Nutrition Challenge Reflections

Test #1

Our local “Paleo Challenge” ended earlier this week, and while most of the criteria are those I follow anyway, I had made a personal commitment to NO COFFEE for the last 6 weeks and I was READY to reintroduce a cup!

What I noticed during the Challenge was that I certainly didn’t NEED coffee to get me going in the morning. The ritual of a hot mug of liquid was fulfilled by a cup of tea. BUT, I definitely missed the taste, smell and “texture” of coffee (not sure I’ve ever described a drink as having texture, but coffee and tea have different “texture” to me??)!! It was hard to smell my husband’s morning cup and not miss it.


If you have read my post on Transitioning from a Nutrition Challenge to Everyday Life than you know my recommendation is to “test” one food item at a time for a few days to see how your body responds. Well, coffee was my first test – that was a no-brainer. One cup a day, first thing in the morning, black!



  • I like coffee! BUT, it was less impressive than I remembered it.
  • My GI system seems to be tolerating the one cup just fine. I haven’t felt or noticed anything bothersome. I do believe the acidity negatively affects me beyond one cup!
  • I will continue with my one cup of black coffee first thing in the morning, but I also intend to take a day off here and there.


Test #2

My second question going into this Challenge was how sensitive am I to dairy? My husband and I have done a few “Paleo Challenges” to date, but we haven’t systematically tested dairy upon completion of our trials – at least not with absolute commitment. For both of us, this was a major goal this go around. We don’t include much dairy in our daily meals, but we do use grass-fed butter and raw organic cheese from time to time, and my husband’s favorite treat is quality vanilla bean ice cream. So, curious we were. After my coffee test, dairy was next in line. Again, my advice is to include a little of the “item” in question with each meal for a few days and take note of any symptoms that arise.


Our “test” started a few nights ago while celebrating our son’s birthday! Two small scoops of organic vanilla bean ice cream. Then, the next day looked like this:


• Scrambled eggs with Organic Valley Raw Cheddar Cheese

• Served over a bed of organic greens

• Sliced peppers

Banana Paleo Pancakes


• Leftover shredded pork shoulder

• Served over organic mixed greens

• Leftover baked acorn squash with Organic Valley Pasture-raised Butter

On a side note: have you ever cooked your sweet potatoes in a slow cooker?! It’s so easy! I never would have thought to try until looking through Chrissy Gower’s Paleo Slow Cooking cookbook.


• Grilled chicken thighs

• Steamed broccoli

• Slow cooked sweet potato with Organic Valley Pasture-raised Butter



After a few days of similar testing,

  • I was more affected by the ice cream than raw cheddar or butter (stomach pain)
  • In fact, I haven’t noticed any significant symptoms from small amounts of butter or raw cheddar
  • I tried organic pasture-raised heavy cream in my coffee the third morning, and decided it was nothing to write home about. I prefer my coffee black.


For those of you who have participated in a “Paleo Challenge” and tried systematically re-introducing items you were curious about, what have your experiences been? Pleas share in the comments below!

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Comments (4)

  • Nancy Tallman 6 years ago Reply

    I thought it was interesting and quite honest that you noted no symptoms with small amounts of full fat dairy. I have noted the same for me personally and intend to continue eating these foods in small quantities since they are truly flavor enhancers. I ate a bit of Greek yogurt on Thursday night as “dessert” and did not notice any negative effects. While I am sure lactose intolerance is common among adults, I am happy to note that I can easily tolerate small quantities. I do not believe “large quantities” are a wise dietary choice, so I doubt I will be testing that.

  • primalpeak 6 years ago Reply

    I agree – full fat dairy items are flavor enhancers and nice to be able to include in small quantities! I know many adults who simply can’t tolerate a smidgen, but I’m happy to find that so far so good for me. Just as you said, I will be including little bits here and there of pastured butter and raw cheese.

  • Lizy 6 years ago Reply

    My favorite food is sushi, I would not want to live in a world where I cannot have it occasionally. So that was my first test. It was delicious, but I definitely paid for it later. Tummy bloat and discomfort, which was heart-breaking. I tried again because when we went I had everything from the soy sauce to the tempura to the rice to the sauces. The 2nd trip I had plain sushi, no soy and no tempura. I am happy to say that while I noticed a difference, there was no discomfort. So in the future I will just be careful with the type of sushi I have. I know the rice isn’t great, but it doesn’t affect me as much as the other options at the restaurant

    primalpeak 6 years ago Reply

    As crazy (or high maintenance) as it sounds, some “paleo” peeps will bring a little container of Coconut Aminos with them when they go out for sushi to substitute the soy sauce! I would agree that the rice is the lesser of the evils compared to soy, tempura and sauces with gluten.

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