During the summer, my boyfriend, Nick, was convinced by a friend to give the primal lifestyle a try. At first, I didn't understand why he was cutting out grains and every chance I had to torment him with some freshly made mac and cheese I would (I know, I could use some serious work in the supportive girlfriend department).
After a few weeks, I noticed a huge difference in Nick; he had more energy and you could tell he felt better about himself. I started to research and look further into the primal lifestyle. This infographic I found on Pinterest explains the lifestyle better than I can, so I'd definitely recommend reading it if you're interested in what the lifestyle entails. Basically, the primal diet is a high protein and fat diet (I am hesitant in calling the primal way of eating a "diet" because I honestly don't feel like I'm restricting myself). Carbohydrates are taken in only through vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. instead of through grains.
The first thing that made me seriously consider going primal is that primal/paleo eaters cut out ALL processed food. Before I even started the primal diet, I tried to limit my intake of processed/packaged foods. I did however have trouble understanding why it was necessary to cut out grains. I love(d) pasta, macaroni and cheese, paninis, bagels, etc. and honestly thought that by choosing whole wheat products, I was making the "healthier" choice.
This tale of two meals infographic (you can see it blown up here) gave me a better understanding of how the body breaks down carbs vs. fats. Over time, I started to read more about the benefits of cutting out grains and I decided that I could at least give the diet a shot for a couple of weeks.
As I continued to research, I found that there was much more to the primal lifestyle than just diet. The lifestyle emphasizes getting enough sleep at night (around 8 hours), stress management, playing and of course, exercise.
The final selling point for me giving this lifestyle a try was the exercise plan. I have never liked to run, I don't like to run now and I will never like to run. Back in the day, our ancestors would spend much of their day walking, sprinting if they were being pursued by an animal or other person, and lifting heavy things. The exercise plan for the primal lifestyle is a reflection of that. You are to walk at a moderate pace 2-5 hours a week, sprint a few times throughout the week, and lift.
After doing all the research and seeing the results Nick was seeing, I finally decided to give the primal life a try. I mean come on, who can resist a diet that has bacon as one of its main staples? NOT THIS GIRL.
I've been primal for about a month now, there have been some slip ups and some non-primal days, but I can honestly say that health wise, this was one of the best decisions I've ever made. My body feels completely different than it did before and I have so much more energy. I rarely crave grains. The packaged foods that used to be appealing to me really aren't anymore. I've also had fun finding alternative primal recipes for foods that I love that aren't primal like bagels, brownies, etc. I definitely recommend giving the primal/paleo lifestyle a try, if even just for a week or two. You won't be disappointed.
Have you ever tried the paleo/primal lifestyle? Would you be interested in trying it out or learning more about it?