Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Primal, baby!

Have you heard about eating Primal or Paleo?  

I've known about Paleo for a while, but that eating style wasn't super exciting for me because it seemed too limited, not just just on grains, but on fats.  I know that when a diet is too limited, it makes it very hard to stay on a certain eating plan, so I blew off eating Paleo.  

Then my friend Heidi started talking about eating "Primal", and how she'd lost quite a bit of weight effortlessly.  That got my attention.  Heidi's post here is a great one as to how it has changed her family and their eating habits.  She directed me to Marks Daily Apple as a great source for eating primally and this post here explains the difference between Paleo and Primal.

I started eating primally in December while Dave was deployed and really felt liberated.  No more grains and no more sugar means no more grains and no more sugar!  Simple.  

Dave was very hesitant at first, and he did have a harder time going from the SAD (Standard American Diet) to eating primal than I did.  It was simple for me (shockingly), but I think Dave was more addicted to sugar than I was.  Within a couple of days though, he started feeling better and we've continued this eating style now for nearly 4 months.  

We have allowed a couple of cheats since then (mostly ice cream and pizza), but overall have stuck to the plan.  I've lost 15lbs so far.  I'm averaging a pound a week which seems slow, but in reality, weight loss is not the overall goal.  It's a side effect of a good diet.

The result of primal eating is that we feel SO good.  Really.  The main thing we notice is that we don't get to that "chew your arm off" hunger stage.  There aren't the blood sugar dips.  Dave used to turn into a bear when he was hungry, but he doesn't anymore. This came in really handy on our trip when we often did not have a plentiful amount of food and a typical meal on the road was some jerky, nuts, dried fruit, carrots and hard boiled eggs.  Before, that would not have been okay for me, but now, it's satisfying enough.   

The other huge change for me is that I feel stable.  No more bloating, no more "fat days", no more skin breakouts.  I don't get feel nearly as lethargic.  When I have a tired day, it's sort of like a recovery day, because by the next day I'm back to feeling energetic again.
  
This style of eating is much more intuitive than other eating plans I've been on.  It's obvious what you can and can't eat.  It's a very back to the basics on fats...butter, animal fat, coconut oil and nut oils.  If you're tolerant of dairy, you can have whole milk (ideally raw, unpasteurized), cheeses, and heavy cream.  Our salad dressings are made with full fat plain greek yogurt seasoned to create a sort of ranch.  Instead of sour cream, we use greek yogurt.  My daily coffee is made with heavy cream and a tsp of pure maple syrup (that makes a pretty rad cup of coffee, let me tell ya).


This would be a typical meal for us. Some sort of meat (we're loving Rib-Eye steak right now) and a large serving of veggies or a huge salad.  Delicious!

I haven't totally switched the kids over to eating like this.  They eat more primally than they used to, but I'm taking it slow...weaving in ideal foods to replace the foods they love. They're becoming less resistant and more open to trying new things.

Unlike her older siblings, Lydia prefers primal foods.  She is 10 months old, and while she loves to nurse often, she is obsessed with eating and takes it very seriously as you can tell in these photos.
 She eats any or all of these things on a given day:
Avocados
Olives
Cheese
Teeny pieces of meat (sausage, chicken, pork etc..)
Bananas
Tomatoes
Mushrooms
Wilted Spinach
Blueberries
Raspberries
Blackberries
Bites of omelet
Diced Apples
Diced dried plums
Dried Cranberries
Freeze dried fruit
Yogurt
Cottage Cheese
 

She doesn't like strawberries or egg yolks.  She will choose a primal approved food over a grain based food every time which is really interesting and very different from how the other kids were at her age.

Mark has a 21 day challenge to weave you into the Primal Lifestyle

 I loved The Primal Blueprint as the most comprehensive in learning how to integrate the lifestyle into your day.  While I don't agree with Mark's premise on evolution, we do know there was a primal man, and this eating style just makes sense to me.  

  If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, you should try it.  I think you might just love it like we do! ♥






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2 comments:

  1. Thank you for this. I have been looking for a way to change our diet and maybe this will be helpful.
    Blessings, Joanne

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  2. Well I'm glad you took up the Primal lifestyle you will not be sorry and you will thin right down. A pound a week is excellent. We switched to Paleo first back in Aug 2010 then shortly after I found Primal Blueprint which suited me better. I have Mark's cook book too. One thing I will mention your cholesterol will go up but you might research about how that is actually good and not bad like we've been told. That it's really the LDL small and large particles that matter not the cholesterol number itself. Of course we don't get tests that show that so I just ignore the cholesterol thing myself. I always have good HDL. I think it's the carbs that cause the inflammation not the fats. In time I think the general medical community will come around on this but they are slow to make changes. Good thing you are starting to get the kids off the carbs they are so unhealthy. If I eat lots of sugar like I used to I get attacks of low blood sugar. Never have those anymore I really can't see myself going back to that. My weight dropped to 124 and I plan on keeping it there. Take Care and good luck with the plan at least food must be cheaper there.
    Nan

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