Friday, December 14, 2012

Primal time

It's been a looong time since I've blogged so I'm not even going to attempt to catch everyone up on what's been going on in our lives since March.  I'll just start fresh.  On Monday of this week I started the Primal Blueprint diet (a variation of Paleo and even the Maker's Diet.)  I've been interested in Paleo for a while but never thought I could do it.   While I'm pretty thin, there's some areas I'd like to trim down but I'm not really looking to lose weight.  If you know anything about me, you know that I battle with stomach problems.  I also fight fatigue and low energy quite a bit.   Paleo/Primal is supposed to virtually eliminate all of these things.

So after John Spivey brought it up to me on our way back from Florida last week I dove into articles, blogs and books and decided to give it a go.  I  won't go into the details on these diets because a) I don't have time, b) it's too scientific and c) there's plenty of information out there already.  One thing I will note up front is that many people that follow Paleo are evolutionists and I certainly am NOT an evolutionist.  I'm a whole-hearted Jesus lovin', God-created-this-earth-and-everything-in-it kinda girl.  I've done the research on this and both Primal and Paleo follow a "Biblically correct" way of eating.   I do NOT want any comments on this aspect, just needed to get that out there.  : )  If anyone has questions about this Primal/Paleo lifestyle, though, I'm happy to answer.

In a nutshell, these are things I'm NOT eating:

Grains (no bread, pasta, etc.)
Legumes (beans, peanuts, soybeans, peas)
Vegetable oils/hydrogenated/partially-hydrogentated oils
Limited dairy
Artificial sweeteners (except Stevia since it's plant-derived)
Limited salt

Here's the things I DO eat:

Meat (all variations but I try to eat organic, cage free, grass-fed varieties)
Eggs (cage free)
All non-starchy vegetables (with the exception of sweet potato on a rare occassion)
Fruits (primarily apples, berries)
Nuts (no peanuts though)
Limited dairy (full fat, raw, fermented, grass-fed varieties)
Healthy fats/oils:  avocado, real (pastured) butter, coconut/coconut oil/coconut milk, macadamia nut oil, other healthy oils and fats

Paleo is strict about dairy while Primal is "neutral."  Primal says to do what your body can tolerate, but limit dairy and make sure you're eating/consuming high quality, high fat dairy when you do eat it.   I've gotten quite a few questions about what I can eat, what a daily intake of food looks like for me, what's been the hardest to give up, etc. so I'm going to try and answer those questions:

Can you have condiments and salad dressing?
Well, yes and no.  I can eat plain mustard (I check the ingredients though) but no ketchup (has sugar) and no mayo.  Mayo is SUPER hard for me to give up so I've been researching recipes to make my own mayo with eggs and healthy oils.  I'll update when I find a good one!  I'll probably do the same for ketchup.  This week I've been putting EVOO and fresh lemon juice on my salads and I super love it.  Most salad dressings have sugar, all kinds of preservatives and unhealthy oils so those are essentially off limits.  I may look around and see if I can find something store-bought but for now, it's my simple EVOO/lemon concoction.

What has been the hardest to give up?
Probably grains.  I don't really crave sugar/sweets and honestly this week, I haven't really graved carbs either.  I've been completely satisfied. They say that's what happens, especially when you have some healthy fats in your diet!  The other thing that's hard (maybe even harder than grains) is limited salt.   I'm a salt whore.

What about Emma?  Does she eat this way too?
Not really.  When I cook, yes she's eating Paleo/Primal and I cook a lot but I don't expect a 10 year old to understand the science behind this lifestyle.  Plus, she's at her dad's some and I have no control over what she eats there.  So I definitely keep standard American diet (SAD)  food in my house for her.  My philosophy is I do the best I can to provide her with as healthy a diet as possible and that's about it!

What does a typical day of food look like for you?
This blog post has gotten a bit long so I'll save this for another one, check back soon!

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