Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On Going Primal...

Well folks...I'm going Primal.  What is Primal?  Well, from the research I've done, my loose definition would be that it's a slightly looser Paleo.  Paleo people can sometimes be pretty hard core (at least the ones I've encountered).  However, that wasn't my reasoning behind not going Paleo.  In all honesty, they're pretty darn close to each other.  They are like the cousins that grew up living so close to each other that they end up more like siblings.  The main difference I found was that Primal seemed to be a little more understanding of what modern society has to offer and looked at a more holistic approach.  Primal also was not quite as "you may only eat these foods or you'll die!" as Paleo seemed to be.  Yes, I am over exaggerating alot a little.

Technically it's the Primal Blueprint (PB for short).  But when I say "I'm going PB" I think of peanut butter...which leads to all sorts of cravings.  Hence "Primal"...but it kind of sounds bad-ass.

80/20 Principle

What drew me to this was Mark's philosophy...."The Primal Blueprint, as we say, is all about Primal living. Living. Enjoying. Even chilling out. This is not a lab controlled experiment or a boot camp. No interns in white coats with clip boards will show up at your door or spy on you. No screaming sergeants will get in your face."  Let's be honest, with everything going on in my life, I could use some help chilling out.  Sometimes I could use alot of help!  What I don't need is an insane "diet" that will add stress or have me all paranoid about failing.  Enter the 80/20 Principle which outlines that you always want to shoot and plan for going 100%, but understands life sometimes gets in the way.  Likewise, they aim for more of a lifelong change rather than temporary cosmetic fix (like many "diets").  That, among many other reasons, is why I don't even call it a diet.  It's not.  It's cleaner eating.  It takes into consideration life and that a cheat meal every so often is not, in fact, going to kill you.  How many is probably dependant on what your personal goals are.  I read one case study who said she abided by the 80/20...and when that 20 included a cheat meal, she just made sure she enjoyed the hell out of every bite!  


This one is a tough one for me.  Paleo is very definitively against dairy---"the cavemen didn't eat cheese".  BTW, that is the worst comeback ever...talk to me when you have something more than a tagline.  Anyyyyyway.  I like my dairy; I have no digestive issues with dairy.  Therefore, I was not willing to cut it all out 100%.  Why?  I looked and still didn't find any real reason other than people that threw out that tagline or had digestive issues.  Again, this is why I like Primal; Dairy is put in a grey area.  You can have it...just try to make it the best stuff you can.  This doesn't mean you have to spend $100 on cheese, but it does mean that some things are out.  All that high processed stuff??  You gots to go.  Really, who thought that those slices of american cheese were "good" for you anyway.  The less they have to do to it, the better!!  I had already made a switch to unsweetened almond milk, so that's no problem.  But I love my greek yogurt and an occasional cheese.  

My tweeks: 
  • Opt for plain greek yogurt
    • Mix in my own fruit, nuts, etc
    • Don't eat it every day
  • No junk cheese!
    • Get the good stuff and enjoy it in small quantities
    • Goat cheese, feta, a nice sharp cheddar...
    • Don't eat it every day
Mark even has dairy in some of his meal diaries, so it firmly falls into that "with moderation" category in my opinion.  The exception to all this is probably kids/babies.  I have no idea how it works or what adjustments to make, but I don't really need to know :) 

Issues on my "ToDo"

Another thing I appreciate about Primal is that it's not a "cold turkey is mandatory" thing.  Example: I can't just stop drinking diet soda.  Ummm can we say rebound migraine from hell??  So I'm weaning off it.  If there are areas you know are going to be problems, take it slow.  It's a lifestyle change, not a "lose 10 pounds in 10 days" thing.  If that's what you're looking for, you should probably go elsewhere.  Don't get me wrong, I'm planning to lose weight, but I also know that I can't have an entire week or two of my life where I'm just tired-grumpy-irritable-dizzy and have migraines.  BTW, if you've ever gone cold turkey on something, those are all things that can happen (and do).  

My first step was to identify things I knew would be issues for me and research them.  Grains and legumes are out according to Primal.  Does that mean that you can never have brown rice again?  No...but the goal is that you won't want it.  I didn't think I was too bad on grains and legumes to begin with.  BUT, once I started really looking at it, I realized how much of that was in the things I do eat.  It all has to go and I have to figure out how to replace it with something I won't feel bummed about eating.  That left me with a little apprehension (what?!?! no fruit loops ever?!?!) and a little excitement, surprisingly.  I get into moods where I like to try new foods...yes, I have to be in the right mood.  And I have some weird sense of accomplishment when I try one and I like it.  It's like I just overcame something huge!  Hey...whatever works.

Sugar is going to be tough, but I know it's necessary.  I knew that before even looking at Primal.  *sigh*.  I don't think that means I'll be one of those raving crazies who tells someone to eat a can of sardines rather than have a few skittles, but I am going to have to work on this one.  Cause gosh-darn-it do I have a sweet tooth.  Luckily for me, quality chocolate is still an OK for occasional consumption.  Score!  It's all the cookies, skittles, twizzlers, and ice cream of the world that is going to bite me in the arse.  It will definitely be a work in progress.

Who am I kidding, this whole thing is going to be a work in progress...but what lifestyle change isn't???


  1. Woah we need to talk more about this! I'm going to start a yeast free diet in Sept, starting the baby steps now. Basically it's the same idea, no glutens/yeast and no sugar. So you can imagine that eliminates most things I love.

    I'll be eating lean meats, veggies, and most fruits. Lets cook sometime!

  2. Let's do a Paleo/Primal party!!! Haha, Lawson and I were talking about that the other day. I've actually been really surprised at myself. I thought I'd be more "give me pasta!" but I haven't. The only times I've been really jonesing for carb-alicious is when I was sick and just wanted squishy comfort food. LOL

    I have some great recipes I should share on here...when I get time :)