Wednesday, September 19, 2012

why I decided to go primal...

Lately, I've been asked here on the blog and in conversation about why I decided to go primal this past summer.  For those of you who don't know what the primal lifestyle is, you can read more about it here. You can also check out some of my other primal posts by clicking the "my primal journey" link below my header.


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?  



16 comments:

  1. Those meals look awesome. I have friends that do the primal thing. They swear by it, but I love my pasta. I just try to eat small amounts rather than give it up entirely. But kudos to you!!

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    1. Thank you! And I hear you on the pasta...I'm still trying to find a primal substitution for mac and cheese ;)

      Have a great rest of your week!

      Brittany

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  2. Wow! This sounds like something I would love! Back before we had kids the hubs and I lived on the Origin diet which is similar to the Primal diet and it was the best I ever felt. We eat very well now with lots of fruits, veggies, and lean meats.. but I may have to convince the hubby to give this one a try! Can't wait to follow your progress.. so I am your newest follower~
    Thanks for joining the Under 300 Hippo Hop!
    xoxo
    Amie @ Pinkapotamus

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    1. I'll have to read up on the Origin diet, I've never heard of it! Let me know how the convincing goes, I'd love to hear if going paleo/primal works for you.

      Have a great rest of your week!

      Brittany

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  3. This diet is new to me. It sounds worth exploring.
    I am your newest follower from the Pinkapotamus blog hop. Come visit my blog!
    Lisa
    akawest.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! Have a great rest of your week :)

      Brittany

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  4. I live off of carbs I don't know if I could do it! I'm a big runner and w/o carbs before running I feel like death. Esp when it's a 10 mile day! xoxo

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    1. Wow, I can't even imagine running ten miles! I wish I like running but sadly I don't think it's something I'll ever get into. Thanks for dropping by the blog :)

      Have a great rest of your week!

      Brittany

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  5. I don't do paleo, but it's definitely something I'm considering trying. Thanks for your opinion love. Always helps!

    xo, Emily
    bluedogbelle.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading! And let me know if you do try it out, I'd love to hear if you like it or not.

      Have a great rest of your week :)

      Brittany

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  6. I am thinking about trying it. I have heard so much great stuff about going paleo. I have a few friends who are doing it so I might do some research and see if it will work for me. What sort of recipes have you found? Does it take a lot of prepping to get dinner on? Do you do Crossfit?

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    1. Hi Kristyn! You should definitely give it a shot! I've had a lot of success with finding recipes, and sometimes I'll just adapt one of my favorite non-paleo recipes. CupcakesOMG! is a blog with paleo recipes I've tried and loved (I'll put the link below). The hardest part for me when it comes to making meals is that I live in a college dorm, so it's hard to prepare foods or find paleo alternatives in the university cafeteria. Many bread substitute recipes use almond flour which is more expensive than just regular flour, so being the poor college student that I am, I don't make recipes that take almond four that often.

      I don't do Crossfit, but my boyfriend has been talking about starting...so maybe in a few weeks that'll change.

      Let me know if you do try going primal/paleo, I'd love to hear how it goes for you :)

      Have a great rest of your week!

      Brittany

      Great paleo/primal recipes: http://cupcakesomg.blogspot.com/

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  7. It's nice that you noted the change and then decided to make it for yourself. Good luck to both of you, it sounds like it's serving you well!

    Found you on No Rules Blog. I am your newest follower, and happy to be here. :)

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  8. Wow this sounds so healthy. I don't think I could ever go fully primal, but I'd give it a try up to a point.

    Thanks for linking up with my NO RULES Weekend Blog Party!!
    Paula
    lifeasweknowitbypaula.blogspot.com

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  9. Thanks for stopping by Super Sunday Sync! I'm follow you now. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!
    www.dawnsdisaster.blogspot.com

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  10. Hello,

    I am visiting you through Blog Hops Everyday. You have a lovely blog and I love your content. I am now following your blog, please check out my blogs too and return the love: Empowered Mommy and Pregnancy Forum

    Thanks for your time. :)

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