On going Primal.

I just realized that my last post was about the best way to cook oven fries.

And now I’m going to write a post about how we are giving up carbs (and dairy and sugar and processed things).

How ironic.

Yeah, I’m not so sure how to jump into telling you about this new life decision (because we haven’t had enough major life changes this summer or anything). Maybe I should start with a few confessions about myself to give you some context.

I feel bad about 75% of my life. I get stomach aches and feel nauseous after most things I eat, and I feel like I’m always tired and groggy. I get minor headaches 5 out of 7 days a week, and knock-down-drag-out migraines about every two or three weeks. I get sick alot- colds, flus, sinus issues. Really, I’m just not a very healthy person, it would seem. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember, so I just assumed that this is me. Sickly, weakly me.

But the most important thing to know here is that I struggle with bouts of depression and anxiety. Despite the fact that millions of other perfectly normal people deal with psychological issues too, its a little terrifying to admit that I have emotional problems to all of cyberspace. But, I believe in honesty, and I would certainly encourage others to share their issues with the world, so in an effort to reduce my own hypocrisy, I share. It’s more than “the blues” or even culture shock of moving to a new place; its serious, dark moments of hopelessness and fear.

This isn’t a post about depression, I don’t have time to share all that I would like to, but you have to understand how debilitating it can be to feel both physically and emotionally drained. ALL. THE. TIME. I am wholeheartedly convinced that body, mind, and spirit are beautifully linked in ways that we don’t fully understand, so maybe embarking on a new lifestyle and approach to health can help heal them all.

Beginning next week, John Mark and I are going to start the Primal Blueprint diet. I use the word “diet” in the same way that I would say a tiger’s diet is primarily meat or a honeybee’s diet is primarily…. well, I don’t really know what honeybees eat but you know what I mean. In a paragraph or less, the Primal Blueprint lifestyle uses the logic that human bodies stopped evolving with hunter-gatherer societies, and they were actually some of the healthiest societies in history. Hunter-gatherers primarily ate fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat, and they certainly didn’t have refined or processed foods. They didn’t herd animals, so dairy would not have been in their diet, and they had yet to introduce agriculture to their lifestyle, so they wouldn’t have grains.

What that means for us, to follow this meal plan, is to cut dairy, grains, legumes, and sugar, but eat (essentially) as many fruits, vegetables, and meat as we want. Its all backed up with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo that I don’t understand well enough to explain in a short post, but it all has to do with insulin levels and how insulin contributes to energy levels, mood swings, and the creation and retention of excess fat. If you are interested more in the diet, check out the book (The Primal Blueprint) or go to marksdailyapple.com.

Why this plan? Because we’ve seen it work. My family is testimony to the amount of energy, health, and fitness that can be gained (and weight lost!) by NOT following conventional wisdom and switching to a different lifestyle. I know that this all goes absolutely against what we were taught in school with the Food Pyramid and all, but I reckon that if we are going to change our eating habits in an attempt to stabilize our life, then why not try the diet that we’ve actually seen work?

What you really need to know is that this is going to be crazy. We don’t eat terribly according to most standards- I cook most of our meals at home and we rarely buy processed foods or anything from a box (other than cereal, because, well, I like the cereal aisle). However, we love tortillas. And cheese. And ice cream. And pretzel bites. And homemade bread. Really, you know how much I love carbs. And did I mention brownies, cookies, cakes, and pies? We love those too. But, I love my sanity more. I love my husband and my marriage more. I love my happiness more, and if cheese and pretzel bites and chocolate chip muffins are what truly make me happy, then that’s a pretty sad life, eh?

This upcoming week we are going to attempt to eat down the cheese, tortillas, cereal, rice, pasta, yogurt, chocolate chips, and beans (and I’m sure a few other things) that we have in our pantry. This upcoming week I plan to finish The Primal Blueprint book and compile recipes that are Primal-friendly.  After that, we’re jumping into this thing headfirst.

And you get to hear all about it. I will do my level best to blog every day I can about the ups, the downs, and what in the world we find to eat along the way. Starting Sunday, we are going Primal!

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