanatisme alimentaire” de certains rappellent à quel point on a fait de l’alimentation un étendard du “tout ou rien”.

  • Merci :)

  • Merci à Clue pour cet avis qui détonne dans l’ambiance “contrôlons notre alimentation” des commentaires.

    Bien sûr, l’expérience du régime Paleo est intéressante et bien sûr, “You are what you eat”. Cependant, comme le disent sans relâche Apfeldorfer, Zermati et tous les médecins et chercheurs du GROS (Groupe de Réflexion sur l’Obésité et le Surpoids), exclure des aliments – et tout régime repose sur l’exclusion d’un ou plusieurs groupes d’aliments – revient à les diaboliser et entretient une logique de culpabilité et de souffrance chaque fois que l’on “craque”, logique qui peut conduire à des troubles graves du comportement alimentaire. On passe alors ses journées à réfléchir à ce qu’on va manger et le régime devient une obsession alimentaire qui peut prendre le pas sur tout le reste.
    Pris comme une façon de mieux se connaître, comme un changement d’habitudes alimentaires, comme une expérience sur soi-même, ce régime peut avoir son intérêt. Mais sur la durée, notre alimentation ne peut pas reposer sur l’exclusion de groupes d’aliments (sauf consignes médicales bien sûr).
    “You are what you eat”, et bien sûr il faut chercher à respecter la planète et les animaux que l’on mange, pour mieux se respecter soi-même. Mais aussi, si l’on veut jouer avec les mots, “you eat as you are”, et aucun être humain n’est exempt de paradoxes, vin et fromage un jour, jus de légumes un autre. C’est dans l’ordre des choses, et la morale, le Bien et le Mal n’ont rien à voir là-dedans.

    Sur la question, un livre très intéressant et qui rend plus léger : “Mangez en paix”, du docteur Apfeldorfer dont il est question plus haut.

    Et le lien vers le site du GROS :

  • Hi Alex–what an interesting post! I have to say, when I started reading I thought, this can’t be Garance, she’s French and the French have already mastered the best diet! In fact, I just started my own experiment with the French diet and I’m seeing a lot of the same effects that you are on your paleo diet. Maybe the key is the unprocessed foods and cooking at home? Anyway, congrats and let us know if you decide to try any other diets!

  • Tu me donnes envie d’essayer!
    En plus j’ai une intolérance au gluten et au lactose donc ça ne peut que me faire du bien. J’essaye de respecter ce qui est bon pour moi mais une fois que je craque c’est dur de me re-discipliner!

    Me passer de pain, de lait et de fromage, pas de problème! A l’exception de la mozzarella – c est impossiiiible -. Mais me passer de sauce, ça me paraît carrément suicidaire!
    Tes repas n’étaient-ils pas trop fades? Comment as-tu fait pour les rendre savoureux?

    Et je suis intéressée par ta recette de barres céréales :)


  • Nooooo not Paleo! First, any anthropologist will tell you it has absolutely no basis in history or science; when early humans were evolving, they had primitive tools and only ate meat about once/month, if at all. There were no industrial eggs like there are today. The diet was almost completely plant-based. To repeat: early human were vegetarians! So if the goal is to “eat the way you evolved to eat,” Paleo is not “loosely based” on evolution; it’s the opposite. Second, why on earth would you embrace a diet that cuts out items you know are good for you, such as whole grains and legumes? What could possibly be the rationale for excluding healthy food groups? The only reason I can think of is for marketing. “Here are the arbitrary rules. Come buy our book!” Finally, I think the reason you feel good is because you’ve cut out alcohol and processed foods/ sugar. Dairy in moderation should be fine, especially if it’s organic or light dairy like in Europe (have you ever noticed how much heavier the milk and cheese in the US is?).

    Sorry for the rant, but it’s frustrating to see a BS diet like Paleo being advocated on a blog that I hold in such high esteem! Living in LA, I’m very skeptical of the fashion and entertainment industries’ versions of what’s “healthy,” be it food or exercise, and Paleo is another example of taking food to illogical extremes. (Also, can we stop demonizing gluten? It’s just a protein that holds carbs together. Unless you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, gluten is healthier than the alternative, which is starch or fat.)

  • Hi JB! I’m not trying to push paleo at all, just sharing my experience with it. I agree that legumes and whole grains are great for you and they are part of what I eat now (and they were before). Paleo was something I wanted to try after hearing so much about it, and for me it was helpful to have something to follow while cutting out processed foods/sugar. It was an experience that made me think more about what I was eating but I know it is not for everyone :) Thank you for your comment! Alex

  • Just curious, how do you find dairy in the US to be heavier than in Europe? When I first arrived in the US four years ago I was a bit taken aback by how tasteless the milk is here. Most of my friends only drink 2% or 0% milk, which I think tastes like water and also tends to take on a suspicious old grey sock color with cereals. I find that American milk isn’t heavy enough.

  • Thank you for your contribution! I never heard of the paleo diet, but it absolutely sounds too crazy. Everything in moderation, unprocessed foods and an emphasis on vegetables should be more than enough for a healthy balanced diet. For me it’s hard to believe that it doesn’t come naturally to some people, but I guess those are the perks of growing up on the countryside with a huge vegetable garden (and a huge freezer and cellar).


  • Caroline Mt April, 17 2014, 12:01 / Reply

    Je ne me lancerai jamais dans un régime toute seule comme ça, mais je suis vraiment intéressée par l’alimentation et notamment les modes de production. Je suis allée voir un diététicien il y a peu, il a soigné les maux de ventre de ma soeur. Je préfère m’en remettre à un professionnel pour ne pas faire de conneries. Ce qu’il m’a donné correspond au régime “crétois” ou méditerranéen.
    Il me fait également tester le sans gluten et sans lait de vache pour voir si cela a une incidence sur mon acné adulte. Je verrai s’il y a un impact dans 3 mois.

    Et Alex, j’ai une question hyper importante : OU AS-TU TROUVE DE LA VIANDE NOURRIE A L’HERBE?? en France je suis en galère énorme pour en trouver, car impossible de savoir sur les étiquettes, il faut démarcher les bouchers et poser plein de questions.

  • Moi je veux bien ta recette de granola pour savoir comment tu fais pour mettre le moins de sucre possible dedans ! Ensuite, est-ce que cette cure doit être renouvelée et si oui combien de fois dans l’année ?

  • Rien que le mot “regime” me fait fremir. Manger de (presque) tout avec grande moderation est mon motto.

  • life without dairy is not worth living.
    balance is everything!

  • Bonjour Alex,

    Moi qui suis végétarienne sans gluten, j’adorerais avoir la recette des barres de céréales maison !


  • Mariateresa April, 17 2014, 1:00 / Reply

    OUI! La recette!

  • I highly recommend you be careful about granola bars and “Healthy” cereals as they have a super high sugar content. Sugar is in everything, in huge amounts, and it’s poison. Seriously we consume it in crazy amounts. I stopped eating sugar of any kind except for the natural stuff in fruits of course and the difference is astounding.

    I would love the recipe!

    Also, almost all chocolate has soy lecithin in it. I wouldn’t Kenner anyone I love go near that. There are plenty of brands that don’t add soy, just have to search a little. Trader joes makes a good chocolate bar that has none.

    Congrats and good luck!

  • Hi Alex. Kudos on your decision to eat a more natural and healthful decision. I went paleo a few months ago to try and deal with my IBS (induced from years of bulimia and a recent 6 month stint on antibiotics). While I still get the occasional flare up, I can say that my immunity and stomach pain have improved an incredible amount. Additionally, my hair and skin are better and I’m a little leaner (I don’t weigh myself and doubt I’ve really lost weight, but my face is thinner and my clothes fit better), and I feel happy and energetic way more often than before.

    I have to say that I don’t generally call myself paleo, because the term turns people off, so I usually just refer to the way I eat as grain and (mostly) sugar free, with an emphasis on non-inflammitory high-quality foods. I write a lot about my food and the importance of thoughtful cooking on my blog Cooking With Bells On. I hope the recipes there can help you out! Best of luck!!

  • Elizabeth April, 17 2014, 1:21 / Reply

    Completely true!! I find that Americans especially try and “fix” whatever it is by taking something else–another pill another whatever. But what you put into your body is what your body reacts to- as simple as that! I am sensitive to egg, cowsmilk, soy, cranberry, pesto, peanut, onions, and mushrooms. And it can be really hard. But has changed my life completely, and I am so happy for it.

    have you been to hu kitchen on 13th and 5th ave?


  • I haven’t been yet but dying to go! I hear it is amazing! Thank you for your comment! xo Alex

  • This post is a good motivation for starting a change. I think our problem is we don’t accept that every one’s body is different. For those whole blaming Alex of pushing any specific diet I think you should follow what is good for your body. Her message here is watching what you eat help you both mentally and physically. I can’t have dairy my body reacts bad and it screws my weight. I love milk I love to have my latte and I love cheese and yogurts but I can’t so I have to cut it at least to once in a while. so everyone should look what is good for their body. And thank you Alex that was so nice sweet and helpful.

  • Please give us your tips for home made cereals bar! :)

  • Way to stick with it Alex! I recently did a 21 day full foods, vegan/gluten free (and no caffeine!) lifestyle change and the first week was definitely the toughest (I was craving cheese so much). I kept explaining to my friends that it wasn’t a diet but really about conscious eating. I have added back in other foods now but I definitely think about what I am eating and how it will affect my energy and body. Apple slices with almond butter is my go to snack. My favorite dinner is now roasted cauliflower and broccoli topped with cilantro pesto.

  • After hearing about you sleeping better, I feel the need to try this! To be honest, I don’t eat particularly great most days, but when I’m eating a lot of vegetables, I can see a noticeable improvement in my skin, so I really need to start doing that again!

    Arielle from Tangled Musings

  • Pleeease share that granola bar recipe, I was wishing for one literally yesterday! I’ve been doing tons of running lately and I’m ALWAYS hungry and tearing through snacks. Granola bars are so easy, but even the “healthy” ones at the store aren’t so great. Totally agree that food affects your overall sense of well-being, I get so irritated when I see posts in my feed about calories being calories, equal across the board no matter the source. 100 calories of raw veggies and nuts vs. 100 calories of Big Mac– nope, not the same.

  • Hi Alex,

    I understand what you did. I also test a vegan week and I was feeling great. But I think it’s better to eat everything in small quantities otherwise you’ll be frustrated and after you eating behavior could
    become strange… like for every other diet ! And the big Problem for this it’s the social aspect, how are you doing in Restaurant? when you’re invited by friends? in your family?
    But I think in the US it’s easier because you’re used to doing this like this, in France you can’t tell you grand mother you can’t eat her Boeuf Bourguignon or mousse au chocolat because you’re eating Paleo ;-)

  • Cavemen also had to chase their food, which modern paleo people don’t

  • cumulus April, 17 2014, 2:16 / Reply

    hey alex!
    that is really interresting can you give us some recipe for your meals or blogs like you did

  • Funny you wrote this today because my post is ” You are what you…” and I make reference to eat haha. I feel like that saying is so true. When we eat less (not starving ourselves, but less) we feel better. we have more energy, we feel happier. It’s ok to throw in some dark chocolate… it’s the little pleasures that count!
    Xo, Belen
    Androbel Insider

  • No beer, no wine?

  • I tried going paleo too and it was hard! I managed to go prob ~90-95% paleo for two weeks then I didn’t feel I could keep it up anymore. I had to prepare a lot more of my own food and that took time, of course, that I am short on sometimes. It also really limited my lunch options given what’s around my workplace. (Plus I reeaaally like having a sandwich sometimes.) It was difficult, but I did like that it forced me to think of different things I could eat for meals and snacks and I switch up my food routine more often now. I wouldn’t say I felt any different physically over those two weeks (I sleep like a rock anyway and am fueled by caffeine…was coffee allowed…?) but I did feel better about my eating choices.

  • Thumbs up Alex for staying strong, but for the rest of us, can we please have a Garance-like ending to the story as well, where the last line says something that takes the pressure off, such as at least a hint towards a croissant :-)

  • J’apprécie le bon sens de cet article. En fait, j’adore cet article. BRAVO !

    Un détail m’a fait tiquer, par contre : “c’est vrai, ça coûte un peu plus de temps et d’argent, mais je vous promets que ça en vaut largement la peine.” Okay. WHAT ? C’est drôle comme on se sent obligé-e de s’excuser d’augmenter un peu son budget alimentation quand on se met à adopter une façon de manger significativement plus saine que l’ancienne. Comme s’il y avait quelque chose de honteux, de suspect ou de farfelu à cela.

    Ce qui est surprenant, c’est que ce genre de réflexe survienne sur un blog mode/beauté où (et c’est le jeu !) on n’hésite pas à parler de vêtements, de sacs, de chaussures qui coûtent facilement un smic (“oui, mais c’est un investissement de vie !”). Où il arrive qu’on fasse les louanges de crèmes, de sérums, de produits indispensables qui peuvent aller de 40 à 200 euros…

    Alors, ne vous y trompez pas. Je ne vous reproche pas de parler de fringues et de cosmétiques sur un blog plutôt axé luxe. Je ne vous reproche d’ailleurs rien du tout (sourire de puppy bienveillant).

    Seulement, je pense que ça trahit quelque chose d’intéressant sur le rapport qu’entretiennent les gens à la presse mode, beauté, luxe.
    Quand on parle lyfestyle dans un contexte axé mode et beauté, on tape toujours un peu dans le fantasme. Quand on parle bouffe, tout de suite, on tombe dans le domaine du quotidien, du concret, du solide, hahaha ! Et ça devient compliquer de conseiller des trucs à la légère, de ne pas prendre en compte la réalité des lectrices/lecteurs.

    Bref, ne nous excusons pas de promouvoir une alimentation plus saine, et plus “grounded”. C’est encore plus cool & efficace & utile qu’une crème à 200 euros (pourtant, qu’est ce que ça peut être cool une crème sublime…)
    Et c’est bien, de profiter de la popularité de ce blog pour semer des petites graines positives dans la tête des gens sans virer gourou, mais partageant simplement et honnêtement son propre retour d’expérience, comme tu le fais. De toute façon, les lectrices-eurs feront comme avec le reste du contenu du blog : ils “feront leur propre cuisine” avec ! elles s’en inspireront peut être, se le réaproprieront à leur sauce, en fonction de ce qui leur semble coller le mieux à leur volonté, leurs envies, leur budget. No worries, et encore merci de partager.


    THNK U FOR GIVING ME THAT DAILY TRUE LUXURY LESSON (affordable for everybody) <3

  • Alexandra April, 17 2014, 4:17 / Reply

    Waw 30 jours sans fromage, BRAVO!!!! Le paléo me tente mais impossible de faire sans fromage pendant 30 jours!! Par contre je suis très intéressée par ta recette d’en-cas granola!!


  • Whoa! Congratulations on sticking through with the Paleo diet (lifestyle) for 30 days! I’m so pleased to be hearing the words p-a-l-e-o on a fashion blog. It seems much of the time, when nutrition and health and fashion collide, eating is reduced to berries, oats, juices, no/less meat or any real focus on protein. I also commend you on being able to present it in a way that is extremely palatable, I think you have written a very fair post without pushing any viewpoints!

    I have been paleo-ish for two+ years, so it can be done. I hardly ever mention to any anymore because it tends to trigger some kind of knee jerk reaction. I still eat the occasional bread and treat, and even ice cream here and there but it’s an amazing and sustainable way of eating if you really believe in it. My skin has never looked better since changing my carboholic ways. I think once you break it down, paleo is REALLY a protein and plant based diet with minimum to no processed food and that is really the most important point of all! The bottom line is about real food and not imitating any cavemen.

    and you gotta visit Hu Kitchen!!

  • Hello, will you please have byline on here made a bit larger, or darker print? I cannot see it that well and would help to make really clear who is writing! Thank you, cheers, merci

  • Nice work! I want to try it. The hard part for me is going to be getting my hubby on board. But I guess if I eat that way he’ll mostly follow. By the way I’m looking up Susan Miller Horoscope and the last time I said I was taking a break from dating was right when I met my husband. Hope the same happens for you. :D

  • Hi Alex, Over the years I’ve perfected the recipe for my chewy, crunchy, nutty, fruity, snackers that I find are the perfect healthy pick-me-up. Working on a gluten-free version now. Wish I could share but contemplating selling online.


  • Jayne S April, 17 2014, 5:06 / Reply

    Great post, I’ve been ‘eating clean’ for the past week and feel so much better for it, sleeping better, no 4pm sugar craving etc Finding that I’m missing the routine of going for my daily (sugar loaded) Starbucks though, that’s the hardest habit to break!

  • Dagmara April, 18 2014, 4:10

    Hi, try matcha lattes. Buy a small French press. Put half to 1 tsp of organic matcha powder in a cup (any more and it will be too bitter). Heat up 1.5 cups of any nut milk you like on stove or in microwave (I like vanilla almond milk). Put 2 tbsp of the heated milk in the cup of matcha and whisk to get rid of clumps. Add sweetener now if you wish (agave, maple syrup, honey). Pour remaining hot milk into French press and pump it until frothy. Pour the milk into the cup of matcha and enjoy. I also like to top it with cinnamon because cinnamon has lots of health benefits too. (Matcha has caffeine, but less than coffee, and I find it doesn’t cause the crash that coffee can. You can also sub tea for matcha using this method.)

  • Having completed a Whole 30 earlier this year I totally understand how good you felt eating Paleo. Like you though I don’t adhere to it 100% but try to eat as much whole food as possible rather than processed food. Some people call it a fad but what’s wrong with eating healthy unprocessed food. BTW – cheese and wine were what I missed the most but I haven’t gone back to eating as much cheese as I used to. (Lets not talk about the wine!!)

  • here where u can be french….buy what fresh in the market daily….be a food snob!!!

  • I want that granola bar recipe! Please dish! The only one I have uses melted marshmallows to stick everything together (delicious, but certainly not paleo).

  • I think you feel better because a) you cut out the processed foods and sugar and b) you added whole fruits and vegetable. However, the meat, dairy, and eggs is going to harm you, and that’s a scientific fact. Better to go vegan:

  • Congratulations! Hey, I have a Ph.D. in biology and am a tenured professor at Berkeley and I don’t care what people call this way of eating (the term paleo is silly) but this way of eating just simply works. All the nay-sayers — they just have to try it for a week or so and their arguments will evaporate….

    Excellent resource is the blog and new books by Sarah Ballantyne (no connection, I’m just a fan; she’s a very smart scientist and also posts great recipes) —

    So thank you for posting this, glad to hear you describe the same reaction so many of us are having…

  • Could you please share the granola bar recipe? Thank you!

  • FROMAGE : l’espèce “Homo” consomme du fromage depuis qu’elle chasse ou consomme des dépouilles d’animaux de façon opportuniste. En effet “Homo” rencontre le fromage dans l’estomac des jeunes animaux encore allaités qu’il consomme.
    C’est alors une source de calcium non négligeable et Homo devait plutôt se la disputer !
    Alors pourquoi s’en priver ?

    BARRES DE CEREALES : il suffit de mettre les mots clés “barres de céréales paléo” dans Google et le tour est joué. ça affiche plein de recettes ;)

  • Sandrine April, 18 2014, 3:51 / Reply

    Quel dommage de ne pas avoir accompagné ce régime d’un peu de paléo-fitness! du type grimper aux arbres ou soulever des pierres! activités probablement plus faciles en milieu rural qu’à NY (j’ai encore des gravats à évacuer dans mon jardin, et dans branches de prunier à couper si ça vous dit).
    De mon côté j’ai testé le boop camp façon V.Orsoni pendant un mois. Pour retrouver de l’énergie et perdre un peu de poids. Au contraire du paléo, les céréales sont permises. Pas de viandes rouges. Pas de gluten ni produits laitiers. Pas de produits transformés. Vrai intérêt detox pour la grande allergique que je suis. Pas vraiment un régime, plutôt un changement d’habitudes alimentaires. Mais quand même -4kg toujours pas repris après un mois (suis d’une grande région productrice de fromages, donc suppression des produits laitiers= suppression d’un produit de base de mon alimentation: le fromage ). Ai découvert un délicieux mélange quinoa -boulgour! je fais désormais moi même mon pain (mélange farine céréales + sarrasin) Le seul inconvénient serait de devenir un peu orthoréxique et de faire gaffe désormais à toujours manger des truc sains.

  • Clotilde April, 19 2014, 8:23

    Euuuuh, le boulgour c’est du blé! Donc c’est du gluten!

  • The main reason you feel better is because you are not eating sugar. Processed food is full of it.

  • Je suis vegan depuis deux mois, et c’est exatement ça ! Je dors mieux, j’ai plus d’energie, je suis plus calme, j’ai une meilleure peau, et surtout il s’est opéré une révolution psychologique, j’ai l’impression que tout est plus clair, plus net, je suis bien plus heureuse aujourd’hui qu’il y a deux mois !
    Essaye de pousser la choses et de ne plus manger de viande, tu te sentiras encore mieux :)

  • Alexandra April, 18 2014, 4:48 / Reply

    En tant qu’allergique au lactose et intolérante au gluten, je suis trop trend setter régime paléo depuis quelques années alors ! Bon si non les filles, si vous n’avez pas de problème particulier (après analyses de sang et tutti) profitez de la vie et du fromage et du bon pain ! Vous n’avez pas idée du nombre de fois où je voudrais bien me faire un Poilâne avec du camembert ….

  • lucie coquette April, 19 2014, 5:17

    Je compatis!!! Ma vie sans fromage serait d’une tristesse…. Et même si je fais super gaffe à ce que je mange, même si depuis quelques temps je glisse une journée détox dans ma semaine, la vie ne vaut pas la peine d’être vécue sans ces petits plaisirs gustatifs que sont le vin, le fromage, le pain, …! Et comme tu le soulignes parfaitement, celles et ceux qui ont la chance de ne pas être allergique ou intolérant, ou qui sont tout simplement en bonne santé devraient en profiter et, tout en restant raisonnable, ne pas s’ajouter de contraintes alimentaires!

  • Kenneth April, 18 2014, 7:02 / Reply

    Hi Alex! Please share your Granola Bar recipe on your next post :)

  • Kimberly April, 18 2014, 8:59 / Reply

    yes,please share the granola recipe in a post. I know many people who have tried the paleo. I think its a great way to detox from all the crap while still being really healthy. Some have stuck with it others have done what you have. I may have to try it!

  • this is a topic that will go on forever, like ever ever…because there’s always that struggle between what i should and what I want and then what’s really good for me.
    I am all into that , A LOT. It all started since early teens and I’ve gone through some diets, and different foods, but most of all, I think some major shifts in the way i think, because simply, i learned.

    And there are few things i could swear by, or some techniques …but it all requires that bit of a will power which sometimes is difficult to harness, especially if you’re at the checkout point and there’s literally the world-wide selection of chocolate bars or biscuits or any other rubbish…

    The thing is – I totally believe in ‘you are what you eat’ thing and thats why I think every now and again I include a bit of a naughty scone or cinnamon swirl, or macaron or whatever I really crave for, because …as much as I want to be healthy – I want to keep my views and habbits in balance .
    The cereal bars thing you wrote there – I learned maybe 7 years ago and just stopped buying them all together. My now to go bar is NAKD ( all natural ingredients ) but thats again not the healthiest option as its glycimic load is on the high level. So sometimes I better have a banana. I also have my protein bar (cant rememeber the brand, but I studied the ingrediets list and it’s kind of ok ) as a guilt-free goodie :)

    I believe in fruit and water! Mainly high water content fruit and veggies and ….water again :) I believe in soaked nuts and sunshine vitamin D :) a good laugh and a proper water fasting as a detox!

    Good luck with your efforts :)

    Sandra from

  • J’ai passé ma vie (je déconne pas) à enchaîner les régimes, dû au milieu de la mode dont je suis issue, les crèmes minceur (non pas que je soit rondes), j’ai toujours eu cette obession de la minceur et du poid mais malgrè tout je craquais toujours sur les sucreries au bureau, les dejeuners rapide pas très équilibré.. Bref j’en passe ! Et depuis deux mois j’ai decide de vraiment mieux manger, entre paleo et bio.. C’est simple ma vie à changer, non seulement je reste mince d’environ 7kg (en moins) que je ne reprend pas mais en plus ma peau est belle et net !
    Au tout début c’etait dur, voir très dur.. Je suis fan de CUPCAKE! Mais ensuite c’est devenu un rythme de vie et bien entendu je ne m’empêche pas de craquer de temps en temps (around 1/sem) sur un chocolat ou patisserie il faut savoir se faire plaisir pour ne surtout pas se sentir frustré c’est hyper important !
    Je me sens bien dans mon corps, bien dans ma peau et tout cela joue sur mon morale mon atittude !

    ps : mon petit conseil secret buvez enormement d’eau chaque jour c’est excellent pour TOUT !

    Voila bissous les filles n’hésitez pas à vous lancer vous ne regretterez pas !


  • So many restrictions and promises of optimum health from so many women. I am glad that women care about their food and think about their physical and emotiional health.
    I always think of those farmers, herders and ranchers who ate meat, bread and butter at every meal. I think of my Mother, who as a young girl, ate bacon for breakfast and meat at lunch and dinner. There were no additives in their foods and everything was fresh. Most importantly, their life was an active life. Thus, their bodies used their food for energy; the food didn’t meander slowly through their systems. Also, they did not have the “keeping up with the world” attitude that current people have. They were content with their life and their stress was realistic and their body, mind and soul could handle the changes and difficulties life brings. They may have had a shorter life span, however, few dies from long gruesome illnesses.
    Food is important. But, let us not forget the rest of life’s equally important parts.

  • ‘the keeping up with the world’ part is so true though :( however sad it is…

  • Ce régime c’est un peu n’importe quoi.
    Je ne mange plus de poisson car ils sont presque tous d’élevage. Quand j’en trouve un sauvage, je dois me demander combien de pollution il a ingurgité. Donc si on veut manger sainement, de nos jours il faut oublier le poisson et les produits de la mer que les humains ont complètement fichu en l’air.
    Je ne mange que du poulet bio qui a couru en plein air, du canard qui a aussi vécu en plein air, et un morceau de steak de qualité une fois par mois. Des œufs de poules qui ont vécu en plein air. Rien d’autre. J’aime trop les animaux, je ne supporte pas la façon dont ils sont traités.
    Il faut ajouter le tofu.
    Mais supprimer les légumineuses c’est n’importe quoi car ce sont des protéines et des aliments a indice glycémique faible.
    Je n’ai qu’un seul régime: manger peu mais de la qualité: un croissant oui, mais de qualité, idem pour le chocolat ou les gâteaux….Et je passe tout mon temps en supermarché à lire les ingrédients des aliments…j’ai même trouvé un équivalent à Nutella mais Bio et sans huile Palme mais la marque: top secret (en magasin diététique)…

  • Caroline Mt April, 18 2014, 12:57

    J’ai fait le même constat que toi sur le poisson : un super reportage est passé sur Arte là-dessus. Leur conclusion était que les alternatives les meilleures sont le poisson d’élevage bio (ils doivent respecter des normes en terme de métaux lourds, de densité des poissons, d’absence d’antibiotiques, etc…) et aussi des tentatives d’élevage en circuit fermé (hyper intéressant mais encore très rare). Je te conseille de le voir, il doit peut-être encore y être sur

  • On ne peut que te feliciter moi j’y suis depuis 8 mois mais ne le fais pas a fond, disons plutot deux repas sur trois. Pourtant j’en ressens quand meme les benefices, sur ma forme surtout. Avant de commencer j’etais extremement fatiguee et j’attrapais tous les (gros) rhumes qui passaient. Des que je m’y suis mise ces problemes ont disparu.
    J’ai aussi note une bien meilleure digestion, et la disparition presque totale de mes brulures d’estomac. Et enfin, cerise sur le gateau, la taille qui s’affine…

  • patricia April, 18 2014, 2:11 / Reply

    hej alex, i would love to know the granola bar recipe!!! many thanks:)

  • Would love to hear more about the food you cooked – recipes please! I would love to try something like this but living in a dorm as a college student is rough when the healthiest food at the dining hall are wilted lettuce leaves at the salad bar ;-)

  • great story! me too though i am not following any diet, i decided to quit processed food more than a year ago. every sunday we would make muffins/cookies/granola bars (quiche in muffin tin is such a good idea!), plan the menu for the week and write it on a chalk board :) when you discover how easy it is to make granola bars yourself why buy them with so many unnecessary ingredients (and sugar!)? same to salad dressing which is even easier and so much better to make!

    i agree with one of the readers who is against “demonizing” gluten. to me all these diet fads are all about marketing – not saying they are necessarily bad but please do not blindly go gluten-free or whatever they are trying to push. do the research and decide after.

    i believe in following the season, covering as many colors as possible when eating vegetables and fruits but still everything in moderation (that said, almond croissants that i crave once in a while :)))

  • Alors, c’est quoi la fameuse recette de granola bars? Je suis vachement curieuse :)

  • Alex, I know first hand what it’s like to love the “bad” food as much as the good in moderation, so reading your post is so relatable. I had to change the way I eat (gluten & dairy free) for health reasons, and honestly, between the mental clarity, physical energy, better skin, stable mood, and overall WELLNESS, it’s like why not? Finding a diet or regimen that suits you and you can stick with is like the gates of heaven opening just for you! I love cooking and I love eating well without feeling deprived! Mindset & preparation! Carry on & be strong! You are far ahead of me… I still love beauty products too much to read the labels… Oh well!!!

  • Jasmine April, 19 2014, 1:16 / Reply

    Hi Alex,

    Looking for that granola recipe!!!
    Many thanks,

  • What a positive experience, good for you for sticking it out.

    Alex, you should for sure post the granola bar recipe!

    It’s super import to read the labels, I’m allergic to dairy so I normally have to any way, but making food from scratch is the best way to go about it. Cooking and baking is so much fun, and that way you know exactly what is going into your body.

    xo, em

  • Nice work :) Eating Paleo can be adapted differently, but generally it’s actually not dairy-free. The emphasis rather is on high fat, unpasteurised and raw dairy and grass-fed butter, and for moderate use only, (and only if you are actually lactose tolerant). The Primal Blueprint outlines all this quite well.

  • Alex, hace u loose weight with the paleo diet? I’m really intriged if the plan works for people who need to loose weight. Thanks and hugs from Buenos Aires!

  • Hi Alex,

    Please share your granola recipe!


  • Hey Alex, congrats for your achievement! I had a friend who has been suffering from mercury poisoning which has resulted in a long term vegan cleanse with the occasional free range egg. I was so impressed with how the food she was eating was healing her body that in January I made the commitment to do #30 days vegan (JZ and Beyonce started soon afterwards and so I was like go vegans!) It was really hard in the beginning, but so worth it! At the very least I learned so much about what I was putting into my body and the way that food affected me.

    The two things I missed most were the cheese and the chocolate too (I could eat dark chocolate to curve my cravings), and I did drink a bit of alcohol and I think a piece of cheese feel onto my plate once or twice. Great things I learned were to how to replace noodles with zoodles (zucchini), replace practically anything with avocado, and when I didn’t know something I was able to find an abundance of bloggers that all healed their illness with …. FOOD. Amazing right! I have since gone back and forth with a paleo diet and vegan diet, eliminated coffee, and added the occasional slice of pizza. I think my experiment changed the way I will eat food for the rest of my life and I am so grateful for that.

    Thanks for sharing,

  • Hey Alex! Thanks so much for sharing my recipe—if you like those banana muffins, I just posted chai pumpkin muffins today. Thought you might like ’em because they are pretty f*&@!ing delicious.

  • Hannah May, 3 2014, 5:04 / Reply

    Brava, Alex. Together with my husband and 2 young daughters, I’ve followed a Paleo lifestyle for 3 years now. Thank you for demonstrating that someone can be beautiful and fashionable AND take real care of herself by eating optimally. Don’t listen to the naysayers, trust what you feel (and see). Keep it up!

  • Et alors, deux mois après, quel résultat ? Ça serait bien de rédiger un nouveau post pour faire le point. Tenable sur la durée ? Quels effets sur la santé et le moral ? Merci.

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