I’ve been a little selfish. I’ve been sharing all this information about what I have been eating, how I’ve been feeling, how my life is changing. But there is another participant in this crazy scheme who has (purposefully, I would reckon) assumed a position away from the bearing of heart and soul to all of cyberspace.
Meet John Mark, husband extraordinaire and gracious participant in my little experiment. I told him from the beginning that he did not have to take this journey with me, but because he is just that fantastic, he is sacrificing convenience and convention (not to mention some favorite comfort foods) so that I don’t have to go it alone.
While of course John Mark wants to be as healthy as possible, he has not taken such as extreme approach as I have. I would like to reiterate again that I am choosing to go as dairy-, grain-, sugar-, processed and preservative-free as possible to break bad eating habits (like rewarding myself with food or having dessert after every meal) and create a baseline to see how food effects my stomach, head, and moods. John Mark almost never gets moody, nauseous or headachey, so he doesn’t need to give up the same things for the same reasons.
Many of you may be in the same place as John Mark: you want to try the diet but don’t want to go cold turkey on certain snacks, don’t have obvious health or emotional issues that may be caused by food, or you would like to support a significant other in their choice to change their diet. John Mark has given me permission to share some of the ways his diet differs from mine and some things that have helped make the transition easier:
Snacks: John Mark still eats some dairy, which is perfectly acceptable with Primal Blueprint. Surprisingly, the guy who grew up on a dairy farm didn’t have too much trouble giving up milk, and has instead opted for cheese or cottage cheese as his dairy fix. If you are going to eat dairy products, look for higher quality aged cheese over pre-sliced cheese, or worse, processed cheese product. We like Tillamook dairy products, but do some researching and package-checking before you buy anything. Greek yogurt also fits under the “sensible snacks” section.
–Momentary Soapbox: I am NOT saying that any yogurt is okay to eat; it really is important the kind of yogurt you buy. Individual fruit and yogurt cups can have as much added sugar as a candy bar (seriously, go check!), which certainly does not promote balance and weight loss like the advertisements would have you believe. Go for larger containers of fruit-less Greek yogurt and add in your own fruit to reduce the amount of sugar you are eating. Moral of the story- if you are eating pre-packaged foods, always check the labels! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming…—
Lunches: It’s all about the meat. John Mark does the majority (by majority I mean all of) the grilling in our house, and since it has been warm outside and we don’t have air conditioning, we have been grilling A LOT. John Mark will grill an entire pack of chicken breasts at one time, even though we will only eat two for dinner, so that we have quick lunch entrees. This past Sunday, we cooked an entire roast and separated it into Ball Jars (which work both as drinking glasses and dishwasher-safe food containers, by the way). If you can work a little extra in your free time, especially when it comes to meat or foods that take a while to cook, it will make your life much easier when you are in a rush.
“Cheats”- John Mark really doesn’t truly cheat often, but the two things he has decided not to give up are beer and brats. How very manly of him. Here’s what I have to say about cheats, and I think John Mark has it down- if you are going to cheat, choose a favorite item or two and set limits. For John Mark its beer and brats, for my mom its diet soda and potato chips (sorry, Mom, I told your secret). Don’t have them very often, but when you do, enjoy them! If you are going to feel bad through the entire drink or meal, its not worth having, I promise.
I asked John Mark how he feels on the new diet, and he replied “Awe–some!” in a very Schrute-esque manner. But really, he reported feeling less hungry during the day and not so stuffed and lathargic after meals. He still wants french fries, though.
But then again, so do I.
The Primal Menu:
Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs
Lunch: Leftover chicken breast, veggie sticks, sliced strawberries and bananas
Dinner: Maybe trying to eat out again? Really, all I want is air conditioning.